We have been working with Lyman Orchards for a while now and have established a great partnership with them. As a result, we now have the exclusive catering contract at 3 of their properties:
Overlooking scenic meadows and golf courses, and nestled within the beauty of the surrounding orchards, the historic Lyman Homestead provides an ideal venue for weddings, celebrations, social occasions, and corporate events.
The Pavilion at the Golf Center
This patio seats up to 72 guests on a flagstone terrace with a vaulted ceiling.
The Apple Barrel
This is a relaxed venue with picnic tables and lawn games. Perfect for family reunions, BBQ’s, casual weddings, corporate events and other laid back affairs.
So you booked that farm (backyard, mansion, vineyard, etc.) venue for your wedding – CONGRATULATIONS! Now all you need to do is hire a caterer to come in with some food. Should be easy enough. You want something really laid back and fun. How much can it really cost? We’ll do a BBQ! That will save us some money!
Or will it….???
If this is your first time planning an event on such a large scale, there may be some costs that you are not considering. My job as a wedding and event planner is to guide and educate you on the things that are needed to create a flawless event, and to make sure that there are no surprises. So, here are 4 things to consider when hiring an off premise caterer:
Food Our first and foremost priority is delicious food! We can create just about any menu you can imagine. We try not to fall into that “package” type of catering because we truly believe that each couple is unique, and their wedding menu should reflect that. But…have you ever bought dinner for 100+ people? Probably not. Just think about what you and your fiancee spend when you go out to a nice restaurant for dinner. Now multiply that by 100.
Rentals That big open field with the farm style tables, specialty linens, and lighted tent that you are envisioning sounds beautiful – and it WILL be! Just know that each and every table, linen and light, along with plates, glassware, forks, knives, salt & pepper shakers, etc. will now need to be brought to your wedding.
Staff Congratulations on being non-traditional! If you are showing an interest in Spice Catering, that means you have NOT chosen a traditional banquet facility for your wedding and now need food. That also means that the venue you have chosen most likely does NOT come equipped with staff. Lucky for you, we have many experienced catering professionals on our team! But as much as they love their job, they don’t do it for free. Be sure to factor in staff costs to your wedding budget.
You might be that DIY bride who can’t wait to make all her own centerpieces and cupcakes. That’s awesome! How fun! Grab your ‘maids and get to craftin’. But there comes a time to sit back and just be the bride. Even if that time is a month before the wedding. Let our experienced wedding coordinator take all that you have planned and flawlessly implement it on the big day. Trust me, you don’t want to be worrying about how you are going to decorate and setup for your reception while you are getting your hair and makeup done. So just sit back, and enjoy the day that you have so meticulously planned, but let someone else make it happen for you.
Many of the venues where we cater have an “Event Coordinator”. This person will typically give you a tour of the venue, develop your contract when you decide to book there, maybe give you a few names from their preferred vendor list. But then what? Will this person seamlessly arrange your ceremony processional? Setup special items in your reception space? Make sure that dad is in the room when the father/daughter dance is being announced?
This is why we have our own wedding planner and coordinator on staff. Carisa personalizes every wedding experience for each couple, whether you are just looking for rehearsal and day of coordination or full planning of the entire wedding. She takes the time to really get to know each couple and how they envision their most important day. Even if she is not involved in the entire wedding planning, Carisa takes the time to gather all information needed to do her job effectively (i.e.: collect vendor contracts and confirm
services and meet with the couple for a final detail meeting).
This type of service is particularly helpful at a venue like those we recommend, such as the mansions, farms and vineyards. Since we have worked at these locations numerous times, we know the logistics and can worry about the details so you don’t have to.
So if you’re considering booking your wedding at this type of venue, you may also want to consider one of our wedding planning packages. See which one best fits your needs or customize your own package with Carisa today!
Bridal shows can be a great way to get information about potential wedding vendors. You can even win some fantastic prizes! But they can also be a tad overwhelming for the couple. So much information in one room! Here is some good advice on how to prepare for them. The more you prepare before hand, the less stressed you’ll be at the show and after. Don’t forget to have fun!
Before the show:
• Do your research
• Get a list of the vendors who will be at the show and visit their websites
• What packages do they offer? Where are they located? etc.
• Have a list of questions you’d like to ask…
• Caterers, DJ’s, Photographers, Venues, etc.
• Pre-print labels with your name, address, email and phone number
• Almost every vendor will have giveaways which require you to fill out a form with your information
• Having these labels printed out already will give you more time to connect with the vendor and visit every table
• Bring a small planner/notebook
• After the show, all of the vendors will seem to blend together
• Take small notes or circle dates which are important
• Dress for comfort!
• You’ll be on your feet for a while
• Wear comfortable shoes
• You may also want to have a quick snack before the show (if there is none being served)
During the show:
• Manage your time wisely
• Allocate a certain amount of time to visit each vendor
• Don’t spend too much time talking to one
• Sample questions to ask:
• Have you worked at my venue before?
• How many weddings do you do per year?
• Would I need any special permits?
• Who will I personally be working with?
• Can you accommodate dietary restrictions?
• Do I need to book you now?
• May I have your contact information? (if you’re interested)
• Take notes!
• Use the notepad and calendar you brought to write down things that interest you or deter you from a certain vendor
• Keep an open mind
After the show:
• Give yourself time to process all the information you just obtained
• Later go back over your notes
• Review pamphlets/brochures and contact information
• Narrow down vendors who caught your eye
• Follow up with an email to the vendors who interest you (the sooner the better)
• Organize each vendor on your list to make it easier to refer back to
• Their contact info, things you liked about them, prices, etc.
• Share this information with your event planner, fiancee, family, etc. to get their opinion
• Maybe they have a question that you haven’t thought of yet to ask
• They may have experience with a vendor
One of the latest trends in weddings and events is having an action station at dinner. Casual and fun has been the theme, as opposed to stuffy and formal. We have been receiving many more requests for stations than a plated sit down meal. So…what exactly is an action station?
An action station is any meal station that needs some sort of action (cooking, mixing, adding toppings, etc.). A carving station is an extremely popular one. A chef attends the station and cuts pieces of meat to the guests’ liking. It can also be a bit more involved, such as a pasta station. The chef would have different kinds of pastas already made, with different sauces available. To make it even more custom, there could also be different types of meats, vegetables, and cheeses. The guest would tell the chef what kind of pasta, sauce and other ingredients he or she would like included, and each plate would be made to order.
Although it is usually chef or staff attended, an action station can also be self-serve by the guest. For example, an Asian Noodle bar would include the noodles already made, as well as various toppings from which the guest can choose. The guest would first get a scoop of noodles, and then top them with whatever they like. It could be chives, bok choy, snap peas, red peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, mini corn on the cobs, even chicken or shrimp. Serve in cute take-out style containers with bamboo chopsticks to bring the experience even further!
There is really no limit to an action station besides your imagination. It could be customized to a certain type of food, like seafood, or a certain kind of cuisine, and even dessert. The possibilities are endless, but here are some ideas to inspire you!
Ice cream sundae bar
Coffee, tea and hot chocolate station
Nothing is off limits when it comes to customizing your wedding day. Take some of these ideas and expand on them, or come up with your own! Either way, we are happy to create it for you!
With engagement season upon us, I wanted to share all of our services with you, and exactly what it means to be a full service caterer.
When you make us your first call in your wedding planning, not only can we create an exquisite menu custom to your needs, but we can also help you find the perfect venue. There are many in CT that we recommend, and in turn, recommend us. From rustic to elegant, beachy to backyard, there is sure to be something perfect for you!
Whether you are hosting a casual BBQ or an elegant plated dinner, Spice Catering has you covered. We can incorporate different elements into your menu to make it truly yours. We often do not send out “packages” because we really like to customize each couples’ menu and not box you in to a cookie cutter meal.
We have our liquor license! Don’t spend the time and energy trying to figure out how much and which kinds of alcohol to get for your wedding. You also should not worry about the liability that comes with providing alcohol at an event such as this. Let us take yet another thing off your plate.
Having your wedding at a non-traditional wedding venue has many positive aspects to it – your wedding is more unique, they often host one wedding per day or even one per weekend, your vendors have plenty of time to set up and break down, you get to choose who you would like as your caterer, and the list goes on. One thing that is not so great is the fact that you have to rent china, silverware, glassware, linens and so much more you may not have even thought of yet. Don’t stress! We can handle it! Based on your menu, we will know exactly how many of everything we should provide. Let us work with our rental company to determine all of this. And yes, we can provide a tent as well if needed.
Wedding & Event Planning:
Now that you have everything booked for your big day – venue, caterer, photographer, florist, the dress, DJ – we can still help! Our Rehearsal & Day Of services are extremely popular and HIGHLY recommended.
If you DON’T have all of that booked and you are looking for some assistance, we can do that too. Our Full Wedding Planning package will help with everything from booking the venue until your last guest leaves your wedding.
Stuck in the middle somewhere? Let us customize a package just for you. Choose from many a la carte services. If you’re still not sure, you can send Carisa an email at CarisaL@spicecateringgroup.com and set up a consultation.
This wedding was absolutely stunning. From the beautiful couple, to the breathtaking venue, to the perfectly lighted tent and Pinterest-worthy details. Tim and Jessica were wed at Chatfield Hollow Bed & Breakfast, a little hidden gem in the woods of Killingworth, CT. The B&B is located on Chatfield Hollow Farm, where they grow an organic garden with shiitake mushrooms and so much more. We actually incorporated their mushrooms into the menu of this wedding – so cool!
The owners, Ken and Forrest, are extremely accommodating and helpful. Ken was wonderful with decorating the tent just how the bride envisioned it. He even gave guests a ride to their cars at the end of the night when it was raining! Tema, the innkeeper, is wonderfully hospitable. You truly feel at home when you walk in and he greets you. We look forward to catering many more events here.
The Hops Company (THC) in Derby, CT, is the former Grassy Hill Lodge. With a 4.5-acre beer garden, custom built indoor bar and an outdoor bar, you and your friends have plenty of space to enjoy. They feature local breweries, as well as domestic and international breweries. The rustic German decor, with custom built wood tables and 2 fireplaces, makes for a cozy atmosphere to enjoy with one other person or 50!
Trivia with Big Boy Entertainment’s Craig Ventura will start on Wednesdays, beginning December 2nd at 8:00pm. They also have board games and life-sized Jenga to add to the fun! Want to watch football? No problem – they have 6 65″ TVs to take care of that. If you get hungry while you are there, you can order some pizza or BBQ from their food truck vendors.
Since this is a fantastic party space, of course we wanted to get involved! THC will be available to rent for a private event anytime on Monday and Tuesday, and Wednesday to Friday from the morning until about 3:00pm. When you rent the space for 50 guests or more, Spice Catering Group will be the exclusive caterer! Contact our Event Manager, Carisa for more information on this: CarisaL@spicecateringgroup.com or 860-316-2759 x102.
Check out our buffet menu for THC!
With 36 beers on tap, wine on tap, and a full liquor bar, there’s something for everyone! See what’s on tap!