July 29, 2013

Wedding Day Dress Up

The bride and groom will certainly be dressed to dazzle on their memorable day. But for those of you that have an eye for the extraordinary, your tables will be dressed beautifully as well.

The linens chosen for your reception will lend to the ambiance you have envisioned for your special day. But before you can dress up your dining-scape, you will want to have your venue, theme, and your intended guest count already in place. Once those elements are in order, you should work through the following details:

  • Do you want a sweetheart table, a bridal party head table, or all guests intermingled?
  • What style of tables do you want; rounds or banquets?
  • Does your venue or caterer offer tables?
  • Does the venue or caterer offer linen for your tables?
  • What are the size of those tables and how many guests can be seated at each of them? This information will be necessary when ordering your linens so that you know the correct size and the proper amount to order.
**Helpful Reminder: Don't forget to order linens for all of your tables; i.e. sign-in table, cake table, gift table, cocktail tables, etc.**

After you've answered the above questions and are ready to move on to linen choices, consider the venue you have chosen. What does the room itself give you to work with when it comes to color, style, and architecture? This will, of course, play into the color palette you will want to choose from and the type of decor chosen to jazz up your tables. 

Likewise, you will want to consider how all of your table elements, such as centerpieces, tableware, and napkins, will look against your linen choice. Determine if you want to go bold or stay with a neutral palette. 

Lastly, figure out what style of linen you want, whether it be sheer, lace, satin, or solids, among countless others. Additionally, decide whether or not to layer up. Ideally, your wedding planner, florist, and/or linen provider will be able to offer helpful opinions when you start working through your linen planning process. 

December 27, 2010

Catering Tips: Table Setting

A table, set before an event begins, can present a stunning image as guests arrive:

Photo courtesy of Allison Reiz Photography
Properly setting a table is simple and logical. From left to right the placement is salad fork, dinner fork, dinner plate (and charger, napkin, and/or soup bowl if desired), dinner knife (blade facing the plate), and soup spoon. The water glass sits directly above the knife, to the right of the dinner plate. Additionally, you may add a white wine glass to its right and a red wine glass above and center of the two other glasses. If using a bread-and-butter plate, place it above the forks, to the left of the dinner plate. A dessert fork (with its tongs pointing to the right) as well as a dessert spoon (with its bowl pointing to the left) may also be placed on the table, straight above the dinner plate.

Happy dining (and happy New Year)!

December 20, 2010

Catering Tips: Napkin Display

Napkins are an important part of linen selection and can add so much to your occasion's decor. Whether they're white or color, displayed on the table or the buffet, folded elegantly or with a little pizazz, don't forget to ask about incorporating them into next event design. Here are some ideas: 

Our pintuck napkin options

Our pintuck napkin options

For inspiring napkin folding ideas, view this Martha Stewart photo gallery, and try them at your holiday dinner.

Merry Christmas!

December 13, 2010

Catering Tips: Additional Services

The process of planning an event, whether it be a holiday party, a wedding, or a family reunion, requires taking many factors into consideration, so finding one-stop shopping for multiple, related products or services eases the burden of shopping around and dealing with multiple providers and contracts. Ask your vendors about all the other ways they can help you create a spectacular event:
  • Does your deejay provide microphones for the ceremony?
  • Does your photographer design photo albums or bring a photobooth?
  • Does your stationer offer addressing and mailing services?
  • Does your caterer have linens and furniture rentals?
Even if vendors do not specifically have some add-ons in their inventory or repertoire on a regular basis, they often have strong partnerships with companies that offer complementary items at a discounted price, which they can package into their own services, upon request. Don't be afraid to ask your catering consultant if the company can provide the following:
  • Tables and chairs (including those for the buffet/stations, bar, deejay, favors, gifts, guest book, etc.)
  • Linens (including floor-length, overlays, runners, napkins and napkin rings, chair covers, chair sashes/bands/belts/ties/caps, chair pads and pad covers, etc.)
  • Flatware (including salad and dessert forks, dinner forks, soup spoons, teaspoons, dinner knives, steak knives, cake-cutting sets, etc.)
  • China (including chargers, appetizer and dessert plates, dinner plates, soup bowls, coffee sets, etc.)
  • Glasses (including champagne saucers and flutes, red and white wine glasses, pilsners, high balls, juice glasses, margarita and martini glasses, etc.)
  • Tents (including siding, heating, lighting, flooring, etc.)
Contact us today to discover all the ways we can make your next wedding or corporate/social event well-coordinated and easier to plan.

Here are examples of events in which we incorporated rentals from our own stock and that of our partners:

(Image courtesy of Allison Reisz Photography)

(Image courtesy of Allison Reisz Photography)

December 5, 2010

A Look at Past Events

As 2010 winds down, we're looking back at the events we shared with you over the past year:

Our Signature Shrimp & Grits, at the Fall 2010 Georgia Bridal Show

Wedding reception at the Knights of Columbus Council 631
Stay In Savannah Website Launch Party (Image Courtesy of Scott Hopkins Photography)

Wedding Reception at Savannah Station

Wedding Reception at the Harper Fowlkes House (Image Courtesy of Allison Reisz Photography)

St. Patrick's Day Wedding at Bamboo Farms

Grand Opening of Hampton Inn Savannah Midtown

Savannah Chamber Oyster Roast
2009 Biggest Little Christmas Party at the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum

If you have pictures from an event we catered, we'd love to include them here. Please email them to us!

November 22, 2010

Catering Tips: Saving Money on the Corporate Holiday Party

Now you have some ideas for planning a fun corporate holiday party. Here are some ideas for cutting costs:
  • Have your party catered, rather than going to a restaurant, so you can the control the costs and options by offering a set menu, instead of letting employees order off a regular menu.
  • Purchase a table at a single group rate, where all the details are included, by joining other businesses in the festivities.
  • Hold the party during the day, when venues often offer lower prices.
  • Save printing and postage costs by sending invitations via a free online service.
  • Reduce drink costs by limiting choices to one or two specialty drinks, rather than hosting an open bar.
  • Instead of giving away favors that will be thrown away or forgotten, or having an awkward gift-exchange, ask attendees to bring a new toy to donate to Toys for Tots.
What's your favorite thing about holiday office parties? What does your company do that's unique and fun? Leave a comment here or on Twitter or Facebook to be entered into a drawing to win free delivery on a Set & Go Holiday Lunchtime Buffet in December 2010 (up to $35 value).

November 15, 2010

Catering Tips: Planning the Office Holiday Party

With Thanksgiving around the corner, the winter holidays be here before we know it! It's not too late to plan your corporate holiday party, and with these ideas, you can have a creative, memorable celebration. Use one of our pre-planned holiday menu options below, or call Aaron (912.964.9604) to plan the perfect custom holiday menu for your guests.

Paul Kennedy Catering 2010 Holiday Menu
  • Plan a holiday party "staycation" in your office. Have a special holiday meal delivered directly to your company meeting space, and hold a white elephant gift exchange.
  • Let a local hotel host the festivities and handle all of the coordination, set-up, décor, and clean-up for you.
  • Host an evening holiday reception at the company owner's or manager's house. Serve eggnog and hors d'oeuvres.
  • Join a group party with other local businesses. 
  • Invite your clients and vendors to a holiday open house for a festive after-work meet-and-greet with your company's employees.
    What's your favorite thing about holiday office parties? What has your office done that's unique and fun? Leave a comment here or on Twitter or Facebook to be entered into a drawing to win free delivery on a Set & Go Holiday Lunchtime Buffet in December 2010 (up to $35 value).

    October 29, 2010

    Savannah Events: Biggest Little Christmas Party

    If you are a small business seeking an economical, effortless, and fun solution to your Christmas party blues, then join the fine folks at the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum for dinner and dancing at a Jingle Bell Rock like none other!

    The Second Annual Biggest Little Christmas Party will be held Friday, December 17, 2010, at the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum

    Cocktail hour begins at 6:30 p.m.

    Holiday buffet opens at 7:30 p.m.

    Dancing lasts until 11:00 p.m.

    Tables of 10 are $350.00* and include the following:
    • A 4.5 hour event in the festively-decorated Rotunda
    • All table linens
    • Holiday centerpieces
    • A fully-stocked cash bar
    • Professional DJ
    • Hors d’oeuvres
    • Two-entrée holiday buffet
    • Dessert
    Tell your friends and business colleagues about the Biggest Little Christmas Party, and make your reservations early! Last year this was a sold-out event with more than 240 guests from many Savannah-area businesses!
      Please note:
      • *Price does not include 7% sales tax.
      • A deposit of 50% is due at the time of reservation, and the balance is due by December 1, 2010.
      • You may purchase as many tables as you like, based on availability and they will be situated together.
      • You may seat less than 10 people, but the price will remain the same.
      • Should you need to cancel your Christmas party reservation, cancellations prior to November 1, 2010, will be fully refundable. After that time, 50% of your deposit will be forfeited.
      For more information, or to reserve your party, please call The Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum Events Department at 912.748.8888 x124 or x160.

      October 22, 2010

      Catering Tips: Service Options

      We've mentioned plated menus, buffets, and passed hors d'oeuvres when discussing menu planning, but what exactly do these terms mean? The following is an explanation of the different types of services Paul Kennedy Catering offers:

      This type of meal is common for wedding receptions. Much like at restaurants, servers deliver individual plates of food to guests, often in separate courses.

      Plated dinner

      A popular choice for many types of events, buffets allow choosy guests to decide from a variety of menu options and heavy eaters to return for seconds (just make sure to take this into account when deciding on your food quantities, and order a bit extra).

      Buffet reception
      Stations are a great way to add action to an event. Tables of food are spread throughout an event venue, and guests travel from one table to the next to choose from multiple options.

      Attended carving station
      Unattended shrimp cocktail station

      Hors d'oeuvres
      Hors d'oeuvres are often served before the main meal, either passed by a server, set as a station, or a mix of both. Heavy hors d'oeuvres can also be served in lieu of a main meal, especially at corporate functions and receptions held during non-dinner hours.

      Passed hors d'oeuvres
      Set & Go Delivery
      Delivered hot or cold, Set & Go catered meals are a nice way to feed a smaller crowd, especially for a workplace lunch.

      Set & Go boxed salads

      Do you have a question you want to see answered on this blog? Ask us! Send us an email, tweet, or Facebook comment, and we'll answer in a future post.

      October 15, 2010

      Catering Tips: Developing a Guest List

      Last week we discussed how to prepare for unexpected guests at your event because many aspects of your function hinge on the number of people you have in attendance. Your guest list is the most important component in your overall costs and staying within your budget, so it needs to be one of the first decisions you make in the planning process.

      From a catering perspective, the cost of your meal is dependent on three factors: the price of the food (steak versus chicken), the price of serving it (buffet versus plated), and the number of guests. Here are three considerations for compiling your guest list:
      • Budget. What is the grand total you want spend on your event? How many guests do you think you want to invite? Divide the total budget by number of potential guests to discover your price per person allotment. Many wedding and event services are priced by the person. Can the number you found accommodate the costs of food, tables, chairs, linens, cake servings, etc.? If not, you'll either have to increase your overall budget or decrease your guest count.
      • Venue. If you've already decided where your event will take place (or have an idea of where you want it to be), will it accommodate the number of guests you're planning to invite? An event in an intimate garden locale will dictate a much smaller guest count than a large ballroom affair.
      • Importance. Decide who is an "absolutely must-have," who is a "would like to have if I can afford it," and who is a "not welcome" guest at your event. Be very specific. Are you going to invite coworkers, casual friends, extended family, children, or unmarried dates? Narrow down your list accordingly, and be firm about who does or does not receive an invitation.

      Image courtesy of Allison Reisz Photography

      Do you have a question you want to see answered on this blog? Ask us! Email, tweet, or comment on Facebook, and we'll answer in a future post.

      October 8, 2010

      Catering Tips: Preparing for Unexpected Guests

      We received an excellent question this week from Facebook: How do you prepare for unexpected guests?

      This subject is often a concern because the number of guests in attendance affects so many aspects of your event, from food quanities to rentals to the room layout and beyond. The type of function (corporate, social, or wedding) and the style of the meal (reception, buffet, or plated) also play a role.

      Of course, the simplest answer comes from the old adage, "the best defense is a good offense." Try to be as vigilant as possible in collecting and tracking RSVPs from those you invite. There are several ways to accomplish this:
      • Make it as easy as possible for guests to RSVP. If they are to reply by mail, provide a pre-addressed, stamped envelope for their response. If they are to reply online, provide an alternative phone number for those who are not technologically savvy. 
      • Specifically ask potential guests to tell you exactly how many people will be attending, whether they are adults or children, and what they wish to eat (if you are offering choices). The more detailed the information you request up front, the easier it will be for you to narrow down an accurate guest count.
      • Set a deadline, and follow up with every person who does not respond by it. For a wedding, etiquette suggests that neither the bride nor the groom does this task, but rather have a family member, close friend, or your wedding planner do it. No matter who carries out the follow-up, it is a vital step, and the person charged with the task should not take "maybe" for an answer!
      • If you are hosting a corporate event or fundraising gala, hire someone to strictly enforce the guest list at the door. (Note: This is NOT recommended for weddings.)
      While ideal, we understand that a 100% accurate guest count is not always possible; however, we can only accommodate overages to a certain degree. When in doubt, give a higher guest estimate than you've confirmed, and bring to-go containers to take home the extra food. Only you know your guest list and whether those on it are likely to attend unexpectedly or bring uninvited guests of their own. Plan your function style and menu options based on this information as well. Do not have a plated dinner if you cannot be very sure about your guest count, as this is the most difficult style to adjust at the last minute.

      Do you have a question you want to see answered on this blog? Ask us! Email, tweet, or comment on Facebook, and we'll answer in a future post.

      October 1, 2010

      Catering Tips: Creating a Room Diagram

      Image courtesy of Allison Reisz Photography
      When planning an event of any kind, whether it be a corporate holiday party, conference, or a wedding reception, indoors or outdoors, in a banquet hall or under a tent, it benefits everyone involved in the planning and execution of your event to have a diagram of the overall room arrangement. The drawing should be well-labeled, answering each of the following questions, as applicable:
      • Where will each guest table go?
      • Where will the head/sweetheart/reserved table(s) go?
      • How many chairs/guests will be at each table?
      • Which meal has each guest chosen (for a plated reception)?
      • Where will the sign-in/guest book/gift/favor/place card tables go?
      • Where will the large decor/plants go?
      • Where will the bar go?
      • Where will the DJ/band/stage/speaking platform/podium go?
      • Where will the dance floor go?
      • Where will the cake table go?
      • Where will the appetizer/buffet/action station/non-alcoholic drink tables go?
      From a catering perspective, having a detailed, clearly-labeled rendering of your room layout helps us know in advance where to set up the buffet or action stations and saves time and confusion the day of your event. We won't accidentally put the shrimp cocktail display on the cake table or set up your sweet tea where the favors should have gone and waste the time of the catering or another vendor's staff rectifying the situation. For a plated meal, we use the number of people seated at each table to determine how many servers to bring and assign to each table or section. Additionally, if you're assigning seats for a plated meal, you'll guests will have chosen their meal ahead of time. Label each seat on your diagram with the meal that guest has chosen to increase the timeliness in which your guests are served.

      There are several resources to help you plan a room diagram:
      • If you are working with an event planner, he/she will usually do this for you as part of the service you contracted.
      • If not, or if you are doing the planning yourself, start by asking your venue's coordinator if there is a diagram template of the room's structure. This is the easiest and most accurate way to account for the room's dimensions and any irregularities in its shape.
      • Talk with each of your vendors about their own space and table needs, and have a walk-through with them, if necessary. Let their professional experience guide you through the process; they work on events every day and know the best "flow" and set-up for their services to function at their prime.
      • Add and label these and any additional tables and important elements you're using to the diagram, and send it and your timeline to your venue and all of your vendors before your event to ensure the smoothest set-up possible.
      • Use a free, online room diagram service, such as Seating Arrangement, to design your floor plan, assign guest seating, manage RSVPs, and send the information electronically to your vendors.
      Screen shot of Seating Arrangement's "Floor Plan" Tutorial

      September 24, 2010

      Career Opportunity: Director of Catering

      Paul Kennedy Catering has an immediate job opening for the Director of Catering position. Join our team, and help us build relationships one event at a time!

      • Valid driver's license and good record
      • Some heavy lifting
      • Flexible hours, nights and weekends (event-driven)
      • Some computer skills
      • Motivated self-starter
      • Management, catering, wedding, and/or event experience preferred

      Some Job Duties
      • Manage and coordinate events
      • Schedule and manage catering Team members
      • General facility organization

      • Competitive pay with bonus potential
      • Flexible schedule

      We want to hear from you! Email your letter of interest and resume to Aaron. (No phone calls, please.) We will be in touch with qualified applicants to schedule interviews.

        September 17, 2010

        Get to Know Paul Kennedy Catering: Meet the Staff Team

        In our continuing efforts to build relationships one event at a time, we are bringing you more information about the team that caters your events. Last month, you met Paul, PKC's founder and namesake. This month, we are pleased to introduce you to the executive staff of Paul Kennedy Catering:

        (From left to right)
        • Ed Udvadia, Event Manager
        • (Darrell Cutter, Former Sous Chef)
        • Linda Wheeler, Executive Sous Chef
        • (Millie Grimes, Former Director of Catering)
        • Deidra Tober, Wedding Sales Consultant
        • Amber Hammond, Director of Social Media Marketing
        • Paul Kennedy, Founder
        • Elaine Bronson, Executive Chef
        • Paula Cox, Event Manager
        • Aaron Weeks, Director of Operations and Sales
        We've put names to our faces. Now it's your turn: Introduce yourself here, on Facebook, or on Twitter and receive $10 off one of $100 or more. We can't wait to meet you!

        Also, sample our signature shrimp and grits and meet Paula and Amber in person this Sunday, September 19, 12:30-4:00, at the Georgia Bridal Show in the Savannah Civic Center. See you there!

        View Larger Map

        September 10, 2010

        Catering Tips: Wedding Day Timeline

        One of the most important and useful pieces of information you can provide your wedding vendors is a timeline or schedule of events for your wedding day. This document should expand beyond the basics of the ceremony and reception to include the timing of vendor arrivals and preparation events through break-down and clean-up activities. The more detailed you can make the timeline, the better prepared everyone will be to stay in sync with each other and keep your wedding running smoothly.

        From a catering perspective, knowing in advance that the salads will be served at 6:00, before the speeches, followed by the first course at 6:30, is vital to ensure the food you ordered is served to you and your guests at its highest possible quality. If you are going to have pictures taken during cocktail hour, be realistic about how long it will take. This will influence how many pieces of hors d'oeuvres are needed to keep your guests at optimal happiness until the time you have designated for dinner to be served.

        If you have a wedding planner or day-of coordinator, this is likely to be a service that the company provides for you. If not, don't fret; it's not an overwhelming task! Read this Weddingbee Wiki with a sample timeline and events to consider for yours, and then use this comprehensive Google Doc template, written by industry experts Michelle Rago and Style Me Pretty, to develop your own schedule to send to your vendors. Be sure to distribute the schedule to your vendors before the wedding day to ensure ample time for them to review it and plan accordingly.

        Wedding Day Schedule Template