choosing a caterer…yum!

16th March, 2012 - Posted by Lia - No Comments

Choosing a caterer is one of the most important parts of planning your reception– it will probably be the most money spent on your wedding day so it’s important that you’re please all around with whom you choose. This is the meal that all of your guests will partake in and it is what connects and entertains your guests all night. Your caterer or catering company will be responsible for so much more than just putting a plate in front of your guests– it is here that you’ll most likely book your china, linens, hire your servers, and compile your beverage menu. With all of these tasks under one vendor, it’s someone you should be very happy with.

I attended my second wedding menu tasting last week because while I had a great first tasting with another caterer, I wasn’t completely satisfied with the service, all they had to offer, and the pricepoint. I was more than pleased in attending my second tasting and my fiancee and I will be going with this particular vendor.

Here are some questions to ask your caterer before attending your menu tasting:

1. Have they catered a wedding at the reception venue you chose?

2. What is included in their catering quote ?

3. Are they willing to include all rentals and menu choices for a certain price point?

4. How are dietary concerns met? Allergies, low fat, diabetics, etc.

5. What is the timeline from the arrival of the caterer to serving?

6. What serving options are available– i.e. buffet, plated, family style, etc.

7. Are the willing to create a menu on your specific choices, family recipes, cultural desires, etc?


Happy Tasting!

A Mediterranean menu tasting for my upcoming wedding!

cake time…sweet decisions.

15th March, 2012 - Posted by Lia - No Comments

Last week I finally got to attend my first cake tasting. I’ve emailed various bakers back and forth, had a couple phone conferences and exchanged business cards with a few bakeries at bridal shows. With so many different vendors to pick from, it’s hard to hone in on just one! Here’s some tips when choosing your baker:


1.Price. Know your cake budget before going into the meeting– find out the price difference between fondant and buttercream, edible flowers and decorations, and cake vs. cupcakes, etc. What are you willing to spend, and what can you do without?

2. Cleanliness. It’s important to see the facility of a bakery– I encourage you to go to the actual location of where the cakes are made so you can get a good idea of how clean and neat this particular baker is.

3. Reputation. It’s a wise idea to go with a baker that has built a reputation with other brides in the area. Ask to see previous wedding cakes and cupcakes, ask to be referred to their review Facebook page or feedback, know your baker and how they operate their business before you sign any contract or put down a deposit.

4. Ask Questions. You are paying your baker to give you what on your special day– so make sure that they are professional, give you what you’re looking for and will be able to create and deliver it within the time frame you need. Regardless if it’s just a matter of wanting a different shape flower, a different colored ribbon, or a food allergy– speak up and ask questions, give specifics of what you’re looking for.


Two of my possible cupcake designs from my chosen baker here in Grand Rapids.

endure the curveballs…

15th March, 2012 - Posted by Lia - No Comments

Hello to our fabulous readers–  

Hope Alcocer here, Marketplace Weddings’ In-House blogger. I hope that this blog post finds you well on this beautiful Wednesday afternoon. The lovely Lia has asked me to blog a bit more on here, get to you know all, and write on all things weddings as a weekly contributor. I’m honored!

I’m a bride to be myself,I got engaged on October 14th, 2011 and have been planning a September 8th, 2012 wedding. It’s been a crazy and stressful time yet so enjoyable to plan my dream wedding. My fiancee is in the military, so we’ve been comparing color swatches and honeymoon planning via Skype and email…it’s challenging, difficult and makes me assume I’ll start sprouting grey hairs sooner than later, but it’s worth it. I remember the real reason I’m getting married; it’s not because of the unique bouquets I chose, it’s not the designer dress or the one-of-a-kind menu- it’s because I want to spend the rest of my life married to my best friend, my other half, my soulmate.

This past weekend Evan and I endured another curve ball and due to military hangups we will need to postpone our wedding day. All of the time, work, and money going into a September 8th 2012 wedding is now put on pause until we figure out a better time where I know my fiancee can be home. My first reaction was to get upset and stress, then I was remembered that in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter. It’s just a date. If it was meant to be on September 8th, that would have happened; until then, I’ll wait to set a new date and look forward to it. I’m learning not to stress the small stuff. One might not consider a wedding date ” small stuff” but I am choosing to look at it like that. If we can endure distance and still love through a time of difficulty and war, we can surely weather any storm that comes our way.


My advice to you today– breathe. Take each “hiccup” as it comes. Love more, and stress less. Five years from now after you’ve had your wedding day you will look back and realize that these hangups did not matter- it will just matter that you’re happy & love the one you’re with.