Mary Jacobs Events

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What do we serve for dinner?

Posted on May 11, 2018 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Oh the timeless question of "What do we serve for dinner?"  The truth is that the unending options are mind boggling and can overwhelm even a seasoned vet.  So where do you start?  Well...here are my top 5 tips for picking an appropriate menu:

  1. Mind your own budget!  Keep in mind that Off Premise catering is always more expensive (so if you are getting married in a tent or venue that does not offer catering on site).  So before you start thinking food, make sure the venue you choose allots for enough money to feed everyone.  Keep in mind that the bar accounts for 25%-40% of your per person price, so before you add that top shelf open bar make sure it doesn't force you to serve pizza and wings.

  2. What kind of feeling is your event?  So for instance, if you are getting married in a formal ballroom...a BBQ buffet where guests are eating ribs with their hands is really not appropriate.  Match the level of formality of your menu to the level of formality of the venue.

  3. Food Counts are going to drive you nuts.  If you decide to give your guests choices (your remember from every wedding in the world...beef, chicken, fish...ugh), remember that you will be responsible for not only getting all your RSVP's together, but also getting the exact number of each food selection to provide to your caterer.  Now of course, a great wedding planner will take care of that for you...but overall it's annoying and not to mention do you think your guests really want to decide what they want for dinner 2 months before they eat it?  If you really have your heart set on a "Plated" option...go with a Duet Plate...you'll thank me later!

  4. Food Stations are super fun and SUPER pricey.  Stations Style weddings can be an absolutely great way to blend different cultures, tell the story of your relationship or just keep the night more relaxed and fun.  They can also bust your budget wide open.  Get all the details of pricing from your caterer before you set your heart this type of service.  Buffets can do a lot of the same things at a much lower price.  Be sure you work with your venue and caterer TOGETHER.  Just because you want stations, doesn't mean they will fit in your room with your guest count, bars, memory tables, photo booth etc.

  5. Finally...Mary what is your favorite type of service????  Hands down, Family Style Dining is my absolute favorite for weddings.  In this type of service, each table gets serving platters/bowls of multiple items to pass, share and enjoy.  You get all the benefits of a buffet, in a more formal manner.  This is a great way to get guests at tables to talk and engage each other and you still don't have to deal with specific food counts...win, win!

Want more time to dance at your reception?

Posted on March 30, 2014 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (0)

We always say that the ceremony is the reason that a wedding day even exists, so in turn is the absolute most important part of the day.  Having said that, once your vows are said and the beautiful moment when two become one has ended, what follows should be a celebration!  This means that you and especially your guests are expecting to CELEBRATE, with dancing, laughter and all the joy that comes with it.  The key to making this happen is to allot enough time for guests to truly enjoy themselves and each other.  Timing and editing can make or break the party portion of your big day.


So how do you make sure your guests have a chance to break out those dancing shoes?  Keep an eye on how many formalities you intend to include.  We sometimes see brides who can get so overwhelmed with ideas (it is so very easy to do with all the social sites, media, magazines etc.) and want to put as many into their day as possible.  What we want to help our brides to do understand is that each moment of your day is special, unique and important and just sharing them is enough...not every second needs to be part of a pre-planned itinerary.  Remember also that every formality takes time.  Time to set up, time to carry out, time for applause...time.


A traditional wedding timeline can look something like this (remember this when you talk to your caterer)...when cocktail hour ends, depending on how many guests you have in attendance and how far they have to travel from one spot to another, it can take 15-20 minutes just to get your guests to their seats (even longer if your place cards/escort board is not out during cocktail hour or if your venue doesn't close the bar during this time).  Formal introductions can take another 10-15 minutes (depending on how difficult your bridal party is to line up and if everyone has been located and is where they need to be).  Then add first dance, toasts (let's say 2 for now), blessing....you have already used up on the low end 30-40 minutes and on the high end over an hour.  Now dinner service begins and depending on how many courses you have can be another hour easy.  Believe it or not, 2 hours left to dance is really normal and pretty standard.


Where we want to caution our brides is in adding all the extra's...some are good, too many will cut your reception short and leave you feeling like you never really had the party you dreamed of.  Your family and friends want to be with you and make memories that last forever...not sit through 12 speeches, 8 courses, 6 dances, 4 exhibitions and a partridge in a pear tree...they want you.  Keep this in mind during cocktail hour too...the later the bride, groom and bridal party run, the longer cocktail hour runs.


This is where the years of experience that our team has running these events, from not only a coordinator's stand point, but from an operational management stand point becomes a huge asset to our brides.  Contact us today to set up an appointment and learn lots of additional ways to create your dream day!