Charles Mack Citizen Center Real Wedding: Stephanie & Jason Mooresville, NC

At The Charles Mack Citizen Center in Mooresville, NC we recently had the pleasure of Stephanie & Jason holding their wedding reception in the Moore, Burlington, & Lowrance Rooms. The bride and groom were such a delight to work with and we wish them both a lifetime of happiness in their marriage.
Our friend Amy over at Sunshower Photography captured every detail beautifully! Please check out her blog post about the entire wedding here.

Stephanie used our 120

Stephanie used our 120″ white polyester table linens, burlap runners, white chair covers, and a pink and silver taffeta sash for her sweet heart table. She added her own personal touches with the bunting.     Photo By SunshowerPhotography.com

The newlyweds make their grand entrance into the reception room through the Burlington Room doors.

The newlyweds make their grand entrance into the reception room through the Burlington Room doors. Photo By SunshowerPhotography.com

They chose our 24' x 24' dance floor underneath the beautiful ceiling drapery with lights to soften the room.

They chose our 24′ x 24′ dance floor underneath the beautiful ceiling drapery with lights to soften the room. Photo By SunshowerPhotography.com

Stephanie surprised her new husband with a performance.

Stephanie surprised her new husband with a performance. Photo by SunshowerPhotography.com

The nautural light that comes in through the Moore Room windows is picture perfect!

The natural light that comes in through the Moore Room windows is picture perfect!                              Photo by SunshowerPhotography.com

Cheers to the happy couple!

Cheers to the happy couple! Photo By SunshowerPhotography.com

Everyone is having a blast on the dancefloor.

Everyone is having a blast on the dancefloor. Photo by SunshowerPhotography.com

Congratulations and best wishes Jason and Stephanie!

Congratulations and best wishes Jason and Stephanie! Photo by SunshowerPhotography.com

In Case You Were Wondering: The Cost of Catering

When people start planning parties, weddings, or meetings they will come to me and ask the million dollar question: How much is everything going to cost? I get asked this question a lot.

The most important thing to remember here is that no two events are the same. Each will have different needs and be in different situations. The second most important thing to remember is to set your budget to be in line with your expectations.

If you are dreaming of a full service sit down meal, don’t budget for a buffet. Both are great and will feed your guests, but a lot more is entailed in a full service meal.

I asked our friends over at Creative Catering & Events to shed some light on the whole catering thing!

Jill Crosby, Director of Catering Sales & Support says the amount that people should budget per person depends on variables such as buffet vs plated, beverage & bar services, china vs upscale disposables, and staffing.

Buffet vs Plated

Typically for a buffet, our clients tend to want to provide at least 2 protein options for their guests.  This runs $24.95 per person unless there is an upgrade (seafood, expensive beef cut, etc.)  That would include salad, 2 proteins, starch, veggie, rolls & butter.  The most economic option we have is our Down Home Southern Picnic for $16.95 ~ Pulled Pork Barbeque, Creamy Coleslaw, Macaroni and Cheese and Cornbread or Rolls with Butter, and for an additional $2.00 you can add Grilled Chicken.

Buffet usually serves the most guests the most expeditiously.  With plated, clients would need to choose between 2-3 main entrees, usually a chicken, beef or seafood, and a vegetarian option, which they make their guests aware of their options when they mail out invitations.  Guests would make their entree selection with their RSVP so we know how much of each to prepare.  This is less per person because you are only providing one entree per guest ($20.95), but where you save in food, is replaced by expense in servers as it takes far more servers to operate a plated dinner, which is usually China rather than disposables, which also requires more man power to handle the dishes behind the scenes.  So where staff may cost you $450 for 100 guests for a buffet, it would double for plated, plus a Chef’s fee of $200 to be on site to plate each entree.

 So, a buffet reception for 100 guests with 3 beverage options, upscale disposables, 3 servers and us handling their cake cutting, it averages out to about $37.35 per person.  For a plated reception for 100 guests, 3 beverage options, China that we have in-house, 6 servers and us handling the cake cutting, est $40.95, plus bar services if you choose.

Beverages & Bar Services

Beverages are $1.95 for 2 options, $2.95 for 3 options, and $3.95 for 4 options (sweet tea, unsweetened tea, lemonade and water or infused water).

To add bar services would be an additional $14.95 per person for Beer & Wine for 4 hours; OR $22.95 per person for Liquor Well for 3 hours (includes Beer & Wine Bar, plus 5 Liquors and all mixers) OR $26.95 per person Liquor Call for 3 hours ~ (includes Beer & Wine Bar, plus 5 Name Brand Liquors and all mixers), plus a bartender for $200.  One bartender is usually able to handle about 100 guests, we can add bartenders for a larger size group.

 China vs Upscale Disposables

China rentals run an average of $5.95 per person. Disposables run $1.95 for a Chinet equivalent, $2.95 for black round disposables, and $3.95 for an upscale disposable that are square and come in black, cream or white, with silver plastic cutlery.

Staffing

According to Jill, staffing is usually one of the elements that surprises people because many times they think of it as more of a delivery rather than catering. For corporate events or if it is truly just delivery, that price is included in the delivery fee. But for a wedding, it takes several sets of hands to make your very special day run smoothly, look nice and elegant, maintain the integrity of the food, bus tables, and host an upscale event for your guests.

Thank you to Jill Crosby for sharing this information with us and our renters!

Thank you to Jill Crosby for sharing this information with us and our renters!

So what are your biggest questions when it comes to catering?

Add your questions below!

The Non Wedding Wedding

I met with a sweet couple this morning about booking a wedding for later this year. As I asked them questions about what they were envisioning, a few things became apparent.

1. The thought of pulling everything together before the end of the year was causing panic and

2. the thought of paying for everything before the end of the year was taking away all of the joy she should be feeling

Here’s the thing people…. planning your wedding can be stressful but when you haven’t even really begun the process and you are already freaking out, it is time for a little self reflection. With this couple, the more they got to talking, the more it became clear that what they really wanted was to be married by the end of the year, but that didn’t necessarily mean to have their reception as well. This of course is not a traditional way of things but it’s 2015 and you can pretty much do what you want and people are either going to go along with it or they wont. The world will not end.

So what we ended up deciding was that this fabulous couple would take a vacation before the end of the year. Probably to Sanibel Island, Florida. They have amazing seashells down there. The plan would be to get married there… just the two of them. I love this idea. Combining a little romantic vacay and a super small wedding. As we are discussing how fantastic this idea is, I can see the color returning to the face of this sweet bride. She is realizing that by taking the reception out of the equation (for now), she can focus on what means most to her… marrying her sweetheart.

The reception will come in time. Probably in the spring. It will give this couple lots of time to save so they can have the reception they want and with the whole ceremony part out of the equation, they feel like they will be able to savor and enjoy their party. The pressure is off.

So the moral of this story friends is you don’t have to subscribe to a single way of doing something. If it is more your style to have a reception/party a few months after you’ve tied the knot, I say go for it. It may be cliche to say this but the wedding really is about you and you should do things they way you feel most comfortable.I say embrace the experience of planning your nuptials. Check back next time for some tips on how to make your guests feel like they were part of your vacay wedding.

Stephanie’s Top 10 Places To Visit In Mooresville

Mooresville isn’t just a great place to live and work. When you are hosting an event in Mooresville, you can be sure that your guests will be entertained because of all that is available for people of all ages. For wedding parties, it’s good to think about what all of your out-of-town guests are going to do to keep themselves occupied while you are prepping for the ceremony. For meetings, it never hurts to get out of the board room. When you find yourself in my great little town, here are my top ten spots to hit when someone asks you what there is to do!

10. When you want to shop

Merino Mill: The sheer size of this place is enough to make the shopper in you jump for joy. You could spend an hour here or an entire afternoon. Check out all things for the home at Merino’s Home Furnishings or Main St. Antiques & Design Gallery. When hunger sets in, step on down to the newest pizza place in town and get your grub on at Alino Pizzeria. Grab a cold one and your pizza is ready in 90 seconds flat. No really.

9. When you want to drink

Lake Norman Brewing Company: Blondes, Ambers, Wheats, IPA’s… you name it. Lake Norman Brewing Company is a great spot to entertain your out-of-town guests. Plus it’s family and dog friendly!

8. When you want to get back to get rustic

Carrigan Farms: April through November, Carrigan Farms is a great place to bring your family for a unique experience! They have hay rides, strawberry picking and other in-season crops, and haunted trails in October.

7. When you want to be near water

Queens Landing: So you’ve brought your guests to Mooresville and you dont want them to leave without seeing the beauty of Lake Norman, right? Queens Landing has everything you need to entertain your friends and family before your wedding ceremony. Take a cruise around the lake on the Catawba Queen, a Mississippi Riverboat.

6. When you want to play

Hope Park: The place for your kids to get their energy out. As a mother of two wild little monkeys, i’m always looking for ways to  expel every last drop of energy they have. Hope Park near the Lowes YMCA is a wonderful and safe place for kids of all ages. There is a splash pad that runs during the summer so don’t forget their swimmies and a towel.

5. When you want to race

GoPro Motorplex: This is a thrilling outing for a wedding party or co-workers. With their arrive-and-drive packages, they make it super simple to get on the fast track. Hold on to your hats though because your going to reach speeds up to 55mph.

4. When you want to go “natural”

Lake Norman Jet Ski Rentals: There is no better way to experience the beauty and fun of Lake Norman than on a pontoon boat, jet ski, or my personal favorite… a kayak.  Don’t forget your sunscreen!

3. When you want to relax

LangTree Lake Norman: I really love all the great restaurants and hot spots going up here. Plus there is a Summer Concert Series planned. This will be where I spend many summer nights… I have a feeling.

2. When you want to step back in history

Welcome Home Veterans Living Military Museum: A gathering place of veteran’s of all ages. Stop by and grab a cup of coffee and check out the amazing memorabilia that has been collected over the years!

1. When you want to Total Mooresville Experience

Downtown Mooresville Shops and Restaurants: No, this is not number one because I work in Downtown Mooresville…. and practically live in Downtown Mooresville. This is my #1 because of the restaurants, the unique stores and shops, the special events, and the friendly faces. Drive down Main Street any day of the week and you will see so much going on. Sit outside to people watch and you’re likely to see a wedding processional or a pop up jam band.

Have a wonderful event!

-The RSVP Experience

The Do’s & Don’ts of Event #Hashtags

Whether you are having a wedding, a company party, or your little one’s 1st birthday party, you can engage with your guests through the use of a customized event #hashtag. When deciding to hashtag your event, here are a few tips and best practices.

Do’s:

  • have fun with it.  Choose a unique and creative hashtag and make it memorable so your guests won’t forget.
  • start using it before your event to add even more engagement with your guests. For a wedding add it on your save-the-dates and invitations.
  • test the hashtag just before the event to make sure someone else hasn’t used it already.
  • announce what the hashtag is with a cute sign and place it at the entrance, the bar, and the bathroom.
  • display all the wonderful pictures by using a hashtag wall. We can easily help get you set up with our screens and projectors. Check out these awesome applications:

Don’ts:

  • use any characters, symbols, or spaces in your hashtag. It should contain only alphabetic letters and/or numbers
  • worry if people are slow to start tagging their photos with the hashtag.
  • use just your initials and dates.
  • forget to compile all the pictures afterwards in a fun photobook like this one here

Having an event at The Charles Mack Citizen Center? Don’t forget to tag your photos with #cmccmooresville and subscribe for weekly tips delivered straight to you.

Have a wonderful event!

– The RSVP Experience

The Blog Is Dedicated To….

the staff of The Charles Mack Citizen Center in Mooresville, North Carolina. You excel in customer service, resourcefulness, and creativity every day. You realize that even though you see hundreds and hundreds of events each year, every single event is the most important event to someone. You get excited for the brides when their big day is finally here after a year or more of planning. You arrive early to help get the tables set up for the meetings. You look for opportunities to help each other as your shift heads into the midnight hour. There is no greater group of employees anywhere and I am truly honored to work with you.  From the bottom of my heart, thank you for making my job so much fun!