Jody Birnbaum
December 5, 2018

Celebrating Engagements Over the Holidays

December 5, 2018

Celebrating Engagements Over the Holidays

Jody Birnbaum

Is there a better time to get engaged than over the holidays?

You’re surrounded by the people you love and spirits are already high due to all of the holiday cheer. A wedding proposal makes for a beautiful cherry on top of your end of year festivities.

For most couples, excitement gives way to the hubbub of wedding planning. Brides are especially in a hurry to start gathering information – for good reason. Venues book out quickly, especially if you’re planning a Saturday night wedding. As a result, it’s not unheard of to plan up to two years out in terms of booking the venue of your dreams.

From the catering perspective, a quarter of that time will be sufficient to secure your perfect menu. We recommend signing a catering proposal at least six months out – with more time being better.

Just like wedding venues, caterers also book up fast. But unlike venues, caterers can be more flexible in terms of the exact deliverables you’re agreeing on. This means that you’ll have the opportunity to switch up your menu specifics even after locking in your caterer.

Ideally, you’ll chat with a caterer before booking your venue. The reason? You might otherwise get locked into an inflexible arrangement.

So many people fall in love with a venue because that’s where they started the wedding planning process. Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure to look through the venue’s list of approved caterers and find out if that’s going to result in another large expense.

Caterers are a great place to start when it comes to establishing budget because they have all the numbers regarding details that include cost per plate, rentals, staff, and various other odds and ends that you may not have considered. Caterers work with venues and can provide a more complete picture while you’re going through these early planning stages.

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Catering By Michaels
November 21, 2018

Our Holiday Party Entertaining Tips

November 21, 2018

Our Holiday Party Entertaining Tips

Catering By Michaels

The holiday season is here, which means that holiday celebrations, events, and parties are in the planning stages by many busy hosts across Chicagoland.

Hosting a holiday party can certainly be stressful — no matter how long you’ve been doing it. There are a lot of things to consider in order to give your guests the best possible holiday party experience.

When all else fails, it helps to fall back on a solid foundation: good food!

Let’s take a look at a few reasons why you might want to consider catering or delivering during the busy holiday season.

Then, even if you’re opting to take on the food aspect of party planning, you’ll want to stick around for our holiday party planning tips — based on many years of helping people throw unforgettable events.

Why You Should Cater Your Holiday Party

Hosting and organizing a party can quite overwhelming during an otherwise joyous holiday season. One of the biggest time and energy sucks of the process revolves around preparing food and drink for your guests.

Here are a few reasons why you should consider catering or delivery for your next holiday party:

  • Pre-set menus are available. When you let someone else take care of the big picture, you don’t have to bother with all the minute details of what you need to grab at the grocery store and whether or not you even have the right tools to make your desired menu items! Most catering services offer pre-set menus that can be customized according to specific tastes or dietary preferences.
  • There’s no need to join the holiday crowd at the supermarket. The holidays mean other people are also working on their own holiday parties and you can expect empty shelves for key ingredients on the day of a major holiday or at the very least, long checkout lines.
  • Full-service catering gives you the type of assistance you need the most. Full-service catering takes care of after-party cleanup in addition to food preparation and delivery, so that you can focus on your guests.

Seafood Holiday Spread for Corporate Holiday PartyHoliday Beef Tenderloin Display Chicago Catering

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Catering By Michaels
October 10, 2018

The Ultimate Holiday Event Planning Survival Guide

October 10, 2018

The Ultimate Holiday Event Planning Survival Guide

Catering By Michaels

You may not have realized but the holiday time clock has already begun ticking. The moment the leaves start to turn and Halloween candy hits the stores — Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Years are practically here (at least when it comes to party planning!).

The question is: how much work are you willing to do for your holiday entertainment?

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a hosting newbie, entertaining for the holidays can be stressful. No matter how much holiday cheer is in the air, it is still the busiest time of the year. With this in mind, we’ve put together a holiday survival guide to help you host a magical holiday event!

Sending Out Invitations

Knowing how many guests you will be entertaining is an important place to start the process. Is it going to be a quaint, cozy evening with a few family members or a mingling mixer for your whole neighborhood?

If your guest list is long, online invitations are a great way to keep track of your guest list. Online invites are quick and handy, allowing people to set reminders, encourage conversation between guests, and keep an accurate headcount.

That said, traditional snail mail invitations allow for a more personal approach. This a nice touch if you’re planning to host a more intimate affair. If you decide to go this route, make sure to keep an accurate guest count as people send in their RSVPs.

Holiday Catering: Full Service + Delivery Planning

Once you have an idea of how many people will be attending your party, you can start planning the best part — the food!

When it comes to holiday planning, you can never be too prepared. If you are opting for full service or delivery there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • It’s never too early to get your order in
  • There are often peak date charges during the holidays
  • Labor can be tight during the holidays so if you’re going full service — make sure to secure your staff early
  • Take the time to find a caterer you trust
  • Don’t forget to create storage space in your refrigerator and pantry to accommodate your order (and any leftovers)
  • Make some time to research fun, festive specialty drinks or cocktails to enhance your party

In general, using a caterer will help you free up time during the busy holiday season. Imagine how much more you’ll be able to get done without having to worry about shopping, cooking, and the dreaded cleanup. You’ll also benefit from the expertise of hiring a good caterer in terms of how they’ll work with you to plan the perfect party.

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Catering By Michaels
December 13, 2017

Bring the Christmas Cheer with Gourmet Holiday Catering

December 13, 2017

Bring the Christmas Cheer with Gourmet Holiday Catering

Catering By Michaels

Christmas traditions are bountiful around the globe, though the way locals celebrate vary from country to country and even family to family.

However, one aspect of Christmas celebrations that is universal, from Japan to the United States, is food. Nothing brings family, friends, and a community together better than food, drink, and warmth.

By taking advantage of our experienced chefs at Catering by Michaels this holiday season, you can have a stress-free Christmas and a bounty of delicious food.

With more than 40 entrees from Whole Roasted Leg of Lamb and Apple Cider Glazed Spiral Sliced Ham to Turkey Tetrazzini and Wild Mushroom Pot Pie, you’ll find the perfect centerpiece for your holiday celebrations.

new zealand baby rack of lambHoney Glazed Baked Sliced Ham

Then, it comes down to sorting through our ample selection of appetizers and side dishes.

You can dive into the deep end with seafood by nibbling on our Holiday Seafood Spectacular, Grilled Jumbo Shrimp Sampler, or Smoked Salmon Display. Or, you could mix things up with our Winter Panzanella Salad, Vegan Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes, and a Spiced Bourbon Nut Mix.

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Jessica Cerven
December 1, 2017

Getting Engaged During the Holidays

December 1, 2017

Getting Engaged During the Holidays

Jessica Cerven

Love is in the air from Thanksgiving to Valentine’s Day! Did you know that December is the most popular month to get engaged? It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise: the glamour of the holidays and coziness of the impending cold weather inevitably bring people together. Getting engaged in December means that you can start your new year off in engagement bliss and focus your New Year’s resolutions on wedding planning!

According to WeddingWire, 6 of the 10 most popular dates to get engaged occur in December. This has a lot to do with extensive time off for the holidays. The most popular engagement dates include: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years’ Day, and Valentine’s Day.

During the holidays, you want to make full use of your holiday time off to enjoy. Most couples that get engaged in December use the time to celebrate the big news with their families. Those that can’t wait might use these extra days off as an opportunity to get ahead of the planning process and all it entails: finding a wedding planner, scouting out venues, and starting to think about the all-important food that will be served on the big day.

The average couple hires about a dozen different vendors to help with their wedding day: the cake, photographer, flowers, and so on. With so many options and limited time to kick it all off without a hitch, many default to vendors who are upfront with need-to-know information and who are great with communication.

Here are the top 5 biggest planning challenges:

  • Determining budget and guest size
  • Making decisions
  • Keeping track of expenses
  • Knowing you’re on the right track
  • Finding vendors

At Catering by Michaels, we pride ourselves on our ability to bring together many different aspects of the wedding planning process. Working as your caterer, we connect with many other wedding vendors to create a beautiful event: your photographer, the venue, designers, and so on.

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