Caterers 101: Four Things Your Caterer Wishes You Knew

wedding-what-your-wedding-caterer-wishes-you-knew-food-network-planning-a-wedding-catering-cakes-decorations-food-network

“Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate” –Alan D. Wolfelt

We might think their jobs are easy enough and straightforward, but the truth is, a caterer’s job is quite complex. Whether they may be providing the canapes for your daughter’s eighteenth soiree or providing all the courses to your elegant wedding, catering for an event is not as simple as creating a menu and cooking whatever is selected for the menu. The truth is being in your caterer’s shoes can be quite an overwhelming and daunting experience. In fact, there is a myriad of things your caterer would want you to know, so that the next time you are thinking of hiring one, you would have a better understanding of what goes on behind the kitchen doors.

Additionally, it would not hurt to know a few of some insider caterer’s secrets that might be helpful in aiding you make better decisions for the catering of the party you would be hosting next. So, before you start scouring for potential catering services in Bacoor, Cavite or elsewhere, here are some of the things you might want to know:

1.) Guests will drink more than usual

Guests tend to indulge themselves more at parties by drinking in excess and far more than used to. More often than not, this is because celebratory libations are free and of course, parties have an aura of euphoria to it which would prompt guests to drink. As this is the case, estimating the amount of alcohol needed for a particular event can present a challenge, but it is not impossible. Keep in mind that as your guests tend to imbibe more drinks than usual, so if you want them to indulge their drinking desires, buy more than necessary, or you can alternatively avail of cheaper packages.

2.) There is no need to create a menu around special diets

Some of your guests might be vegan, and there might be a few who might be allergic to gluten, this does not mean however that you have to bend over your back and design an entire menu to suit those preferences. Your caterer can always provide a dish or two for the guests who have particular or strict diets. Remember, you are feeding every single one of your guests—not only a fraction of them with specific diets.

3.) The kitchen at your site matters

One of the major snags a caterer would hit when it comes to catering for an event is a small kitchen—or worse the lack of one. Even if the food for your party is prepared off-site, a kitchen would still be ideal in order to reheat the food or keep it warm. In any case, having your caterers operate in a site sans a kitchen would result in creamy food being congealed and food losing its crisp. While this is not the case all the time (as you can always plan your menu with food that does not necessarily need to be kept warm), having a kitchen on the site would still be a good contingency plan.

4.) Pinterest is not always realistic

Some brides-to-be would come up to their caterers and ask them to imitate a particular food or cake they found off Pinterest and expect their caterers to mimic every detail. While Pinterest is a good website to inspire ideas for an event, not everything on the website is necessarily realistic. Apart from relying on the skills of your caterer, you also have your own budget to keep in mind. More often than not, the praise-worthy posts you have seen on Pinterest were probably created by food stylists who have employed innumerable inedible things (from shaving cream to glue) just to make food look the way it was advertised.

Image Source

 

Kid’s Party 101: The Best Birthday Games That Won’t Cost You a Dime!

c327f48a26921a35048e0076626e07a5
Children’s parties vary tremendously from an adult’s. Unlike a typical dinner soiree an adult hosts, a kid’s party is a myriad of various entertainment shows and of course, games. While an array of appropriate kiddie food should still be served, the party games kids will play are more integral to the occasion. After all, it is how you keep the kids from getting rowdy and bored and entertained as well. So, before you book a suitable birthday party venue for kids, it might be a good idea to come up with a list of party games your kids and their guests can play on his or her birthday party. While there are some games listed below that would require supplies, they are objects commonly found in the house. Furthermore, it is rather easy to improvise if you have another item in similar or opt to play the game in a variation of your own.

The games listed down below can be played by both kids and adults so that each and every single one of your guests is guaranteed to have a good time. Here are some of the best games you can play during your child’s birthday party:

1.) Treasure Hunt Game

The treasure hunt birthday party game is not only fun, it is easy to conduct as well—and you would only need the items you already have in your homes. Give your party guests a list of clues as to where they can find the “treasures” situated in various areas around your house or yard. Another way of playing this game is to lead your guests in several places in your home one clue at a time until they finally reach the ultimate treasure.

2.) Button-Button

If you want a bit more flair to your party games, then perhaps letting your guests play detective might be all you need to let them enjoy hours and hours of fun. Button, button, who has got the button? While this might be an uncommon party game, it is incredibly simple and straightforward that even your young guests will enjoy it. All you would need is a single button. The mechanics of the game are rather easy, just have one child at the center while the rest of the kids circle him with their hands and palms together as they pass the button. The child at the center closes his or her eyes while the children who are circling him pass the button around, then after a while, the child at the center would have to guess which child has the button.

3.) Charades

Charades is a fantastic game to play—whether you are a child or an adult. Think of age-appropriate things to have your little guests guess about. Alternatively, you can have a birthday theme for your kid’s party and think of relevant stuff to include in your game of charades.

4.) Marco Polo

If you have a pool, the mechanics of the game need not change. However, if you do not, this game can be modified to be just as fun on land as it is on water. All you would need is several sets of blindfolds and utilize the same rules the game has on water. Have the children blindfolded call out “Marco” while the child designated as “Marco Polo” should echo back “Polo” every single time.

5.) Dress Up Relay Race

Make your relay races a bit more fun and interesting by adding a bit of flair. Instead of having your guests compete in relay races the usual manner, let them compete for these races where they pile on clothes and accessories laid out. Make sure the clothes and accessories are relevant to the theme of your party.

Image Source

Party Planning 101: Five Tips to Creating An Excellent Guest List

invitation

“A balanced guest list of mixed elements is to a successful party what the seasoning is to a culinary triumph.” -Lentia Baldridge

A wise adage about successful parties has one said that, “The most successful event is the one that achieves your goal and exceeds your expectations”. But this sentiment begs the question, how do you plan an event that does exactly two things? How do you put together a party that accomplishes what you want by the time it ends and succeeds spectacularly beyond your dreams? Well, part of it is having a solid plan, a good and appropriate venue and more than enough food. However, your invitees would also play a pivotal role to the success or failure of an event. For this reason, you might want to be a little particular and meticulous about how you create your guest list. You might think that this is a negligible aspect when it comes to party planning, but whether you are throwing a children’s party with a fun ranch party package, or a party exclusive to adults, your guests’ presence would matter as they would contribute to how a party will go.

To create a good guest list, here are some tips you should keep in mind:

1.) Consider the mix

In creating your guest list, be extra mindful of the guests you invite and take into account what their interests are. In the same vein, try to invite guests who are within the same age group—after all, you cannot expect your teenaged guests to blend in and get along well with adults who are well into their fifties. Choose guests who you know would appreciate your invitation and actually make a conscious effort to contribute to the overall success of your party.

2.) Send your invitations the traditional way

While sending invitations through email or social media’s event invites might be a lot more convenient, and faster, there is a likely chance it will get ignored. Additionally, sending it digitally can cause a myriad of headaches as guest-list management is a lot more complicated when you do it over social media. Inviting your friends digitally would cause some of your uninvited friends to question why they were not invited and may hurt their feelings. Avoid this by using paper invitations.

3.) Do not let others bully you

“But, are you not going to invite all your cousins?”, “What about my friends from the health club? Are they not coming?”, These are just common statements from people who bully you into inviting more people—particularly people who are in the social sphere and not yours. This is especially true for weddings. However, if a relative or friend is pressuring you to invite more guests, politely tell them that it is your party and not theirs. In any case, you should not yield to any kind of pressure to supersize your guest list—whether it comes from a relative or your friends. After all, at the end of the day, you are the one who is going to be paying the event—not them.

4.) Give your single guests the option to bring dates if they have partners

While you are not obligated to extend the invitation to the romantic partners of your guests, you should at least be consistent. Do not give one guest that option while denying it to another. If you grant this option to one guest, make sure it is an option available to all single guests. Remember to include “and guest” in the designation of their invitations should you decide to let your single guests bring their plus ones.

5.) Beware the snowball effect

There is no rule in etiquette dictating that you should invite all the guests of your wedding to your kid’s christening party. If your budget dictates otherwise, invite only the people who you want to be in your party.

Image Source

Five Things You Should Never Say to A Bride Before Her Wedding

bride2

“Happy is the bride that the sun shines on” -Robert Herrick

Weeks prior to a wedding, there is no one more stressed than the bride herself. For someone who has been dreaming about walking the aisle ever since her husband-to-be proposed, she wants every aspect of her wedding to be perfect, and the way she envisioned it—anything less than stellar would be unacceptable. Considering how she has meticulously planned every detail of the big day, from scouring the best catering services in pasay (or wherever she might be) to the wedding souvenirs, it would be no surprise if some brides would be near breaking point days or even weeks before her wedding.

Knowing all this, it would be unwise for any of her guests to say something insensitive to her that would cause her to either get uncomfortable or riled up. Unfortunately, not all of her guests have enough tact to practice it, and some may be none the wiser. So, if you are attending a wedding anytime soon, here are some things that you should never say when you are conversing with the bride-to-be:

1.) “Why are you not inviting (name of your brother, a roommate of yours in college, a common friend, the bride’s ex)?”

It may sound like you are just curious, but for some brides-to-be, this can be a rather touchy and sensitive subject. Remember that everyone is accounted for during the wedding reception and more often than not, the couple pays per guest. Seeing as this would be the case, most couples would opt to invite only their closest family and friends to avoid exorbitant fees. Stay out of this, and just be thankful you even made it to their guest list instead.

2.) “You should be able to get whatever you want. It is your big day after all.”

While you probably mean well, the bride might not exactly feel that way. Consider that one of the most private and incredibly delicate matters of planning wedding is the budget, so it is best if you do not get involved. At all. Do not suggest something more expensive than what she has chosen as she likely has her reasons for choosing them (and you will only sound like an insensitive friend when you do). Besides, if she could afford them, she would probably be getting them.

3.) “When are you starting a family? Will you be having kids?”

Again, you may sound like you are naturally curious, but it may come off as if you are prying. This is none of your business. Comment about the wedding decorations or the food, but stay away from something personal to the bride and groom. Who knows? Even they have not even figured the answer to your question just yet.

4.) “Are you pregnant?”

No, just no. Of all the questions you should never ask the bride, this one has to be the most insensitive of them all and more often than not, you would be indirectly insulting the bride. You may have heard it from the other guests gossiping or so, but if the bride does not offer this information to you herself, do not ask confirmation from her.

5.) Do not mention anything about divorce

If you are a married guest, you may just want to shed some wisdom, and if you are unmarried, you may just want to offer a little insight. Regardless of what you are, however, you are going to sound resoundingly bitter to the bride, and it would seem like you are raining on her parade. Remember that this is her big day, so any gloomy talk about divorce, separations and general unhappiness should be avoided. Do not even try to joke about this if you do not want to be at the receiving end of the bride’s or her her other guests’ death glares.

 

Image Source

Five Ways to Throw a Successful Kiddie Birthday Bash

childrens-party-supplies-11931

Throwing a birthday party for a kid is widely different than throwing a bash for an adult. In some cases, it may be even more stressful and time-consuming. Whereas teenagers and adults would be fairly satisfied with food and drinks, kids, on the other hand, are another story. There are so many aspects to consider such as how to entertain your young guests and keep them entertained. After all, kids do not possess the same attention span as adults do and could easily get bored after a while. However, fear not, children are fairly easy to please after all. So, if you are planning a birthday party or are hosting a kiddie birthday party anytime soon, here are some tried and tested tips to make it a successful bash:

1.) Have a theme in mind

Generally, in planning a kid’s birthday party, it is best to have a theme in mind so that you can base the rest of the party from that theme. This is so you that the rest of the party’s aspects such as the decorations, the entertainment, and the giveaways would have congruence. One such example is to have a ranch style party that you can hold in a local barn with a petting zoo. There are so many caterers that would offer you fun ranch party packages that are affordable as well as fun and entertaining for the kids.

2.) Consider the Food Issue

Most kids would be picky eaters and are unlikely to eat something they are unfamiliar with. In order to have a good workaround to this issue, look for a neutral menu that you are certain kids would love. An example would be a menu that consists of hamburgers, spaghetti, fries, pizza, and stews. These are all inexpensive to make and kids will love it. Additionally, make sure to have colorful utensils as kids are attracted to color and as much as possible, these should be plastic so that should accidents happen, you would not have much to clean up nor replace.

3.) Get creative

To curb costs, opt to do the decorations and the souvenirs yourself most especially if you have a creative streak. It might be time-consuming but the money you will save from making this than buying them ready-made would be very much worth it. Apart from the money you can potentially save, kiddie party decors are pretty straightforward and are not all that hard to make. You would only need small inexpensive packets of construction paper, craft foam, a pair of scissors and some tape or glue which you can then transform into banners and paper chains of any color combinations you want.

4.) Decide whether you want to use your home

An integral aspect of planning a kid’s birthday party is the venue. This is because if your home does not have an area where kids can freely roam around and would have a lot of fragile objects, you are putting those items at a risk when the kids would run amok or when they play. True enough, home parties can save you a great deal of money as you can leverage how much you would spend on food and decorations, but if you do not want to put that much effort in and you would not want to run the risk of broken house items, then choose a venue.

5.) Decide if you want to have the parents stay

Most parents would leave their kids at the party venue and would go on about their day until it is ready to pick them up. Other parents, however, would want to stay and keep a close watch on their kids. To make sure there is no miscommunication, indicate it on the invitation if the parents are invited to stay or not.

 

Image Source

Q&A: 5 Crucial Things to Consider Before Hiring a Catering Company

“I don’t like food that’s too carefully arranged; it makes me think that the chef is spending too much time arranging and not enough time cooking. If I wanted a picture I’d buy a painting.” – Andy Rooney

catering-1024x683

Planning an event is one of the most exciting yet overwhelming times one can experience. The success of the event is a reflection on how capable you are in organizing and coordinating things. When initiating an event, planners need to think about the flow of the program, theme, some people to attend,and don’t forget the food – it’s one thing most attendees are waiting for. While others would rather go for a snack, many event planners and organizers prefer hiring a catering company.

 
There will always be advantages when you hire a caterer. Most companies have catering packages that offer not just coordinating with the reception timeline and the flow of the dinner but, in most cases, they will also supply the needed tablewares. On top of your priorities, there’s no pressure when it comes to food. However, just because you decided to hire a catering company, that does not mean you’re done. There are crucial things to consider when choosing the right catering company for your event – this is to ensure that attendees would be satisfied with their services.

 
Below, we list down some questions to ask and consider before you choose and hire a catering company.

Who am I meeting with?

The basic question you need to ask – who you need to meet and talk with regards to the overall process. As a planner, you need to determine whether you are meeting with the owner of the company? A manager? A representative in the sales department? Do you know the owner of the company in person? Knowing these questions would give you an idea on how to approach such person to work with you for the entire event.

How will you run this event?

The next question you need to think about is what kind of event you are planning? Is it a formal event? A party style event? This will determine how the food will be served. Moreover, don’t forget to ask a similar question to the company. Although it is not your job to tell the caterer on what to do, at least you know how the catering staff will be operating during the event.

What other services do you offer?

Apart from the main course, a lot of catering companies offer desserts, some have licensed bar services, and there are even companies that offer you a venue where you could have a rehearsal dinner. Availing their deals or packages is not only convenient on your part, but you can also have it in a less expensive than purchasing other services from different companies.

Can you provide me with a broken-down cost estimate?

For most event organizers, unless if needed, spending too much is a no-no. As much as possible they would find a way or alternative on how they can pull things off in an affordable way. That means, when it comes to the cost, you need to be skeptical enough to make sure there will be no hidden cost. Know how much you need to pay for the labor, set-up/breakdown, and anything that involves you paying.

What is your leftover policy?

Some catering companies are strict when it comes to the leftovers. If a catering company does not allow you to take the leftovers, then you are only paying for what your guests ate. Moreover, make sure to ask whether you can wrap up the food for you to take home after the event.

 
As the event organizer or planner, it would take you some time to think about the crucial things to consider when hiring a catering company. You do not want to ruin a good event just because you’re not satisfied with the food and their services they offer. Again, the success of the event would determine how you manage and organize things.

Image Source

Personal Checklist in Choosing the Best Caterer for Your Grand Wedding!

Wedding is a once in a blue moon event. As such, it’s important to pay close attention to every detail necessary to make it successful.

One of the most important consideration when planning for one’s wedding is the catering menu. In any special event, the food can make or break the occasion’s impact so it’s crucial for couples and organizers to hire a caterer who is capable of providing certain menu at the right price.

If you’re currently stuck with the decision of who to call, then using the following checklist to narrow down your list could help.

Food and drink packages.

This is the most important part of the catering selection process. If you’re following a certain theme for your wedding, it’s only appropriate to choose foods that fit the motif. Different caterers have varied packages that contain predetermined menu selection so you’ll need to check what package fits your preference well.

Should you want to customize or create your own menu, it’s important to discuss it with the caterer in advance. Some may not be open to special requests, so giving them a heads-up saves more time.

Package cost.

As you go over the specific menu available, do take time to compare their pricing too. Needless to say, cross reference it with the packages offered by different caterers. This way, you’ll have an idea who gives the best-value prices for a specific package.

Granted that you’re working on a budget, knowing the price of the catering service is necessary to ensure that you don’t fall short of money on the other things that needs to be paid for your grand day.

Set-up and clean-up coverage

Will the company be in charge of setting up the foods for the venue? How about the clean-up? Choosing those who do will save you time and hassle before and after the event.

Some companies however require additional cost for this service so might as well include this in your considerations.

Utensil inclusions

There are caterers whose sole focus is the cooking of food and delivering them on your venue. Some doesn’t offer utensil such as plates, food warmers and linens to complete the entire setup.

Before agreeing on a deal, make sure you’re clear on this matter. For maximum convenience, it’s best to go for those who already include these tools in their service.

Beginning and end period of the service

Does the catering company offer an open-hour service? There are some who are strict with their services and only limit their service for specific hours.

Don’t forget to ask for this detail when canvassing for one. This way, you won’t have to worry about limiting your time in holding any program.

Clear details on deposits, insurance and cancellation terms

This is primarily concerned with the paperworks and payment for the service. In most cases, you will be asked to pay for a down payment before the event. Insurances are ideally part of the package too though some companies do not have this item on their inclusions.

Dealing with someone who have insurance details is an added protection that would hold the company liable in case there are issues with the food they serve.

Also, you may be presented with the terms of cancellation. This details the issues or grounds that are considered valid for you to cancel your request. It’s important that you understand its contents carefully to avoid wasted money just in case.

Choosing the right food for your grand wedding celebration is a crucial step. Factors such as the profile of your guests, their number, and theme of your event can potentially affect the type of package you must choose.

Work on completing your list with the thing we included in this post and start searching for the best catering service!