a FAVORITE...Bantam Bagels

I saw these Mini Stuffed Bagel Balls aka Bantam Bagels on Shark Tank and they looked so delicious that I just had to order them.  They arrived yesterday and they are delicious.  Being a traditional girl, I sampled the Everything Bagel stuffed with plain cream cheese but I can't wait to try the rest of their flavors including the FRENCH TOAST (a Cinnamon nutmeg egg bagel stuffed with a buttery, maple syrupy cream cheese) and the COOKIES AND MILK (a Brown sugar walnut bagel with a sweet chocolate chip cream cheese).  Afterall, calories don't count when your doing "market research", right? 

Bantam Bagel's Mini Stuffed Bagel Balls would be fabulous to serve at a brunch or a Bar Mitzvah Kiddush.  They would also make a fabulous Take Home Treat for your guests at the end of a celebration.  For more information you can check out their website



Personalize Your Party...Basketball Theme Centerpiece

photo via Michael Jurick Photography

Family photos are a FAVORITE way to personalize a celebration.  I love the way that photos were used to personalize these centerpieces for a basketball themed Bar Mitzvah celebration.



Tuesday Tips...Venue Minimums

A client came to me a few months ago very upset with her venue situation.  My client had booked the venue  for her son's Bar Mitzvah celebration as soon as she received the date, almost two years in advance.  It was one of the first contracts that she signed.  Everyone had told her to book her venue, entertainment and photographer and then she could relax.  She thought that she had done her due diligence by checking out several venues and she thought that she was comparing apples to apples.

Like many clients, she was working with a tight budget.  She knew what she could afford and was determined to stay within her means.  As she began the planning process, she quickly discovered that a large chunk of her budget would need to be allocated to the venue which would include food and beverage expenses.  After some "venue shopping", my client narrowed her choices down to 2 venues.  Of the 2 options, she selected the venue that had the lowest "minimum".  The "minimum" for the venue that she selected was $8000 for a Saturday night affair. It seemed amazing - too good to be true!  She had been to a few mitzvah celebrations at this venue and they were all fabulous.  My client was over the moon because with this "low minimum" she would be able to plan the celebration that she envisioned.

Fast forward to 15 months later when it was time for my client to hash out the event details and menus with her venue.  She quickly learned that there was no way to serve dinner and drinks to her 175 guests for $8000. She learned that if she even tried to come close to the $8000 that she had budgeted based on "the minimum", the meal was not going to be what she had in mind.  Clearly all of those lovely affairs that she had attended at her venue exceeded the $8000 minimum, but nobody had ever mentioned that.  After a lot of frustrating "back and forth" with the catering director and a lot more money spent than was originally budgeted for, a menu was agreed upon. My client had to cut other "extras" that she thought she would be able to afford in order to make everything work.  In the end it was a a fabulous celebration, but my client walked away with a bad taste for the venue and to some degree the event planning process. 

Was the venue being dishonest? Not really, but I definitely understand my client's disappointment and frustration due to their lack of transparency.  Should the venue's sales manager have been more upfront and told my client that the "minimum" may be $8000, but with 175 guests and a preference for a 3 course meal and top shelf liquor she would defintely exceed this minimum? Absolutely. 

To avoid this from happening to you, do not get caught up in "minimums". When you are looking at venues and catering, be sure to ask for sample menus with pricing. You may be told that pricing is subject to change in the next year, but keep in mind that pricing should not change that dramatically.  This is a much better way to gauge your budget when you are 1-2 years out than that "minimum" number.  For more tips to think about when searching for a venue, CLICK HERE.  



A Food Station FAVORITE

photo via Event Savvy

Do you love the idea of projecting the menu above the food station as much as I do? 


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