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P.O. Box 50622, Phoenix, Arizona 85076   (480) 921-7891


August 25, 2011


Each reception venue and chef has a “claim to fame” menu and service style to go with it.  After receiving repetitive questions from brides, grooms, and their parents, decided it is time to blog about it. 

Think about other weddings you have attended.  What did you like about the food?  What did you dislike?  Was there a particular type of food you still remember?  Was there a type of food you would care to forget? 

Many brides and grooms are confused over which style is the “best”.  Just because it is included in the package you received, it doesn’t mean you have to agree to everything in the package.  Negotiate what you want in the package.  Negotiate what you do not want out of the package.  This is where an experienced wedding planner comes to your rescue.  There will options for upgrades available at an additional charge. 

 Confirm whether the menu price point is inclusive (including service charge and tax) or exclusive (not including service charge or tax).  Many refer to this as “++”, or plus plus.  This may easily add 30% or more to your menu price point.

 A local TV station called to interview me on live TV about this “hidden fee”.  When the segment aired, did mention this fee is normally written in detail in food and beverage agreements.  Most of the time people do not understand what they are reading, or how it affects their price point per person.

 Sit-down – you traditionally pay more for service.  Guests are pampered at their table, and the chef creates a stunning plate presentation.

 Buffet – you traditionally pay more for food.  This is less formal, while this style promotes more socializing.  An organized system is necessary to reduce the standing and wait time at the buffet. 

 Food Stations or Action Stations – this is a modern and fresh style.  This gives you the opportunity to provide something for everyone.  This style requires space to set the various stations.  Many stations are themed, or carry a different style of cuisine. 

 Family Style – this is a seated dinner where guests pass trays of food to each other.  You need more table space for platters to be placed on the table.  You may want to use long rectangular tables for ease of passing trays from person to person and across the table. 

 French Service – waiters serve guests from large serving dishes, which is very luxurious. 

 Russian Service – waiters hold the platters while guests help themselves, which is almost as luxurious as French service.

 Ask your chef or bartender about preparing a Family Recipe – This would be an excellent way to tie in your family history, yet the dish or drink may not be perfectly replicated.  Which leads to the next topic, tasting.

 Ask your chef about a Tasting – Schedule a tasting with the chef preparing your food.  Ask your chef if this tasting is included, for how many people, or if it is at an extra charge.  Find out what you get to “taste”…it may be entrée only, where your hors d’oeuvres may be omitted.  You may not get a full cake, just a small sampling.  Make sure you schedule your tasting in advance.  Ask your chef for menu recommendations based on your style and theme.  Bring your camera, to take photos of the presentation and the food portions.  Plan ahead and ask to have your table set up with the exact table size, table linen, napkin fold, chairs, crystal, china, and flatware they will be using for your wedding day.

 To have your own personal wedding planner, contact:

 Kim M. Horn, MBC
Master Bridal Consultant | 1 of 59 in the World
Publisher | Pres. |
AZ State Coordinator | Assoc. of Bridal Consultants
ABC 2010 Conference Chair – worked with David Tutera

O 480.921.7891
C 602.418.9089
F 480.829.6292

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