As wedding caterers it’s common to get a request for our catering and event planning services a “year or two out”, which makes total sense, because you really need some time to consider venues, book rentals, secure vendors and give guests enough lead time so they can attend your wedding. What didn’t make sense, and came as a complete shock, was to receive a call to plan a wedding in 10 days. What also was surprising was how calm and “matter a fact” the caller (the groom) was with his request.

Planning a Wedding in 10 Days

We do get last minute calls from time to time, but more often than not the individual on the other end is in a panicked state because something unforeseen has happened – things like a caterer cancelling because they’ve overbooked themselves or a venue suddenly closing it’s doors. Our caller was calm, cool and collected, knew what he wanted and assumed 10 days was a reasonable amount of time to plan it!

We have four full time event planners in our office that could potentially take up this challenge to plan a wedding from top to bottom in 10 days, but it was Joey Greene who jumped at the opportunity – the others were suffering from heart failure I believe.

Our client called at 10:00am and our amazing event planner Joey did his first site inspection at 3:00pm the same afternoon! This also was not an ordinary wedding to plan – a plated 4 course dinner for 60 people at a private residence in West Vancouver, takes a bit of time to figure out. Things like where to put 60 people for dinner? While I’m sure there are private residences in Vancouver that can accommodate 60 guests for a seated dinner, most do not, and, after the quick site inspection, ours did not either. That meant tenting…

A location was specified for a tent large enough to hold 60 dinner guests and one was luckily available from Salmon’s Rentals for the day. The fact that the wedding was held on a Thursday probably helped with the tent’s availability.

The next step was to mock up a floor plan and work out the details of the menu. While no substitute for auto cad, there are now a number of floor plan websites that allow you to quickly design a layout – we like to use Exhibit Core for this purpose.

The Menu

The menu featured lots of seafood including citrus salad of lobster, mango and grapefruit. The second course was a “Duck Confit Ravioli” in duck consummé. There were two entree choices of either Sablefish with Malaysian chile sauce served on a jade rice galette with bay carrots, haricot vert English peas and asparagus or “Pemberton Meadows Beef Tenderloin” on Pommes Anna with caramelized shallots a lovely port reduction, sautéed spinach and rainbow chard, asparagus spears and jewelled golden beets.

Some of the Challenges for Planning a Wedding on Short Notice

The biggest challenge was taking inevitable changes on board and finding quick solutions. Usually rentals come from one supplier making it a relatively simple exercise to keep everything organized, but because of the short notice, we needed to use 3 different rental companies to complete our order. We also did our menu tasting the day before the wedding! Thankfully everything was a go!

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