Archive for Party Planning

Trulife Studios

Serendipity Catering has recently partnered with Trulife Studios, a unique collaborative event and wedding planning studio. Trulife has a beat on the most superior vendors for Colorado weddings and events.  Learn more about Trulife Studios here.

Since wedding season is almost here, we sat down with Sarah Roshan, owner of Trulife Studios, and got a few great ideas and tips for planning a Colorado wedding:

What are the qualities you look for when finding a vendor or venue?

Potted Shrimp All my professional vendors and venues have come from a recommendation from me or my other vendors. Each one has to have set up their business in a professional manner, have excellent customer service, and have worked with at least one of my other vendors.

Have you ever had any wedding disasters? How was it handled?

Some of the weddings I have personally attended that maybe weren’t disasters, but could have gone much more smoothly were those where they decided not to hire a professional to do a job. DJs not understanding the sound systems they are working on (or just not showing up). The reason true professionals cost more is because they are true professionals. They understand what it takes to go the extra mile, be a hero, provide excellent customer service, and feed their family.

What tips do you have for an over-stressed bride?

This day only happens once in your lifetime. It is supposed to be fun. Fun to plan, fun to experience. The more you stress out, the Bridal Dress with shash less fun it gets. Sit back, relax, it will all work itself out. And if something goes wrong on your wedding day (which is bound to happen), just let it go and enjoy the moment. It goes by so quickly.

Any wedding/event trends you are looking forward to this spring? 

I really love the new trend in wedding gowns with the sashes around the waist. It adds uniqueness to your dress. I am a hopeless romantic when it comes to couples and love so I really love all the soft pallets that I am seeing this year.

What makes events in Colorado special?

The sunshine, the blue sky, the mountains, the gorgeous views. You can get married any time of year in Colorado and it is beautiful, even in the city.

Mountain Wedding Table Setting Serendipity Catering: Thanks, Sarah — your work to bring people and vendors together is appreciated by your clients and your partners!

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Ladies Night In

Valentine’s Day is next week and with that comes a mixed chocolate box of feelings towards the sentimental holiday.  Some love it, some loathe it, and others just don’t care.  In honor of lovey-dovey hoopla that comes with Valentine’s, we suggest a ladies night in. In lieu of a crowded over-priced restaurant dripping with couples all celebrating the same notion, invite your married, dating, and single friends over for a twist on the often overly dramatized holiday.  After all, many of us see our significant others daily- why not spend the evening with the good friends you love?  (Save the restaurant date for a less packed night.)

 

Décor

Instead of going with a full-on Valentines theme, just think an elegant appetizer party with friends. This is a celebration of friends whether, DIY Wine Charmssingle, married, or just needing a break from the kids! Treat your friends to fancy party with candlelight, great food, wine, and over-due catching up.  Buy inexpensive wine glasses and set them on a colorful tablecloth, each with these easy DIY wine charms that can double as party favors.  No need to spend a lot of money, this is not an evening spent for romance.  Use colorful flowers (aside from roses) in fun different creative vases, like teapots, wine decanters or Mason jars as centerpieces.  Set out colorful candleholders in different shapes and sizes.  Put together a fun playlist of upbeat songs.

Menu

Mini tacos Since it is just the girls, keep the food small and dainty.  Mini tarts, chicken satays, assorted sushi rolls, endive leaves with herbed ricotta, and a good cheese and cracker plate should keep the ladies full and happy. Setting up a few interactive stations is a nice way to keep everyone engaged.  Fun ideas for make-your-own-stations are a mini panini station or mini tacos; this will give everyone a chance mingle while trying out new twists on their creations.  Dessert could be a melting pot of chocolate fondue set on a coffee table.  Cut up fruits and set out skewers and serve!  Place plenty of pillows around the fondue pot and invite the girls to sit and talk around the fondue fire.

 

Drinks

A celebration of any kind usually calls for champagne, but to stay from getting too “Valentine’s” include a drinkRasmopolitan that just uses champagne as an ingredient.  Try a signature drink like the girly Rasmopolitan, or champagne mojito’s.  If you do not have the time or energy for planning a signature drink, ask your friends to bring one of two different wines under twenty-five dollars, for example either a Shiraz or Pinot Grigio.  Cover the labels with paper bags and tie colorful ribbons under the opening. Mark each one by number and at the end of the evening vote on a crowd favorite.

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Super Bowl Party!

No matter which team you are rooting for, Super Bowl Sunday is a great excuse to have a party even if you are not a football fan.  Super Bowl Sunday is a day spent relaxing in front of the television with good friends and American snack food—who doesn’t like that?  The Super Bowl is the most watched televised event.  Some like it for the game, some like the commercials, we like the party!

 

Décor

Super Bowl Table Setting A Super Bowl party does not need much in the way of fancy decorations.  If your whole crowd is rooting for the same team, use the team’s colors for plates, napkins and a few balloons.  If you are a super fan and have any vintage memorabilia, team pictures, or game souvenirs like foam-fingers, use them as décor!  For a crowd that is divided between teams, ask your guests to wear their teams colors, sweatshirts and hats.  Divide your living room into two sides with each team’s colors and signs with each logo.  Supply each side with their teams colored pompoms and wigs. Leave out markers and blank poster boards for your guests to make their own friendly rivalry signs.  Watch out, this can lead to a hilarious and rambunctious evening!

The center of the party is the game on television; so don’t spend too much time or money on decorating.

 

Drinksimages-4

Beer, and lots of it. Sending friends out for a beer run mid-game is never fun.  Beer cocktails are another good play for drinks. For a lighter twist on beer, try a basic Michelada. For alternatives to beer, have a pre-made drink or two.  Fill the punch bowls with this masculine touchdown tea or linebacker limeade.

(Look for Friday’s blog on American beer for more ideas!)

 

Food

Finger foods and football watching go together like baseball and Cracker-Jacks. For the best football foods think of easy to pick up items that do not require a lot of assembly.  After all, a Super Bowl party host wants to be cheering on the couch too! Kick off your party with classic football foods like wings, veggies with dip, meatballs, and nachos. In order to really score points with your guest set up a buffet table (not too far from the TV) with a chili or nacho bar.  Set out a variety of toppings like cheese, onion, bacon, tomato, hot sauces, guacamole, and sour cream.  You could also follow the same idea with a slider bar.  Make beef or turkey patties the day before. When guests arrive, just reheat and invite them to create their own “super slider.”

BuffaloChickenCupcakesHave fun with bite-sized desserts.  Cupcakes frosted with team colors, or these Buffalo chicken cupcakes to keep your guests commentating.

Super Bowl Party Foods

Sensational Super Bowl Party Foods

 

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A Wild West Round Up

With the legendary National Western Stock Show in town we like to pay tribute to our hard-working farmers and cattlemen. This event has been a part of our state’s history for years and gets everyone from cow-folk to city slickers in the Wild West spirit.  We have a few ideas to keep the theme alive in your own homestead.

 

A Western Themed Hoedown

cactusRounding up your friends for a western themed party is easy.  With affordable decorations and a laid back atmosphere any cowboy would be happy to kick off their boots.  Hand out inexpensive cowboy/cowgirl hats as your guests arrive. Create the feeling of west by covering tables in red and white-checkered tablecloths and use flowers or cacti in a tin can for centerpieces.  For napkins, use multi-colored bandanas.  Also, line bandanas in cowboy hats to hold chips and rolls as a fun touch.  Set out toy guns, old boots, camping lanterns, and, if you have them, any horse-riding accessories like saddles, spurs, or lassos. If your party is outside, set out a few haystacks for sittin’. For a fun personalized addition make “wanted” posters with pictures of your guests with fun descriptions of their crimes, “Wanted: Peter, for being too handsome.”

 

Food

Hitch up the chuck wagon and think of the simple, hearty foods our pioneers ate.  Foods like chili, ribs, Chili6pulled chicken or pork, baked beans, and cornbread are all easy-to-make foods of the west.  To cut down on hosting duties, consider having a chili cook-off.  Ask your guests to bring their best chili recipe and vote judging for the spiciest, most unique, and best all-around.  The same can be done with desserts using the old time pioneer favorite: pie!  Give the winners ribbons tied to tin mugs as rewards. For sides, serve grilled corn with chili butter and biscuits.

 

Drinks

imagesCowboys are tough and so are the drinks. In addition to serving beers, like the Texas favorite Shiner Bock, serve whiskey (we are partial to local favorites like Stranahans, or Leopold Bros.) and tequila.  Since refrigeration wasn’t big in the 1800’s many of the drinks were straight up.  Of course, we don’t expect our modern day settlers to consume drinks this strong so offer simple mixers like sodas and limeade for tequila.  If you’d like to offer a signature cocktail, serve a batch of Wild Wild West or Juan Collins cocktail mixes in large rustic glass bottles. Make sure you have old-fashioned root beer on hand for designated drivers.  Make a sign over the bar with that reads the “(hosts name) Saloon.”

Giddy up!

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Winter Parties

For many of us parties are the last things on our mind after a busy holiday season, but it can still be fun to host a post-holiday party that’s full of winter cheer!  As a busy catering company we find that many clients looking to throw social events, like weddings and cocktail soirees, are looking at options throughout the calendar.

A Winter Party at Home

White wine bottle by red fire with corkscrewWinter can feel long and sometimes a little boring.  To make your winter party stand out, think of fun winter themes like a sophisticated après ski party.  Ask your friends to come in their ski coats and hats to enjoy o’douvers and wine by the fire.  If your crowd is on the adventurous side, have an 80’s ski party!  Think campy ski movies from the decade. Serve retro-80’s food like fondue, or potato skins.  If your friends need a more family-friendly gathering, host a winter brunch party complete with to-go mugs of hot chocolate.  Bundle up the kids and head to the closest sledding hill when the meal is over.

Anxious for hot days and sunshine? Beat the winter blues and have a beach party!  Pay no imagesmind to the snow on the ground and create a summer environment by blowing up beach balls, setting out pool towels, playing reggae, or even dusting off the lawn chairs and placing them inside. Serve light summer foods like skewered shrimp, or mini pulled pork sandwiches.  For drinks, serve margaritas or mojitos—don’t forget the mini drink umbrellas!

Bigger Events

When is comes to planning a large-scale event in the winter like a wedding or large birthday bash, it is important to think of a space that creates warmth.  Places like lodges or a venue with a large fireplace or two work welScreen shot 2013-01-04 at 1.57.00 PMl for winter entertaining.  One important factor to keep in mind is, of course, the weather!  If possible, try to choose a venue with little commuting for your guests.  (It’s also a good idea to double check to see if your guests have to walk along icy sidewalks!)  As your guests arrive consider passing around a warm beverage such as apple cider or Mexican hot chocolate.

Winter food is comforting, but often times can feel a bit disheveled.  When planning the menu keep the food winter appropriate and easy to eat.  For appetizers serve items like butternut squash soup in shooter glasses, or mini potpies.  Entrées should be classics, like filet mignon with Rosemary mashed potatoes.  If an item like this is out of your price range, consider a seasonal pasta dish, such as pumpkin ravioli.  Keeping the food simple and cozy for higher end winter celebration is best.

Decorations, like the food, are typically simplified for cold weather events.  Elegant colors like silver and white images-1to match the glistening snow outside, or soft pink and gold for a little glamour.  Lots of candlelight creates a classic look, but for more unique centerpieces place ice carved vases on the tables filled with winter branches, like birch. For party favors leave small throws at each chair, your guests will appreciate this thoughtful parting gift!

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Christmas Cookies

This season brings many treats to look forward to.  One holiday tradition that conjures feelings of warmth, delicious aromas, bonding in the kitchen with loved ones, and drawing on all of our child-like creativity is baking cookies.  Cookies add a dash of cheer and joy to almost any holiday gathering.

If you are a basic baker and need something sweet for any event it is never a problem to stick with tried and true recipes like chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin. Whether you are baking for a cookie swap, an office party, or cocktail hour, we have you covered with few ideas.

Traditional Holiday Cookies

11329436533015637_LEpVp2nu_bThe basic sugar cookie recipe is a baker’s best friend during holiday season.  If you are looking for a new twist or something just a little different, try adding orange or lemon zest to make the flavor a little more interesting.  A dash of cardamom or nutmeg is also a good flavor enhancer for the sometimes-bland basic sugar cookie.  Thumbprint cookies are another holiday favorite.  The great thing about these is they need no decoration and can be filled with many different fillings from jellies, nuts or, chocolate.  Gingerbread cookies are another nostalgic holiday treat.  Versatile spiced dough and the holidays go hand in hand.  Gingerbread can be simply pressed with festive cookie cutters or decorated with detail. For chocolate lovers, the basic snowballs or shortbread dipped in chocolate are holiday staples.

Decorating

Holiday cookies are known for elaborate decorations, colors, shapes, and sprinkles. If you are the type of personimages-1 who enjoys decorating, great!  If not, there are easy ways to get away with making your cookies shine without the often painstaking work.  When baking any cookie, measure them out with a small ice cream scoop for a uniform size and even baking. If you are making cookies like chocolate chip, thumbprints, or shortbread you won’t need to do any decorating at all!  Simply place completely cooled cookies in a Mason jar and tie a colorful ribbon around the top for a cute presentation.  For sugar cookies and gingerbread, you don’t need more than a sprinkles, powdered sugar, or decorative candies.  For an easy no-icing look, brush with egg whites and add sparkles before baking.  Another no-brainer for gingerbread is to use mini cutouts of Christmas trees or snowman and simply sprinkle powdered sugar over the tops for a rustic look.

Holiday Cookie Tips and Ideas

Decorating Christmas Cookies

Serendipity on Pinterest: Cookie Displays

Other Holiday Sweet Treats

imagesThere are many other portable sweet treats that can be enjoyed this season!   The pie has been making a big appearance on menus everywhere recently.  Make mini pies or pie pops with seasonal flavors like apple and pecan.  For a chocolate-loving crowd, try the fun-to-make whoopie pie! These are great because the cream filling can be colored and flavored almost any way!  Fudge, bark, and truffles are charming additions as well. Holiday meringues are also beautiful on any dessert plate.

Most importantly, enjoy baking with your loved ones!

11 Traditional Christmas Cookies

Chocolate Holiday Cookies

Quick and Easy Christmas Cookies

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A Holiday Cocktail Party

During this season one thing is certain, parties.  We attend parties, we throw them, we talk about them, plan them, and post about them.  From the office to our families, we can be sure that somewhere between Thanksgiving and New Years we will be a guest or a host to at least one event.  The most common and one of the easiest of these soirées to put on is the holiday cocktail party.  These events can be intimate and simple or, a complex affair.   The best part is that cocktail parties can always feel glamorous no matter how big the guest list or how small the budget!

 

Guestsimages-3

Many elements make the holiday cocktail party so desirable as a host. Cocktail parties are a great excuse to have a kid-free evening with friends. They also tend to be quick, two-three hours long and start in the early evening.  Many hosts find these parties appealing because the guest list can be small (we recommend six guests or more) or very large, depending on your space and budget. Smaller gatherings are best suited for old friends and family.  This is great for a home party where you really want the time to catch up with people you may not see too often, though it also works well for groups of guests who already know each other.  For large holiday cocktail parties, consider inviting co-workers, friends, neighbors… really anyone!  If your home is big enough to host a large gathering, consider ordering rental high-top cocktail tables and a bar for set-up.

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Food

Cocktails are the main focus so keep the food light.  Finger foods and hors d’oeuvres for snacking are sufficient.  For a smaller budget simply place bowls of peanuts, olives, and, popcorn in different areas of the party space.  Of course, cheese is welcome at any party!  For the holidays, classics such as Brie en croute, or even a classy cheese and crackers platter are always crowd pleasers.  Easy to make canapés like prosciutto-wrapped apricots, or a basic a bruschetta add a fancy personalized touch. If your budget allows, consider having catering for passed appetizers or even simply picking up a few platters to ease some hosting stress.

 

Cocktails!

No need to be nervous, you do not need to stock a full service bar to host a cocktail party.  Having beer, and red and white wine available is a good idea.  Instead of providing a full bar, think about having one or two signature seasonal cocktails.  This is a wonderful way to encourage guests to think outside of their typical cocktail styles.  If you’d like, offer a hot beverage such as hot chocolate with Bailey’s or peppermint schnapps–this is a lovely winter-only adult treat that is always a crowd pl116249234101156483_OqYwLojc_beaser and easy to assemble.  For other signature drinks keep the options simple and, preferably, something that can be made ahead of time, like festive pomegranate punch.  Many times these cocktails tend to be sweet and syrupy so offering a stronger drink without as much fuss, such as a basil gimlet, will be a safer bet.

 

No matter what size the party, make it as easy as possible; after all, hosts who can enjoy themselves always throw good parties!  Consider using disposable stemware, buying pre-made appetizers, or using a caterer.  Keep décor to minimum; you want space for mingling and if the house is already decorated, all you need is few candles and the glow of a Christmas tree!

Cheers!

10 Holiday Cocktails

Healthy Holiday Cocktails

Best Hot Drinks for the Holiday Season

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