31 Days to an Awesome Party (Day 10): When things go wrong

party problems

 

It is inevitable.  Things go wrong at parties.  Even with all the best planning in the world, no party is exempt from problems.  Now, the level of “disaster effect” on your party may vary greatly, but I have rarely had an event, no matter what size, run without any complications along the way.  Rain for the outdoor event, food mishaps, broken dishes, guest complications . . . let’s just say I’ve faced it all.

In my professional wedding planning career, I had to switch more than one outdoor ceremony to a plan B location, to the great disappointment of the bride.  A florist was nearly struck by lighting while on a metal ladder arranging a chuppah when a storm broke loose (which meant grumpy florist . . . as if was his day! -totally joking!).  I have even put out a small fire during a reception when a guest left their napkin a little too close to a candle.  This only starts my list!

And let’s not even go into the number of times I have been cooking for my own parties only to ask myself the obvious question of WHY I cook.  I have felt the disappointment of changing plans because of rain.  And sure enough there have been little things that I intended to do, but simply forgot about in the heat of the moment . . . yes, even with my extensive lists.

One thing I have learned:  if you go into a party expecting that things may not go perfectly, you will be better prepared to handle the issues when they arise.  Even doing weddings, there was no perfect wedding.  Something always came up.  But what was more important was how resourceful, resilient and flexible I could be . . . not to mention to do whatever it took to keep the problem from revealing itself to others, especially the bride.

What are you to do when something goes wrong for your party?

Really, there are only a couple things you can do:

1.  You can cry!  I’ve been there and yes, probably even done it a few times for my own parties.  But honestly, it gets you nowhere.

2.  You can take it in stride, be resourceful and problem solve your way to a decent outcome.  Make use of back up plans, rearrange your table top to hide spills and if nothing else, send your husband out for replacement food.  Be creative.  Make your solution look intentional.

3.  Move on and forget about it.  For many problems, no one except you and those you share it with will even know about the issue.  You are probably your worst critic.  Focus on the reason of your event, your guest of honor and the guests themselves.  Pray for perspective.  Smile and enjoy what is working.

Just like life, things don’t always go as planned.  Situations arise, problems reveal themselves.  The key is your attitude and how you handle it.

Your Turn to Share:  We want to hear your stories of what went wrong at your parties and how you handled it.

Related Posts:
>Start at the beginning of our 31 Days to an Awesome Party.
>Check out my post, Boiled Down Hospitality, to find out what hospitality is really all about.  Or start at the beginning of the Hospitable Hearts series with Melissa of Hive Resources.

Comments

  1. I think my best protection against party planning failure is not planning anything until the last minute. Then you have to be flexible! (ha) But one thing that did almost ruin one of my parties: my child was supposed come home from her grandparents’ house for her 5th birthday party. But they all overslept, so everything was ready and all her friends were waiting, but the birthday girl hadn’t arrived. Thankfully, they did make it just in time, and we had a wonderful event. But I was definitely sweating it!