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September 12, 2011

New Blog Format and Monday Musings!

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Hi all!  I hope you had a fantastic weekend full of relaxation and fun!  Be sure to read to the end of this post because we give you our Top 5 Questions to Ask Your Caterer, but first some exciting news!  Recently, we've been working on making our blog even more helpful to you, our readers, and adding more tips, tricks, advice, and how-to posts - and with that, we've also decided to come up with a sort of weekly breakdown to make it easier for you to tune in to your favorite topics and find the information you are looking for!  So, without further adieu, from today on, we'll be posting topics based on these 'theme' days:

Monday Musings - Advice from experts, tips, tricks, and helpful how-tos!

Trendy Tuesdays - Well be letting you in on the industry's up and coming trends and ideas to keep you in style!

Wednesday Wisdom - DIY projects, more tips, ideas, and experts weighing in on how to make your day perfect!

Food Theory Thursday - All things food and drink!  Here we'll be sharing recipes, techniques, and pairings for you to use in your own kitchen and event menus!

Favorite Find Friday - Here we'll be showcasing our favorite find of the week - so it'll be a grab bag of fantastic finds!

And, in honor of today's first ever Monday Musing, we asked the ever wonderful Mary Crafts-Homer to share with us her Top 5 Questions to Ask Your Caterer to make sure you get the best fit for your event!

1.  Let your caterer know your budget up front and ask what would be the best fit for your event based on that budget.  You may want a 7 course plated dinner for all your guests but that definitely adds major cost to your bottom line - so unless your budget allows for it, let the caterer suggest other options - such as a gorgeous dinner buffet with similar food options to cut your cost.  If the caterer won't work with your budget or tries to upsell you an event you aren't sure you can afford - be wary.  Also make sure that you trust your caterer enough to give you ideas you wouldn't have thought of yourself, but also make sure that they keep your vision at the forefront.  It's your day, after all!

2.  Ask if there are any additional costs for labor, alcohol service, gratuity, etc. that will be added into your final total.  This is especially important if you have a tight budget and do not want to be surprised with the final bill the week before your wedding.  Most caterers will outline any additional labor costs, extra staff costs, alcohol provider's costs, and also suggest a gratuity based on your cost.  Make sure you are aware of the costs involved and plan for your budget and there will be no surprises at the end.  Also, remember the gratuity is based on the service provided.  So your gratuity should reflect your overall happiness with the event and service.

3.  Ask if the food is prepared on-site or in a kitchen off-site.  Culinary Crafts prides itself on preparing their food at the event site (which is one of the reasons it is SO delicious and fresh).  This allows you to plan for how much space the caterer will need to prepare the food and plan a layout where they will have their "back of house" or prep area.  You don't want to be figuring this out on the day of - you'll have more important things to focus on!

4.  Ask if they are a full service caterer or not.  Meaning, are they just going to show up and make sure the food is taken care of?  Or are they going to make sure that the layout is the way that you (the client) have envisioned?  And that the cake shows up?  Or that the rental company has delivered the chairs and linens you ordered?  Culinary Crafts will make sure all facets of the event are taken care of from layout to set up to execution.  Of course, a wedding planner would do this as well - so if you have hired one, Culinary Crafts will work closely with the planner to make sure everything goes off without a hitch.  One less thing to worry about on your wedding day!

5.  Ask other wedding vendors and past client about their experience with the caterer you are considering hiring.  No matter what the reputation is of the caterer, you should ask vendors and clients you know and trust about their experience with the caterer to find out if they would recommend them or had any problems with them.  It's always important to know who you are doing business with.  It'll make sure you are happy in the long run!

Happy planning everyone!

For more ideas, advice, and tips, check out our website at www.culinarycrafts.com!

20x winner Utah’s Best of State

16x Best of State Caterer

3x Best of the Best / Hospitality

1x Entrepreneur of the Year