This image © WedSet 2013
I recently had the pleasure of seeing a side of one of my regular vendors that really touched me.
We were in the middle of a wedding set up on a bright sunny day. Everything was handled. Everything except the alcohol. I thought it was done, but apparently it wasn’t. The venue was a private property and therefore the couple saved significant money by purchasing their own liquor. The caterer provided the bartenders, bar-ware and mixers, etc. I developed a list of what would be needed for the family to purchase. As a rule, I share this with the caterer to insure we are as accurate as possible. There is nothing worse than running out of alcohol during an event…. or having a storage building of unopened bottles after. So, we are pretty careful to nail these estimates as much as possible. All were in agreement on the counts. I sent it over to the family. I followed up with them a couple days later to see the status. I was told that everything was purchased and inquired about where and when to deliver it to the venue.
That day, I was buzzing around like normal overseeing several of my teams and all the vendors. The caterer arrived and began inventorying the alcohol, setting tables, etc. I received a frantic radio message from them saying that instead of 4 cases of red wine, five cases of white wine and three cases of champagne, they had only purchased 1 case of red, 1 case of white and 6 bottles of champagne. I rushed to the client who then informed me they couldn’t afford the additional beverages. They had purchased one hundred percent of the beer and hard liquor, but skipped most of the wine. I explained to them that this amount of wine wouldn’t even make it through the cocktail hour, let alone the rest of the reception including a seated dinner with two different wine glasses and a champagne glass at every place setting. The mother said to me, “Donnie, don’t stress over this….It’s only a wedding!” They said their guests didn’t drink wine. Uh, excuse me I thought. Do you think I don’t understand how weddings work? I could feel the rush of endorphins creep up my spine and the blood rush to my face. All I could think was that the guests would all look at me if we ran out of wine after an hour. That’s just not how we produce weddings. Additionally, you don’t hire a wedding planner and then not communicate with them. Had they told me in advance rather than misleading me about it, I might have come up with some alternative idea that would have saved all this stress.
One of my favorite vendors in the world, who just happened to be standing there pulled out their American Express card and said, “Go get the wine and champagne they need.” I said they didn’t need to do that. It was unnecessary. Their response was, “If Mary and Joseph had been turned away from the inn, there might never have been a baby Jesus. And, that generosity is one of life’s greatest joys!” I was absolutely stunned. This is a wonderful person. I have always known that about them. But, this gesture was even more than I would have ever expected.
The vendor asked me to not tell anyone what they had done or name names. They are so unselfish and kind and clearly not doing it for the kudos. If everyone in the world was like that, life would be so much better, don’t you think?
The best part…. we went through all but a few bottles of wine that night. I counted 72 wine drinkers in the cocktail hour alone.
I just had to share!!