Karen Clark is a graduate of the School of Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her desire to pursue a career in broadcast led her to a stint in commercial radio, and then a position as a Promotions Manager position with Columbia Records. While working with Columbia, Karen promoted and marketed albums for national recording artists such as Mariah Carey, Will Smith, Beyonce Knowles and many other platinum-selling artists. This promotions position was Karen’s first foray into event planning, allowing her to coordinate parties, autograph signings, performances and regional itineraries for dozens of artists. After three years with Columbia Records, Karen landed a position with Capitol Records, which boasted an impressive roster of artists including The Beatles, Coldplay, Corrine Bailey Rae and Snoop Dogg. After seven years in the music industry, Karen started Something Borrowed, Something Blue, a wedding and event planning company based in Raleigh, North Carolina.
The food at wedding receptions can often get a bad review. Your wedding reception can be different. Here’s how:
Schedule A Tasting
You should ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS have a tasting of your reception food. This is a standard practice at most country clubs and hotels as well as with most off-premise catering companies. It’s your opportunity to taste the items that will be served at your reception and approve it or suggest changes. You don’t want to find out that your caterer’s lobster bisque tastes like paste in the middle of your big evening.
Talk to your catering provider about their tasting policies. Are tastings complimentary? How many people can attend tastings? If you change your mind about a dish, can you have a tasting for its replacement?
Talk About Fruit, Cheese & Bread
As a control freak wedding planner, I prefer to not be surprised by the chef’s idea of “seasonal fruit” on the day of the event. Chat with your caterer about what specific fruits will be on your fruit display. Not a fan of honeydew melon? Ask them to replace it with something else. Concerned your guests won’t be a fan of kiwi? Suggest something you think your guests will enjoy. The same goes for the cheese display. Ask what kind of cheeses will be presented and make changes if you like.
Will bread be on the table at your event? If so, what kind? White? Wheat? Sourdough? Will the bread be served warm? Will butter on the table be in those tacky little foil packets or can you get butter shaped like your monogram? Make sure that you are part of the decision-making process.
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If you’re serving steak at your event, PLEASE discuss the temperature of the steaks with your caterer or facility. Many facilities automatically serve beef medium rare. Make sure you know what you’re getting before your mom is shocked by her blood-red fillet at your reception.