Hiring a Caterer to Cook for Your Wedding?

Before you decide to have your wedding at a private venue or your home I think it is very important to understand how caterer’s charge.

Typically, private caterers break down the cost of the meal as follows: food per person, and an hourly fee for their staff inclusive of: head chef, assistant chefs, scullery, managers, waiters and bartenders.

The size of the event and the scope of the menu will usually determine how large a staff is required to service your event.In general most catering and staffing companies require a 5-hour minimum per party. In addition to the food and labor fees you can expect to see a tax and a service charge on your bill.

Generally the per person food charge will cover the cost of the food and the initial food prep at the caterer’s own kitchen. The hourly fees kick in once the caterer arrives on site at the venue where the wedding or party will take place. Typically, your caterer will base their estimate on the following: average event is 5 hours which consists of 1 hour for cocktails, and 4 hours for the reception. Additional hours may then be added for the set up/installation and clean up at your location. By and large, for a small event of 200 guests or less with a minimal amount of set up the caterer will frequently add 2 hours for installation and 1-2 hours for cleanup. These times are a guideline and may differ based on size of the wedding, the menu and the party’s overall flow of events. Furthermore, if you have a killer party that goes into overtime expect to pay additional sums of money to the staff.

Additionally, when choosing to work with a caterer at a private venue or home you should be aware that you will have to rent everything that will be used for your event to take place. It is a good idea, especially if you choose to not work with a planner, to schedule a walk-thru of the venue space with the caterer, prior to your wedding. This will allow the caterer to scope out the site and know how best to use the space. They will also be able to help you create a rental list of items that they may need to best execute the menu.

I hope you found this article helpful and informative. If you have any questions or need any help please feel free to contact me or leave comments. I look forward to helping you have a stress free event.

Grace, Gratitude and Happy Planning!

Has your mom turned into a Momzilla?

So you get engaged and the first person you thought to call was your Mom. At first she is filled with joy and so excited, she sets out making plans in her head, some of which she decides to discuss with you. She calls all her friends and family, you start to begin planning the wedding, looking for venues, discovering likes, dislikes and cost of goods. You discuss the guest list and how to divide up the number of gueasts each family should be able to invite. Then, suddenly you notice a change in her behavior or maybe even mood swings around the subject of your wedding.

This is totally normal! Unexpected and unpleasant but, definitely a part of the process. When I got engaged my Mom, went a little nuts, too. Suddenly this woman that raised me and taught me to be generous and inclusive started to get territorial and petty. I heard comments like “why do they get to invite their friends? Why are they getting the same number of guests when I am paying?”…I was devastated to hear my Mom speak this way. It was not how she raised me. I felt so uncomfortable and couldn’t understand what was wrong. I even stopped speaking to her for a week.

Today, after working with countless brides and their mothers I can safely say that this behavior is common. Your Mom just needs some time to get used to the idea of sharing her baby with a whole new family. At first she feels very threatened by the attention you are getting from your “family to be” namely the future “Mother in law.” It is unsettling in many ways and the one thing I have learned over the years is that what provokes this behavior is that when you get engaged, you already know your family of origin and what makes them tick. However, your future husband’s family is a whole different experience. The allure and intrigue of the future in-laws enticing. They seem to be so different than your family and so much more normal and sort of hip and their relationship with you feels almost magical. They are still new and somewhat of a mystery; you don’t really know them yet, they seem gracious and welcoming and after all they raised the man you fell in love with- so they have to be pretty darn special. Right? So why wouldn’t you have instant love and closeness with them. You are marrying their son.

Give it time- You need to get to know your future husbands family without feeling guilty and your Mom just needs to settle in and realize that you are still going to be her daughter.She has to feel that she will still be a part of your life.And as you learn more about his family the excitement will begin to fade.After all- every family has their baggage.Once the mystery is gone you will be back to normal with your Mom. Allow her this time and don’t expect it to be different.Embrace this period and have room for her to get used to the idea of sharing you, her baby, the one she gave birth too, raised and loved.

I hope you found this article helpful and informative. If you have any questions or need any help please feel free to contact me or leave comments. I look forward to helping you have a stress free event.

Grace, Gratitude and Happy Planning!

Why Hiring a Wedding Planner is a Good Idea

This post is based on a true event.

Last weekend my neighbor’s son got married. The wedding took place at his parent’s home. This is just a taste of what we got to experience as their neighbor.

Saturday afternoon I arrived home to my cul de sac at around 3pm to be greeted by massive chaos on my street. There were cars and trucks parked everywhere; making it difficult to drive down the street.

No big deal, right? People have parties, do construction create chaos and mess all the time. You just get used to it, take a deep breath and move on. Especially in a city like Los Angeles.

Around 6pm my husband and I leave to meet with friends, my son is off to Santa Barbara and my poor daughter, a junior in High school is home studying for finals. We get back home at around 10pm. The street is still crazy, music is still blaring. Wow, 7 hours later- must be a great party!

We go into our house and get ready for bed- around 10:30 the music dies down and as we are drifting off to sleep we are shocked awake by footsteps coming up our back deck stairs and in a flash there is a giant shadow of a man standing in our bedroom window. We both scream and jump out of bed, I have seriously never been so scared in my entire life and am shocked that I was able to pick up the phone to call the police.

We soon discover that the large male intruder, the one who scared us awake, worked for the DJ company that ran or played at the wedding next door. Apparently he got drunk and managed to get lost and ended up in my backyard- which is completely enclosed with a wrap around wooden fence… In addition, the next day- my husband lets me know that our backyard was covered in beer bottles.

You are probably wondering how this relates to my topic of why you should hire a Wedding Planner for your wedding?

Because, when you hire a planner you are going to have qualified, professional vendors with work policies regarding how their employees are allowed to behave at your party. I know, our work is fun- we create atmosphere and energy for your event. But, the key word is we are working! We are there to provide a service, not party like a guest.

Furthermore, I absolutely know that at the end of one of my parties or weddings my vendors will not be wandering the neighborhood casing out the homes and opening you (the client) up to a possible lawsuit. When the party ends they will be loading their stuff into their trucks and leaving- and they are leaving your home and your neighbors homes the way they found them- no one’s lawn will be strewn with beer cans or empty wine bottles. I think a little peace of mind and tranquility for all are wise choices when it comes to planning your next home wedding.

If you found this useful, helpful or interesting, please let me know. I would love your feedback. If there is something you want to learn about just let me know. I would be more than happy to oblige.

Grace, Gratitude and Happy Planning!