Mission Impossible without Tom Cruise

“Vintage wedding banquet is one of the most prevalent trends in recent years, and believe us—since we know what we’re talking about (and writing 😊)—it will remain a dominant trend for a long time. We know why, but that’s a story for another time. The location, a dream one is mandatory: amidst vineyards, by the river, in a meadow amidst lavender fields, by the lake, on a cliff overlooking the sea, in an English ‘cottage’ in the middle of nowhere. Total magic, full color, and perfect resolution.

Sounds lovely, and we’d love it too. Every day. Our Instagram is full of such magic. One might think that every third couple gets married for a million dollars in a natural setting with a lavish set design that seems like it was dropped by a space shuttle from above. However, there’s a small problem that can lead to a visit to the traumatology department for those who are not in this business. Anyone who doesn’t work in this field has no idea what kind of trouble they’re getting into when they decide to get married in a meadow surrounded by thyme and basil.

These newlyweds contacted us after selecting the location and having a general idea of what they wanted. Trying to create the entire concept of their banquet themselves, after a few steps, they encountered logistical problems and contacted us for support. After the initial briefing, the situation was as follows:

– The wedding banquet takes place entirely outdoors under the open sky
– A riding club is chosen as the wedding venue
– A large number of suppliers have already been arranged
– The location is everything. Or is it?

The riding club, beautiful in itself, was an extremely challenging location in this case. The terrain of the club is uneven trodden ground, making it impossible to set up a floor structure. Thus, we were deprived of the first element of an elegant banquet, managing only to set up a dance floor with difficulty so that our female guests wouldn’t get stuck in the earth with their high heels. Recognizing the insufficient capacity of the club for 170 guests, we had to provide support “from the outside,” which included a refrigerated truck for ice, cake and pastry storage, as well as additional restaurant equipment such as glasses, cutlery, dishes, textile bases, and tablecloths. For this number of guests, we provided additional waiters and other staff who had to be familiar with the terrain before the banquet so that they knew what to expect. The distance between the logistical part and the actual wedding venue posed a particular problem – waiters had a 100-meter walk, constantly moving from the bar to the guest tables.

The location required additional lighting of the space, as, like any other banquet, this one extended well into the night. In a natural environment, by the river and far from an urban setting, we had to ensure a safe journey to not-so-accessible toilets and efficiently plan parking in a very limited space.

Everything but outdoors

The biggest challenge was the absolute inflexibility of the couple regarding an outdoor wedding. This requirement, in the case of the riding club, undoubtedly posed the most significant task the Arkadia team had ever faced. We can responsibly claim this. Looking back, we faced almost everything. We might not have organized a wedding underwater yet, but stay with us, who knows what else awaits us. And our future couples. And we look forward to it. But this banquet was our greatest adventure. Because when you really nail something with a nail on the door, then Mr. Murphy comes and knocks from the other side. Whether you like it or not – he comes in. Kicking with a foot. Or rain from the heavens in this case.

When the Arkadia team organizes an outdoor wedding, we monitor the weather forecast two weeks in advance. This time, despite it being August, the forecast was very bad, and it remained so until the wedding day. Four days before the wedding, rain was continuously falling, turning the earthen ground into a liquid mass. Under significant pressure and our insistence, the couple realized that some tent had to be set up, but due to the unfavorable terrain, only a transparent tent with a structure and roof was considered. Then followed a visit to the location with the team setting up the tent to project all positions and necessary details (such as whether the trailer with tent equipment could reach the location through quite steep and narrow paths… this involved cutting branches from trees 😊). On Thursday, two days before the banquet, we were greeted by a sunny day, which slightly reassured us, despite the still constantly poor forecasts. The tent was assembled and closed due to the wind during the night. The night came rain-filled, full of downpours with thunderstorms. In the morning, on the roof of the tent, we found pockets full of water that couldn’t be emptied using the “support the pole and push upwards” method. The interior of the tent was completely wet from condensation. In parallel with finding a method to dry the tent and drain the water pockets, the equipment that had arrived had to be distributed, decoration, tables, lighting had to be arranged. People, trucks, pickups sank into the muddy ground, our time until the start of the banquet. At that moment, we also realized that very high humidity on the floor would create real mud on the ground, and we were in danger of turning the wedding banquet, where guests come in suits and evening gowns, into a mud party. That nobody planned.

Friends are known in times of trouble

With the best team that, in the final days before the wedding celebration, didn’t sleep but only worked and thought about how to make the impossible possible, we managed to realize one of the most challenging banquets we’ve encountered. Despite the rain that mercilessly fell two days before the wedding, the day before and during the wedding celebration, it was held. In lightning-fast short time, we bought carpets to make paths in the tent and to it, to prevent a muddy catastrophe, we procured heaters that raised the unexpectedly low night temperature for the end of August, provided guards from our team so that the tent roof wouldn’t collapse from rain during the banquet.

We established a great collaboration with the catering team and became good friends through this experience, like comrades in arms who go through everything together and then see endless possibilities in each other for a joint future. The great support from all the collaborators who participated in this journey came as a precious gift, rewarding the effort, hardship, perseverance, and determination of the Arkadia team to do the job to the end and professionally.

A precious memory of a different kind

Did we say a while ago that we still haven’t organized a wedding underwater? Count on this banquet as our conditioning training for the future Atlantis concept of Arkadia weddings. Because, even after so many years and couples who have passed through our lives and hearts, it surprises us how much we have gone through and survived thanks to the banquet at the riding club:

– Entering the business is only half agreed and started, it’s double the trouble
– Pre-arranged suppliers with whom you haven’t worked before are a potential time bomb
– Insisting on certain organizational elements in combination with a fixed concept ultimately costs much more than planned
– When they say in Serbia that everything is possible, know that, in fact, a lot of things won’t be possible
– Vintage locations require immensely large infrastructure preparations (water, electricity, ground, additional suppliers)
– Be prepared to pull a

truck out of the mud and heat the August night if necessary
– Always, always insist on a well-coordinated restaurant staff
– And when you find a perfect alternative, the client sometimes won’t listen
– The sky is the limit because the sky determines the weather conditions
– Some jobs might need to be refused?

At the end of this adventure, when the bills are settled and the strength is summed up after everything, we once again confirmed what we have known for a long time. The client must collaborate if they want to realize the envisioned vision together with us. The epilogue of the wedding at the riding club was that the entire banquet cost much more than planned, and in circumstances that did not favor the envisioned concept, the entire landscape, the romance of the place, and the desired image were partially lost.

The realization of the taken job was successful only thanks to the fundamental value that is the foundation of the Arkadia team – the complete dedication to the Arkadia vision that we live every day.”

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