catering fort wayne

  • How To Structure A Plated Dinner Wedding

    Here in the Pacific Northwest, an overwhelming majority of weddings feature a buffet line for the reception’s meal service. However, I’m beginning to notice an increase in the number of weddings I’m performing at that are featuring a plated dinner. This is great to hear!

    In my opinion, plated dinners are an elegant alternative to the buffet line. Conversely, in my experience, they also take longer to complete; sometimes up to two hours or more for 150 guests. In short – ironic pun not intended! – that’s less time for dancing and celebration…

    …if you do not format your reception’s itinerary correctly and leverage time.

    Simply put, you cannot run a buffet-style itinerary – Grand Entrance, Buffet, Toasts, Formalities, Dancing – when opting for a plated dinner. Well, technically, you can, but it’s a huge mistake. It often leaves minimal dance floor time at the end, and guests become antsy as they have to wait for everyone to be served and then sit through toasts, formal dances and cake cutting.

    Plain and simple: that sucks.

    So, allow me to introduce the Plated Dinner Itinerary.

    The key to plated dinners is understanding the format (i.e. how many courses and how served) and having EXCEPTIONAL communication with the banquet captain and wedding planner/coordinator, if applicable, before AND during the reception. I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH.

    Let’s assume a two course plated dinner with a salad course and entrée course, as well as a champagne toast. As a disclaimer, I’m basing the proceeding from what has worked well for my clients based off my near decades of experience as a EMS DJ a Fort Wayne Wedding DJ who has experience. Here is how I would script the evening, with notes as necessary:

    • Cocktail Hour
    • Grand Entrance
    • First Dance and/or Welcome & Thank You and/or Blessing

    The latter two are optional, yet encouraged where appropriate  The First Dance is strongly recommend here as most believe that the dance floor should be opened by the bride and groom. While there are no rules, it’s always good to follow best practices. With everyone already on their feet as you enter, First Dance photos always look better with guests standing in the background.

    • Salad Course

    As soon as the opening formalities are done, servers will begin to place salads at tables, which can take anywhere from ten to fifteen minutes. As this happens, the Master of Ceremonies is preparing both fathers, as well as the mother of the groom, for their upcoming roles. As soon as the last table has been served, the Banquet Captain notifies the Master of Ceremonies, who then introduces the first father for his remarks.

    • Informal Toasts by Father of the Groom/Bride

    For the guests, these toasts are done with beverage in-hand. The Father of the Bride should speak last, as it makes for a better segue into the Father/Bride dance.

    • Father/Bride Dance
    • Mother/Groom Dance
    • Open Dancing & Socializing

    Here is why I cannot stress enough the need for excellent communication between the Banquet Captain and Master of Ceremonies before and during the reception. Most catering staffs will use this time to bus the salad plates before serving the entrées. Open Dancing here is not meant to be loud and uptempo; slow selections at a softer volume level are consistent with the elegant and romantic atmosphere that come with plated dinners. Elder guests will appreciate this! This time can also be used by the bride and groom to start the meet and greet process before re-seating for the entrée course.

    • Entrée Course

    Brides and grooms this is key: please resume meeting and greeting tables as soon as your meal is finished. By this time you’ll have met a majority of your guests, champagne will have been poured, both your Maid of Honor and Best Man prepped for the toasts and ready to go.

    • Formal Toasts by Maid of Honor & Best Man

    After these toasts, I like to lead with a segue to direct attention to the dance floor. “The Longest Married Couple Dance” works well here, as does a “Dollar Dance” or “Wedding Party Dance”.

    • Open Dancing & Socializing

    Music tempo should now be a nice mix of classic and contemporary selections at a mid-tempo pace for those that would like to dance, but not too loud for those guests that are still finishing their meal or socializing with the bride and groom. It’s all about reading the room and reacting appropriately here.

    Also, take a moment to appreciate the difference here. In the buffet-style format, the entrées would finally have been finished, and we’d just now be starting a four toaster sequence followed by cake cutting, a dessert social and possible sunset photos, and then three formal slow dances. The plated dinner format has leveraged a lot of that time and we already dancing and celebrating!

    • Cake Cutting

    Just wait for the natural time to segue to this – there is no need to do this immediately after the entrée course, unless the cake is to be served as a part of a dessert course. But since we have opted for a two course plated meal, we’ll discuss that variation later.

    • Bouquet & Garter Toss

    Since the cake table is usually off to a side or corner of the room, this directs attention away from the dance floor. Hence, we use the Bouquet & Garter Tosses as a segue back to the dance floor, immediately after the couple has cut the cake.

    • Open Dancing
    • Last Dance

    And that’s it!

    If there is a third course, say dessert or sorbet, the itinerary can be further modified to leverage time. Also to note: this is just a generalized template. The dinner format and formalities you choose to include, among other factors, may dictate a better way to leverage the time. Hiring a skilled Master of Ceremonies who is experienced at designing entertainment itineraries around plated dinners will be money well spent.

    We are a Fort Wayne, IN wedding DJ company that started in 2009. When you work with EMS DJ you will meet your Fort Wayne Dj which will be me (Eric Smith), Jason Flemming, or Clint Davis. We are a wedding team that do over 100+ weddings a year in Fort Wayne, IN, 30+ corporate and holiday parties in Fort Wayne, IN, and 40+ school dances (high school dance, middle school dance, and elementary school dance) in Fort Wayne, IN. You meet with your DJ to ensure we make the right fit with the client. At EMS DJ, a Fort Wayne DJ weddings we work with many vendors that are valued in the community and highly recognized! Set up your appointment for your wedding dj by contact EMS DJ at (260) 460-7546 or contacting us today. We look forward to being your Fort Wayne DJ! You can receive a quote today from EMS Disc Jockey a Fort Wayne, IN wedding disc jockey.

  • Ceremony or Reception at Fort Wayne's Botanical Conservatory?

    Ceremony or Reception at Fort Wayne's Botanical Conservatory?

    Congratulations on reserving the Botanical Conservatory for your Ceremony or Reception venue! The Botanical Conservatory is an amazing place with beautiful flowers, occasional butterfly exhibit, excellent outside venue with Tents, public restrooms close, and close parking.

    EMS DJ has provided entertainment for many brides at the Fort Wayne's beautify Botanical Conservatory. To ensure you have the best experience and no surprises we wanted to give you questions to look at when planning your event.

    1. Botanical Conservatory located in beautiful downtown Fort Wayne can be an outdoor venue or indoor venue depending on weather circumstances. Of course many individuals reserve the Botanical Conservatory for their outdoor venue view.
      1. Botanical Conservatory offers the option to be inside or outside depending on weather. When weather is good you have them submit your chairs and tables outside, but if your unsure you have them set the tables and chairs inside. This can be a tricky question because set up and tear down is only done once. The day of you need to make a decision good or bad. Many individuals try to hold out and wait, but this is not good because it brings stress on YOU! Pick your answer and rock with it, make your life a lot easier!
    2. Time, Time, and More Time
      1. This is a tricky one with the Botanical Conservatory. Botanical Conservatory ask you for the official event times, but in their contract it says the music must shut down 1/2 hour prior to the end time (not sure why), but it does. So example: if your event time are from 6 to 11 p.m. tell the Botanical Conservatory it is from 6 to 11:30 p.m. This means the music will have to shut down at 11:00 p.m. EMS DJ and other vendors know that we have to be out by 12 a.m. per the Botanical Guidelines. We have seen so many times that their event is cut 1/2 hour short because of this and unfortunately we have to abide by the guidelines.
    3. Layout:
      1. Layout is huge at Botanical Conservatory! We have done many weddings with a Ceremony followed by a Reception and individuals carried their chairs over. We have done set up where the dancing was done under the tent and some where it was done by the water fountain, but whatever the case may be all layouts work!
      2. Dance Floor, should I rent one?
        1. This is a great question, but yes you can rent a dance floor! We have worked with our friends at Summit City Rental on their dance floors multiple times!
      3. Ceremony where the guest are at their tables
        1. If you find yourself wanting to get married under the tent that is no problem! Many individuals have their ceremony under the tent and have their guest staying at their tables.
    4. Chairs
      1. I do not like the White Samsonite Chairs and would like to get my own chairs? Can you put chair covers on or change out chairs?
        1. Our friends at Summit City Rental have brought in their White Padded Chairs and Clear Chivari Chairs.

    These are just a few questions you want to think about when having your event at the Botanical Conservatory! This is a wonderful place to have an outdoor wedding and has the possibility to have an indoor in case of rain.

    Most of all have fun at your RECEPTION!

    EMS DJ

    EMS DJ is a Fort Wayne Wedding DJ that has performed in Fort Wayne, IN. We have been at Cerutis Catering, Goegleins, Wedding Dreams by Linda, and many more places!

  • Wedding Dreams by Linda //Fort Wayne Catering

    Wedding Dreams by Linda //Fort Wayne Catering & Banquet Facility

    Wedding Dreams by Linda is an amazing banquet and catering company. They provide catering to many local favor Fort Wayne Banquet Facilities including IPFW, Masonic Temple, Dupont Downs,

    Continue reading
  • Cerutis Catering //Fort Wayne, IN

    Cerutis Catering //Fort Wayne, IN Banquet Facility

    Cerutis Catering has always been on the modern trend with their new Summit Park Fort Wayne, Bergstaff Fort Wayne, and new Banquet Event Center Fort Wayne (BEC). If you are looking for modern and ellegant Cerutis has the perfect reception hall. There banquet facilities include tall ceilings, maximum capacity,

    Continue reading

4 Item(s)