Photo Credits: Artz Photo, Jeff Kolodny Photography, Munoz Photography, Bill Peck Photography



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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wedding Professional Wednesday: Shannon Tarrant of Big City Catering

We are back with our spring edition of Wedding Professional Wednesday's! This week we are featuring one of the best, Shannon Tarrant of Big City Catering. Shannon is one of those people in the industry who gives 150% at all times to her clients. She takes pride in what her company stands for and always delivers. Shannon is also a character, she is always smiling and makes others around her laugh! We asked Shannon some questions about herself and Big City Catering so we could help get some insight to what catering means to your wedding day.

Name: Shannon Tarrant

Name of Company: Big City Catering
Where are you located? We are located in Orlando but serve all of Central Florida
Number of years with big city? I have been with Big City for four years.

Websites:
Company Facebook
Company Twitter
Company Blog

Tell us a little about Big City and the services you offer:
As Big City we combine our skillful culinary and operations teams to develop individual menu creations for each client. We blend our custom menus and logistics into a seamless experience enjoyed by both guest and host alike. From the simplest party to the most lavish, casual or elegant, Big City is ever mindful of the details, assuring a successful event, regardless of the budget.

How did you get started?
After graduating from UCF's Rosen College of Hospitality Management, I moved up north to pursue a career in New York, CT doing event planning. I worked for a non-profit planning community events to recruit foster parents and then moved into wedding planning that is where I found my passion. I found that doing these events gave me a great sense of fulfillment, but I wasn't particularly fond of the New York winters, and decided to relocated back to sunny Florida. I returned to Florida in 2007 and founded the wedding division at Big City Catering. I'm thankful to have found a "home" and a place that I am able to utilize my talents and abilities to the fullest and always continue to grow.

What professional organizations or industry networking groups are you a member of?
I am currently a member of NACE, the National Association of Catering Executives.

Furthest place and/ or interesting place you've travelled to while working on a wedding assignment?
After moving back to Orlando, I had one more wedding planning to complete in Connecticut. It was late October and a fall themed event. Autumn was in the air with seasonal decor such as pumpkins, gourds, apples floating in barrels, and the most beautiful colors in the trees that you have ever seen. It was picturesque.

What are a few suggestions you would make to couples as they are selecting a professional in your service area for their special day?
We highly recommend that every bride consult the services of a wedding planner. Having a history in wedding planning, I really value all of the things that a planner can do for the bride. From reviewing contracts, creative design and most importantly, SAVING THE BRIDE AND GROOM MONEY, we try to get each bride to consider the importance of having a planner in their corner. When it comes to the menu, I suggest that every couple customize the menu to both formal plated to buffet, tropical to seasonal, themed or traditional, we can provide any type of food!

What are some important questions every bride/groom should remember to ask their event caterer?
Can I customize a special menu? Have you worked at my venue before? Can you show me pictures of events that you have done at my venue? Can we go over everything included in the contract? One of the most overlooked items on the contract in the timeline. Make sure that the catering timeline matches your vision for your special day.

What are some important questions every bride/groom should remember to ask their special event caterer?
Can I customize a special menu? Have you worked at my venue before? Can you show me pictures of events that you have done at my venue? Can we go over everything included in the contract? One of the most overlooked items on the contract is the timeline. Make sure that the catering timeline matches your vision for your special day.

What are the trends and innovations in your service area?
The late night food tend is really popular. Whether it is sliders and french fries or liquid nitrogen ice cream. It's always nice to provide tour guests with a little surprise after dinner. A lot of our clients are opting for themed menu stations like Asian, Mexican and Mediterranean all on the same menu. The meal is like a trip around the world.

What are three favorite blogs besides the Joie de Vie blog?
I follow Blue Planet Weddings about green, ethical and eco-friendly weddings, one of my favorite authors Jen Lancaster, and when I need to laugh I stop by Tacky Weddings.

If you weren't working in the industry, what field would you be in instead? Why?
I would definitely be a CSI. It was my original major in college until I realized that chemistry is not my strong point. I love all of the detail work figuring things out by following the clues. Maybe a detective would be better!

Favorite Reality Show?
I LOVE survivor. Someday, I'll be on that show!

What show do you TiVo/DVR?
Top Chef -Diners, Drive In's and Dives -The Closer - and -Project Runway

We are so happy to get insight into Shannon Tarrant and how she became a part of Big City Catering. Food and Beverage is an important part of the wedding planning process. Consulting with a professional who knows the industry is crucial. To get more information about Big City's Catering services you can contact Shannon at:

Shannon Tarrant
Big City Catering
Office 407.438.3488 x18
shannon@bigcitycatering.com
http://www.bigcitycatering.com/

Until next time,
Danielle
© 2005 - 2011 Joie de Vie Weddings & Events, Inc. - All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Girl Scout Cookies: Help a cause with a great treat for your guests!


I love, heart, scream for and indulge in Girl Scout Cookies. One of my colleagues daughters and the troop at my church sell the cookies every year and it's always a pleasure to support these future 'Girl'preneurs as they raise dollars for the many causes the Girl Scout Council supports. Well you can do the same for your event as well. The great thing with Girl Scout cookies is you can buy them now and freeze them until you need them throughout the year.

Here are a few ways you can use them:


(photo courtesy of Amy Atlas with Amy Atlas Events)

1. Guest Welcome Bags. I always encourage my couples to have welcome bags if the budget permits. Glassine bags can be used to pack 2-3 cookies to include with the welcome bags you are providing to the hotel. What a nice snack for someone who just drove in or has been flying for the last 3 hours!

2. Cookie bar anyone? Everyone has had popcorn bars, candy bars, pie bars, sweet treat bars and cookie bars... A Girl Scout Cookie Bar would be a nice touch. You can either add it to your sweet table with all of your other 'childhood' favorites or make a full Girl Scout Cookie Bar. No worries here as there will not be a cookie left (trust me). [side note: be sure to have the small tongs for the guests to pick up the cookies from you trifle bowls, apothecary jars and containers you are placing the cookies in]

3. Are you having an after party? A display table with many treats and snacks can include the Girl Scout Cookies as well. Your chic, swank and slammin' after party just went to another level with the cookies.

4. Favors as the guests leave at the end of the night. I love having a table in the hall or near the exit that is visible to guests as they leave. We've created custom signs with a nice message along with the favors for guests to pick up as they leave. Ask your venue or caterer if they can get you little bottles of milk or cartons of milk (taking it back to your school days). Place the milk in a nice container of ice and have the cookies in glassine bags with a custom label as seen here:

(photo courtesy of Kelly McWilliams with Weddings By Socialites)

This is a cute and memorable way to incorporate something unique that helps a great cause for your wedding! Below is a great video from the Girl Scouts that tells you a bit about the impact of the.


As I mentioned before, this is a great idea for those looking to stray away from the traditional candy bar.


Until next time,

© 2005 - 2011 Joie de Vie Weddings & Events, Inc. - All Rights Reserved.

Until next time,







© 2005 - 2011 Joie de Vie Weddings & Events, Inc. - All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! We've been super busy at Joie de Vie and have not had the time to update you on all of the Happenings, but be not afraid! We're back!!

We have some exciting posts in store including great favor ideas, our Wedding Professional Wednesdays Series and our Real Weddings from the past few months. We will also introduce you to our Spring 2011 Interns who will have a few feature blog posts here as well.

Stay tuned...

Until next time,
© 2005 - 2011 Joie de Vie Weddings & Events, Inc. - All Rights Reserved.