Charlie Scola (Event Planner, Charlie Scola Catering) gives expert video advice on: What is the 'table presentation' of my party?; What should I consider when choosing table coverings for my party?; Should I use cloth or paper table coverings at my party? and more...
What is the 'table presentation' of my party?
The presentation of the dining table is always going to be your color linen, whether or not to have a linen. Perhaps your table is nice enough without a linen. Also, the flower arrangements, the pattern of the china, the silver, the glassware, the color napkin you're going to introduce, and possibly to match the flowers. All of this is considered your table presentation.
What should I consider when choosing table coverings for my party?
When choosing table covers for your table it could be linen, it could even a be disposable, or it could be plastic. When we are talking about table coverings, I generally talk about linens, and linens come in a variety of patterns. Most of your rental companies will have what is called a swatch pad. You will be able to look through that and make a decision based on what works for you.
Should I use cloth or paper table coverings at my party?
Deciding whether you should use cloth or paper to cover your table is generally a budget question. If you can afford to rent table linens, I strongly recommend it.
What type of plates should I use for my party?
Choosing the style plate for your party depends on two things. Number one is the budget. Number two is the type of party. If it's a sit down dinner, you're not going to want to serve on a plastic plate. China is recommended. Your rental houses will have a variety of different style and color plates. I recommend that you go to the rental house and take a walk around and view what they have on display. If you're going to use plastic, your party stores will have a wide variety of colors and styles there as well. This is really a budget question.
Should I use cloth or paper napkins at my party?
Whether you should choose cloth or paper napkins, it is always going to be a budget question. Naturally if it's a high end barbecue, I always recommend using cloth. But if it's not, you're going to need plenty of napkins.
What sort of drink-ware should I provide at my party?
The drink-ware you should provide is a standard 10 and a half ounce all-purpose glass. This is definitely what works the best. It is universal as you can put a beer in it, you can put a high-ball in it, or you can put something 'on the rocks' in it.
What sort of utensils should I provide at my party?
With utensils provided in a party, well they should be either a stainless steel or nice silver, and you can get that from many rental companies. However, if it's a casual party, disposable wear is fine.
Where should I place the buffet at my party?
When choosing an area to put your buffet, just make sure it's accessible to all the guests.
What is a 'chafing dish'?
A chafing dish is a heating element. It has two compartments and a lid. The bottom compartment holds the water. Underneath are two sternos which keep it warm. It's a liquid fuel. The top part is where you put the food in, so the food is always kept warm.
What should I consider when choosing chafing dishes for my party?
Factors to consider when choosing a chafing dish is the quantity of food and the different size chafing dish - a half size pan, or a full size pan. They also have round or oval chafing dishes. Make the selection based on the quantity of food.
Where should I put the bar at my party?
The best place to put a bar is further into the party area. Never put a bar at the entrance as guests will stop there and the guests trying to get into the party will be burdened. Put your bar into the party, trust me people will find the bar.
Do I need to have a bartender?
Having a bartender at your party is a budget question, but if you are going to have more than 50 guests, I highly recommend that you have a bartender who constantly keeps the spills to the minimum and also monitors the liquor. This is especially good if there's children at the party, to make sure that there's nobody getting drinks underage.
Is it ok for me to act as bartender at my own party?
If you want to act as the bartender at your own party, it can be fun but keep in mind that it's also a job and being the host or hostess at the party, I feel you have enough responsibility. Number one, you can't be at the door greeting your guests as they come in if you're at the bar. So I'd think twice about wanting to be your own bartender at your own party.
What is a 'self-service bar'?
A self-service bar is where it's set up and the guests can hep themselves. It should have everything from the alcohol to the wine, the beer. It should have bottles openers, mixers, shakers. It should have a blender if you plan on doing margaritas. But a self-service bar really works best when it's just a little bit of wine and a little bit of beer there and not that complex.
What should I consider when deciding whether to have a 'self-service' bar at my party?
Deciding whether or not you should have a self service bar at your party depends on the number of guests. If you're going to have more than fifty people, I recommend that you have someone tending and maintaining the bar.
What is a 'cash bar'?
A "cash bar" is one that you've obtained a one-day license from the ABC; the Alcoholic Beverage Control. The alcohol beverage council has given you the right to charge for drinks. But keep in mind, this is generally only granted to charities and under certain circumstances.
What is an 'open bar'?
An 'open bar' is considered a bar where your guests don't pay, and usually it has a variety of alcohol and a variety of mixed drinks. But no one exchanges cash.
What should I consider when deciding between a cash and open bar for my party?
Deciding whether you should have a cash bar and an open bar for your party, primarily depends on the type of party. If you are having a wedding, you wouldn't want to charge a guest for a drink. Usually cash bars are done at auctions. Fundraisers are probably your reason for a cash bar.