Engagement Party Madness, Primo Parte
Signor Keswick, my sister and I arrived at 4 AM Sunday morning from DC after picking her up from Dulles and driving all the way to Southwest Va. Because we knew we couldn't have a traditional cocktail party, Mom and I got creative and had our friends over for a proper afternoon tea. My sister brought marmalade and proper tea (English breakfast, Mango, and Vanilla) from England and we hired a caterer for finger sandwiches, scones, dessert, etc.
At 2:15, I'm getting ready for the party and ask my mom what time the caterer is supposed to arrive. 2:00. She calls. At 2:20PM, he's still THIRTY minutes late! I almost had a meltdown (well, everyone else says I did. I don't think it was that bad, but to each their own). The caterer arrived 10 minutes after our contract's "event time" and he didn't even apologize! I was very disappointed with their professionalism (or lack thereof) and will not be using them again. Luckily, we were able to plate everything as the guests were arriving. As an events person, it was actually very difficult for me to stay out of the kitchen and greet and mingle with the guests when I knew there was a minor emergency happening "backstage."
It was a small gathering (30ish), but it was all the people I really wanted present to share this special time. Sig. Keswick put on the game for some of the husbands and I visited with the ladies. We tried to stay together during the party as the celebrants, but it was harder for him because he barely knew them and he was very new to this. I knew everyone, and I knew which guests would probably know fewer people, etc. All in all, it was a good dress rehearsal for my future mother-in-law's engagement party, which was going to have over twice as many guests. We had good practice juggling all the guests and we had really great quality time with all of them.