Small Business Holiday Party

SONY DSCSome businesses would like to host a holiday party for their employees, but they are too small to justify booking an entire facility for the night. Or sometimes a group of friends or family just want to get together for a holiday night out. Going out to a restaurant for something like this can get expensive, what with drinks, appetizers, and desserts. Well, we have the perfect solution for you!

Join us for our joint Small Business Holiday Party on

Friday December 16th
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM


The Lyman Homestead, Middlefield


Stationed Hors D’oeuvres
Holiday Themed Buffet
Non-alcoholic Beverages
Lyman’s Signature Pies, Coffee & Tea


$75 per person
Open Bar – $90 per person

 Space is limited so contact Dan to reserve your spot today at 860-316-2759 ext. 101 or!

Tamra & David’s Wedding

Betsey was introduced to Tamra and David by their fabulous event planner, Josh Chalmers – President and CEO of Earth2company. Both Tamra and David are Connecticut Police Canine Officers. They also own Guardians Farm, where they raise goats, chickens and pigs. They produce wonderful goat’s milk soaps and lotions and sell them at area Farmer’s markets and local shops.

They chose the very picturesque venue at Barberry Hill Farm in Madison CT, which could also accommodate their 230 guests! The ceremony was in the sheep’s meadow and the bride was brought in by the Farm’s tractor. Thank goodness the weather held out for them!

Their hors d’oeuvres menu consisted of Ripe Tomato and Goat Cheese Bruschetta, Grilled Cheese with Caramelized Apples, and Mini Cheeseburger Beef Sliders. Their family style dinner included Southern Style Pulled Pork, Citrus Marinated Chicken Beast with Herb Oil, Creamy Macaroni and Cheese, Roasted Vegetable Salad with Fresh Herbs, and a medley of Celery Root, Potatoes, Red Onion, Butternut Squash, Carrots.

Lot’s of friends made this day so special for them. One of the bride’s best friends made the wedding cake and cupcakes. Another friend did the bouquet and flower arrangements. They also had a donut truck for late a late night treat. It was a very special wedding for a wonderful bride and groom. Congratulations to Tamra and David Buck! Photos courtesy of Jeffery Herget at Studio 393.

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Thank you for allowing us to be a party of your special day! All the best to you both!

Do I Go Now? The Order of the Ceremony Processional

I have coordinated wedding ceremony processionals that weren’t necessarily “the norm”. There have been men on the “ladies’ side” and vice versa. There have been moms and brothers and sisters stepping in for the father to walk the bride down the aisle. There have been some that did not involve parents at all, or that have involved multiple sets of parents. Sometimes the groomsmen escort the ladies down the aisle, and sometimes they are all standing at the “altar” with the groom. I’ve even had dogs as ring bearers! Anyone that the couple wants can be included in the processional.

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But, those who want a more traditional wedding ceremony processional sometimes aren’t sure of the proper order. Here is a guide to help.

Grandparents of the Groom
Grandparents of the Bride
Officiant, Groom, Best Man (and Groomsmen if desired)
Parents of the Groom
Mother of the Bride (typically escorted by an Uncle, Brother, or other male family member)
Maid of Honor
Flower Girl and Ring Bearer (if included)
Bride and Father


This, of course, isn’t going to fit every ceremony processional, but it will at least send you in the right direction. Just remember, it is YOUR wedding and you can do it any way you’d like!

How Do I Know What to Budget?

“But I’ve never planned a wedding before. How do I know what to budget for everything?”

This is a question we hear often. The fact of the matter is, for most, this is the first time planning an event of this complexity. Most people don’t know what each service costs. We did a little research and it looks like, on average, couples in the Durham, CT area are spending about $50,144 on their wedding. Here is a breakdown by service. As you will see, catering and/or the wedding venue is just about half of the budget.

Note: This chart is based on the spending of other couples getting married, not wedding vendor prices.


If you’re experiencing sticker shock, don’t worry, you’re not the first one to do so. Weddings are not cheap, but we can use this guide to figure out the dollar amount you are likely to spend on your wedding based on your budget:

Attire & Accessories – 5%
Beauty & Spa – 1%
Entertainment – 8%
Flowers & Decorations – 5%
Gifts & Favors – 2%
Invitations – 2%
Jewelry – 13%
Photography & Video – 12%
Planner/Consultant – 5%
Venue/Catering/Rentals – 47%

If you don’t have a $50,000 wedding budget, take the number that you do have and use these percentages to create a spreadsheet for yourself. This will at least give you some idea about the dollar amount you should expect to pay for each service. This is just a guide, and of course, not an exact science. You may want to modify it a bit for your priorities. For example, if you have your heart set on the best wedding DJ, maybe increase that percentage a bit and take some off for, say flowers.

If you’re still unsure, call us! Our wedding planner will help you figure out how to get the best “bang for your buck” and can even save you some money along the way.

Happy planning!

5 Tips for Choosing Your Wedding Menu

I receive so many inquiries weekly saying something along the lines of the following:

“Hi! We are having around 100 guests at our wedding and we are in need of a caterer. Please send me pricing and menus.”

What’s wrong with this email?
#1: There is no date, time or venue listed.
#2: It is lacking details as far as what kind of food the client would like, if they need bar service, linens, dessert, etc.

I think people have gotten so caught up in the catering “packages” and that is just what they are used to. The problem with that is – that’s not Spice Catering Group. We don’t want to box our clients in to a pre-packaged menu for an event that is one of the most important days of your life. Just because one client wants a seated filet mignon dinner does not mean the next client wants the same thing. We pride ourselves on truly customizing each couples’ wedding menu.

So, where does one start in that process if we don’t have packages from which to choose?

  1. What time of year is your wedding taking place? Season plays a big role in your wedding13647130_10155047950538662_934730769_o menu. Spring and summer weddings are usually filled with lighter fare, lots of fresh vegetables and color! Think fresh arugula and watermelon salads, corn chowder shooters, and a beautifully garnished flank steak platter. People don’t want to be eating anything too heavy when it’s hot outside. On the other hand, for fall or winter weddings, comfort foods are wildly popular. Items like butternut squash risotto, lobster mac and cheese and stuffed chicken breast are in high demand.

salmon2. Where is your wedding reception going to be held? The type of venue that you book for your reception is a key part in choosing your menu. We have been doing lots of BBQs at rustic venues like farms and barns. Items like BBQ pulled pork sliders and bourbon spiked brisket have been fan favorites at these venues. Going for more formal affair? Our pomegranate glazed salmon and filet mignon with a red wine demi glaze will serve perfectly.

3. Which service style do you prefer? Are you going for a plated dinner or buffet? Family style or stations? These decisions can also effect your menu. Items like a chicken roulade or HPIM0588braised beef ribs are best for plated dinners, as they are more presentView More: Buffet items are foods that will keep well under heat such as a chicken dish with a sauce, or cold or room temp sides.


4. What time of day is your wedding taking place? Time of day plays an important part in your menu because people are used to eating at a certain time. If your wedding is at peak dinner time, your guests are expecting to be fed well. Late afternoon weddings can be a little more relaxed. A Sunday wedding from about 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, for instance, would be a great time to have cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. It is assumed guests would have had lunch and will have dinner after the reception. Do you love breakfast foods? Don’t rule out a breakfast brunch!

5. Are there certain cultures from you or your fiancee that you want to incorporate into your menu? One of the things we pride ourselves on the most is our ability to create a truly custom menu for your wedding day. If you don’t want the traditional meat and potatoes, we can do that! We actually really love working with clients who aren’t afraid to get a little eclectic with their menu. Our chef is so experienced that he can create just about anything you’d like. Although that special family dish may not be exactly like grandma used to make, he can come pretty close. In fact, we just catered a wedding where we recreated a samosas recipe. At the tasting, the bride commented on how it was the closest to how her family makes them that she has ever had.

Contact us today to talk about what is best for your wedding day! We can’t wait to create the menu of your dreams!


Our First Ever Pop Up Wedding

We were asked by Heidi of Always & Forever Weddings to participate in a “Pop Up Wedding” in June. We had no idea what this was, but we are always open to try new things, so we jumped on board!

The premise was that 3 couples would have their intimate wedding ceremony at different times of the day at the Lyman Homestead. They would go somewhere else for a little while, then they all gathered back at the Homestead with their families for a dessert and cocktail party, which is where we came in.

The menu consisted of:
Assorted Petite Fors
Mini Fruit Tarts
House Made Chocolate Truffles
Mini French Macarons
A Dessert Station of Glazed, Apple Cider and Chocolate Donut Holes Flambéed with Spiced Rum and Liquors, Served with Raspberry Jam and Vanilla Mascarpone
Freshly Brewed Coffees and Teas

We also had a cash bar and staff to pass champagne. It was a fun time for all! Thank you to Heidi Hansen Photography for the photos from the event!
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Samantha & Jay’s DIY Backyard Wedding

Samantha and Jay planned their June backyard wedding in Farmington, CT all the way from Arizona! Samantha contacted Dan over a year ago, and thus, the planning began. There were a lot of emails back and forth, but in the end, everything turned out wonderfully.

As the wedding day became closer, Samantha realized it might be a good idea to hire our day of coordinator to do the setup, coordinate the ceremony, and help with the timing and logistics of the day. As you can see from the photos below by C&W Productions Wedding Photos + Film, everything looked perfect.  I will let the photos speak for themselves.

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Awesome “naked” cake by Silver City Cakes.
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Awesome “naked” cake by Silver City Cakes.

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6 Things To Ask Yourself Before Booking Your Wedding Venue

You just got engaged – CONGRATULATIONS! Once all the important people have been informed (your 2,000 + friends on Facebook and Instagram via a ring pic, #ISaidYes), now it’s time to plan this thing.Buonocore-339

First thing’s first. Choosing the perfect venue.

There are so many Pinterest-worthy wedding venues in Connecticut, it’s hard to choose. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to get started:CoreyEricWED-329
1. How many guests do we want to invite? Some venues have a minimum guest count on certain peak days and dates, particularly banquet facilities with their own catering, because you are paying per person. Other venues who do not offer on-site catering just charge a flat rate for the rental of the venue. Either way, you will want to have an approximate guest count when you start researching venues because some will only allow or fit a certain amount of people.

2. What time of year do we want to get married? Some venues are perfect for the summer (think beaches), but you wouldn’t want to look at one of these venues if you will be planning your wedding for winter. Some of these venues aren’t even open for operation during the winter months. Get your time of year sorted out first, then start the search.heller0602
3. Do we want to have our ceremony and reception at the same location? While the venue you chose for your reception is perfect, does it offer a space to have your ceremony? Or, alternatively, does the site you want to have your ceremony work logistically in relation to the reception venue?

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4. What is our theme? The venue will really set the stage for your wedding. Have you always dreamed of a rustic wedding? Then start looking at the local farms and barns. Want to get married seaside and barefoot in the sand? Connecticut is filled with beach venues. Elegant and sophisticated more your style? There are plenty of formal wedding venues out there as well. The key is once you choose a venue, play into the scenery and colors, but add your own special touches.


5. Does the venue have a “plan b” in case of inclement weather? You may have dreamt of getting married outside, but Mother Nature sometimes likes to throw a wrench in our outdoor plans. Make sure your venue has a backup location…”just in case”.

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6. What is our budget?
If you choose a reception hall as your venue, there usually isn’t a separate rental charge. They work the cost into the per person package. If you choose a venue that needs everything brought in (tables, chairs, catering, linens, plates, etc.), then you will have the rental fee PLUS those other costs. And don’t forget about staff costs. Make sure you have the budget for all of this before signing on the dotted line.

It may seem so overwhelming right now, but once that first big item is crossed off the “to do” list, you will feel so much better.

As always, we are happy to sit down with you if you are still unsure of the direction you want to go in with your wedding venue.

Click here for our preferred venues. It may help in getting you started!

Happy planning!

A Mid Summers Night Themed Wedding

Heidi and her mom, Jan, were referred to us last year, and contacted Dan to inquire about Heidi & Tommy’s June 25, 2016 wedding. Of course, we were happy to oblige. They began to tell us their plans: it was going to be a backyard wedding at the house Heidi grew up in. Now, we’ve catered backyard weddings before, but this property was much bigger than what one would consider a “backyard”. It was acres and acres of land, with a pond, gazebo, a bridge and extensive landscaping. The theme of the wedding was a Mid Summer’s Night. Perfect location for such a theme.

We started the evening with a cocktail hour, consisting of both passed and stationed hors d’oeuvres. Stuffed mushrooms with sausage, bread crumbs, cheese, miniature vegetable spring rolls with duck sauce, BBQ pulled pork sliders, just to name a few.

Dinner began with a fresh kale salad with pear tomatoes, diced watermelon, feta cheese and our house made balsamic vinaigrette. The entrees were plated choices of our Tuscan Chicken with artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, white wine and fresh herbs, Filet Mignon with mushrooms and a red wine demi,  and Pecan Crusted Salmon with a pomegranate glaze.


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We wish we could take credit for the insanely beautiful way this tent was decorated. But we can’t. The bride’s mother spent the 4 days leading up to the wedding decorating it just so. Isn’t it gorgeous?

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Jan also spent what I can only assume as countless hours baking and decorating these adorable cupcakes.

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All images courtesy of Heather Prescott Photography. Thank you, Heather!

Have You Considered the Lyman Farm for Your Event?

In 2016, the Lyman Family celebrates 275 years of farming the land in Middlefield, CT. Recognized as the 12th oldest family-run business in the US, Lyman Orchards is a wonderful destination to bring the whole family…AND to host a party!

There are 3 venues you can choose:

The Homestead
imageThis is the perfect space for an intimate wedding or bridal shower. They even host corporate events during the week. The piano room can serve as your main dining room, while a buffet, photo booth, or various other elements can be setup in any of the beautiful rooms in the lower level of the house.

The Apple Nine Golf Center
Clubhouse-over-Short-Game-AreaThis is a nice, fun venue with a covered pavilion right on the Apple Nine. This patio seats up to 72 guests on a flagstone terrace with a vaulted ceiling.




The Tent at the Apple Barrel
This is a relaxeWinterfest_tent2d venue with picnic tables and lawn games. Perfect for family reunions, BBQ’s, casual weddings, corporate events and other laid back affairs. You can even host an after-wedding reception here.


For a tour of any of the venues, contact Tracy at 860-349-6029 or

For menu information, contact Carisa at 860-316-2759 x102 or