Blog

March 10, 2020

Guest writer Alexandria Jaramillo gives tips on catering for your big day.

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With engagement season upon us, we reached out to the best event and wedding planners in Utah to see what tips they had to make the catering at your big day the best it can be! Follow our 9 week series and see what they all had to say!

Alexandria Jaramillo from Over the Top Events

Alex is a lover of shellac manicures, chocolate cake and spending time with her amazing husband, baby boy Finn and King Charles Spaniel, Henry. Alex has been wedding obsessed for as long as she can remember. She loves every detail big or small that goes into a wedding. She has found herself in a lot of different aspects of the wedding world over the years but the planning & design of the wedding day is where her passion truly lies. It is so important to let the bride, groom and their families be able to sit back and enjoy the day without any worries. 

Be transparent with your caterers.

There is no such thing as too much information to share. It is key to tell your caterer about all the details of the day. They will use that information to add touches and make recommendations that will heighten your experience beyond what you could have imagined. 

Chat with your caterers about your look and feel.

The caterers bring a lot of equipment, they can bring highlights to some of the colors and themes you have incorporated into your wedding. Your vision for the magic you are creating on your big day can quickly feel disjointed or chaotic if platters, napkins, linens, signage and other details don’t match.

Your event centers around food. 

Plan that the bulk of your budget is going to go to your food because that is what makes it a party! Like Julia Child says “ A party without cake is just a meeting.”  Fine creativity in your menus. Let your meal reflect your past and relationship. Your food can be a spectacle. Find ways to make your meals unique and entertaining to your guests as well as delicious! 

Plan in your budget for the staff and service charges.

I often see the bride be surprised and inquisitive about the number of staff required to do an event and the service charges that come with that. In your initial meeting ask about how many staff that you may need and how that pricing comes down. This way you aren’t blindsided by the sticker price on your proposals.

Remember caterers responsible for the upkeep of your look.

In addition to keeping food hot and fresh, the caterers are responsible for the aesthetic throughout the event. Bussing tables, cleaning the room, tidying tables and florals, moving furniture, emptying trash, and a million other little details that lend to the magic of the evening. Make sure you discuss with your caterers your expectations of how those details will go. Remember that we specialize in making these days special and we do it often so trust your team you have hired.  Don't forget to check in next week to see more tips!

March 2, 2020

Guest writer Kati Price gives tips on catering for your big day.

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With engagement season upon us, we reached out to the best event and wedding planners in Utah to see what tips they had to make the catering at your big day the best it can be! Follow our 9 week series and see what they all had to say!

Kati Price from Events Rising

Excellent at nurturing relationships, Kati has a strong work ethic and respect for others.  As a resident of Park City for more than 20 years, she has been designing and executing corporate and social events locally, nationally and internationally with her positive attitude and unquestioned work ethic.

Budget for the most important things first.

As you start your planning, sit down with your fiancé and possibly your family to decide what is the most important element to you about your special day. I find guests really only remember the food and the entertainment, however, you will want to remember it all so don’t skimp on your photographer.

Manage your expectations.

Allow your caterers and planners to work to create your expectations and not force them to work within yours. While Pinterest and the internet can be a great place to start with the creative and to cultivate a look, ask for advice on how to best spend your budget and create something unique to you that will give you the best use of budget, space, and hospitality.

Understand the differences in service style.

Before you settle on the style of service you want for your wedding, ask your caterers what styles of service they offer and what are the differences between all of them. Understand how cost, service, staff, space, flow, and timeline all factor into your day and venue before you make a final decision on service style.

Select a caterer that is prepared.

When you walk into your wedding, you want it to look as transcendent as you have imagined. A big part of that is being prepared. Make sure you pick a caterer who is prepared and great at managing your timeline. 

Seek advice on the flow of your event.

The flow of your event is often the largest miscommunication between planners, brides, and the caterers. So when you discuss your timeline with your caterer, also discuss the flow and how you see your guests move from space to space. There will be many hands onsite on your big day share the vision on how you want to flow and create the best plan for all parties.  Don't forget to check in next week to see more tips!

February 24, 2020

Guest writer Tonya Hoopes gives tips on catering for your big day.

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With engagement season upon us, we reached out to the best event and wedding planners in Utah to see what tips they had to make the catering at your big day the best it can be! Follow our 9 week series and see what they all had to say!

 

Tonya Hoopes from Hoopes Events On any given day you will find Tonya looking through Wedding or Fashion Magazines from places such as Paris, New York, and Milan. Tonya has a passion for traveling the world, fine chocolate, amazing food, shoes, and handbags as well as planning and creating beautiful weddings and events that allow her clients to enjoy their event while she makes sure every detail is taken care of. Tonya has planned and executed well over 500 weddings and 100 corporate events for parties as small as 12 and as large as 2500.   

Share your whole vision.

It is important to communicate your vision to your caterer. The colors, theme, flow, and ambiance you are trying to create. Your caterer can help enhance your design. From customizing your menu to the platters they bring and rentals for your tables. It can cause dissonance in the ambiance you are creating if any of your vendors are left out of your vision.  

Ask questions about the service and presentation.

There are no wrong questions to ask your vendors. As your caterers are responsible for the bulk of your servers at your wedding here are some great questions to ask. 
  • How does service go, what are the steps throughout the evening?
  • How do you manage your servers?
  • What is the price of servers, and how many do you bring for each style of service?
  • How does your staff dress? Do you have presentation/grooming standards?
  • How will clean up go? What are you responsible for and how late do you stay? It is important to know if the caterer does or does not clean all the dishes and stemware from the tables throughout the event.
 

The authenticity of the food is important.

Many caterers are willing to make custom menus. However, don’t overlook the details of how those custom items are prepared. Make sure your caterer has the expertise and education to create any custom food items. Also, check-in about where their food is grown. Local food is the key to great food! Make sure your caterer is taking great care of your menu and the environment. During this conversation is also a great time to ask how items will be prepared onsite.

If you are going to cut for budget ask the experts where to cut.

Budget concerns are real stress while planning a wedding. When it comes down to cutting though make sure you ask your planner and caterer first where the cuts would be best as to not throw a wrench into the flow and ambiance of your wedding. Take their advice to heart.   

Trust your vendors.

Your vendors are your main support system as you create your wedding. All your vendors are looking to create your unique and unforgettable wedding.  Your vendors will have a plethora of experience and expertise. When they make suggestions, take them and trust what they have to say. Don’t let your expectations get in the way of your perfect day. Don't forget to check in next week to see more tips!

February 18, 2020

Guest writer Shellie Ferrer gives tips on catering for your big day.

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With engagement season upon us, we reached out to the best event and wedding planners in Utah to see what tips they had to make the catering at your big day the best it can be! Follow our 9 week series and see what they all had to say!  

Shellie Ferrer From Shellie Ferrer Events

Born and raised in California, Shellie called Italy home for many years before returning to her American roots. Today, she is among the most sought-after coordinators in Utah, crafting events and weddings that draw upon Park City’s culture and setting, tucked in the basin of the Rocky Mountains’ Wasatch Range. With more than two decades of hospitality and event experience—including tenure at The Four Seasons—Shellie takes an approach that is equal parts organization and artistry, balancing high-level planning and day-of logistics with creative direction and multisensory details.    

Guests always eat with their eyes first.

Make sure your caterer can make your food as glamorous as the rest of your design. The caterers manage so much at your wedding all your food, bar service, room/table set up and tear down, rentals and many other things upon request. It is important to clarify with your caterers what the look of each item they manage. 

Create surprises in your menu.

Your caterers can create a custom menu for you! When you are designing your menu, think about what elements you can add that would create new levels of excitement at each turn. My favorite is late-night snacks. I will tease the guests as the dancing continues to “look forward to the late-night snacks” as I travel the room. Guests are enthralled to see what comes out next. 

Take the same care with your bar menu as you do with your food menu.

Often beverage is the first thing your guests are looking for when they arrive. Usually, it is the first thing that will touch their lips, and the first interaction they will have with staff, and your decor. So get creative with your bar decor and menu design. Let guests get excited about cocktails (they will drink with their eyes first too!) Feature local ingredients and local distilleries. Utah has lots of preconceptions about bar and alcohol, let your caterer quell any of those concerns and design something spectacular for you! 

Do a tasting.

Many brides skip this step. I think it is so important. So your expectations and visions are mismatched. It's good to see each dish and how it will be served and how your guests will feel after they have eaten the meal. Make sure it all pairs the way you had hoped. The tasting is a great time to make any detailed changes to a menu and style that you would like to see, not the day of. 

Choose the right caterer.

Your caterer will be the largest team onsite for your wedding. Make sure they are the right fit for you and jive with your vision and the day you are creating. Ask lots of questions to make sure they are who you are looking for. Your planner can be of great assistance here. Ask for example photos of what they are selling. Get a feel for what they are bringing to the table. Don't forget to check in next week to see more tips!

February 12, 2020

February Recipe of the Month: Salted Caramel Molten Lava Cake

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Celebrate Valentine's day this year with these ooey-gooey salted caramel lava cakes. They are sure to make the perfect end to any meal.

Salted Caramels

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 6 teaspoons water
  • ½ cup corn syrup
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon flaked Maldon salt

Tools:

  • 9x13 inch pan
  • Pot
  • Candy thermometer
  • Whisk

Yields:

20 caramels
  1. Grease pan on all sides and bottom. Add a piece of parchment to the bottom and grease as well
  2. Calibrate your candy thermometer
  3. Into large stock pot Add water, corn syrup, and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  4. Clip on candy thermometer and bring sugar mixture to 320 degrees F. The sugar will be slightly amber colored.
  5. Chop butter into small cubes.
  6. Once at 320 slowly add butter and cream (the pot will boil violently) add tsp of kosher salt.
  7. Once all incorporated bring caramel to 240 degrees F
  8. Pour caramel into prepared pan.
  9. Sprinkle maldon salt over the caramel
  10. Cool caramel overnight.

Molten Cakes

Ingredients:

  • 7 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 1 ¼ sticks of butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ cup powder sugar
  • ½ cup flour

Tools:

  • Mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Saucepan
  • 6 4 oz Ramekins

Yields:

6 cakes
  1. In small sauce pan over medium heat, Melt chocolate and butter together.
  2. Grease ramekins and set aside.
  3. In medium bowl, Whisk together eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla until foamy
  4. Sift powdered sugar to the egg mixture and whisk until completely incorporated
  5. Sift flour into mixture and whisk until completely incorporated
  6. Add slightly cooled chocolate to mixture and whisk until completely incorporated
  7. Put ¼ cup into the ramekins, insert a caramel directly in the center and cover the tops with the remaining batter
  8. Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes.
  9. Lava cakes should be set on the outside but still jiggly on top.
  10. Remove from the oven. And serve immediately.
  11. Serve with whipped cream or your favorite ice cream. You can even add our favorite caramel sauce, check out the recipe here https://www.culinarycrafts.com/make-soft-caramel/
ENJOY!
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