Country Weddings are becoming a preferred style by many of my brides. This weekend we will cater a Country wedding at a dairy...one hour travel. What does that conjure up to you? Cute cows grazing on alfalfa mooing like those California cows? For me? The challenge of flies, wind, a long distance from our base, dimming Autumn sunlight and a family style dinner that must be served fast, hot and lots of it! Oh, did I say we will serve 70 paces from our site kitchen? So you want to be a caterer? Here's how I see it: a pre-set the day before to stage our kitchen and organize the service. Potential problems: The bar, site kitchen and portapoddy are planned to be located behind the head table and in view. How to avoid a train wreck? Install a lattice wall 3/4 across the driveway to block the view of our site kitchen and portapoddy. Install near the food line and closest distance to the dining room saving valuable steps and which should solve the fast hot quotient. Furthest from the view, set the portapoddy which is not construction site quality but a real step into coach, a plus. Next, insist that the bar not be behind the head table and in the path of the servers. There are locations for the bar that are guest friendly….more to come.
September 19, 2010
The day after and although I feel the aches and pain of the physical site work, I know that with proper planning and orchestration, we accomplished our family style ‘country style’ wedding. When I met Tricia, she was well into the planning of her ‘country style’ wedding. Vintage plates, checked pinked edge napkins wrapped with twine, milk glass vases with country flowers, burlap runners would be her table setting. Hay bales, quilts, a burlap aisle runner, Mason jars on shepherds hooks, her ceremony setting. Additional elements, a black chalkboard bar menu, stacked weathered drawers painted with lemonade, bar, photos and ‘banos’ as signs and a photo ‘wall’ of plywood covered with wall paper with the cutouts framed and a lace covered table loaded with framed photos of the bride and groom and their families.
Although Trish had a plan and itinerary in mind, I believe I contributed by advice, advice, advice. After years of experience, I cannot help but take a devil’s advocate approach. Careful scrutiny and adhering to ‘red flags’ I think will avoid the potential problems.
The results were a pre-set, site kitchen equipment including our ovens, our lattice enclosed food line nearest the dining tables. Thankfully, the portapoddy was parked out of view, the bar relocated against the fence and very ‘guest-friendly’ and the bride’s table positioned under the large tree, the most central location. The tree had lanterns, lights and votives artfully hung and was the most magical of all. With this great evolved plan, the servers were able to serve fast, the food, hot and with the family style bowls of foods filled and re-filled lots of it! Next up: Family Style Soup and Panini Country Wedding in ShaverLake. I have a site evaluation Monday. I will let you know all about it!