Archive for Weddings

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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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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Selecting a Venue

Party season is around the corner and many of us are dreaming of holiday parties.  One of the most important parts of party and wedding planning is selecting a venue.  With choices spanning small intimate parties at home to large affairs in a rented spaces, how do you know what kind of venue is right for your party?  We got our team of Serendipity Catering party planning specialists together to ask what they look for when selecting a venue and the right things to keep in mind when planning a big event.

Evergreen Lake House

 

What is the most important thing to keep in mind when selecting a venue?

Kelsey (Service Consultant)- I tend to look for space layout. It is so hard to do a big wedding or event in a small space or one where you have to travel a long ways to get people their food. You need a venue that will provide a good “flow” for the party with enough space for both guests and the caterers to move.

Shauna (Senior Event Coordinator) – Space and floor plan! You don’t want to be separated from any of your guests. Everyone should feel included. 

Diana (Event Coordinator)- Space!  Having ample space for the guest count is important, but you also don’t want there to be too much extra space or you lose the event’s mood.

Boettcher Mansion

 

What is an important question to ask when visiting a venue?

Erin (Service Consultant)- Do they allow outside catering and where is the best place for a catering van to unload and park?  Also, do they supply rentals such as tables, chairs and eating ware?   For a wedding ask about changing areas and if you are going to be outdoors at all ask about a contingency plan!

 

How important is it that your caterer communicates with the venue?

 ShaunaOn a scale of 1-10, it’s a 12!

 

What is your favorite Colorado venue?

Kelsey – Boettcher Mansion is a fabulous example of a great catering venue. It has a full commercial kitchen with fridge, ice machine, grill top, ovens, warmers, commercial size sink, and a ton of prep space.

Shauna – Grant-Humphreys Mansion is a perfect venue for large events.  They have a large kitchen, a gorgeous patio and ceremony space.

Diana – Not necessarily a venue, but I love parties at residences.  It gives you an idea of who the host is and gives that personal touch to the event.

Grant-Humphreys Mansion

 

Serendipity Catering works with several top-notch venues and loves them all for different reasons.  Here are just a few:

We love the open and versatile, urban space that an art gallery can provide, not to mention the cool ever-changing artwork!   We love working Space Gallery and Translations Gallery.

For history and elegance in the city we like Grant Humphreys Mansion.

Close mountain retreats with breathtaking views: Evergreen Lake House, Chief Hosa Lodge or Della Terra are all classic Colorado options.

For wine lovers, consider a vineyard!  We love Balistreri Vineyards.

And, for the best of the city and the outdoors, Denver parks such as Cheesman Park, Washington Park and City Park are great for spring and summer events!

Cheesman Park Wedding Catered by Serendipity

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A Fall Wedding

Many brides prefer the spring and summer for a wedding, but fall is gaining popularity.  With cooler weather and richer colors, an autumn wedding in Colorado can be a great way celebrate a big change!

 

A Venue

When finding a venue it is important to consider the weather.  If you are having an early fall wedding (September or early October) you might be able to get away with an outdoor wedding, but consider a venue that has both an outdoor and indoor option in case of inclement weather.  A recent trend are country barns dressed up in wild roses, sunflowers, and gardenias for a glammed-up rustic feel.  Barns are a great way to tie in the changing outdoors with their large austere feel. Art galleries and museums also make great fall venues.  These spaces can be very open, with large windows, leaving plenty of room to decorate to fit your vision.  Often many art galleries in Denver will have funky garage doors and patios if you’d like a space with an outdoor area for your guests.  Of course, living in Colorado we cannot neglect the mountains.  There are many high country venues to chose from–just consider the distance you would like to drive and if there are accommodations for guests that would want to stay.   The mountains can provide a beautiful, natural fall backdrop!

 

Decorations

Fall colors are deep, rich and vibrant.  Deep purples, mahogany reds, Aspen tree yellow, dusty orange, and chocolate browns are all great colors to choose from for a fall wedding.  If these colors don’t suit you, go for a sea blue with touches of deep orange or, for our pink girls, we like light and dark shades of pink with deep browns and gold. When planning a fall wedding it is best to keep nature in mind and not stray too far away from the season.  Use anything from wheat bundles in ribbon, changing leaf-tree branches, pomegranates, apples or mini pumpkins in tall vases or fall flowers for centerpieces.  Use the changing season as your inspiration.

 

Food

Comfort foods often remind us of fall and winter.  When planning your menu, think of heartier food–roasts or pork tenderloin. Skip items like seafood or chicken.  For appetizers have your cheese plate include blue cheeses, apples, and figs.  This is both beautiful and delicious!  Sides can be dishes like herbed mashed potatoes or roasted root vegetables.  Rosemary, sage, thyme and marjoram are herbs that can instantly conjure up fall memories.  So make sure your menu has these included!  Another fun addition for colder weather weddings is to have hot chocolate or hot cider for your guests.  To kick it up a notch offer guests hot drinks spiked with Khalua or rum.  As a parting gift for your guests, give out wrapped candy apples labeled with the bride and groom’s names and the date.  A delightful gift any guest would be happy to walk away with!

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Colorado Wineries

Blue skies, mountains, and micro-brews are some of the images that come to mind when you think of Colorado.  It is, after all, considered the Napa Valley of microbreweries, though that seems to leave us overlooking another happening trend here: wineries. From Delta to Pikes Peak, Colorado is emerging on the wine scene!  Here are few ideas to get in on the fun while supporting our fellow Coloradans.

Planning an event?  Many of our local wineries are for rent!  They make great venues for hosting a large party, such as a wedding or company picnic. (Serendipity is catering a wedding this Fall at Balistreri Vinyards.)  Even smaller groups like bachelorette parties are an entertaining way to experience a winery. Setting up a private tasting with the proprietors is a fun way to learn more about wine, compare, and taste!  For smaller parties, call a week or two ahead of time.  To make reserve for larger parties, call three to six months ahead.  Some wineries are smaller then others, so do your research to see which venue is appropriate for your party size.

If you can’t make it to a winery, host a wine tasting at your own house!  Buy four local wines, two red, two white.  For smaller parties, call Serendipity and arrange to pick up a few wine-friendly appetizers like a gourmet cheese platter, antipastos, and petit fours. For larger parties we can arrange a bartender, rentals, passed appetizers, and we’ll also set up and clean up! Invite your friends to participate in a blind tasting by covering or hiding all labels on the bottles.  Place an empty jar next to each wine and ask your guests to drop a marble or penny in the jars of the wine they like most.  At the end of the evening see which wine is the crowd favorite.

 

 

Of course, wine and romance go hand and hand!  When planning a romantic evening in our lovely state you have many options.   One of our favorite ideas is an easy hike ending with a romantic picnic. Serendipity can customize a lovely and unique picnic basket that includes any of your favorites!  We can help select a wine to pair with your culinary delights.  All you need to bring is the blanket and your honey!

For a complete list of Colorado Wineries click here!

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The Rehearsal Dinner

There are so many decisions to make when planning a wedding — the venue, the ceremony, the reception, the caterer and all the details from colors, to menus to flowers. The rehearsal dinner is often considered last. But, in some ways, the best is saved for last.

The rehearsal dinner is a time for those directly involved with the wedding to get together and share some private time before the big day. The rehearsal dinner is often more causal and relaxed than other events surrounding a wedding. From a plated meal to a picnic, anything goes at a rehearsal dinner.

 

Etiquette

A rehearsal dinner by Serendipity

Traditionally the groom’s parents pay for the rehearsal dinner. However, it is becoming more common for close friends or relatives to host the dinner before the big day. Despite who plays host, the bride and groom should always be consulted about the details.

Immediate family, members of the bridal party and their spouses, children in the bridal party and their parents and the officiant and his spouse should be invited to the rehearsal dinner. It is common to also include any out-of-town guests. It is not necessary to send an invitation to the rehearsal dinner, word-of-mouth is appropriate. Guests shouldn’t be expected to pay for any part of the rehearsal dinner, including their drinks.

You can read a little more about rehearsal dinner etiquette from Martha Stewart.

Martha Stewart Weddings: The Etiquette of Wedding Rehearsal Dinners

 

What to Serve

Some families decide to prepare the rehearsal dinner themselves. From grilling in the back yard to a more formal menu, there are a lot of do-it-yourself options. Serendipity found some menu ideas and recipes for you to consider.

Epicurious: Rehearsal Dinner

Yum Sugar: Rehearsal Dinner Menu

My Recipes: Three Course Rehearsal Dinner Menu

That being said, most event planners suggest you select a caterer for you rehearsal dinner. While it might seem like a money saver to do it yourself, it is a huge commitment and often drains time and energy that could be spent on enjoying family and friends. Serendipity understands how important the rehearsal dinner can be and will work with families to create a memorable night before the big day.

A fun cake by Anything But Vanilla

Grooms cakes are another fun addition to the rehearsal dinner menu. This is an opportunity to be creative and reflect the groom’s interests. Serendipity partners with Anything But Vanilla to create amazing groom’s cakes. Here are some ideas featured on Delish, but bring us your ideas and we’ll make your vision a cake reality.

Delish: Grooms Cakes

Serendipity can easily add your rehearsal dinner to your wedding catering needs.  Call a service consultant today to plan your rehearsal dinner, snacks for the bridal party while they are getting ready and, of course, your reception.

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Great Tasting Restricted Diets

Guess whose coming to dinner! Do you know what they can eat? Those with medically necessitated food restrictions or voluntary special diets often struggle to eat in restaurants and at parties.

As a host, it is proper etiquette to ask guests if they have any dietary restrictions and to do your best to accommodate their needs. As someone who requires a certain diet, help the host by offering to bring a dish you can eat.

You should know the lingo and consider your options before planning your next party.

Gluten Free

A gluten-free, vegan meal from Serendipity.

Celiac disease is a genetic disorder where certain types of protein, called gluten, set off an autoimmune response that damages the small intestine. The small intestine then loses its ability to absorb the nutrients found in food. Those with the disease should avoid all forms of wheat, commercial salad dressing, instant coffee, canned soup and stock, beer or any beverage made from grain alcohol and canned tuna, to name a few.

There are a lot of delicious gluten-free recipes that all guests will enjoy.

Self: Gluten Free Recipes

Whether you have Celiac disease or you know someone who does, plan to attend the sixth annual “The Incredible, Edible Gluten-Free Food Fair” at the Denver Merchandise Mart Aug. 19. More information about the fair, in addition to gluten-free recipes and information can be found on the Denver Metro Celiac Support website.

Denver Metro Celiac Support

Lactose Intolerant

Many people can’t properly digest lactose, a type of natural sugar found in milk and dairy products. People who experience this intolerance should avoid milk products. While most people with lactose intolerance can find plenty to eat at a party, there are numerous lactose-free recipes that are delicious. Food.com has a very comprehensive listing of lactose-free recipes.

Food.com: Lactose-free Recipes

 

Vegetarian

More and more people are choosing some form of a vegetarian diet. However, there are many categories of vegetarians and, as a host, knowing what you can and can’t serve can be confusing. Here is a quick guide.

Semi-Vegetarian: Someone who consumes dairy products, eggs, chicken and fish but no other animal flesh.

Ovo-Lacto-Vegetairan: They eat no meat, poultry, fish or seafood but they do eat eggs and drink milk. A majority of vegetarians fall in this category.

Ovo-Vegetarian: They eat no meat or dairy products except for eggs.

Lacto-Vegetarian: They consume no meat or dairy products except for milk.

Vegan: They do not consume any animal products or by-products.

With the increasing numbers of vegetarians, it is usually a good idea to prepare a vegetarian option for you party guests. It may seem overwhelming but there are thousands of recipes that are easy to make and taste great – recipes that both vegetarians and meat-eater alike will devour. Here are some options Martha Stewart just released for Earth Day.

Martha Stewart: Vegetarian Recipes

 

Raw Food Diet

Made up of 75 percent fruits and vegetables, raw foodists choose to eat plant foods in their natural form, uncooked. Raw foodists believe high heat destroys enzymes and vitamins critical for proper digestion. Staples of this diet include seaweed, sprouts, sprouted seeds, whole grains, beans, dried fruits and nuts.

Webmd: Raw Food Diet

Try one of these raw food recipes at your next party.

Rawfoodrecipes.com

 

Working with a Caterer

Serendipity will always work with clients to accommodate dietary restrictions. We will help you select a menu that satisfies all the guests’ palettes. Call a Serendipity service consultant to start planning your party today.

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