For someone who has never been married, and has only ever attended one wedding, I know a lot about wedding receptions.
I’m familiar with a lot of words I wish I wasn’t. Like ‘bonbonnieres.’ And ‘tulle.’ And ‘marzipan.’
You see, while I was studying, I worked at a wedding reception venue. I spent almost every Saturday night for five years serving food and drinks, dimming the lights for the first dance, cutting the cake, ushering drunk guests out the door, attempting to stop physical altercations, laughing at the bad jokes of old men, getting inexplicably emotional during some speeches, while cringing at others, and setting up and packing down elaborate table settings.
As a result, I have some (highly valuable) advice for both people hosting their wedding reception, and people attending someone else's.
Don't put spirits on the tab unless you want a fight before 11pm.
If fights are your thing, go for it. But whenever I arrived at work, and we were told spirits were on the tab, we would all let out a collective groan. Humans don't mix well with spirits. They start to act... silly. What starts off as some banter between a group of grown men soon escalates into one man chasing the other outside with a chair while his entire family restrains him. This is not a hypothetical example - this was a real scenario.
Don't eat all the canapés.
Don't. Eat. Them. All. They're. Not. Just. For. YOU.
They are to share.
Do you see that old woman in the corner giving me crazy eyes?
She's going to be really mad if there aren't any arancini balls left by the time I get to her. She's going to make a comment about how she can't get up and come to me and it's not fair that she misses out. And you know what? She's right. And I end up feeling a) incompetent, b) guilty, and c) hungry. I want arancini balls too. (Post continues after gallery.)