Recently, we gathered all of the Atlanta Wedding Loft vendors together for our quarterly dinner meeting. Similar to a bridal shower or rehearsal dinner, these quarterly dinner meetings are small and intimate, designed to create great conversation while enjoying a delicious meal. To create that feel, we called upon Peachtree Tents & Events for help and they suggested an estate table that would allow for everyone to be seated at one table. Additionally they recommended the mahogany folding chairs to accent the casually elegant look we were going for. The estate table was dressed in ivory linens, a brown paper runner and simply adorable centerpieces put together by our in house creative guru, Melissa Roth.
Nothing accents a great looking table more than an amazing meal and Zest Atlanta Catering did not disappoint us with the decadent dinner buffet they prepared for us. From beef tenderloin to salmon served upon a bed of cous cous, the wide variety of menu items satisfied even the most selective palette. As Hannah Harris mentioned, “It’s important to consider your guest in your menu selection and offering variety whenever possible.” To say we were spoiled, is putting it lightly.
Whether your event is big or small, having a great atmosphere and great food can make all the difference and we were lucky to experience just that!
One of the most important components of any celebration is the food. From holidays to important milestones in one’s life, friends and families gather together to celebrate the occasions while dining around a culinary feast. Food can spark a sense of nostalgia or a connection to one’s culture. The menu can create an overall feel/theme to an event, so it’s no wonder brides and grooms feel a little stressed when it comes to choosing a caterer. Add in the fact that the catering cost could be as much as 65% of the overall wedding budget and that stress is compounded.
Selecting the right caterer doesn’t have to be so painful, a lot of your decisions can be narrowed down by knowing a few key factors. Here are a few to keep in mind when meeting with potential wedding caterers.
1) Budget: Know your wedding budget. Dana Harris from Zest Atlanta Catering says, “Caterers have a wide range of menus and styles as well as prices. Knowing your budget will eliminate caterers outside of your price range. Additionally, you can narrow down the menus that will fit within your budget thus eliminating any potential wedding caterers that may not be able to provide what you are looking for.”
2) Guest Count- Have a good estimate of the number of guests you are expecting. It doesn’t have to be exact, but an idea of the targeted number is recommended. Emily Gomez from Sun In My Belly Catering tells her clients to estimate that 80% of the invited guests will attend. The number of wedding guests could decrease if there is a large amount of out of town guests. The guest count combined with the budget will get you a cost per person estimate which helps you get a clearer picture. When a caterer knows your budget and guest count, they can walk you through the options, offer advice on selection, and give you an estimate of what your final cost might including tax and service charges.
3) Tastings – Tastings are an inspiring and wonderful way to define the menu you want to serve your guests. When you attend a tasting before hiring your caterer, remember that the menu is a sampling of what the caterer offers. You are tasting foods for quality in the beginning versus actually making a menu selection. After you have selected your catering vendor , they will give you an idea of the time frame you will need to finalize a wedding reception menu and work with you to select a menu that is more in line with your vision.
**** Insider Tip: Caterers take into account the time it takes to prepare dishes as well as the ability of the dish to maintain it’s quality based on the time it takes to serve it to the guest. If you have your heart set on a certain menu, talk with your caterer to see if it is feasible to serve it in a large event without compromising it’s quality.
Last but certainly not least, if you have special dietary needs or allergies, please make sure your caterers are aware before your tasting. Giving your caterer as much information up front will make for a easier planning process and allow the caterer to put their best foot forward for your event.
Our new Member Guide is now available online and we couldn’t be more proud of all of our vendors profiles! We invite you to come take a look and let us know what you think! Click on the image above.
The number one question we get the most is “What or who is Atlanta Wedding Loft?” Because we are a newer concept to the wedding industry, we have people wondering if we are a venue or a retail store. We absolutely love sharing all the great things that we are, but sometimes that can get lengthy so we wanted to share with you a little definition of what Atlanta Wedding Loft is…..
1: A collection of distinctive wedding professionals seeking to create a place where brides and grooms can experience wedding planning in a relaxed environment.
2. A planning studio with 16 Individually owned wedding related companies that share a space to meet with brides & grooms, offer classes, provide inspiration and make wedding planning a whole lot easier….
3. Simply – your “all in one” location to find Atlanta’s best wedding vendors. Make an appointment for a cake tasting, a make up trial or to meet with one of our planners, photographers, florists and so much more…
We invite you to come see first hand why our motto is “sit back, relax and let the planning begin…”
The Atlanta Wedding Loft vendors include:
Wedding Planners: A Flawless Event and Circle of Love Weddings
Florist : Tulip and Faith Flowers
Caterers: Sun In My Belly and Zest Atlanta
Stationary: Tickled Ink and Exquisite Events
Photography: David Christensen Photography and The Decisive Moment
Videography: Blue Orchid Production
Event Rentals: Peachtree Tents & Events
Wedding Cake: Frosted Pumpkin
Wedding Favors and Desserts : Dreamy Gelato & Chocolates
Hair & Makeup Artist: POSH Hair & Makeup
Photo Booth: WOW Photo Booth