Wednesday, April 30, 2014

How to Choose a Caterer for Your Wedding (Part 2)

Price Points
Most caterers can accommodate a variety of budgets, offering both frugal and high-end choices. Although caterers will vary in price, most buffet menus start in the $30 range per person for a single main course item, increasing with the variety offered. Plated dinners start at $35-40 per person for three courses. Stand-up reception prices are based on the quality of the items and number of pieces per person. Typically, pricing starts in the high $30s per person; the addition of chef-attended action stations will add an extra $5-15 per person as well as an hourly labour fee for the chef.


 Staff
Some caterers include the price of labour for servers, bartenders and chefs in their menu price. Often, a minimum attendance or sales requirement must be met, or additional charges could apply.

Many caterers will also charge a percentage-based service fee that may or may not result in a gratuity for the staff at the event. Be sure you understand the additional labour charges your caterer applies. Make clear how you feel about a bartender setting out a tip jar, if you prefer them to discretely accept tips, or want them to decline tips altogether.

If you’re inclined to add a gratuity for the service staff to your final invoice, be sure to specify this to your sales rep. It is never expected or required, but always appreciated by a hard-working, considerate team.

As an aside, if your event will be self-catered, it is rarely appropriate to ask a professional caterer to offer staff alone. Seek instead a private staffing company that doesn’t rely on food profits to cover their overhead, or find a team of volunteers to man the floor. The same goes in a situation where your caterer does not offer service staff, like an out-of-town hire.


Rentals and Décor
Some companies don’t own their own china, glassware, flatware, tables, chairs, and linens. They may mark up the prices for some or all of these rentals. In some cases, you’ll receive a discount by using their preferred suppliers.

Some companies have a rentals division, an event planning division, or both. Find out what is included, what is extra, and how you can use your sales rep to take your event to the next level.

You may need assistance installing and striking your décor, and not all caterers or event planners will offer this service. There are, however, private decorators for hire, so do your homework to confirm what’s included. Consider whether you want your friends and family tying sashes or setting centerpieces on the morning of your special day.


Just a Taste
Some caterers offer free tastings and it’s a great way to decide what you want on your menu. Many caterers will host open house events so you can see how they conduct events and how they present unique, custom items. It’s also great opportunity to connect with other vendors that are invited.


You’re on a Budget
Is it a good idea to try to bargain with your caterer? It is, but you must be mindful of the bottom line. Every caterer has one. If your menu includes seasonal items, they may not be willing to offer a discount when those items are out of season. 

Conversely, you may have an easier time getting discounts when your event is held in the low season.

Should you ever self-cater?
It’s possible, but you’ll need to consider the time and effort it will take you to
  •        Shop
  •        Prep
  •        Cook
  •        Serve
Also consider that you will have little or no time left to enjoy your guests and you still need to clean up afterwards. Enjoy your event! Call a caterer!

~Kasia Gorski
Guest Blogger - Great Events Group

I have been writing since I was a teenager, and it cheers me to play with words and turn phrases. Until now, it has been mostly a hobby, but my new position with GreatEvents has incited me to write a few professional pieces, including guest blogs and magazine articles. Writing about an industry I love is a treat, as is the mitigation of party mishaps through the education of the public.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Rings 101 (Part 1)

When you begin moving your relationship forward to happily-ever-after, the first thing that comes to mind is I need a RING!

Why is a ring so commonly associated with wedding other than anything else? Well, you can thank De Beers for monopolizing the diamond industry and their tireless effort of marketing campaigns.  Okay, seriously! If anything, it is because rings are unbroken circle, which many cultures understand it as a representation of eternity. Hence, it is a perfect fit when couples decide to join their hands together and share the rest of their life with one another.

I understand the confusion and stress if this is the first time you are getting married...if this is the first time you are looking into rings and learning about them. For the most part, both your engagement ring and wedding ring are to go on your LEFT hand between the pinky and middle finger. Why I say for the most part? Because we live in a very diverse world where there is almost always some differentiation when going about the same thing.  However, being in Canada, the local tradition is as mentioned above or another common trend that has been adopted into many cultures is the engagement ring being worn on the middle finger of your left hand and moved to the ring finger after your ceremony. 

If you like what your reading, make sure to tune in next time as I talk about the different types of rings, when to get them and how to pick them!

Ken Hsueh
Associate Wedding Planner

I am 26, 100% made in Taiwan and flown across the Pacific Ocean in 1999 to this place called Canada. I’ve lived In Calgary, Alberta ever since and grew wonderful feelings about this city until winter… I have completed my study in the field of hospitality and have worked in the industry for over 7 years. I am happily married with 0 kids at the moment, which is great as we intend to travel more before we settle down with a family!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Top Questions at Wishahmon - Glorious Gowns

We absolutely love the brides that come to our wedding consignment boutique! We haven't encountered a bride that was exactly the same as another. However, we do get the same questions from time to time. The questions have inspired this post to answer the top questions we get asked at Wishahmon - Glorious Gowns. When you read our answers take it with a light heart. We take our jobs seriously but not ourselves! 




1. Can I bring people with me to my appointment?
Yes. I suggest no more than three friends though. It is also a good number for voting purposes.

2. Can I bring my baby to my appointment?

Yes. Provided your baby has been fed, changed, and in a good mood. (Just kidding!)

3. Is it unlucky for me to bring my fiance to my appointment?

Only if you think it is.

4. How long is an appointment?

Usually appointments are about 1.5 hours. However, we had a bride stay for three hours before and was in one wedding gown for 2 hours. She couldn't decide and didn't want to leave the gown. We just ended up doing some paperwork in the back while she was walking around in her wedding gown. (She ended up buying the gown.)

5. How many appointments do you take in an hour? 

Most of the time you are the only bride booked in our showroom. You get all of our attention. The only times where there would be others in the showroom is if we accidentally double booked the appointments. Accidents happen. We were made to be awesome, not perfect. 

6. What should I wear to my appointment?

Doesn't really matter what you wear to the appointment. What matter is what you wear underneath. Preferably, nude colored undergarments and a strapless bra. Please don't wear your sports bra to your appointment. Likely you won't be wearing that bra at your appointment.

7. What should I leave at home? 

Preference is for you to come to the appointment with minimal makeup and perfume. With the exception of the sample gowns, all the gowns have been drycleaned, ready for purchase, and for you to take home the same day. 

8. Would it help if I looked through your website and gave you the stock numbers of the gowns I am interested in? 

Absolutely! If we have the time, we can even pull and set aside the gowns in the fitting room for you prior to your arrival. 

9. I can't make a decision today. Can I put the gown on hold? 
We cannot put the gown on hold as they are one of a kind and we are put at a disadvantage if the next bride would like to purchase it. 


10. What kinds of payment do you accept? 
Cash and e-transfer. We can also process credit cards but there is an extra 3% fee. 

11. Another bridal shop has a bell on a pillow for the bride to ring when she has found the perfect wedding gown. Do you have that? 
We don't have a bell...or a pillow. 

12. Where are you located? 

Huntington Hills, Calgary, Alberta. 

13. Where is Huntington Hills? 

Close to the airport, just off Centre Street in the North East. A map or GPS will help. 

14. How early can I make an appointment? 
Best to make an appointment one to two weeks in advance. If you are getting married next week, call us ASAP and tell us that. 


15. How can I make an appointment? 

You can email us at: weddings@wishahmon.com or call Monica at 403-818-3199. She is horrible with phone calls (and always has been). Best to email or text her. 

Do we have a lot of rules? Not really. Most of this is common sense and we are (somewhat) flexible. We even had a wedding party surprise the bride with glasses of champagne after she said yes to the dress at our showroom! We will make sure your experience with us is enjoyable. (Plus, we always have a stock of lollipops or candy.)

~Monica Hui
Owner, Lead Planner and Designer
If you like our weekly ramblings, LIKE us on our Wishahmon page too! More goes on there!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

How to Choose a Caterer For Your Wedding (Part 1)

Choosing the caterer that’s right for you
You said yes! Now what? Time to pick your date, your decor, your dress, your wedding party, your invitations, your guest list, your caterer... Whew! It can all get a little overwhelming.

But first thing’s first: pick your venue. Not all venues have a caterer on-site, whereas some caterers are tied to a venue or two. Some venues have preferred caterers, and this may limit your choices. There may be extra commissions to pay on food at some venues, as well.

You also need to decide if you’re going to hold your ceremony, reception, or both, at the venue.

When to book and what to ask
You should plan to book the venue and caterer for your wedding at least a year out, as the season has a short window. However, you should but keep in mind some venues will not book this far in advance, so do your research to avoid disappointment. Corporate events, comparatively, can be booked only a few months out, unless they fall during the Christmas party or wedding seasons.

When scoping prospective caterers, a few things you should ask about are food stylings, price point, what they include in their contract and how they handle what isn’t included.


Food Stylings
If you’re looking for a typical plated menu, most caterers offer a variety of chicken, beef, or fish dishes that are bound to satisfy the average palate. Served sit-down meals are still the tradition for wedding receptions. If it’s within your budget, consider offering interesting courses, like an amuse-bouche or palate cleanser, for that special touch.

Buffets are also more than acceptable, and give your guests an opportunity to select from a variety of items. Ethnically-themed buffets raise the bar, delight guests of blended couple—who have travelled to attend—but will also impress the local attendees.

The latest trends in food service, however, are stand-up receptions that push the envelope for style and presentation. Themed hors d’oeuvres menus, chef-attended action stations, and artistic presentation are very fashion forward. They will wow your guests. The secret is to ensure the offerings are high-end and plentiful, as more traditional eaters may have a skeptical approach to this format. Surely, the right quality and quantity will have them convinced by the time they are sated and dancing. You should consider counting 12 to 14 pieces per person to ensure your guests feel like they’ve consumed a dinner-like meal. If you add an action station, your caterer will count the chef-attended items in this count.

Finding a sales reps and chef that are creatively inclined is paramount to establishing a contemporary spread; being open to that creativity will win you a memorable event.

Another idea is to add butlered hot and cold canapés at the start of your event—a cocktail hour. This takes the pressure off guests who arrive a little late. It can also be used between the ceremony and reception when they are held back-to-back, at the same venue or out of town. It’s a nice touch when the ceremony space needs to be flipped to hold your reception, especially when there’s a covered balcony space or lounge in which to hold it.



~Kasia Gorski
Guest Blogger - Great Events Group

I have been writing since I was a teenager, and it cheers me to play with words and turn phrases. Until now, it has been mostly a hobby, but my new position with GreatEvents has incited me to write a few professional pieces, including guest blogs and magazine articles. Writing about an industry I love is a treat, as is the mitigation of party mishaps through the education of the public.

Guest Blogger: Kasia Gorski

Weddings can get expensive and a lot of brides often find creative ways to save money. I always advise my brides to save on things that don't really matter to them and to splurge on the things that do matter, whether it is the wedding gown, decor, photography, or the cake.

More than 50% of the wedding budget is taken up by catering or food at the wedding. It is the obvious way for couples to save money. However, what is the best way to save? Is it worth it to ask your Aunt Mary to cater your entire wedding reception of 100 guests because she is really good in the kitchen?

We asked Kasia Gorski of Great Events Group to help answer this question. Stay tuned for her two part series on Choosing a Caterer for your Wedding! Below is her bio!

~Monica Hui
Owner, Lead Planner and Designer
If you like our weekly ramblings, LIKE us on our 
Wishahmon page too! More goes on there!



Early in 2009, I started working with GreatEvents Group while studying Event Management at Mount Royal College. I got involved with several departments of the company, including reception for GreatEvents Rentals and later sales for GreatEvents Catering, both which exposed me to the exciting world of executing events. I parted ways from GE to work with several other event companies, but eventually returned in 2014, as the Marketing Assistant. Special event organization brings together elements of an overall bigger picture and working for GreatEvents Group is a riveting career: never a dull moment. They’ve been in the catering business for over 30 years, with the rentals division operating for over 10 years, and have a number of restaurants and cafes operating under them, including Cravings Market Restaurant and the newly adapted of the Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant.

I have been writing since I was a teenager, and it cheers me to play with words and turn phrases. Until now, it has been mostly a hobby, but my new position with GreatEvents has incited me to write a few professional pieces, including guest blogs and magazine articles. Writing about an industry I love is a treat, as is the mitigation of party mishaps through the education of the public.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Show Your Peeps Where to Sit

It seems like peeps only show up during Easter. I only ate it once and thought it was more of a toy than candy/food. Sure enough, someone else also thought this and used peeps to show their guests where to sit. Love this idea! Now, would you be surprised if I told you these are fake peeps? They are actually handmade from clay, hence, its sturdiness. If you want to learn how to make these peeps, check it out here

Happy Easter Everyone! 

~Monica Hui
Owner, Lead Planner and Designer
If you like our weekly ramblings, LIKE us on our 
Wishahmon page too! More goes on there!



Nope– they're not marshmallow!These Peeps place card holders are made with clay, so no nibbling allowed. Click through for instructions!



Nope– they're not marshmallow!These Peeps place card holders are made with clay, so no nibbling allowed. Click through for instructions!

Nope– they're not marshmallow!These Peeps place card holders are made with clay, so no nibbling allowed. Click through for instructions!

Nope– they're not marshmallow!These Peeps place card holders are made with clay, so no nibbling allowed. Click through for instructions!

A Beautiful Mess

Friday, April 18, 2014

Choosing a Suit or Tuxedo on Your Wedding Day?

There have always been debates on whether the groom should wear a suit or a tuxedo on their wedding day. The answer you ask? Well, there is no answer to this question. It’s all about YOUR preference and what works best for you!

The most important key to picking your outfit is that it fits properly. To find out, try on both the suit and tuxedo including the correct shirt and shoes. This will give you a comparison of whether a suit or tuxedo is more fitting for you and with that you may begin choosing the style that best represents you!

My thought between wearing a suit and tuxedo is that, if the occasion allows it, go with a tuxedo. The reason I say this is because you may wear a nice suit on your big day and feel dazzled about it, but so can the guests that is attending your wedding. Also, there can be many occasions where you can wear the same suit throughout the year, such as going to work, attend any semi or formal events.  A tuxedo on the other hand, will set you apart from the rest of the crowd and that’s how it should be as it is your special day!

In terms of whether you should invest or rent your outfit, you will need to ask yourself how often you will have the chance to wear this again. If it is something that you can wear again, then investing into a fitted outfit is definitely the better choice than renting for mainly two reasons. For starter, a fitted outfit that you invest will always look better on you than when you rent them and especially for tuxedo. Secondly, financially speaking it is better to buy your outfit if you can re-wear them in the future as there are many occasions where it may be required especially for jobs or interviews.

All-in-all, there is no right or wrong between the outfit you choose. All that matters is that both you and your bride are happy with result as this is YOUR special day after all!


Ken Hsueh
Associate Wedding Planner

I am 26, 100% made in Taiwan and flown across the Pacific Ocean in 1999 to this place called Canada. I’ve lived In Calgary, Alberta ever since and grew wonderful feelings about this city until winter… I have completed my study in the field of hospitality and have worked in the industry for over 7 years. I am happily married with 0 kids at the moment, which is great as we intend to travel more before we settle down with a family!

blue suit groom

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

DIY Mr. and Mrs. Burlap Banner

Are you a bride that sees inspiration everywhere? Do you see stuff on Etsy and think "I can totally do that on my own for my wedding? If so, here is an awesome DIY project for you if you are having a rustic themed wedding. Burlap accessories are a must if you are having a rustic themed wedding. Here is how you can create an easy Mr. and Mrs. Banner. All you need is burlap, paint, stencil, and some confidence! You can do it! Good luck!

~Monica
If you like our weekly ramblings, LIKE us on our 
Wishahmon page too! More goes on there!

burlap-wedding-banner




burlap-wedding-banner-how-to

burlap-wedding-banner-do-it-yourself

burlap-banner-materials

burlap-banner-how-to

burlap-letter

mr-mrs-burlap-wedding-sign

mr-mrs-burlap-sign

Rustic Wedding Chic

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sophia Tolli Spring 2014 Bridal Collection

I find most brides that I meet describe their wedding style as romantic and classic. Most brides want to chose a gown they will not regret when they see their pictures in 5, 10, or 15 years. If this description also fits your wedding vision and you are still looking for a wedding gown, you might want to check out the wedding dresses from Sophia Tolli Spring 2014 collection! I believe the dresses portray a soft classic romanticism and traditional bridal drama. Sophia Tolli's signature style is reflected in each of these dresses. One look and people will know it is a Sophia Tolli gown! 

~Monica
If you like our weekly ramblings, LIKE us on our 
Wishahmon page too! More goes on there!































Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Cost of Being a Bridesmaid

One of my closest friends has been a bridesmaid for over five times. It really doesn't "pay" to have lots of friends that like you and want you in their wedding party. My friend told me the amount of money she is spending on one wedding. Of course, she is responsible for her bridesmaid dress, all the accessories that goes with it, and her makeup and hair for the day of. But then she told me about the bridal shower she is helping to throw for the bride at a swanky hotel in town, the stagette being held in Vegas, and the girls only pampering day right before the wedding. As she was telling me all of this, I heard dollar signs in my head and then blurted out the question: Are you going to go into debt for this wedding? She said no, not for this one. But she has to do this three more times THIS wedding season. Holy crap.

Before you agree to being a bridesmaid, you might want to consider the costs associated to this position. If you are bride, you might also want to consider the infographic below to manage your expectations of your bridesmaids. Afterall, you wouldn't want to go into debt if the tables were turned!

~Monica
If you like our weekly ramblings, LIKE us on our 
Wishahmon page too! More goes on there!



Monday, April 7, 2014

Heart of the Ocean Giveaway!

Remember the love story between Jack and Rose in the Titanic? It was an epic romantic disaster movie that did not leave one person with a dry eye in the movie theatre. April 15th, 2014 will be the 102nd anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic. Because we are all hopeless romantics at Wishahmon, we are giving away a beautiful, elegant "Heart of the Ocean" inspired necklace as your "something blue"!  

If you would like a chance to win this stunning necklace, here is what you need to do:
1: "Like" our Facebook page; 
2: Post a picture of a wedding gown under this event post that you think will create the PERFECT look with the "Heart of the Ocean" necklace. (It doesn't have to be your actual wedding gown!)
3. Ask your friends, family, coworkers to "like" for your post;

The winner of the necklace is the one with the posted picture with the most "likes!" This giveaway ends at noon on April 15th, 2014. The winner will be announced on the same day!

Good luck everyone! 

~Monica
If you like our weekly ramblings, LIKE us on our 
Wishahmon page too! More goes on there!




Friday, April 4, 2014

Perfect Bridal Hair Accessories

Once you have figured out your ideal wedding hair style, you might want to consider adding some bling into your hair. All eyes will be on your face so you want to look your best. Chose a hairstyle and a hair accessory that will complement your look and not fight for attention.

~Monica
If you like our weekly ramblings, LIKE us on our 
Wishahmon page too! More goes on there!


 Ann-Kathrin Koch












 El Stile

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