Here Comes The Bride…The June Bride!

The romance of being a June Bride is the dream of many young women.  Perhaps the awakening of summer with fragrant flowers and the strong possibility of beautiful weather on the wedding day are enticing as young couples begin their new life together; not to mention it’s a fantastic way to start your summer! Even more appealing is the outdoor decor mother nature provides….green trees, blooming flowers, and sunshine. It seems like love is in the air!  The modern day romance of a June wedding has been a tradition for decades. But that tradition actually began centuries ago and may not be as romantic as you may have thought!

The allure of a June wedding actually dates back to Roman times. Juno is the goddess of marriage and childbirth and protector of women.  The month of June was named after her; so, in turn, June became the perfect month for marriage.  Couples who married in June would be blessed with prosperity and happiness.  But somewhere along the way, being a June Bride took on a more practical meaning.  During medieval times, the “annual” bath fell in May so the June brides still smelled relatively fresh, as well as all the guests! What better time to get married!  In Victorian times, another tradition was added with the carrying of bouquets.  Since flowers are abundant in June, they were used for wedding decor and for bouquets so the scent of the flowers masked body odor…not so romantic, but very thoughtful!  Another practical consideration for June weddings in earlier times was focused around conception.  If you conceived in June, you would still be able to work the harvest in the fall, give birth, and be ready for the next harvest the following year!

So you may be wondering why the month of May wasn’t chosen, especially since the “annual bath” took place in May! Well, ancient tradition says it would be unlucky to marry in May since that month was dedicated to the Feast of the Dead. Thankfully, ancient traditions have subsided and in our modern day, May is now almost as popular as June for Weddings and just as lucky!

In today’s economy, it is also practical to pick June.  The cost of flowers drops as they come into season, adding a cost savings for the bride and groom.  With school out in June, it also makes it easier for guests to attend June weddings before they begin summer vacationing in July.  If you are planning a destination wedding, summer months are typically low season making it less expensive for you and your guests!  Based on weather and hurricane season, June is suggested as the best summer month for island destination weddings.  Practical is good, but romance is better!

Fortunately, as time went on, the tradition of a June Wedding turned back to romance.  Despite some of the unromantic traditions and practical reasons, the romance of being a June Bride far outshines the medieval times. In 1948, the movie “June Bride” and the musical “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” in 1954 reinforced the tradition of the June Bride.  The song, “June Bride” says, “Oh, they say when you marry in June you’re a bride all your life, and the bridegroom who marries in June gets a sweetheart for a wife.”  What better reason to be a June Bride!

Don't Panic When It Comes To The FOOD!

You’ve decided to have a party….Great! You’ve selected a date, sent out the invitations, chosen a menu, and now you have to order the food.  One of the most common questions we get at Capriotti’s from our customers is, “How much food do I order???”.  Don’t Panic! Every hostess is afraid of not having enough food for their guests or having too much food that they are eating leftovers for a week!  As experienced caters, we have found that answering the following questions will help you determine the right amount of food for your next catered event.

What time of day is your event? If you are having a dinner time party versus a lunch time party, your guests may be hungrier and expect to eat more so plan on healthier appetites!

Who are your guests? Will the party be for all adults or adults and children? Taking a few minutes to breakdown your guest list by age groups is another great way to narrow down how much food to order.  Are the children under 12 or teenagers?  To feed those “under 12”, consider them as 1/2 a person for the guest count.  Those over 12 should be treated the same as an adult guest and in some cases, those teenagers may even have a bigger appetite!

How many entrees are you serving?  Most items are sold per pound and serve approximately 3 to 4 people. So it’s easy enough to determine if you are having 40 people, you would need approximately 10 pounds of your entree.  However, If you are serving multiple entrees like chicken, roast beef, pasta and meatballs, you may want to reduce the amount you order for each entree and cut it down by 1/3 on the assumption your guests will eat a smaller portion of each entree. 

How many side dishes will you have?  Again, most cold salads are sold by the pound and serve 3 to 4 people so you can base the amount you need on how many different salads you are having.  If you are having multiple salads such as potato salad, cole slaw, and pasta salad, you can also reduce the amount you would order by 1/3 per salad.  Adding in a tossed salad or antipasto adds a “vegetable alternative” for your guests and is a great filler item.

Are you serving appetizers?  If you are serving appetizers, your guests may not be as hungry as you think by the time the main course rolls around.  If you are just serving cheese, crackers, and veggies, stick to the original order of food you determined based on the number of entrees and side dishes.  If you are serving heavy appetizers and several of them, decrease your entree and side dish orders by 1 pound per 20 people.

How many desserts are you serving?  When fabulous desserts are being served, your guests may limit their consumption of the main course to “save room for dessert”.  If you are planning on serving a variety of desserts, cut back on your entree and side dish orders by 1 pound per 20 people.

The fear of running out of food is always in the front of the hostess’s mind!  Alleviate that stress by relying on an experienced caterer like Capriotti’s!  We are happy to assist you in recommending what menu items work well together and the amount of food you will need to order.  So, don’t panic…give us a call for your next catered event: 570-929-7200.  At Capriotti’s we are in the business of passionately perfecting life’s celebrations!

CELEBRATING IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS

Summer Time, Summer Time, Summer Time! Although it may not officially be summer, the long awaited warmer weather has finally arrived! With sunnier, warmer days comes the thought of parties in the great outdoors!  And what better time to start planning a party than now…May is National BBQ Month! At Capriotti’s, we are celebrating National BBQ Month with a special promotion…read on! If you are one of the many that is planning an Outdoor Picnic, Reunion or Graduation Party this upcoming summer, now is the time to get the plans in motion!

So what is involved in planning a great outdoor event? We’ve compiled a quick checklist to keep you on track.

3 to 6 Weeks Before:

  • Set a date and call the Caterer to check availability if you will be relying on their staff to be present at your event.  For take out orders, reserve your date and time for delivery.  Also, get recommendations on a menu; the experienced Caterer can assist with what menu items would work best for your type of party.
  • Set a budget – include costs for invitations, paper products, decorations, beverages, food, tent, tables, chairs, wait staff, and any other item you will have on your list.
  • Compile a Guest List – will your event be for adults only or are children invited? If children are invited, what activities will be available for them? Do you need to order a bounce house, a clown, or arrange for lawn games?  Having activities for kids will allow your adult guests to sit back and enjoy the party.
  • Order the Tent, Table and Chairs and make arrangements for hosting indoors in the event of inclement weather.  Will you need to order temporary restrooms or will your home bathrooms accommodate the number of guests?
  • Pick a Theme and Send out Invitations.

2 Weeks Before:

  • Order Centerpieces or if you are making your own, get all the supplies and begin assembly.
  • Finalize the menu and call the Caterer with your initial order and count. Inquire about what date they will need your final count.
  • Get Party Supplies – paper products, silverware, decorations and tablecloths.
  • Compile a Playlist – keep the guest list in mind when selecting the music. 
  • Clean Up the Yard and Plan your Set Up. How will you arrange the tables? Where will the food be served? Do you have enough coolers to keep beverages cold? Do you need access to electricity? 

1 week before:

  • Shop for non-perishable food items/drinks that you are handling…make any food ahead of time that can be frozen.
  • Gather any platters and serving pieces you will need.
  • Confirm food order and delivery time with Caterer.
  • Keep Organized! Make a List of the items you need to take care of the day of the event and include a timeline to keep yourself on track: pick up times, food prep, table set ups, ice for coolers, etc.

2 to 3 Days Before:

  • Decorate – at this point, you should be able to determine if your event will be held outdoors or indoors.
  • Finish Grocery Shopping.
  • Notify the neighbors – out of courtesy, let your neighbors know you are expecting a large crowd and apologize for any inconvenience in advance that parking may cause.

One Day Before:

  • Do any food prep that can be done ahead of time (slicing, dicing, marinating).
  • Set up Tables.
  • Give your yard and house a last minute clean up.

Day of the Event:

  • On the day of the event, follow your List and Timeline – Having a list of last minutes items (buying ice, setting out food, etc.) and a timeline to follow will ease Party Day stress.
  • Enjoy!

At Capriotti’s we offer fabulous picnic menus …Let us take care of the food!  In celebration of National BBQ Month, when you book your Catered Picnic with Capriotti’s by May 31st, you will receive Free BBQ Chicken (value $1.95 per guest) as a Special Add On for your summer picnic, party, or reunion…just mention “BBQ Month” when calling. (Offer valid for catered picnics May 1 thru September 5, 2016).

Cold Feet? Getting Over Wedding Day Jitters

I do….or, do I? Pre-Wedding Jitters are very common and most brides (and grooms) start to get worried if they are making the right decision! We are all familiar with the term “cold feet….a feeling of worry or doubt that is strong enough to stop you from doing something that you planned to do”.  Following your instinct is good; but before you cancel the caterer and hop on the next plane out of town, take a few moments to find out what is making you so anxious.

runaway_bride_v2Are you freaking out because it might rain, the food will be cold, or something more substantial like questioning whether you will be a good wife or husband and whether you can stay committed for life?  

Your new marriage is not doomed because you have “cold feet”, you just need to figure out what is causing your anxiety.  Many nervous brides are bombarded by people constantly asking them about their plans and saying, “Are you nervous about the Big Day?”.  With all these constant questions, it is no wonder a calm, under control bride becomes anxious.  Is there a serious issue or just society making you feel like you should be nervous?

If you are starting to feel anxious about your upcoming wedding, take a deep breath and evaluate what is causing these jitters.  Left unaddressed, these little jitters will become stronger and stronger and can even lead to physical symptoms such as difficulty sleeping or even stomach issues. If your anxiety goes beyond some of the following common causes, sit down with your fiancé or a counselor before saying, “I do”.

Rain, Rain, Go Away! Unless your name is Mother Nature, you have no control of what the weather will be on your wedding day.  Constantly checking the weather adds unnecessary stress to your wedding planning.  Set the date and make a plan for any adjustments in case of rain.  Address this once and move on.

Photographers, The DJ/Band, The Florist, The Reception Venue…You are relying on so many other people to pull off this big event!  The worries associated with everyone doing their job according to your plans are probably at the top of your list! Be sure to book professionals who have wedding experience and leave the details in their capable hands. When it comes to the Wedding Reception, using an experienced caterer to handle all the details should put you at ease.  Meet with the Wedding Coordinator at the Venue well in advance to discuss your vision, ask questions, and get a signed contract to confirm date and pricing.

Money, Money, Money!  Nothing is more stressful than blowing the wedding budget you initially set!  When setting your budget, be realistic.  Don’t set a budget of $200 for flowers if your choices will end up costing you $2,000.  Research costs from local vendors before determining your budget.  Once you have come up with the budget, add 20% to cover unexpected expenses and then stick closely to that budget.  Don’t let money worries consume your day.  This is a day for you and your spouse to celebrate with friends and family….blowing your budget will only lead to continued post wedding stress.

Does This Dress Make Me Look Fat? Most women have the subconscious worry about
their body type and how their wedding dress looks on them.  They wonder, should I have dieted more? Chosen a Different Style? Exercised More?  The questions can go on and on; but keep in mind, your fiancé is marrying you for you, not because of how you look in your wedding gown!

In Laws, Out Laws and Everyone in Between!  Celebrating your day with family is one of the most important things you can do.  Nevertheless, it can also be one of the most stressful parts of your wedding.  Relatives wanting their “little darling” to be part of your bridal party can be a difficult situation to deal with. To ensure an enjoyable day, lay out your wedding plans to family members, explaining that you would love to include everyone as part of your bridal party; but unfortunately, it’s just not possible.  Family needs to be understanding and be on their best behavior for your day!  In the case of divorced parents, make your day run smoothly by meeting with family members in advance and discussing who they are sitting with and what pictures you would like taken together.  Get everyone on the same page in order to eliminate wedding day chaos!

Who Me? The Center of Attention? It is “your day”.  However, the stress of being the center of attention can be overwhelming, especially when it comes time to say your vows. If being showered with attention all day makes you uncomfortable, keep in mind you are surrounded by family and friends…the people who know you best. With the support of your spouse and having them share 50% of the attention, relax and enjoy.

Running out of “tomorrow’s” – Procrastination can be the down fall of being calm for your wedding day.  Many weddings are planned over a year in advance so there is plenty of time to get things done.  Make a list of “to do’s” with reasonable deadlines, delegate where necessary, and get moving on that list!

Absolutely Perfect! Every bride and groom want the Perfect Day, but life happens and things don’t always go according to plan.  Eliminate unnecessary stress by taking the word “perfect” out of your vocabulary.  Plan to the best of your ability and go with it…enjoy the day and remember, the focus is on celebrating the beginning of your new life together!bride and groom

Still have “cold feet” about your wedding?  Maybe you just need a warmer pair of socks!

Information adapted from: Brides.com and PsychCentral.com

Wedding Venues: The 1st Appointment!

http://www.capriottisinc.com

“First Appointments” with wedding reception venues are so important! As I mentioned in our first blog post, not only do I plan weddings professionally at Capriotti’s, but I’m a soon-to-be-Bride planning my own wedding. This has certainly helped me in helping the couples we meet – trust me, I can relate! Check out this short video I posted to YouTube where I let you know how to get the most out of your First Appointments.

One of the first major decisions you’ll make together is where to have your Wedding & Reception. These events will produce some of the most cherished memories of your life, moments shared with family, friends and each other – the most important people in your lives. A wedding is one of life’s major “purchases” – each dollar & each minute can be spent just once. Of course you want value – but the results have to be nothing less than – breathtaking!

I’m sure you have some places in mind. Check them out – do some research! Look at the Homepages, Facebook and Pinterest. Each venue will feature on their pages what they feel are their strengths. Then compare that to reviews on Facebook, Google or sites dedicated to Weddings, such as Wedding Wire or The Knot. Read the reviews carefully – notice the types of words people use to describe their experiences. The words that are used over and over begin to offer a good idea how people view that venue. Do the words used describe excellence – or do they give you the “just OK” vibe? Now it’s “show and tell” time! Do the pictures “show” what the words “tell”? This is a great way to help decide whether a wedding venue can match your vision.  Now it’s time to schedule a time to tour the facility and have the “First Appointment.”

Aside from what I discussed in the video, other general observations can be made. Are Weddings the primary function of that venue or are they a “side” business? What is included in the Wedding packages – for example, is there a bridal room and is there an added fee for it’s use? Does the venue help with the table/room/display set-ups – or will you need to do it yourself or hire an outside vendor? How is the food and are there tasting appointments so you can sample the menu selections? Who will you be working with – and how will you stay in touch through the planning or if you have questions?  In other words – how “personal” does it feel? Does it feel like your reception will be customized to your vision or will your day will have to match theirs? How much staff will be on hand – this is a key! At Capriotti’s Weddings, we guarantee 1 server for every 10-12 guests. Have you ever been at a Wedding where half the room is eating and the other half waiting – then half the room ready to dance while the others were just served – inadequate staffing can disrupt your entire schedule.

Finally – DON’T ASSUME! Ask! Most venues have special packages for Fridays or Sundays or off-peak months. Last year we had a Wedding Focus Group where one bride told us she selected another venue because she assumed she couldn’t afford ours. She later learned otherwise from a friend who was engaged – don’t be in the “had I known then what I know now” boat.  The more informed you are, the happier you’ll be wherever your “Happily Ever After” begins!

If you have any questions or issues you’d like to see addressed in future posts, just leave a comment! Finally, here are some great planning tools that can help you choose your venue, plan your budget, and select the vendors for services you need. Talk with you soon!