Build to Suit: Customizing An Exceptional Event

At long last we are rubbing elbows and kicking up our heels with a sense of ease and urgency not seen in over a year. We can relate to this sentiment and nothing makes us happier, because we too are bursting at the seams to create these celebrations with you. All Occasions Catering has long championed one-of-a-kind events tailored to our clients’ preferences, however in recent months we have witnessed a boon of vision and creativity between our team and yours. 

As a party purveyor, we all too often hear the words, “I had no clue you could do that!” Truly, the sky’s the limit and we welcome every crazy notion you have. Our clients will sometimes be embarrassed to say aloud those dream elements they just can’t shake from their imagination. Our attitude is generally, “Great idea, let’s price it out.” Each of our events and their hosts have unique interests and tastes, and we pride ourselves on building an experience around each individual client.

An example of expanding the proposal to suit the client came recently with a local wedding reception. As one can imagine, based on the location and the couple’s overall vibe, it was important that they display their key showcase menu item, in this case a roasted pig. Along with our partner vendors, we created a head-turning centerpiece for the dinner service, allowing guests to pull directly from the pig, or with the assistance of a staff member we provided. Mirroring this mood, we helped create a hunting cabin aesthetic using rustic elements such as wood slabs in varying sizes, with cast iron and brick details woven into the décor.  

How did we come together to create such an atmosphere? As a rule we like to ask open-ended questions, and then just shut our mouths and listen. 

“Tell me about your event.”

“Tell me about the guests you’re expecting.”

“Imagine no budget and no constraints. What’s your ideal vision?”

“Having glanced at our menus, what are you drawn to and why? What is missing from the menu?”

“Is there anything you’ve seen online or at other parties you’d like to replicate?”

In a mostly one-sided conversation, we let the client talk while jotting copious notes, clarifying details along the way. We will insert ideas where possible, collaborate and refine the design, and generally operate without limits initially to shape the event into what our clients see in their minds, and beyond. 

It might seem counterintuitive to go big right out of the gates. Although dreams are limitless, budgets tend not to be, and we are of course sensitive to that. What we find is often party hosts will avoid asking for what they really want for fear of its expense, or because it seems silly or too difficult to execute. Our philosophy is that it is more satisfactory to the client to provide an itemized quote, with each and every desired element detailed and priced individually, and to scale back from there by eliminating whatever doesn’t feel like a priority when dollars and cents are put to paper. Additionally our clients will many times come to us with misconceptions about the exorbitant cost of an idea, dismiss moving forward with it, and then reconsider once it is clear the budget does allow for such grand inspiration. 

Working with event planners is really a joy in this respect, because they come with terrific creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. Recently we collaborated with a Lake Country coordinator on what we would characterize as the sort of graduation party any teen and just about any adult would remember forever. At the outset the goal might have seemed too over-the-top to execute, with a very involved list of entertainment and dining attractions, and an equally complex set-up and planning process. Under a number of tented food stations, we were able to create themed smorgasbords such as the Tastes of Wisconsin display, featuring Baby Brat Strudels and Door County Cornbread Bites, as well as a S’mores Bar, a Tropical Delight food station, a Nacho Bar, a traditional grill-out tent with many of our most requested menu favorites, and an after-party style roll-out of a variety of Buffalo Wings for any guests still on their feet. A full service bar accommodated the very deserving and perhaps beleaguered adult attendees, and given the magnitude of this family’s concept, there couldn’t have been a hungry attendee left within a 10 mile radius. 

We have learned a lot over this past year, as a business, a society, and as individuals, and we are seeing these renewed values reflected in the objectives and general joie de vivre of our clientele. Having scaled back our lives for so long, and for the most grim reason, it seems now partygoers and throwers are looking to really pull out all the stops, live authentically, and celebrate how far we have all come, together. This is messaging we have espoused at All Occasions Catering from the start, but only recently are we seeing this new emphasis on curated and memorable events from you. We are as excited as you are to charge ahead in this new era. 

Which leaves us with one last question. Imagine no budget and no constraints. What’s your ideal vision? Contact us to get started!

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