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Debunking Popular Assumptions on Event Meal Service & Budget

Blog, Event Planning Advice / 01.12.20160 comments

"Expert in the Field" Guest Blogger Rachel Main of Main Course Ca Catering

“Expert in the Field” Guest Blogger Rachel Main of Main Course Ca Catering

As a wedding and event planner, one of the biggest discussions with our clients is their spending plan (budget).  And since the majority of any event’s budget is dedicated to food and beverage, the menu one chooses can either keep one within their spending plan or blow it out of the water.  There are many assumptions that certain meal style services cost more or less (our personal favorite is the myth that Family Style must be less expensive automatically- see why it’s often the most expensive choice and why below).  Professional, full-service caterer Main Course California’s Rachel Main recently addressed the top assumptions about meal style and price and we are delighted to feature her as an Expert in the Field Guest Blogger today on Santa Barbara Wine Country Weddings & Events.

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MYTHS AND REALITIES OF SAVING MONEY ON YOUR SPECIAL EVENT MENU

Debunking Popular Assumptions
By Rachel Main (Holst)

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Wine With a Wedding Planner Announces 2016 Winter Appearance Dates

Blog, Event Industry Businesses & Professionals, Event Planning Advice, Industry Shenanigans, Innovations / 01.09.20162 comments

#WineWithAWeddingPlanner

#WineWithAWeddingPlanner | Kerry Lee Dickey

Wine With a Wedding Planner” offers an innovative, community-based approach to wedding planning in complete relaxation.  It combines the expertise of Certified Wedding Professional and CEO/Founder of Santa Barbara Wine Country Weddings & Events Kerry Lee Dickey and the beautiful wedding locations Santa Barbara and its wine country have to offer with a fresh approach to a “meet and greet” complimentary communal consultation.

Similar to “Coffee with a Cop”, Ms. Dickey will be meeting with potential clients at various venues in the area during their business hours in a public area.  She invites anyone thinking of having a wedding in this area – or simply anyone planning a wedding  with need for planning, etiquette , or venue recommendations – to stop by, say hello and engage with her at no charge.  At all locations, Wine With a Wedding Planner visitors are

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Charming Alisal River Terrace Wine Country Wedding & Private Home Reception

Blog, Real Weddings / 01.06.20160 comments

ART Caitlin 1Caitlin and Tyler chose one of Santa Barbara wine country’s hidden gem locations for their nuptials, followed by a charming reception at their parent’s home in Solvang.  Alisal River Terrace, associated with the renowned Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort, offers sweeping views of the wine country hillside, and a small intimate lake with plenty of green and serenity.  With ample guest parking and space, it is a beautiful option for ceremonies and receptions and one that carries incredible value for the wedding spending plan.

As Caitlin and Tyler’s Ceremony Coordinator, I was particularly touched by

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The Work that Really Matters | My Top 5 Behind-the-Scenes “Secrets”

Blog, Event Industry Businesses & Professionals / 12.27.20150 comments

Image-9371702-186747862-2-WebSmall_0_3dc0d31a4e12d5eb10b7ea798c9c5deb_1The single most important element of my work is one that will never be featured in the news, will never earn me some prestigious industry award and yet, it is more important to my existence and contributes to my 15 year business success and reputation more than anything else:  it is the work that really matters:  it is investing in humanity and relationships with everyone with whom I come into contact: clients, event partners and more.  Even more than this, but quite simply, it is paying attention and being present.

These simple acts of paying attention over time is what I call “investment time”.  You may not
see results from it monetarily (or otherwise) immediately (and honestly, monetary gain shouldn’t be your primary goal anyway), but they do spell out long-term business over time.  I have developed a faithful and loyal devotion to my brand because of their allegiance to me and my “investment” in them.  People “buy” people, not just a product or service.

To invest in people, one has to pay attention and genuinely love the process. Here are some of my secrets that are  part of my core value system as an individual

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How to Help Prevent Wedding Gift Thievery at Your Wedding

Blog, Event Planning Advice / 12.27.20150 comments

catherine-chairAs a professional wedding planner, I’ve seen my share of disappointing “ever-afters” in the gift-reception category after being a part of over 600 weddings.

I am often asked who would be so thoughtless to take gifts on such a happy day. Many of my clients say, “we knew every single one of our guests intimately and none of them would do something like this.”  The  sad reality is that it is not always the guests you invite, but their “plus ones” or children or relatives, perhaps some individuals that you may not know.  It is rarely the staff working the event, although in some cases, it can be.  At locations such as resorts and hotels where other non-wedding-invited hotel guests or the public have access or can pass through a ceremony or reception area, it can be complete strangers.   And finally, for off-site, non-hotel events where the caterer is brought in, I know first hand that many caterers,

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SBWCWE Consults With Party Time With Scott Topper TV Show For A Sparkling 2016

Event Industry Businesses & Professionals, Industry Shenanigans / 12.08.20150 comments

Event Professionals in a Moroccan Cabana for Episode 1 of Party Time with Scott Topper 2016

Event Professionals in a Moroccan Cabana for Episode 1 of Party Time with Scott Topper 2016

Party Time with Scott Topper has become one of the community’s most beloved local television features.  Produced at independent studio TV Santa Barbara, the show’s founder, producer and host Scott Topper, is the first to admit that it’s like “community theater”.  So, for someone like me whose background includes the theater arts, the local “feel” of folks putting in their heart and soul into an endeavor with a little quirky touch really appealed to me.  When Scott asked me to co-produce and come up with a fresh concept for his 2016 shows, I was thrilled.  I have worked with Scott for years professionally working weddings & events and having watched Party Time with Scott Topper, thought it would be a great opportunity to do one of the things that I do best:  inspire with fresh

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Why Is There No Pricing Listed on your “Month-of” Package?

Blog, Event Planning Advice / 09.24.20150 comments

Photo by Stephanie Hogue

Photo by Stephanie Hogue

As you are perusing  through our planning package suggestions and starting prices, you probably noticed that “Month of” is the only package  that does not list a starting price. You may wonder, “Well, how am I supposed to know if you even are close to my budget without a price?”  or , “I need some kind of guideline on what to expect, as I’m shopping for Coordinators and need to know roughly what your ‘Month of’ even starts at…”

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How to Never Be Referred for Your Event Service

Blog, Rants / 08.18.20150 comments

Location: Bacara Resort and Spa | Photo Credit: Michael Costa

Bacara Resort Wedding| Photo Credit: Michael Costa

I admit it. I have had some of the world’s best service training and have integrated many of these practices into my business and brand.  And yet, I still always consider the nature of the event, the circumstance and have a keen appreciation for humanity in all its facets, styles, and also fully acknowledge everyone has a different style of “getting it done” at the end of the day.  And yet.  And yet…..

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The Number One Possible Hidden Element in Some Catering Bids That Every Bride Should Know

Event Planning Advice, News, Rants / 08.18.20150 comments

Photo Credit: MiBelle Photography

Photo Credit: MiBelle Photography

At Santa Barbara Wine Country Weddings & Events, we have a required “Full Service Caterer” list from which our clients must hire.  These professionals already adhere to service basics in producing weddings and events. They know that the caterer’s job is more than just to provide good food.  They are the backbone of a successful event: from coordinating rentals to set up, breakdown, proper clean-up, timing, and so much more.  Plus, they provide one of the most essential elements of any good caterer, and that is the element of pre – event day planning and communication with a dedicated representative that will be with you in the planning stages of your event. The latter is not always reflected on a catering proposal, and not paying attention to this can cost one dearly “day of”, or in unexpected charges from the sub-standard caterer (or other service providers who have to do extra work to accommodate what the caterer should have been doing to begin with). 

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Behind-the-Scenes Services Your Coordinator Performs That You May Never Know About

Blog, Rants / 07.19.20150 comments

Photo by Tim Halberg

Photo by Tim Halberg

An experienced, professional wedding consultant is worth their weight in gold. And then some.  Predicting and preventing crises before they happen has always been a part of our “legendary event planning expertise” we offer clients.  But perhaps just as important,  is our trademark that includes how we make people feel at the end of the event day.  This includes our clients, every guest interaction and vendors, too.

We receive inquiries on our services and many are simply looking at price alone.  And while we feel we offer significant value for our highly unique professional background and experience, our clients are also paying for our attention to detail in those moments and for those details  in which we are not technically contracted.  Here are just a few examples of what we (and many professional coordinators) are doing behind the scenes to make your wedding and event a seamless and stress-free affair:

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