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Sep 14

Choosing Outfits Accessories for Bride Groom and Guests Part 1 – Plan my Wedding

Choosing Outfits Accessories for Bride Groom and Guests Part 1 You will be the centre of attention on your big day, with cameras clicking in your face and family and friends watching your every move. In order to be totally confident and relaxed on the day, you need to make sure you are going to look and feel as fabulous as possible. This chapter guides you through how to choose your outfits, accessories and rings. It also covers (more…)

Sep 12

Find a Good Toastmasters – Plan my Wedding

Find a Good Toastmasters – Plan my Wedding A good toastmaster will coordinate the event on the day, advise on etiquette, organize your guests and liaise with all the suppliers, thus relieving you of most of the stress of being the host. They can also help in the planning stages since many will have suppliers they have worked with before in the local area. (more…)

Sep 12

Catering Self-Catering and Professional Catering for the Reception – Wedding Preparation

Catering Self-Catering and Professional Catering for the Reception Whether you choose Professional caterers or prepare some of the food yourself, it is important to have the freedom to enjoy the reception and circulate among the guests. You need to consider a Professional caterer if your guest list exceeds 20. You might not enjoy yourself if you’re running around worrying about dirty dishes and whether or not everyone has had enough to eat. Factors that determine your style of catering are: • budget • number of guests (consider professional caterers if over 20) • availability of sufficient cutlery, china, glassware, etc. • time of wedding (tends to dictate how hungry your guests will be and the most appropriate type of food to provide) • type of food to be served • help available for advance food preparation and on the day

Options Self-catering Prepare all the food and serve it yourself. It is advisable for your helpers at the reception not to be guests

Partial Self-catering Prepare all the food, but hire serving staff on the day. Alternatively, have the food Professional ly prepared and serve it yourself

Professional Catering All the food and serving staff are provided

Self-Catering Good organization is vital for successful self-catering. Once you have decided what food and drink you will serve, make a detailed action plan and allocate duties such as shopping, cooking, serving food and drinks, Clearing away and washing-up.

Refer to Checklist 28 ‘Self-catering’ □ Decide how many helpers you will need to serve food and drinks 1:15 helper-guest ratio for a buffet/1:10 helper-guest ratio for a served sit-down meal

Number of Guests • Reception • Evening reception • Decide when final numbers are required

Times • Food preparation • Arrival of helpers • Arrival of guests • Meal • Speeches • Cutting the cake • Evening reception • Buffet • Estimated finish • Clearing away

Food • Decide whether you will prepare all the food yourself or have any Professional ly prepared – see ‘Professional Catering’ • Provision of aperitifs and canapés on arrival • Finger buffet • fork buffet • sit-down meal • barbecue

Do not be over-ambitious. Avoid food that is very spicy, rieh or fiddly to eat. Choose bite-size, non drip and non-crumbly food for a finger buffet. It is advisable to fest out any new recipes beforehand • Decide what can be made in advance and will freeze well • Special dietary requirements, e.g. kosher, vegetarian or allergies (produce signs for food that contain possible allergens) • Decide on the menu and prepare a shopping list • Arrange delivery of the wedding cake to reception venue, if appropriate

Drinks • Drinks to be served on arrival • Purchase wine, soft drinks, fruit juice and mineral water Many off-licenses will supply wine on a sale-or-return basis • Champagne or sparkling wine served with the cake • Liqueurs, brandy, port served with the coffee • Ice • Decide who will serve the drinks

Helpers • Shopping • Cooking for the freezer • Preparation of food, setting-up the bar, etc. • Transportation of food and equipment to and from the venue • Serving the food and drinks (hire waiters/waitresses, if necessary) • Slicing the cake • Handing out bridal favors • Clearing away • Washing-up

Equipment • List requirements and decide what you will need to borrow or hire See your local Yellow Pages or the internet for hire Companies • china • cutlery • glassware (many off-licenses will hire out glasses if you purchase the wine from them) • tables and chairs • tablecloths and napkins • candelabra and candles • cake stand and knife • turn for boiling water • coffee/tea pots • heated trays • condiment sets • glass cloths • corkscrews and bottle openers • food thermometer and temperature probe for hot food • rubbish sacks • Decide whether you will have sufficient fridge and freezer space. If not, approach people who may be able to offer some space

1 month • Purchase ingredients and prepare food for the freezer • Buy the wine, Champagne, liqueurs, etc. and arrange to hire glassware

1 week • Continue preparation of food • Prepare or purchase ice cubes

1 day • De-frost food • Do last minute shopping for perishables • Assemble all equipment and glassware • Chili wine and drinks • Arrange furniture and set up wedding gift table • Lay table(s), apart from food

On the day • Set out the food • Open the wine • Remind helpers to observe good catering practice, e.g. testing the temperature of hot food and removing unconsumed food to prevent possible contamination and food poisoning

Professional Catering The wedding meal is an important part of your wedding day and something you and your guests will remember. The key is to find a caterer who will create the perfect menu, at the right price and ensure the reception goes without a hitch.

Refer to Checklist 29 ‘Professional Catering’ How to Choose a Caterer □ Identify suitable ones (aim for at least three) • personal experience • recommendation • good reputation • advertisement • Yellow Pages • website □ Check their availability on the date you require □ Request brochures, sample menus and prices □ Ensure you are satisfied that they can meet all your requirements and cope with the number of guests □ Consider whether to ask for references and details of their qualifications □ Confirm their availability □ Arrange a meeting to discuss your requirements: • venue • style of reception • cost per head • ascertain whether they can offer a party-planning service and the cost Arrange marquee hire, flowers, toastmaster, entertainment, etc.

Number of Guests • Reception • Evening reception • Ascertain when final numbers are required

Times • Discuss the timings: • arrival at venue • arrival of guests • meal • speeches • cutting the cake • evening reception • buffet • bar closes • finish • Clearing away Facilities • Discuss the room layout and seating arrangements • Determine whether an evening reception will necessitate a change of room layout • Discuss the Provision of a seating plan and place name cards • Discuss kitchen facilities, refrigeration, water and power supply • Discuss delivery arrangements and parking • Discuss cloakroom, toilet and changing facilities • Confirm that they will remove the rubbish • Establish they have public liability insurance cover

Equipment • Discuss the Provision of equipment: • china • cutlery • glassware • cake-stand and knife • tablecloths, napkins, candelabra, candles (specify color, if appropriate) • heated trays • tables and chairs, including a table to display wedding gifts Flowers • Discuss whether they will provide the flowers or you will supply your own • Specify type and color of flowers, if appropriate • Discuss where the flowers will be placed

Food • Aperitifs and canapés to be served on arrival • Finger buffet • fork buffet • sit-down meal • barbecue • Evening reception • Discuss menu and select from set menus or make your own suggestions • Ascertain what quantity of food is included in the price • Special dietary requirements, e.g. kosher, vegetarian or allergies • Special menu/small portions for children • Discuss delivery of the wedding cake, if appropriate • Enquire what happens to any food left over (re-plated or taken away)

Drinks • Served on arrival (punch, kir, Champagne, buck’s fizz, sherry, fruit juice) • Wine(s) to be served with meal • Soft drinks, fruit juice and mineral water • Champagne or sparkling wine served with the cake • Liqueurs, brandy, port served with the coffee • Decide who will supply the wine and other drinks • Enquire whether there is a corkage Charge if you provide your own

You could consider buying it on a sale-or-return basis from an off-license • Bar equipment and ice • Specify the quantities to be served • Enquire whether they have an alcohol license if you plan to have a pay bar

Staff • Agree how many staff will be provided for the number of guests • serving food • bar • cloakroom Staff-guest ratios: 1:15 for a buffet/1:10 for a served sit- down meal • Enquire whether they will wear uniforms • Provide any special instructions, e.g. cutting and distribution of the cake • Request bridal favors, e.g. sugared almonds, be handed out to guests • Enquire whether they can provide a Master of Ceremonies/ Toastmaster, if required

Cost • Establish whether service Charge is included or if gratuities are optional • Check whether a Charge is made for cleaning the room or hall after the function • Enquire whether VAT is included in the prices • Determine whether there is a Charge if the reception overruns • Ascertain whether there is a surcharge for small numbers • Determine their terms for breakages

Confirmation • Request a detailed breakdown of charges Food, drinks, corkage, staff, service Charge, delivery, travelling expenses, equipment hire, party planning, etc. • Confirm acceptance of estimate in writing and pay the required deposit

1 week • Telephone or arrange a meeting to check final arrangements • Confirm final numbers • Provide seating plan and place name cards • Arrange access to venue • Exchange mobile telephone numbers for use on the day  

 

Checklist 28 Self-catering   No. of Guests   Day Adults Children Total Evening Adults Children Total

  Food On arrival Menu selection Special dietary requirements Special menu/small portions for children Evening reception menu selection Wedding cake Drinks On arrival Served with meal Wines Served with the cake  

Times     Food preparation Speeches   Arrival of helpers Cutting the cake   Arrival of guests Evening reception   Meal Estimated finish   Checklist 28 Self-catering (Cont.)     Served with coffee     Bar facilities     Staff/Helpers No. Cost   Servers £   Bar £   Kitchen £   Food £ Drinks £ Equipment £ Staff £   Deposits £     Total £

      Checklist 28 Self-catering (Cont.)

 

Duties Time  

Person Responsible   Shopping 3 months     Shopping 1 month     Shopping 1 week     Cooking 3 months     Cooking 1 month     Cooking 1 week     Preparation 1 day     Preparation On the day     Assembling the cake On the day     Setting up the bar On the day     Serving food Day     Serving food Evening     Serving drinks Day     Serving drinks Evening     Slicing the cake On the day     Clearing away Day     Clearing away Evening     Washing-up Day     Washing-up Evening     China       Cutlery       Glassware       Tables and chairs       Tablecloths and napkins       Candelabra and candles       Cake-stand and knife       Water urn       Coffee/tea pots       Heated trays       Condiment sets       Glass cloths       Refrigerators       Freezers        

Checklist 29 Professional Catering     Name of caterer     Address     Telephone Mobile   Email Website   Contact     Party-planning Service     No. of Guests     Day Adults Children Total   Evening Adults Children Total   Times     Arrival of caterers Evening reception   Arrival of guests Bar closes   Meal Finish   Cutting the cake Clearing away  

  Facilities Room layout Kitchen facilities Refrigeration Delivery arrangements Equipment China Cutlery

Checklist 29 Professional Catering (Cont.) Glassware Cake-stand and knife Tablecloths and napkins Candelabra Candles Heated trays Tables and chairs Flowers Food On arrival Menu selection Special dietary requirements Special menu/small portions for children Cost per head £ Evening reception menu selection Cost per head £ Wedding cake

Checklist 29 Professional Catering (Cont.) Drinks On arrival Served with meal Wines Served with the cake Served with coffee Bar facilities Prices £ Staff Servers Bar Cloakroom Master of Ceremonies Uniforms Gratuities Insurance Terms for breakages  

Costs   Food £ Drink £ Evening reception £ Service £ Gratuities £ VAT £ Total £ Cost per head £ Deposit £ Date paid Balance £ Date paid

 

Sep 11

Flowers Photography and Video Preparation – Wedding Preparation

Flowers Photography and Video Preparation – Wedding Preparation There is nothing more beautiful than the sight and smell of flowers in bloom and they will be an essential part of your big day. From the wedding Service to the bride’s bouquet, and from the wedding reception to the buttonholes and corsages, wedding flowers (more…)

Sep 10

Who Pays for What at your Dream Wedding and Your Biggest Expenses

Who Pays for What at your Dream Wedding and Your Biggest Expenses Traditionally, the costs are divided as indicated below. Nowadays there is more flexibility and who meets the costs may vary as many couples opt to share all the costs or even pay for everything themselves. (more…)

Sep 10

Send out wedding invitations – Plan my Wedding

Send out wedding invitations – Plan my Wedding It’s time to map out your detailed plans for the day. I think this is one of the best parts of planning your wedding – involving your family and friends. You need to decide on the order of the ceremony, who you want as speakers and other roles (more…)

Sep 09

Music Live Music DJs and Recorded Music – Plan my Wedding

Music Live Music DJs and Recorded Music – Plan my Wedding You need to think about music at the following times during the day (some of these times have specific titles and I have included approximate timings as a guide): (more…)

Sep 08

Drinks Calculator Glasses for the Cathering and Wedding Cake

Drinks Calculator Glasses for the Cathering – Plan my Wedding Top tip Add cold water to your ice buckets or boxes to speed up the cooling process. Wine will take only about ten minutes to chill down in an ice bucket. (more…)

Sep 08

The Perfect Catering Drinks Catering paraphernalia – Plan my Wedding

Drinks – The Perfect Catering Drinks Catering paraphernalia – Plan my Wedding If you have opted for self-catering or outside caterers, you will probably be supplying your own drinks. Even if you’ve chosen in- house catering, some venues allow you to provide drinks either for free or at a price per bottle, known as corkage. There (more…)

Sep 08

Look into your Wedding Gift Lists – Plan my Wedding

Look into your Wedding Gift Lists – Plan my Wedding This may seem a bit premature, but you want to start thinking about a gift list in order to include information with your invitation. Gift lists are also known as wedding lists or wedding registry in the US. There are various options for your lists: • Items at a specific store, such as John Lewis (more…)