Here are some helpful hints and tips for your next event!

Tables, Linens, and Spacing

  • 60” round seats 8-10; 120” round cloth

  • 72” round seats 10-12; 132” round cloth

  • 48” round seats 6-8; 108” round

  • 36” round seats 4-5; 96” round

  • *Guests need a minimum of 18” per place setting/seating on long tables

  • 6x30 is 90x132” linen

  • 8x30 is 90x156” linen

  • 4x30 is 90x108” linen

  • If setting tables for seating at banquet tables, recommend 36-42” wide tables or place settings are crowded

  • A 60” round set for 10 needs 100 sq ft of space; or 10 sq ft per person

Kitchen, Catering and Hostess Tips

 

Hors d'oeuvres:

  • Pre-heat your oven to be ready at 350

  • Recommend 4-6 types for variety

  • Be sure to include Vegetarian, Vegan and Gluten Free Options

  • Vary between Hot and Cold Hors d’oeuvres for ease of service and timing

  • Include a few stationary items such as spiced nuts, crudité, cheese platter or charcuterie

  • Formula is One bite every 10 mins; so for 2hrs it is 12 bites per person

  • *Small parties you may need more per person than on large events

Coffee:

  • One pound of coffee is 35 cups

  • Offer Regular and Decaf varieties

  • Coffee too weak? Here’s my trick:  Pour the brewed coffee back over the grinds again and let it drip through-some coffee not “perked?” Pouring the hot half brewed coffee back over the grinds will help save a batch in a pinch!

  • Include Milk, Half and Half, Skim and other Non-Dairy options to suit your guests’ preferences as well as sugar substitutes

  • Order from Pea Pod or Insta Carte so you don’t have to make a last-minute trip!

  • To Go cups with lids are also a nice touch for departing guests

Additional Items:

  • Paper Towels, Windex or kitchen cleaner/sanitizer, disinfectant

  • Tissues, hand sanitizer and wipes

  • Broom and dustpan/mop to clean up any spills

  • Additional garbage bags needed for all disposable/recyclable items

  • Garbage and recycling bins; bags and cans

  • First Aid Kit (Band Aids)

  • Cookie trays for heating any warm hors d’oeuvres

  • Additional Sterno for chaffers

  • Birthday Candles? Tip: Keep some in the pantry at all times

  • Lighters instead of matches

  • Fire Extinguisher for a Fire Pit, Candles, and Sterno

  • Baggies, Zip Locks, To-go Containers, Tupperware, Plastic Wrap, Aluminum Foil for your leftovers and treats to go for your guests!

  • Tip: Take out containers from restaurants and grocery stores work great for this!

  • Tip: Don’t have an extra fridge for leftovers? Use a large cooler with left over ice to temporarily store your leftover party food.

  • Tip:  When is your garbage pickup? If there is too much garbage to fit inside your cans or garbage area, extra bags will need to be stored inside to prevent animals from ripping into it. You may need to schedule an extra pick up or rent a small dumpster for a larger event.

  • On a Septic Tank? Maybe time for a pump out!

Oven Sizes

  • Typically, a 30” Oven is only 24” wide inside

  • A 36” Range or Oven is 28” wide inside

  • Full Sheet Pans are 18” x 26”; will only fit in a larger oven

  • Half Sheet Pans are 18” x 13” (half the width) and can fit in both a larger and smaller oven; and are quicker to reheat and store

  • I typically recommend catered food come in Half Pans for ease of heating and storage- as Refrigerator space can be an issue, too! Especially in Sub Zero and Cabinet depth versions and side by side styles with narrow or shallow shelves.

  • Tip:  Need more cooking space? Utilize your gas grill when possible to keep things warm.

Bar, Beverages and Ice

Cocktails, Beverages, and Ice:

  • One Case of Wine is about 50 glasses of wine

  • One Bottle of wine is 4-5 glasses; depends how big is your glass and your pour 

  • One bottle of Champagne is 5-6 glasses or 60-72 glasses in a case

  • For a champagne toast you can get 8 glasses per bottle or 96 per case

  • On average, guests have two drinks in 1st hour; Then 1 drink per hour

  • Plan on 3 clean glasses per person when renting glassware

  • Consider extra glasses just for water if dancing, hot night or spicy food 

  • I Love Stemless wine glasses as the new All Purpose glass! Available in plastic, disposable options, too! Tossware

  • One liter of Alcohol (Rum, Vodka, Tequila, etc.) is 20-25 Mixed drinks

  • 750ml of Alcohol is about 20 mixed drinks

  • Recommend limited choices such as 2 White wines and 2 red wines

  • Nice to vary wines between cocktails and different wines for dinner

  • Beer- Less is more-limit options to a Domestic, A light beer and an Import or Craft Beer choice can substitute for one option

  • **When serving Corona Don’t forget the Limes! Cut small to fit in bottle!

  • Pellegrino or other sparkling water or flavored club sodas are a MUST for all non-drinkers and designated drivers

  • Mixers: Cola, Diet Cola, Tonic, Ginger ale, possibly ginger beer for Moscow Mule or Dark and Stormys 

  • Be sure your mixers are fresh! Carbonated beverages lose their fizz!

  • Try a Craft Mixer like Fever Tree or Ripe brand

  • Premixed Signature cocktails served in Beverage Dispensers are always festive! Such as Sangria or Margaritas!

  • Need 1-3lbs of ice per person depending on the weather and if there are mixed drinks

  • Don’t forget Ice to chill Wine and Beer! Have Ice delivered by your liquor store, Drizly.com order or arrange a delivery with Marylee from the Ice Man!!! 

  • Large tubs take about 35 lbs of ice!

  • When setting the table, ice for 10 glasses is one full 5-7lb bag; or 1 bag of ice per table! 10 tables, 10 bags gone!

  • If Cold out, you can store wine and beer outside and save on Ice!

  • All mixers, lemons, limes, garnish and coffee items can easily be ordered in advance from PeaPod or Instacart and on short notice from Drizly.com 

  • Don’t forget Mocktails for the younger crowd or non-drinking guests

  • Work with a liquor store or wine shop that offers delivery and pick up of unopened, unchilled inventory after your party to make your life super easy!

Final Thoughts

  • Check on outdoor lighting and sunset times; varies with seasons

  • A Tent can provide outdoor lighting at night and create cozy ambiance

  • Use Lists and Timelines to keep organized and on track

  • Order groceries from Peapod or Instacart to save time

  • Allow ample setup and prep time; 2-3hrs before guests arrive

  • Set your table the night before

  • Use sticky notes to mark platters; lay them out in advance

  • Hire Passionate, Professional Staff 

  • Work with a party planner to make your entertaining Effortless, Convenient and Easy. 

  • Relax and Enjoy your guests

  • Have a great event!