Tag Archives: Maryland Catering
How do you know what wedding reception meal style will be the most conducive for your big day ?
Let’s review the pros and cons for many wedding reception meal styles. From Plated, to Buffet, Stations, Cocktail Parties, and Family Style, there are many aspects to consider, before even discussing the food itself!
Plated meals are the most traditional form of dinner service. There are usually at least two courses, salad and main course. The bride and groom may select two or three main course options for their guests, or opt to have a dual entrée for their guests to enjoy.
Pros – Plated reception meal service is the most traditional dinner style for weddings. It is formal and elegant, with servers placing beautifully plated entrees in front of each guest. Guests are able to sit and enjoy each other’s company as they enjoy each course. Activities, such as toasts and special dances may be spread between courses to provide more time for dancing and other activities.
Cons – Plated service requires a large number of staff (between staff for plating the meal and servers), which may increase the total cost of your event. Guests may also be limited to one entrée choice from a pre selected list. Also, this style of service requires the most work from a couple. You must provide the caterer with a list of who will get each meal, along with a code that will be on the place cards for servers to see what meal each guest ordered.
Buffet style dinner service is often considered the most casual.
Pros – Buffet style dinner service is the least expensive of all wedding dinner service options. It requires the least amount of catering staff (though servers are still needed to refill the buffet, clear dirty plates, and refill guests’ water glasses). Buffets offer more options than plated service, allowing guests to pick and choose what they like, as well as the portion sizes of each selection. Buffet style is social and promotes mingling between guests, while going to and from the buffet, they are able to take in more of the venue as well.
Cons –Being the most casual, usually guests will be serving themselves at the buffet, and must carry their plate back to the table. This style of dinner service requires a larger quantity of food, which may lead to more waste. Each table must also wait their turn to go to the buffet.
Station style dinner service is where food choices are spread over various food “stations”. Each station has a theme or style, such as a Maryland station with crab cakes and seafood, create your own pasta station, or the traditional carving station. Some stations may have a chef preparing items to order. This style of wedding meal service tends to be very interactive for guests.
Pros – Stations is a great way for you and your significant other to showcase your personality. Guests love the interactive feel and variety of the selections. With stations spread out, your venue is utilized the most, guests are drawn to areas of the venue that they may not notice with other options. Similar to the buffet style, guests may choose the items they like and their portions. But having on average three stations, guests may not have to wait to receive their meals.
Cons – Having various stations requires more room in your venue. With interactive stations, a chef and extra service staff is often necessary which can increase the cost.
Family style dinner service combines the traditional feel of a seated meal with the options of a buffet. Each table is given large portions of each menu item to share among the guests at that table.
Pros- During family style service, guests often receive their food faster than the other options (provided you don’t have a chatty aunt hogging the potatoes). It is essentially a buffet, without the line. Again, the food choices are more diverse than a seated meal. Family style meals force guest interaction with one another at their table.
Cons – Family style is the most expensive of all wedding reception meal styles. More staff is required than buffet, and the most food is used as well as wasted. While forcing guest interaction can be a great thing among your friends and family, careful detail must be given to your seating arrangement as guests must share with one another.
Only you know which of these options are most conducive to the theme and feel of your wedding. No matter which option you choose, your guests are sure to have an incredible time on your special day!
Zeffert and Gold Catering Wedding Spotlight; Mark and Ariel’s Chic Wedding at the Baltimore Museum of Industry
This past weekend, we had the pleasure of catering Mark and Ariel’s wedding at the Baltimore Museum of Industry. The fun & chic decor at this wedding and reception won over the guests, as they were able to lounge comfortably and in style on plush sofas at the wedding reception. The couple had an amazing candy bar display, and a decadent ice cream sundae bar for their guests. The perfect way for guests to satisfy their sweet tooth at a summer wedding in Baltimore. There were so many personal touches from this beautiful wedding. Thanks to Beth from Chicka Chicka Boom Boom for the awesome event design! Check out the photos below!
There’s something special about an outdoor wedding: the unparalleled beauty of a rocky ocean shore, a romantic botanical garden, the warm familiarity of your own backyard. But as gorgeous as these sites are, there’s also a significant amount of legwork and orchestration that goes into planning an alfresco celebration. Zeffert and Gold Catering and Event Planning has been working with clients to perform immaculate outdoor weddings and receptions in the Maryland and Washington D.C. areas for over 25 years. From the lighting to the parking to restrooms, here’s how to pull off a flawless tented reception. Tents Make sure to know the different types of tents. There are many types of tents, but two of the most common are frame tents and pole tents. You definitely want to ask your caterer or event planner to show you pictures of what the tent is going to look like. There are a remarkable amount of differences that can change the look of a tent to suit your style whether that is backyard casual or classic elegant. Keep bugs at bay To control insects on your wedding day, think about having your site sprayed by an exterminator two days beforehand and placing citronella candles throughout the space. Signs Since your wedding venue may not be a place that holds weddings often, take the time to make signs that will show guests where to go. Simple arrows with signs pointing towards the ceremony, cocktail reception, and main reception will help guests get where they need to go. Lighting your site To set the mood (and help guests see each other), add paper lanterns, pinspot lighting, twinkling lights or stately chandeliers. Light up surrounding walkways for easy access to the bathrooms. Think luminaries and small up— lights along the paths and Mason jars with tea lights hanging from nearby tree branches. Remember to: Have an electrician check out the space before lighting up your tent. Not only will he be able to make sure you pass all the proper inspection laws, but he should also be able to make recommendations as to whether you’ll need to rent an extra generator and how to safely secure your lighting fixtures. Bonus tip: You may want to keep a lighting pro (who has wedding experience) on hand to ensure everything stays in place—and lit up—all evening. Providing…necessities If there aren’t any restrooms nearby (and even if there are a few), you should consider renting them. These days, you can find luxury portable restrooms with amenities like in—room music, granite countertops and air conditioning or heaters depending on the season. Remember to: Give guests something to talk about with a few subtle extras like luxe soaps, fresh flowers and monogrammed towels. Bonus tip: The general rule of thumb is to have one bathroom or stall for every 35 guests. This way, guests will spend less time standing in line and more time partying on the dance floor. Choosing music Let the outdoor setting guide your music choice. If you’re on the beach, you can’t go wrong with steel drums. For a backyard reception, you might go for a folk or bluegrass group. Remember to: Make sure your band or DJ has enough power to supply their equipment. This may mean bringing in an extra generator so you don’t lose the lights in the middle of the party. They should be able to tell you what they’ll need to set up at your site. Also, figure out where the band or DJ and dance floor will be. (Hint: Make sure it’s not in the path from the kitchen to the tables.) Bonus tip: Most city ordinances don’t allow outdoor music late into the evening; do your research and then commit to a time when the band or DJ will unplug. Creating the menu Having an outdoor wedding gives you flexibility to get creative with your menu. Under a tent you might throw a New England clambake, a spicy Southern barbecue or even a Hawaiian pig roast. But you probably wouldn’t even consider those options for a ballroom affair. Regardless what food appears on your menu, plan to have plenty of cold water and refreshing nonalcoholic drinks on hand—especially if the weather is hot and humid. Lemonade and iced tea are good staples. Remember to: Schedule a site visit for your caterer to make sure she’s well—equipped to handle the space. Also keep in mind that in most cases, your caterer will need a separate prepping tent. And don’t forget about the need for electricity and running water. Work with your caterer to draw up a detailed floor plan. Bonus tip: Make sure your catering company has experience running tented events. They’ll not only provide all the right supplies (saving you the hassle of having to rent them) and set up and clean up, but they’ll also know to have enough wait staff on hand to ensure that all of your guests are taken care of. Zeffert and Gold Catering has been working with clients to make their outdoor wedding as worry free as possible. Please let our experienced staff help you to plan each and every detail leaving you with nothing to do on the wedding day but enjoy. For your next tented event make sure to call Zeffert and Gold Catering at 410-944-4481
1. I will not do anything… before the guest list.
It’s not the most fun part of planning (and we’ll be honest, it’s one of the most likely to lead to a fight or two or twelve), but you shouldn’t make any wed-day decisions before you have your wedding guest list somewhat firmly in place. Why, you ask? Well, do you want to have a nonrefundable deposit down on that cozy restaurant room that fits 75 when your mother-in-law’s additions bump your list up over 200? Exactly. Once everyone’s in agreement, then you can move forward. That said, this means that one of the parts of your wedding you can plan immediately (or at least talk over with your fiance) is what kind of atmosphere you’d like for your wedding. Do you want an intimate, close friends and family-only affair, or do you want to throw the event of the season for 300-plus people? Later, when you’re in the guest-list trenches, this bit of planning will help back up your gut instinct about whether to say yes (or no) to guest-list additions.
2. I will not end up on YouTube for the wrong reason.
Adorable processional dance? Totally acceptable path to stardom. Bridezilla freak-out on the florist who delivers hyacinths instead of hydrangeas? Not so much. On your wedding day, all eyes (and camera phones) will be on you, meaning your every move is subject to instant Internet infamy. Mind your manners and keep your panic attacks quiet to avoid the wrong kind of publicity. But that video of your dad doing the worm during your father-daughter dance? Internet gold.
3. I will not realize that grape isn’t my color — with two months to go.
You should feel free to rethink, redo, and revamp any element of your wedding that you want — unless you’ve accepted a ring from it (just kidding). This doesn’t have to mean yet another huge investment or reneging on a bunch of contracts — you’ll be surprised how easy it is to make simple additions or subtractions and change your whole style. Already ordered those pastel bridesmaid dresses? Think about adding a bold sash or accessorizing with chandelier earrings to liven them up a bit.
Unsure about the color scheme you chose? Pay an extra visit to your florist and work out changes to your bouquets and centerpieces — adding new blooms in all of your arrangements will introduce a new color throughout the room. Same thing if you’ve already ordered the linens — spice them up with bright table runners or overlays. If you decide you really can’t live with it, chances are you can go back on your first choice — just remember that it will have a cost. A good rule of thumb is that if you’ve already signed a contract or seen a proof, you will have to pay extra for any changes or additions you make. But if it’s still relatively early in your planning process, don’t be afraid to make the change. Remember, you’re getting married to your husband, not your centerpieces.
4. I will not use my Facebook status as a personal wedding journal.
Okay, we know you’re excited about planning your wedding, but that girl from your college history class couldn’t care less that you finally booked a reception band (not to mention understand that passive-aggressive comment about the best man). We’re not saying the everyday details aren’t interesting — we’d just recommend a different platform. Instead of overloading your Twitter feed with wedding details, create a wedding-planning blog for those who want to keep tabs on the ups and downs.
5. I will trust my vendors.
Before you start micromanaging every decision your wedding planner makes, remember one thing: You’re paying them for a reason. Consider their experience and expertise an opportunity for you to relax. They want you to love the result (after all, your recommendation hinges on it!), so they’re going to strive to please. And wouldn’t you rather help someone who trusts your abilities rather than second-guesses everything you do? There’s no harm in giving a good amount of direction at the outset, but asking for daily progress reports is overkill.
6. I will not feel guilty about having an adults-only wedding.
Whether you’re worried about babies crying during the ceremony or just can’t afford to seat entire families for dinner, it’s your decision whether or not you want to invite the little ones. As long as you’re consistent about this rule (no exceptions for your closest friends!) and upfront in your invitations and on your wedding website, you shouldn’t feel bad if you have to tactfully put the kibosh on your second cousin who tries to RSVP for her toddler triplets.
7. I will attempt (at least a little) DIY.
Even the least crafty bride can undoubtedly personalize a few details of her wedding, and the bragging rights — not to mention the savings — will be well worth the effort. Try your hand at creating your favors or ceremony programs. If those tasks seem to daunting, keep it simple: Put your excellent penmanship to use and write out the escort cards, or make your own welcome bags for out-of-town guests with maps of the area and a few local goodies.
8. I will acknowledge that some people might not want to be the “guest book attendant”.
You can’t put all your friends in the wedding party, but there are usually a few people left over that you still want to honor…so you create “special” jobs, like cake servers and guest book attendants. Our advice: Unless your guest book is especially complicated, an attendant probably isn’t necessary. Honorary jobs are still jobs, and chances are, they’ll have a much better time if you just let them enjoy the party rather than having them stand guard by the guest book.
9. I will actually eat the dinner at my reception. (That includes cake!)
Make sure you take time with your new husband to really enjoy the party you worked so hard to plan. If you spend your whole wedding day directing the photographer and making sure the bridal party makes their entrance on cue, you’ll be missing out on a lot of amazing memories.
10. I will look on the bright side — no matter what.
Did your outdoor ceremony get rained out? Instead of panicking, throw on some cute rain boots, grab a big umbrella, and start posing for some adorable rainy-day photographs. The DJ played the wrong song for your bridal party’s entrance? Chances are no one else noticed. After months of obsessing over the details, it’s easy to get lost in them. Loosen up, keep in mind what’s important (you’re getting married!), and we promise that, even if the caterer serves twice-baked potatoes instead of mashed, it’ll all be great in the end.
Adapted from Justine Lorelle Blanchard’s Column on www.theknot.com
Zeffert and Gold Catering at Marielle’s Exquisite Bat Mitzvah at Congregation B’nai Tzedek in Montgomery County
This past Saturday, Zeffert and Gold’s Kosher division, Celebrations Kosher Catering, headed out to Congregation B’nai Tzedek in Potomac, Maryland for Marielle’s Bat Mitzvah. The space was beautifully decked in purple and silver accents and decorative pieces hanging from the ceiling. Da Vinci’s Florist and Lighting decorated the space with white drapery, flowers, purple up-lighting and hip furniture. Following the ceremony, cocktail hour was held in the lobby space with an assortment of appetizers including a delicious sushi bar with a live sushi chef.
There was never a shortage of activities for the kids because there was a photo booth, a customized airbrush painting table where the kids could choose their design on sweatshirts, a snow cone stand and much more. Washington Talent’s MC, Chad along with the rest of his crew brought the excitement and kept everyone on the dance floor the entire night. The kids especially enjoyed the scavenger hunt game, where a chair was taken away after each round until the last kid remained.
Marielle had a candle lighting ceremony and a montage to commemorate her becoming a Bat Mitzvah. After dinner, Marielle’s candy bar opened, where her guests could fill up mini mason jars with a variety of candy. It was a special night for Marielle, her family and Celebrations Kosher Catering was privileged to be a part of it. Congratulations on becoming a Bat Mitzvah Marielle! Thanks for letting us be there for your special day!
Decorations and Lighting: Da Vinci’s Florist
Music: Washington Talent
Venue: Congregation B’nai Tzedek
Catering in the Baltimore County Community; Zeffert and Gold Works With Rose of Sharon Equestrian School
Zeffert and Gold had the honor and privilege to help the Rose of Sharon Equestrian School this past Saturday in Glen Arm, Maryland. Joan Marie Twining brought a special vision to life when her love for horses and her passion towards helping people with disabilities merged together. Joan’s home sits on 12 beautiful acres of farmland, and decided to build an indoor learning facility right on her property. The gorgeous riding arena is a place that provides people of all ages a therapeutic learning experience. The Rose of Sharon Equestrian School’s website comments that, “At ROSES, individuals with disabilities work with horses in a low risk, highly structured, authentic learning environment which encourages change, growth, and healing” (www.roseofsharonschool.org, 2013).
This past Saturday was dedicated to thank all of the volunteers, contributors, the construction management team and more who all devoted their time and services to the making of the barn. Rose of Sharon Equestrian School relies solely on volunteers, fund-raising, and charitable contributions to operate so it was important to give thanks to these wonderful individuals.
Zeffert and Gold provided delicious appetizers for these hardworking individuals like as our hot Maryland crab dip, crudité shots, pumpkin cheesecake shooters, marionberry cheese torta with assorted crackers, sweet and sour meatballs, hot apple cider and mango iced tea. We would like to thank Joan Marie Twining for letting us be a part of such a special event, and for helping so many people overcome their obstacles all by the power of riding a horse. Also a big thanks to all of the volunteers and contributors who helped bring this vision to life!
Upon getting engaged, there are a number of questions that brides often wonder. Questions like, “What is the next step?” or “When do I handle certain tasks for the wedding?” These are normal questions to ask, and we have answers to make wedding planning a little easier. Obviously, certain tasks can be done outside of this timeframe, but this is a great guideline to follow when considering all that needs to be done for a successful wedding.
12-16 Months Before:
- Choose your wedding date
- Decide on wedding budget
- Select wedding venue for ceremony and reception
- Hire Caterer
- Contract Photographer/videographer
8-10 months before:
- Select bridal party
- Secure wedding officiant
- Hire band or DJ
- Start compiling names and addresses for guest list
- Set up gift registry
- Start looking for wedding dress
- Engagement party
5-7 Months before:
- Finalize guest list
- Arrange accommodations
- Select wedding cake
- Begin preparations for honeymoon
- Book florist
- Shop for wedding bands
3 Months before:
- Send out invitations
- Select tuxedos
- Finalize menu items with caterer
- Arrange transportation
- Order wedding favors
2 Months before:
- Choose wedding music
- Select location for rehearsal dinner
- Schedule dress alterations
- Confirm order with florist
1 Month before:
- Design wedding programs
- Apply for marriage license
- Final gown fitting
- Finalize details with all vendors, including hair and makeup
1-2 Weeks before:
- Call any non-RSVP guests
- Give caterer finalized headcount
- Pick up marriage license
- Finalize song choices with DJ or band
- Confirm rehearsal plans
- Confirm vendor delivery times and dates
- Confirm arrival for guests
- Confirm honeymoon arrangements
- Confirm rehearsal plans
- Pick up formalwear
1 Day before:
- Ensure all final details are squared away
- Pack wedding-day emergency kit
- Get manicure and pedicure
- Put wedding attire and accessories together
- Give rings to best man or maid of honor
- Get a good night’s sleep!
- Eat something and get plenty of water
- Get hair and makeup done
- Have someone check reception site
- Get dressed
- Take pre-wedding photos
- Eat, drink, mingle and celebrate marriage
After the Honeymoon:
- Have wedding gown and flowers preserved
- Enjoy any leftover food given by caterer
- Write thank-you notes
- Change your name
Zeffert and Gold has planned and catered a range of events from the rather large events for 10,000, to the small, intimate affairs and everything in-between. It is entirely up to a client’s preference on how large or small they would like their event. This past Saturday, we planned an intimate French themed wedding for Charles and John at a house in Guilford, Maryland. With just over 30 of their closest family and friends, Charles and John were married by Baltimore’s mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake on the front staircase of the house. The couple had been together for over 15 years so it was an emotional and joyous occasion. French champagne was passed upon guests arriving to the house to further insinuate their French theme.
Charles and John’s ceremony was short and sweet as their family and friends surrounded the entrance way. After the ceremony, guests enjoyed refreshing drinks and passed hor d’oeurves including beef tenderloin canapé on garlic crostini with a béarnaise sauce, gorgonzola creamed spinach topped with grilled pear, finished with a drizzle of black truffle oil in a phyllo cup, zucchini fritters topped with crème fraiche, duck rillettes on toasted brioche topped with lingonberry preserves, and more.
After cocktail hour, the grand dining room table was decorated in ivory flowers and Eiffel towers, and delicious cuisine chosen by Charles and John. The couple chose true French dinner items that included Chicken Galantine with pistachios served with cranberry compote on crispy baguettes, Pâté de Campagne served with cornichons, Dijon, capers, red onion and separated oeufs with port wine cranberry compote on the side, an assorted French cheese selection, Mini Croque Monsieur’s laced with hollandaise sauce, Salmon en-croute accompanied with dill veloutè, and crudité shots with a red pepper hummus.
Charles and John’s theme was evident from the French cocktails and cuisine and guests raved about it. Whether you are planning a large event or small affair, Zeffert and Gold is able to carry your vision and ensure that your event is exactly how you imagine it. Throughout the planning process, we ensure your thoughts, ideas and goals are met and the cuisine is prepared exactly how you envisioned it. If you have any questions or would like to begin planning your next event don’t hesitate to give us a call at (410) 944-4481. We would be thrilled to make your vision come to life!