The Curse of the Rubber Chicken

Meeting Planners, you have all been here before. You research locations, request proposals, go on site tours, read reviews,  perhaps even stay a night to make sure the hotel along with event space would be the perfect fit for your event. You choose the location, collect RSVP’s, schedule activities and make sure all i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed for your event and then it happens… the curse of the rubber chicken! Sure the event as a whole is a success, your meeting goals were achieved but all the attendees can talk about for the next year following the event is how terrible the food was.

Yes, it’s true, often times a main entrée of chicken is chosen because it is less expensive for the group and usually pleases the masses. However, this does not mean that you have to settle for a less than spectacular taste and quality. Whether you’re serving the protein plated or buffet, the quality should remain the same and it should be a little more exciting than just a piece of roasted chicken with green beans and potatoes. On a budget how do you overcome and deliver excellence to your guests for what would be considered an uncontrollable to you as the meeting planner?

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 First, if the venue offers tastings, do them! I would recommend tasting both a standard and an upgraded menu. This gives you a great perspective for what to expect on your plate for color, creativity and how far you can stretch your dollar by adding sides, upgrading the entrée or customizing.

 Second, read reviews and ask how long the Chef has been with the venue. Great Chef’s who can deliver the same quality for a table of 4 as they can for 200 people are hard to come by. You can make a safe bet that if the Chef has been with the venue for several years there is a reason and one of those must be because they deliver in creativity and quality!

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 Lastly, if your budget allows, add an element that will really impress the group. People enjoy being part of making something of their own so consider adding a “build your own” element. This is sure to keep your attendees talking about the food for the next year, in a great way!

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Remember, the food is one of the most talked about elements of your event. It’s important to get it right and choose a venue that you know can handle the task. In your events, cost will always be a determining factor for venue choice, but if attendee impression is just as important to you, remember to wow them with the food just as much as you do the view!

 

By: Mallory Voorheis, IOM ::  Corporate Sales Manager  ::  Vintage Villas Hotel & Events

Let It Go!

Having just celebrated my fifth wedding anniversary, I thought I would share some of my wedding pictures from November 7, 2008 at Vintage Villas and pass on what I believe to be one of the best pieces of wedding advice I can give.

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When looking back on my wedding day there are still a few things that I might have done differently. However, the good memories definitely outnumber the few minor things I would have changed. So every year I think of how much fun we had, how wonderful it was to marry my best friend in front of the people I love and to have been blessed with such a beautiful day!

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Believe me when I say I understand wanting everything to be perfect, and if you have planned well or hired a wedding planner then most likely it will be. But just like you, your vendors, wedding planners, chefs (everyone involved with your wedding) are human and are all capable of making mistakes. Let’s face it, technology can fail, accidents happen, and it might even rain, but if your focus is on marrying the love of your life then nothing else will matter.

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So my advice to all brides is to not sweat the small stuff! Seriously! Try not to let the few minor incidents, unexpected situations or planned moments that don’t happen keep you from enjoying your big day. You don’t want to later regret spending time focusing on something that no one will even notice or remember.

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CHOOSE to enjoy all the moments of your wedding day, on the day and after it’s all over. Even if the cake falls on the floor, the power goes out, the special heirloom Champagne flutes get lost, try to focus on the fact that you are married. And think of all the great memories that were made!

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Written by:  Lauren Allen, Director of Sales and Marketing

Should You Consider a Brunch Wedding?

We know that Saturday evenings are the most popular time to host a wedding, but it definitely isn’t the only option. Couples are choosing weddings every day of the week and all hours of the day. Here are some reasons to forgo the evening event and consider a daytime wedding for your special day:

Food & Beverage

Brunch weddings open the doors to a variety of non-traditional wedding foods. Imagine serving your guests sweet and savory items like stuffed French toast, quiche, migas, pastries, or pancakes.

http://www.whitneyleephotography.com/

Image Via Whitney Lee Photography

For a daytime wedding, you can also serve light and fresh bar options like Champagne, Mimosas, and Bloody Mary’s. These classic drinks are crowd favorites and cost less than the Full Bar alternative.

Mimosas (Medium)

Lighting

Yes, everyone loves a sunset, but morning weddings have their own special beauty. Daytime weddings highlight the natural surroundings of an outdoor wedding.

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Image Via Whitney Lee Photography

Daytime Gazebo Wedding_Ron Parks

Image Via Ron Parks Photography

Cost & Availability

Many venues will offer special rates for daytime events. Also, the cost of the brunch food and beverage options mentioned above tend to be less expensive than their dinner counterparts. If you are trying to stay within a specific wedding budget, considering a brunch wedding can really help.

Availability is also a big concern for brides, as many venues book peak dates far in advance. Being flexible to a daytime event will increase your chances to get your desired day, weekend, or month.

Time to Relax After the Wedding

Many couples rush off for their honeymoon the morning after their wedding without much rest after the late night of partying and drinking. A brunch wedding gives you a unique opportunity to relax, spend time with your new spouse, and wake up the next day refreshed and happy. After the daytime wedding, you can enjoy a romantic dinner together, lounge around in your hotel room, and prepare last minute items for your honeymoon.

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Image Via Iguana Grill

Some Vintage Villas couples even choose to plan activities with close family and friends after their daytime wedding, like golfing or even renting a party boat.

Party Boat

Image Via Just For Fun Rentals

Brunch weddings can be just as beautiful and fun as evening weddings (with some added benefits). Please share your comments and experiences below if you’ve had or are considering a brunch wedding.

Written by:  Samantha Botello, Wedding Sales Manager

Winter Weddings

Winter is quickly coming!  As fall weddings are coming to an end, winter weddings are just about to start.  I love winter weddings because they are so beautiful and cozy.  If you’re having a winter wedding, then here are some great ideas for you to consider as your day quickly approaches.

For your bridal gown, long sleeves are a great idea.  They will help to keep you warm and make you look elegant.  And no, you won’t look like your mom on her wedding day if you wear sleeves.  There are some great dresses out there with sleeves.  However, If you don’t like sleeves, consider a cute jacket or coat to help keep you warm.  There are lots of great selections out there.

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A winter bouquet can be full of beautiful winter colors or all white.  I love both!  White is so pure and peaceful to me while a bouquet with some colors has a more fun tone.

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Boutonnieres and corsages also help to add some light to your wedding.

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Your cake is another big part of your wedding day.  Every bride wants a beautiful cake that helps carry on the theme of her wedding.

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Centerpieces really help make a wedding over the top beautiful.  They help to add life and color to the whole room.

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If you’re having assigned seating maybe consider these for your escort cards.

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And last but not least, favors are a must.  They are a way to thank your guests for coming and celebrating your special day with you.  There are many great winter favors out there, but here are just a few.

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Have fun planning your winter wedding!

Written by:  Mary Gividen, Wedding Sales Assistant