Important Questions to Ask Your Wedding Caterer

Monday, February 10th, 2014

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One of the biggest portions of your wedding expenses will be spent on your wedding caterer. The search for the right caterer can be tedious. Many wedding caterers now provide more than food for your big day. They can provide event decor, props, lighting, and can even help in finding a venue and other vendors. Remember to always schedule a tasting at a later point so you can determine whether their flavors are right for your big day. Keep your budget in mind when choosing the right caterer for your wedding and don’t forget to ask these questions!

1. Does the wedding caterer specialize in a certain type of food? Make sure that your caterer can make a memorable meal for your wedding day. If you are looking for a specific kind of dish, find out what caterers can make it best so you can narrow down your decision.

2. Will someone be there to oversee the event? A bride and groom should have no other worries than having a fun and stress-free wedding day. Ensure that there is someone to coordinate the event and the food.

3. What is the average price range for their services? Don’t forget your budget. The price of food can climb quickly depending on how many guests are invited to the wedding and what kind of menu you are choosing. Many wedding caterers charge per-person and that doesn’t always include the extra fees, tips, drinks, and event setup. Find out how they break down their prices so it works best for you.

4. Does the caterer provide decor, linens, tables/chairs, silverware, etc.? Many wedding catering companies now provide the decor for the event as well as the food. Find out before hand so you know whether or not you need to find a vendor to rent from.

5. Will they have their own waitstaff and what will they wear? Depending on your wedding set up and the aesthetics, you may or may not want a waitstaff to serve your guests. If so, you definitely want to make sure that they fit with your theme.

6. Do you provide drinks? Will the staff serve wine with dinner? Many wedding caterers provide the drinks and alcohol for the event. This can save you the extra time spent searching for another vendor.

7. Do you do food tastings? This is the most crucial question to ask your wedding caterer. It is important to try a dish that will be served at your event so you know that you are getting the best for your guests.

8. Do they have references and photos of previous events? Talking to their previous clients can help you get a feel for what to expect on your special day. Seeing photos of events that they have worked at can show you their presentation.

A well-informed decision means addressing any questions or concerns that comes to mind.

Contact us for help planning your wedding day!

Tips For Picking the Perfect Wedding Venue

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

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Now that you’ve gotten engaged, one of the first and most important things to find is where you are going to tie the knot. The venue that you choose sets the tone for the theme of all other aspects (your dress, the food, the decor, the guest list). Your venue’s availability will also control your wedding date and when you schedule your meetings with other vendors. Keep these helpful tips in mind:

What kind of venue are you looking for?

This is the key question to answer when starting your search. Once you know whether you want to get married in a ballroom or barn your can narrow down your choices. Some couples opt to go an even more non-traditional route by choosing a museum, theater, warehouse, or boat. These venues tend to have a little more flexibility. A little effort and a little more research can pay off.

What do you need in your venue?

How many guests do you plan to invite? Can you have the ceremony and the reception here? What is the price range? Is there catering? These questions and more need to be addressed before selecting the location. Making a list that you bring with you helps you keep track of which venue is best for you and which ones can be ruled out.

Seeing the location

After making your list of potential locations you can start scheduling visits so you can see them. This will be one of the most time consuming parts of your wedding planning experience. When visiting, pay close attention to all the details. Don’t forget to bring your list to ensure that you don’t forget anything.

Don’t commit too soon!

Before you sign the contract, ask to see the breakdown of their pricing system. Keep note of what is not included in the package that best suits you because you will need to start looking for the vendors right away. The venue will most likely have a list of vendors that they have worked with which can make planning easier for you.

Finding your venue is the most crucial factor to set in stone because it is the foundation for all your ideas. This is one of the biggest expenses in your wedding so don’t be afraid to ask questions. Call us today to get more information about our wedding venue and how we can help you.

Tips on Attending Your First Bridal Show

Monday, January 27th, 2014

There are many reasons why you should attend a bridal show, especially if you are a bride-to-be. When you are planning your wedding, you will benefit from attending these bridal shows because they will help introduce you to a number of wedding vendors that you may potentially work with on your wedding day.

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If you have decided to attend one, make sure that you make the most out of your experience. Use these tips to help you make your bridal show experience an exciting and successful one:

Bring Someone Along

Bridal shows are usually large events wherein a number of vendors participate in. When you bring along your fiancé, parents, or bridesmaids, you’ll be able to cover more ground. At the same time, they can give their own opinions when you’re choosing between two vendors.

Bring a Calendar or Organizer

When you attend bridal shows, you will most likely be setting appointments with potential vendors to meet and talk about your wedding day. Since you wouldn’t want to forget about these appointments, it is important that you write down the date on your calendar.

Ask Questions

Bridal shows are a great way you can meet potential wedding vendors to handle your wedding day. Because of this, you need to ask them all the right questions for your big day. This way, you do not have to keep repeating questions with them when you meet for a consultation.

Wear Comfortable Clothing

Since you will be at the venue for at least a couple of hours, you need to see to it that you are comfortable with what you are wearing. This way, you can easily go around and meet more vendors to talk with about your wedding day.

Bridal shows are an excellent way you can meet potential vendors. With these events, you no longer need to individually look for vendors to handle your wedding day. As such, you need to make the most of your time.

Check out the upcoming Downtown Fredericksburg Local Bridal Show at the Inn at the Old Silk Mill on March 2, 12pm to 4pm. You’ll get to find the vendors you need for your wedding to be a success!

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Wedding Menu: Foods You Should Absolutely Avoid Serving

Monday, January 20th, 2014

On your wedding day, it is only natural that you would want to serve delicious food to your guests hoping that they will love your selection. If you’re the adventurous eater, you may also be interested in adding in some of your exotic choices so that you can introduce your passion for food to your guests.

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However, you have to remember that in a wedding, you will be ordering catered food. This means that the prepared food for your wedding will need to be prepared in advance and in bulk. Having some exotic dishes may not be the wisest or most hygienic option for your wedding day. As such, here are some of the foods that you should not serve during your wedding:

  • Steak Tartare: You can serve any type of steak to your guests, as long as it is not Steak Tartare. This is because this dish is made up of raw meat topped with raw egg. For safety reasons, you do not want to serve this dish to your guests.
  • Raw Food: As mentioned, raw food should be something to avoid serving in your wedding. Unless you want to spend your honeymoon together with your friends at the hospital, you should leave the raw dishes out of your wedding menu.
  • Exotic Cuisine: You and your fiancé may share a love for Thai cuisine. However, you have to remember that most of your wedding guests may not be fond of spicy dishes. For this reason, you may either compromise with dishes that are sure classics when served during weddings.
  • Fast Food: Unless a fast food restaurant is part of your wedding theme, you should make sure that you serve special dishes during your wedding. Usually, weddings are formal events. For this, you need to serve formal dishes too.

By knowing what types of food you should avoid serving on your wedding, you can easily pick out the dishes that will be part of your wedding menu. Call us today to get more information about our wedding venue and how we can help you with your catered food.

2014 Wedding Decoration Trends You Can Use

Monday, January 13th, 2014

When you’re planning your own wedding, it is really important that you research different trends. This is so you can make your big day look special to you and your fiancé. Apart from this, you will need to keep yourself updated with trends so you have an idea of how you can decorate your wedding venue. Especially if you’re not really a creative person, knowing the new trends can be a very big help to your wedding plans.

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Here are some of the upcoming trends for 2014:

Unusual Centerpieces

Traditionally, couples made use of floral arrangements as their centerpieces. They usually have a florist create a centerpiece design that will captivate their guests. But because this has long been used in weddings, there are couples that choose to go with unusual centerpieces. The ones that they choose usually define who they are as a couple—interests and hobbies they like to do together. In doing so, they not only get to be modern with their centerpiece, they also personalize it.

Portraits

Another trend that has lately become popular is the use of the couple’s framed portraits and scattered throughout the venue. This is a good idea for couples that wish to have their guests guessing about the photos and what they signify to their lives together.

If you are looking for a unique decoration idea that you can use for your wedding, it is best that you visit the venue where it will be held. This way, you get to have a better picture of what the outcome will be. Call us today to schedule a visit at the Inn at the Old Silk Mill.

 

How to Save Money When Serving Alcohol at Your Wedding

Monday, January 6th, 2014

When it comes to serving alcohol during weddings, there is always a risk that you can either get billed for an overly expensive bar tab or you end up having intoxicated guests. Another problem is that the two will occur at your wedding day. This is why it is best to take charge and know how you can prevent either of the two incidents from happening on your wedding day.

Booze

One of the most common questions that couples ask about serving alcohol on their wedding reception is what they should be serving. As a way to save money, you can serve a limited selection of alcohol on your reception. This means that you can only serve between two to three different types of alcohol. You can serve a beer, some wine, and even a signature drink. When you opt for a limited bar, you also limit the options of your guests. You can also do a full bar, if your budget allows for it.

Another question that couples wonder about their wedding is what type of wine to serve. Since wine can cost a lot of money, it is important to set a budget for the ones you’ll be buying for your wedding. On the topic of which wine to serve, you will have to ask the advice of a wine expert. As long as you stick with your budget, you won’t go over it.

Lastly, when you’re serving champagne for the toast, see to it that you inform your server that there should only be ½ or 1/3 of champagne on each glass. This is because there are some guests who do not like drinking champagne. But since toasts are accompanied by sipping a drink, they will have to take a small sip just because they are obligated to. By serving a small portion of champagne on each glass, you can avoid spending too much on unused champagne.

An important tip that you have to remember about serving alcohol to your wedding guests is that if they complain about the ones you are serving for free, they are free to go elsewhere. They will understand that you are avoiding spending too much money on alcoholic drinks because they know how much weddings can cost.

If you would like to get more tips on how you can cut down on costs during your wedding, feel free to get in touch with us.

 

Tips to Save Costs on Your Wedding Menu

Monday, December 30th, 2013

When it comes to weddings, having a delicious menu can mean a huge success for the couple. You will know that your guests enjoy your party when the food is really good and there is enough for everyone. This is why there are plenty of couples that really do their best to look for a caterer that will deliver delicious dishes to their guests.

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Unfortunately, hiring the top caterer to feed your guests can be a very pricey deal. Instead of being able to enjoy your wedding menu, you might worry about having enough food for your guests. As such, you should opt for alternatives on how you can bring down the costs of the food served at your wedding reception. Here are some tips on how you can save money on your wedding menu:

Substitute Ingredients

One of the easiest ways you can lower the costs of your wedding menu is to be careful with the food you order. Make sure that if there are cheaper options for the ingredients used, you can opt for them. If your caterer is good, these alternate ingredients will not affect the taste of the dish.

Cocktail Party

Instead of serving dinner, you can opt for a cocktail party for your guests. This is a more formal way to celebrate your wedding because your guests get to mingle with other people. Serve hors d’oeuvres instead of a full course meal so you can save on costs.

There are plenty of ways you can save costs of your wedding day. Following the two simple tips mentioned will already draw in a lot of savings on your part. Call us today so we can share other ideas on how you can save money during your wedding.

Alternatives to Having an Open Bar at Your Wedding

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

Are you planning your big day already? Are all of your friends excited to be part of your wedding reception? If they are, it’s most likely because of all the free alcohol they’re waiting to consume. The question is, are you serving alcohol at your wedding reception?

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In weddings, having an open bar is considered as customary. This normally involves having unlimited number of drinks given to the guests who requests for them. The problem with having an open bar is that it can be very expensive for the couple to shoulder. If this is something that you cannot afford for your big day, it is best that you consider other options.

Here are other alternatives to an open bar:

Limited Open Bar

You can still have an open bar even if you are on a tight budget. The trick here is to just serve alcohol for a certain time period. After that, you can stop serving the drink and just offer other non-alcoholic options to your guests.

Signature Cocktail

One option that you can have instead of an open bar is to offer a signature cocktail. Instead of buying different types of liquor, you just need to have one. By having a signature cocktail served during your reception, you can concoct your own drink and offer this to your guests.

Wine

The good thing about wine is that it comes in a number of affordable options. You do not need to buy the very expensive bottle for your wedding day. Also, you can opt for serving them to just a few select tables.

You do not really need to serve a lot of alcohol in your wedding reception. After all, you can still enjoy a solemn and eventful wedding without being intoxicated. If you would like to learn more about your wedding, you may get in touch with us so we can help you with your venue setup.

Centerpieces: Why Are They Important In Your Reception

Monday, December 16th, 2013

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Most of the time, people spend a lot of time planning their reception above any other part of the wedding. This is because there are too many details that they need to smoothen out before the big day comes. And since everything needs to be perfect and laid out appropriately, they spend a lot of time on it.

One of the things that couples plan about the reception is the venue and the decorations; among which is their table centerpiece. While couples may forego their table linens, floral arrangements, or table setting, they have to pay attention to the centerpiece. It is a commonly disregarded piece that couples deal with when planning their wedding reception.

A reason why the centerpiece plays an important part in the reception is because most of the time, the guests will be staying on their designated tables. With the help of the centerpiece, they are able to have a comfortable stay at the table. At the same time, it can help serve as an ice breaker for guests who have been assigned to sit together. As such, it really pays to have a creative and unique centerpiece for the reception.

But how do people choose a centerpiece for their reception? The best thing about centerpieces is that it can be so easy to use anything. As long as it coordinates with the theme of the wedding, there will be no problem using it. Also, it’s good that the centerpiece can serve its purpose; depending on the occasion. For example, if the event is in a dimly lit location, having a bowl of water with lit floating candles on it can be a great help.

Anything you choose to use as the centerpiece can do great, especially if you have chosen it to match your theme and the venue. If you would like to tour our venue to check out possible centerpiece options, you can give us a call today. We’d be happy to help!

Ideas to Create a Romantic Wedding Venue

Monday, December 9th, 2013

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When it comes to weddings, there are really plenty of people who are excited about how the venue will be decorated. This is particularly true with couples that have opted not to hire a wedding planner. Since they will be planning their wedding day on their own, their guests will want to see how creative they are with their wedding details.

One such detail that will really contribute to how beautiful the reception is the decoration of the venue. If you are looking for ideas on how you can decorate your wedding venue, here are some ideas that you can use:

Romantic Paper Lanterns: Nowadays, there are paper lanterns that you can use with a candle inside. You can place a bunch of these lanterns together in one area of the venue so that they create a beautiful effect. This will go well if you are planning a garden wedding.

Origami: If you are into the art of paper folding, you can create several small pieces and decorate them on your guests’ tables. Another option is to hang these from a ceiling.

Floating Candles: Another interesting way to decorate your guests’ tables is to use floating candles as a centerpiece. You simply have to fill a glass bowl with water and have some lighted floating candles on it. This will create a beautiful candlelight and romantic effect on your reception.

Pinwheels: You can also go for pinwheels that use your wedding’s theme. There are others who use old book pages and fold them into pinwheels to produce a stunning effect.

There are so many ways you can decorate your wedding venue to look romantic and fit what you have planned for your big day. If you like, you can give us a call and we can show you some options from previous weddings as well as give you a tour of the Inn at the Old Silk Mill.