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Old Daley Catering: First Steps for Wedding Planning

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Q: How should I start planning my wedding? Are there trends that should go? Are there new ones for 2020?
A: There are the color palettes, the color of the year, the revival of dried flowers, consideration of the environment, guest experiences and all that is or should be on its way out. What should a couple do? Which trends should they follow? What action stations or guest experiences should they offer?

Before you talk food, before you visit a venue, before you hire a planner, you must create your budget. Doing a mock invite list is critical to figuring out what that budget might be. Discuss finances with each other and with your families. Discuss expectations and must-haves and then do some research.

Q: What are your tips for choosing a caterer and a venue?
A: If you are thinking about renting a barn or independent historic venue, you should first shop caterers. Often the cost of renting a barn seems reasonable until you price the meal you were hoping to have. Create a menu and ask a few caterers to give quotes; all should be apples to apples for comparison.

If you have a banquet hall in mind, get package information for a few similar venues so you can shop them. Understand the differences in the experiences they offer. Discuss all of the special features that are important to you. Call around to local wedding professionals and get quotes for their services. Look to your friends for referrals and discuss all that you have found out with each other before you book anything at all.  

Once you have scripted what your ideal wedding looks like and have a general idea of what it costs, you can work on where the money will come from and if you need to make some changes to your ultimate plan.  

Q: What’s your advice for personalizing our wedding?
A: There are some things to seriously consider. Trends come and go and ultimately your wedding is about your union, the joining of two families and inviting your guests to be a part of that celebration. Your guests will enjoy the various personal touches and unique activities but, most of all, they remember whether they were able to get what they wanted to drink and if they enjoyed a nice meal. They also remember if the band or DJ was in command of the dance floor and if after dinner was a “party” experience. The photos are for you and often capture moments you were too busy to see. The flowers are the icing on the tables!     

The best advice is to dream, plan, budget and then book. Congratulations!

Written by: Stephanie Pettit 

Stephanie Pettit has a culinary arts and restaurant management degree from Schenectady County Community College and years of experience in the hospitality industry. A chef in the early years, later an event planner, currently her main focus is growing the client base while making sure to take care of those who have been loyal for so many years. She works with Old Daley Catering’s marketing and media consultants on branding and social media programs and directs menu design and overall brand esthetics, human resources and compliance. She rounds out her time with community fundraising and hunger initiatives.