Finding the Perfect Caterer for Your Wedding

March 1st, 2017

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Whether you and your fiancé have your hearts set on a lavish selection of truffle-infused haute-foodie delights or a cozy comfort-food buffet, or maybe even a hip and fabulous food truck (hint.. hint… nudge… nudge!!) you’ll want to start doing your research on the many choices and do it soon. As you may or may not know, a caterer and/or venue should be one of your FIRST choices since it will determine the look and feel of your wedding.  So… without further ado.. here are some of our favorite tips on finding your perfect caterer.

  1. Recommendations should ALWAYS be welcomed:  Your wedding, well… it’s a big deal, and unless you are in the special event industry, this maybe the first  time you’ve planned something of this size and magnitude.  If this isn’t your first time, you may know professionals you can reach out to.  If it IS your first time, reach out to your family and friends who have recently planned a wedding. Or, if  you have attended weddings where you fell in love with the food and the presentation, don’t hesitate to contact the bride and groom to ask who they used.  A good recommendation may just lead you to your perfect caterer!
  2. Decide on your reception design, guest list, and BUDGET: Not every caterer is perfect for every type of event, and many caterers themselves openly admit this. Before contacting caterers, it’s best if you finalize some important decisions like the style of wedding, the feel of the reception, the amount of people you will invite, and of course, the most important, your BUDGET!! Since these are the questions your caterer will ask you during your interview, to make sure they are right for you and your event. You need to be specific about the type of event you are planning and the type of food and/or presentation you are expecting. Otherwise, you may end up selecting a caterer who simply isn’t a good fit for the type or style of your event.
  3. Responsiveness is KEY:  Your experience with the caterer during your interview process can be reflective of the way they will respond during your wedding planning. So if they aren’t very responsive or enthusiastic when you initially speak with them, this could be a sign of things to come.
  4. Consider the way you serve the meal. A plated dinner will require more waitstaff than a buffet, thus it will naturally be more expensive to serve a sit down dinner. Serving the food family style is an option that is in between buffet and sit down dinner. It requires waitstaff, but not as much as the sit down option. And then of course, there’s the AMAZING food truck (yes, we’re biased) which can add a different and fun dynamic to traditional catering styles. Your budget will vary greatly, based on the options you choose. So, consider the way you want your meal presented, served and experienced!
  5. Find out what’s included.  As always, it’s good to find out what’s included with your catering package. Do they provide linens and china or will you have to rent these items separately? What about glassware and serving utensils. Knowing these facts will affect the overall food budget.
  6. Complete explanation of the contract, cancellation policy, and contingency/insurance.  A well written contract which goes over all the details is “key” for any professional arrangement. Make sure that there is a clear and written  understanding of what is expected of them and of you.  This way, there are no last minute surprises!

Easy Ways To Customize Your Wedding Menu

February 1st, 2017

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Creating a wedding which is a reflection of you and your partner’s personality is quite standard in the wedding world.  Your florist will ask you to name your favorite colors and types of flowers.  Your photographer will want to know your favorite spots to get photos. The invitations will have infusions of your favorite colors and graphics, so why not your food? Yes, your food!

Many times, couples feel that they don’t have much say in customizing the menu… remember the check boxes on every RSVP card… steak, chicken, fish? However, if you are working with the right caterer, you will be surprised at how many ways there are to make your food TOTALLY about you and your partner.  Here are some ideas to make your reception as unforgettable as your vows!

Think Back To A Great Food Memory (which includes the two of you). Then Create An Appetizer Out of it!

Did you love those tater tots at that one burger joint and noshed on them every chance you had? Or maybe, those delicious sliders that you couldn’t get enough of? Since this wedding is about the two of you, think back to a wonderful experience you both had with food and re-create it as an appetizer at your wedding.  The servers can have a sign on the tray explaining this signature appetizer. Or, you can just mention it to guests as you are socializing. You don’t have to necessarily serve tater tots at your wedding. As your caterer if they can add a sophisticated twist for example… mini tater tot casseroles, tater tot pizza, tater tot and cheese stuffed jalapeños … I can go on and on.

Focus on Local Favorites!

Use regional ingredients to show out-of-town guests what your area has to offer.  Even if it’s something as basic as BBQ, your caterer can always find a way to elevate it. And always, always, work with caterers who take pride in serving farm to table ingredients.

Don’t Forget to Honor Your Heritage!

There is nothing more creative than to choose a menu which incorporates favorite dishes from your past. Whether it’s creating your Polish grandma’s pirogies from scratch or simply infusing flavorful Indian spices and sauces into popular and crowd-pleasing wedding dishes, will remind guests of your background and the special place it holds in your life.

Don’t Forget The Vegans & Vegetarians!

With so many people dealing with diet restrictions, it’s always good to speak with your caterer in regards to one or two delicious options that can accommodate them all. Create at least one option for the vegans, vegetarians, and gluten-free guests.  And no, we don’t mean another plate of roasted potatoes. Work with your caterer to create something that will make the meat eaters jealous!

How To Set The Perfect Date For Your Wedding!

January 1st, 2017

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The proposal was beautiful and you are ready to head out on an unforgettable adventure together… full of intrigue, happiness, sadness, challenges, and of course, excitement… Oh, did we mention that we are talking about setting the date for your wedding?!

Who knew that setting the date for one of the most special days of your lives can be so challenging?  If you are ready to set a date, check the below list of dates you may want to steer clear of.

Personal Dates

Make sure to take note of any personal events you may have on your calendar.  Such as other people’s weddings, family reunions, anniversaries, or other big events both personal and work related. Also, check your area for big conventions and festivals.  Depending on where you would like your reception, scheduling on a busy day can make it harder for parking, commuting, and even accommodations for out of town guests.

Holidays Weekends

We love the holidays, but when you have to schedule a wedding around them, things can get a bit tricky.  Make sure the logistics make sense.  A Christmas or New Year’s Eve wedding is beautiful and many venues may already have everything decorated, which means you can save a lot of money on event design.  However, traveling can be brutal and hotel costs can skyrocket at this time.  You may find more guests would be willing to miss your special day so that they don’t have to incur more expense during an already costly time.  Or, a Valentine’s wedding can be stunning, but pay attention to the floral bill, especially if you want red roses, they are the most expensive during this weekend.

Other dates to think about:

Mother’s Day (always a Sunday) Talk with your mom to make sure she’s okay sharing this weekend with your special day. And consider if you may want your anniversary to fall on the same weekend as Mother’s Day if or when you become a mom?

Father’s Day (always a Sunday)As with mom, talk with your dad about doubling up on this day. And grooms, make sure you’re okay with celebrating your anniversary the same weekend as Father’s Day if you decide to have kids.

Halloween Avoid it if you’re terrified that someone might actually show up in costume (and embrace it if you want them to!).

Days of Remembrance We’re talking about historically significant days (like the anniversary of September 11) that may be off-limits if you come from a big military family. Or, that could make them all the more meaningful—it’s up to you to decide.

Major Sporting Events If you’re die-hard sports fans—or if you’re worried your guests might have a hard time choosing between your wedding and the big game—avoid getting married during popular sporting events. And if a lot of your guests come from the same alma mater, watch out for homecoming weekends and bowl games that might conflict.

Unlucky Dates If you’re superstitious, you might want to watch out for these historically inauspicious dates from across several cultures.

The Ides of March For ancient Romans, an “ides” was simply a date that marked the middle of the month—until Julius Caesar was assassinated on March 15 in 44 B.C. Since then, “Beware the Ides of March” has become the mantra of this superstitiously unlucky date.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Friday the 13th The unluckiest date of the year has questionable origins. Some historians say it comes from the 13 diners who were present at the last supper, but the famous Babylon’s Code of Hammurabi doesn’t include a 13th law, which suggests this superstition is as old as 1700 BC. And it wasn’t until a successful novel titled Friday, the Thirteenth was published in the early 1900s that Friday became part of the unlucky equation.

January 13, 2017

October 13, 2017

April 13, 2018

July 13, 2018

Leap Years Greeks and Romans thought that starting any new life event—from getting married to baptizing a child—in a leap year would bring bad luck.

Following Leap Year: 2020

Saturday, February 29, 2020

 

TIPS on Hiring a Foodtruck For Your Wedding – YES… YOU WILL LOVE IT!!

November 7th, 2016

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When the time comes to planning your wedding, the choices and possibilities, for every aspect of your wedding, seem to be endless.  From photographers to floral designers, most brides are looking for a wedding vendor who will bring the most creativity and style to their special day.  And although creative photographers and floral designers are important, let me tell you a little secret… why not invest that same creativity and style into your caterer and hire yourself a food truck… yes, a FOOD TRUCK!!

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PROS AND CONS

If you are considering hiring a food truck, you’re moving in the right direction! Food trucks are the HOTTEST trends in weddings and give a special event an infusion of creativity and customization your guests will LOVE.   But as always, logistics have to be considered to make sure that your wedding is right for a food truck.

There are many reasons to move forward with booking a food truck, fun atmosphere, delicious specialty food, variety of food trucks and food styles,  freedom with creative menu planning, not having to make your guests travel from ceremony to reception location, and may be less expensive than most traditional caterers… I can go on and on with the many benefits of food trucks.

However, as with anything, there are a few cons to consider.  Limited number of guests can be served per food truck, no seating provided, limited access (some reception venues do not allow food trucks or may not have space for a food truck to park), may not serve alcoholic beverages, may be in high demand or difficult to book.

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CONSIDERATIONS TO ELIMINATE OBSTACLES (CONS)

  1. Consider  your venue.  If your ceremony location does not provide you with a caterer, than a food truck may just be what you are looking for. Speak to the ceremony venue to see if they have an outdoor or indoor area appropriate for your reception, specifically to see if they can accommodate space/parking for one or more food trucks.
  2. Consider the season. Summer may be the obvious choice, but spring and late fall are good options to consider as well. These months are cooler and guests do not have to deal with extreme heat.
  3. No matter the season, make sure to plan for the weather.  Needless to say, if you are having an outside reception, you will be taking weather into consideration.  Setting up a tent or arranging seating in a shaded area will help your guests feel comfortable or have respite from an uncooperative weather issue.food
  4. Consider the guest count. Guest count is key in terms of planning how many food trucks to incorporate.  Some food trucks can only handle 75 people or less, others can handle more.  Speak with your “first choice” food truck to see if you will need to add more food trucks to your reception. Having multiple trucks can be creative and unique.  For instance, you can have Beauty of the Bistro (yes, we just recommended ourselves) and add an additional food truck for strictly dessert, such as ice cream or funnel cakes.  Or, you can have two to three food trucks offering a variety of menu items such as one specializing in BBQ, another in pizza, while another is totally committed to burgers. The possibilities are endless.img_1374
  5. Consider the seating. In terms of seating, think of food trucks as a hip, modern take on buffet service. This means you have basically two dining options: Set up formal tables so guests can grab their food and have a sit-down meal, or put utensils and napkins in a central location to encourage guests to stand and mingle while they eat. We recommend setting up areas to sit. Having a mixture of cocktails tables and sitting areas is a great idea, but make sure that there are PLENTY of seating areas for guests who want to relax and enjoy their meal.

 

Beautiful Fall Wedding

October 25th, 2016

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Nothing touches our hearts more than a wedding celebration! At Beauty of the Bistro, we strive to make your wedding reflective of who you are as a couple!

You may have heard this before, but fall weddings are stunning!!  Many brides prefer summer months to celebrate their nuptials, but let us tell you… a fall wedding can truly take your breath away, and our most recent wedding is NO EXCEPTION!!!  Seriously… hay stacks, pumpkins, lanterns, falling leaves, sweaters, jeans, boots, plaid, a fire pit … you know, some of the best things in life.

This beautiful couple dove-tailed elegance and comfort beautifully.  From the barrels of hay,  red plaid pillows and blankets, to the pinecones, orange and red pumpkins, lanterns, and beautiful armoires… no detail was omitted.  We especially love the multitude of seating, conversation, and dining areas.  Creating an atmosphere which is intimate yet relaxed.  Beauty of the Bistro enjoyed catering this stunning affair and we are thrilled to have been a part of such an unforgettable day!

A Busy Happy 2014 with Beauty of the Bistro!

December 21st, 2014
Please take a few minutes as we share some photos of our busy year!
We completed another wonderful food truck season. We have put the Food Truck to bed for a bit, but we’ll back soon!

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