Planning Tips

Inside the Catering Minds!

May 9, 2016

We sat down with Andrew Gerstel of Windows Catering Company to learn more about what they are seeing in the catering kitchen! Have a delicious Monday !

 What food trends are you seeing in upcoming weddings?

Strolling Buffets!

Providing an interactive environment for guests to socialize in is always a great way to enliven an event, and what better way to deliver a culinary experience to your guests than having a moving feast? Build-your-own ceviche carts, rolling dim sum (or sushi) bars, and roving oyster shuckers are just a few ideas that we’re excited to pursue in 2016. And while I’m at it…who would want to belly up to a build-your-own ice cream sundae cart?

Nostalgic Nourishment

What food memories do you have from your childhood? Savory or sweet? Was it your Mom’s favorite casserole, or your favorite Aunt’s Crock Pot creation?  Dad’s spicy chili or his famous barbecue ribs? If you’re like me, Grandma’s banana cream pie is what comes to mind. Look for foods that evoke memories of years gone by to be incorporated into catering menus in 2016. It’s not comfort food, but rather food that brings back experiences in your life you want to recreate.

Oysters Need No Introduction

With cleaner waterways, better farming practices that mean little to no environmental impact, and great value for the cost, oysters have already become a popular addition to our menus – and they don’t intend to give up their popularity anytime soon. Preparation can be simple, and can vary in presentation by using them as a passed hors d’oeuvre or as a buffet item.  One of our favorite recipes uses a petite kusshi oyster from British Columbia with an absinthe vinaigrette…delicious doesn’t do it justice.

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What are the Benefits of cocktail style weddings?

Windows wants your wedding to be about YOU and your guests. The debate between a buffet and seated service-style is primarily about the vibe you want to create in the room. Buffet or stations – style service tends to lend itself more to a casual, interactive atmosphere. A served meal is more formal and does not create as much interaction between guests. When choosing between the two options you should also consider the variety of foods you’d like to serve…and of course your budget. Buffets, or stations, provide more flexibility in the types of cuisine you can offer.

Regardless of your choice of service, the menu you create with your caterer is a wonderful way to showcase who you are as a couple. For example, if you’re from the Jersey Shore, and you want Boardwalk Fries at your wedding, it is our job to recreate your desires and not push you into picking something standard. Many people chose off-premise catering for the freedom and creativity it provides. So if you like the variety that comes with buffets, do a buffet! If you desire a more classic duel entree with filet and lobster for each person that’s absolutely fine as well.

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Credits

  • Greg Powers
    Top Image
  • Steve Legato Photography
    Bottom Image

Bloomerent

May 2, 2016

Bloomerent connects hosts with florists in their area and then allows them to either list their centerpieces to be shared or pick from a list of available centerpieces to opt into. Customers are rewarded for sharing by receiving a portion of their money back, dependent on whether they are the first or second event. Florists receive leads from Bloomerent and make additional revenue as they repurpose fresh flowers for a second event. The process is a win/win solution for both customers and florists while offering a green alternative. Our very own, Sidra Forman is a part of this community!

https://youtu.be/1IsayVlbdQ8

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Bloomerent was founded to reduce floral waste, send florists new business and save customers money. Our service connects event hosts with a handpicked community of florists and allows them to share flowers arrangements between two events in close proximity. Flowers are used for only a few hours when they have a lifespan of 3-14 days. By sharing centerpieces, you not only give these blooms a second life but you save money for going green.

Credits

  • Bloomerent

Tip the Professionals

April 12, 2016

Don’t under estimate the importance of a hand written thank you note following the wedding to your entire vendor team for all of their time, efforts and dedication to celebrating you on your big day. Tipping is also important and although not mandatory, much appreciated for a job well done. For a breakdown of what we suggest, see below –

Wedding Planner – $200 or a thoughtful gift

Hair + Makeup – 15-20% 

Ceremony Officiant – $50-$100

Photographer + Videographer – $100-$200

Catering Manager – $100

Bartenders, Waiters, Coat Check [all reception attendees] – $20-25 per

Band or DJ – $25-40 per Musician / $50-$100 for DJ

Transportation – 10-15%

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Credits

  • Michael Moss Photography

Taking Pictures with Children

February 9, 2016

Trying to get everyone to cooperate for wedding pictures can definitely prove to be challenging, especially when you have little ones on your hands! Keep in mind some of our helpful tips when it comes to managing the unpredictable mind of a child. Often times, they turn out to be some of the most memorable pictures!

  1. Give them a role – Kids also love to have a responsibility. Let them feel important by handing over a special role, that only they can handle!
  2. Give them an activity – This one is great for the toddlers. “Touch your cheeks, touch your nose, hug the bride!”
  3. Give them a prop – It can be the bouquet or bubbles. As long as you are okay with having it in your pictures. It helps to keep their minds engaged.
  4. Send Mom + Dad out of sight – It’s true, kids are always testing their parents and you are most likely to get the shots you are hoping for if Mom and Dad are out of sight.
  5. Let them be kids – This one may seem to be frustrating, but kids are kids and if you are looking for the cutest candid shots, you will get them. Let them cover their eyes for the camera, try on your veil or stick their tongue out at their big brother (don’t tell Mom). We promise they will be some of your favorite memories!

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Credits

  • Sera Petras Photography

The Honeymoon

January 26, 2016

Yes, of course you are looking forward to the wedding and celebrating with all of the loved ones in your life, but just as exciting is when the two of you get to jetset off for some much needed alone time. Whether you have plans to leave for somewhere tropical the morning after, or you have booked a safari in Africa a few months down the road, here are a few important reminders before taking off!

  1. Make sure all boarding passes are in your mobile wallet as well as have a print out of all flight information in your carry on. One set is not enough!
  2. Leave behind your itinerary and flight information with someone in your family.
  3. Save money and time by packing light. There is no need to over pack. Try to fit everything in a carry on to avoid lost luggage and avoid baggage fees.
  4. Confirm with your travel agent any special passport, visa or vaccination requirements. Many countries now are requiring passports valid six months after entering the country. Your doctor may also recommend specific vaccines if you are planning to travel somewhere exotic.
  5. Invest in travel insurance. There could be a number of incidences that cause you to return home early or force you to seek emergency medical treatment. Travel insurance provides protection for your honeymoon investment.

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