Six days until Christmas! Excited? Stressed out? Ready for 2013? The Wedding Planners hosted a lovely afternoon tea for our fellow hospitality industry peeps yesterday at The Signature Loft in Chicago.
So, your own personal Top Gun fantasy came true: you met and tamed your Maverick, the rugged guys’ guy Tom Cruise only wishes he could be. Your betrothed wears aviator sunglasses, rides a motorcycle and looks great in leather. His favorite place in town? Local brewpub. He loves to throw back a beer or two in a casual and relaxed atmosphere. And so you want your wedding-rehearsal dinner-big birthday or anniversary party to be something he remembers for years to come. It needs to be fun. It needs to be relaxed. It needs to go with beer. Does this mean that you have to settle for nachos or chicken fingers? Not if you know Goose.
Cocktail hour is always fun! You mingle, drink in hand, you catch up with people or flirt with attractive strangers. But when was the last time you had a cocktail that was truly memorable? I am not talking about visiting a craft cocktail lounge where bartenders are akin to wizards. I am talking about a wedding cocktail hour where complicated recipes have no place. Do you recall any remarkable concoctions you have had at weddings? Not likely.
With warmer weather arriving in Chicago, spring is definitely in the air. Go ahead, take a deep breath. Smell that? Spring in Chicago is announced by the aromas of BBQ. Ours is the city that loves all things meat cooked over an open fire. Block parties, cookouts, potlucks. My neighbors break their grills out any chance they get. The air on my block is always perfumed with delicious smoke. I am no exception. During warm months, I spend most of my time drinking rose and grilling in the backyard.
Bring them your jaded palates. Your challenging venue. Your globe-trotting CEO. Your vegan contingent. Don’t worry, them can handle it. All of it.
They are Entertaining Company.
WOW! To say that we are both completely blown away by the love and support that we have gotten over the past week would be an understatement! It absolutely made us weep with joy to know that there are so many people out there who are good and who care about the well being of others! From our fellow writers here at theBrideScoop to the hundreds of friends and friends of friends who shared the story and gave their love and support, it was truly an unreal and very emotional experience. Last week was a pretty dark week in our lives. But, as with all times of darkness, they are followed with an incredible light and that is the truth! After a weekend of being around our friends (for our friends; daughters’ first birthday party) and family (60th birthday party) – it was truly an eye opener about how much love people can give to two people who had quite a dark moment just seven short days prior! We are truly two of the luckiest guys! And we THANK YOU ALL again for your well wishes!
Dr. Tim is back to about 100% – a little bruising left over but every day is better! The swelling is gone which is great news. We now know that the nose is not broken and let’s face it, as much as we don’t want to say appearance matters (blah, blah, blah) a swollen schnoz is not the look that most people are going for! Emotionally, things are good too – there is a lot less anger and aggression around the house. We received a letter from the State Attorney’s office with the offenders name and age – that was odd, just to put a name behind it all and an age… it humanizes things. The court date has been set for next Friday and then, hopefully, we can just put this all to bed and move on. It’s exhausting.
On the Civil Union front, it looks like everyone attending will be able to drink and eat (how nice of us!). We have signed the contract for the food and beverage portion of the evening. We hope Stefani Catering is prepared for this – whatever they normally bring for a beer supply may want to be re-thought – it could get ugly!!! It was fun to look at the menu again and be reminded of everything that we tasted and picked. It also made us hungry!
C.J. and Dr. Tim
WHAT A WEEK!!! Two amazing things have gone down: our tasting for the food at the reception and a HUGE piece of great news! Let’s start with the more important item: Dr. Tim passed his surgical Board exams!!! He is now 100% Board certified and the celebration of the news was QUITE a night to be remembered (or not - depending on how much people partied!). This news was the perfect ending to the perfect week!
Now on to the grub! Our wedding planner Claudia, one of our best friends Mira and us all met on Wednesday the 24th (one year to the date of our ceremony) at Stefani Catering and met with Anna (who was SUCH a great “hostess”) to try our small bites passed dinner that we had been SO curious about! Needless to say, the food was AMAZING! Each item that came out was more delicious than the last - it turned into this exciting game of “what’s next?”. To say that we left full and satisfied is an understatement! We couldn’t stop talking about the food all night. We also decided that we are going to end the night with pizza and mini Chicago style hot dogs with root beer floats – it’s those little things that make us smile! All of our concerns about whether or not there would be enough food quickly dissipated and any reservation turned into excitement for all of our guests to try this amazing menu!!!
Speaking of guests… we will just say it - making a guest list is HORRIBLE! We think this is going to be the most stressful part of planning! When you are trying to keep it small and intimate, how do you tell certain people that they make the cut and others that they don’t – it’s impossible to avoid people for a year to get out of a possible awkward situation. We are just going to follow our hearts - it seems like the best option!
CJ and Dr. Tim
It’s been QUITE a week! In addition to finally having some free time to have some fun (Lollapalooza all weekend!), we also got to sit down and figure out what we want to serve to our guests for food next year - who knew how much fun this could be! (We say that with only a HINT of sarcasm!)
We always thought that picking out food would be easy - but since we are taking a nod from Prince William and Kate Middleton and serving a seven course meal of bite sized treats, it got a little complicated. From the beginning, we knew that we did not want to have a sit down dinner. It has always been the one thing that seems to lag at all the wedding we have gone to. While we don’t fault others for having them, we just knew it was not going to be at our reception.
When we received the menu from Stefani Catering, it was a little overwhelming – so many choices in each section, once we got to the main courses and there were TWO pages to choose from, we thought forget it! Let’s just serve grilled cheese! One of us is meat and potatoes; the other one is much more willing to try a variety of things (we’ll let you decide who is who!). So, we met in the middle and picked different options that both of us would like and that both were willing to try… see we compromised!!! We are learning how this wedding stuff works early on in the game!
Can’t wait to finally get to taste the food in a couple weeks!!!!!
CJ and Dr. Tim
The Editor and the writers of theBrideScoop are inspired daily by so many amazing people, places and products. In the thousands of daily emails we get, this one from Chicago-based Entertaining Company made us stop, read every word and start to dream of new ways to create and present food.
Wendy Pashman, Owner and Founder of Entertaining Company, turned her passion for living boldly through celebration into her full time occupation when she began her own catering company in 1989. A self-described wanderer, Wendy spends her time collecting and cataloguing worldly inspirations like precious keepsakes. Passionate about all things lush and colorful, Wendy’s thirst for culture informs her reputation as “The Idea Caterer,” as she crafts vibrant celebrations that are one-of-a-kind; showcasing delicious, always-changing menus, lush décor and fantastical settings.
1640 West Walnut Street, Chicago, IL 60612
Last week, Mommy sent the deposit to My Chef Catering. Finding a caterer wasn’t too difficult (yelp, search engines, looked at other venue’s preferred vendor lists, ask venue/friends for suggestions, etc.); the challenging part was finding a caterer they liked and was willing to work with their budget of approximately $8,500.
I’m so happy they went with My Chef Catering because the Account Executive, Amanda, was super nice and easy to work with. Not to mention when we went to the tasting the Chef actually came out and told us what we were about to eat and described everything!
Mommy and Daddy ended up selecting four different entrees: Garlic Herb Stuffed Chicken, Brown Sugar Glazed Salmon (I can’t wait to dig my paws into this), Portabella Mushroom Ravioli (vegetarian) and Stuffed Portabella Mushroom (vegan). This way, we have covered all dietary restrictions… I hope. In addition to that, their guests will enjoy passed hors d’oeuvres during the cocktail hour, salad to start, late night snacks, wine and beer with signature cocktail and wedding cake. Wahoo CAKE!
Catering Lessons Learned:
- It is ok to shop around and get proposals from several caterers.
- Choose a caterer you feel comfortable with because they can make or break your event.
- Choose a caterer that is familiar with your venue, it will make things a lot easier.
- Don’t be scared to call a potential caterer and ask their help on cutting costs or make suggestions. After all, this is coming out of your piggy bank and you should feel comfortable with your choices.
- Do not be shy and enjoy the tasting. When you taste finger foods, pretend you are a guest walking around with a drink in one hand- it will help you narrow some choices down.
- Be sure to read through the contracts and ask questions. Sometimes caters/restaurants make you sign before a tasting or pay a small fee for a tasting.
Next week I’ll talk about Mommy’s upcoming DIY projects, but if there is a DIY project you want us to try out, let me know! See you next week!