Questions and Answers
Why do you need to know what my contract time is with the venue I chose?
We'll need to know what your contract time is so we know what time we can arrive on-site and what time we'll need to check-out. Some venues will penalize you if your vendors arrive on-site early. We'll also need to know what time we'll need to check-out of the venue at the end of your event so you're not charged an overtime fee.
When should you arrive on-site to my event?
It depends on your contract time with the venue and the complexity of your event set-up but generally we allow 1.5 hours before the start of your ceremony to arrive and set-up the reception room with tables and chairs, place linens on the tables, set-up the bar, the appetizer station, beverage station, buffet tables, and any additional tables you'll need such as a cake table, ceremony table, or tall cabaret tables. If we are setting the tables with full china, we may need arrive a bit earlier.
Who will put the tablecloths on the tables at my reception?
Rocky Mountain Catering will place the tablecloths on the tables. We want to make sure the correct linens are on the right tables so the families/vendors can start to add the decorations and centerpieces to the tables as soon as possible.
What time should the bakery arrive with my cake or cupcakes or my ?
We need to make sure the cake table is set-up and in it's proper place with the correct tablecloth before the bakery arrives with the cake or cupcakes. They'll want to walk in the venue and set-up immediately so allow about 30 minutes after we arrive at the venue before the bakery arrives.
What else do I need to know regarding my cake or cupcakes?
We'll need to know the different flavors of your cake so we can inform your guests when we're serving the cake. Have the bakery tuck in a card with the different flavors of cake. Cupcakes are self-serve so have a menu displayed on the cupcake table listing the different flavors.
If you want the cake top saved, let us know. We're happy to box the cake top for you and keep it in the refrigerator until the end of the reception.
Make sure your banquet captain knows if the cake stand or cake supports are to be returned to the bakery. If we know in advance, we'll make sure the pieces are rinsed and given to you to be returned to the bakery.
Do I need a cake cutting set or will you provide one?
We generally always bring a cake cutting set in case you don't plan to purchase a set, the set is forgotten in the rush to the venue, or it becomes lost in your boxes of decorations which has happened!
What do I need to know regarding the napkins?
First, you'll need to decide if you want to use disposable napkins or cloth napkins. If you choose cloth napkins, you can let us know what napkin fold you prefer and where you want the napkin placed. You may choose to place the folded napkin on the plate or next to the plate. Also, plan to rent additional napkins (10-15) in case of emergency such as a guest drops their napkin on the floor and asks for a new one or there is a table spill.
What is a clouding linen?
This is a question we get all the time. A clouding linen is placed on the tabletop on top of the main tablecloth and fluffed to look like "clouds". It is used on any tables where food or beverages are placed. The purpose of this linen is to hide any drips or spills but also to hide risers that will be on the table that elevate different elements on the table for an interesting visual effect. Tables where we like to use clouding linens are the buffet, appetizer table, beverage station, and the dessert table. You may want to use a clouding linen on your cake table as well.
Who will set up the chairs at the ceremony site?
That depends on the venue. Some venues have staff that will set-up the chairs at the ceremony site, others require the caterer to set-up the chairs.
What do you need to know regarding the set-up of chairs at the ceremony?
Regardless if it's the venue staff or Rocky Mountain Catering setting up the chairs at the ceremony site, the plan for the chair set-up starts with the number of chairs you'd like in the front row, on either side of the aisle. The immediate family or people important to you will usually sit in the front two rows. Remember to indicate to your guests that the front row or the front two rows are reserved on the day of your wedding.
Do I need a ceremony table?
It's important to let us know that you'll need a ceremony table so we can make sure the table is there, in it's proper place, and it has a tablecloth on it. You'll want a ceremony table if you plan to do a Sand Ceremony, a Candle Lighting Ceremony, a Wine Ceremony, or the ceremony that's important to you!
Do I need a ceremony water station?
We offer a Ceremony Water Station to be set up at the ceremony site with either a beverage server with ice water and cups that guests can have access to while waiting for the ceremony to begin or cold water bottles in a bin filled with ice. Many guests come from out of town and may not understand that they'll need to drink more water in Colorado. Ask your event designer for pricing to add a water station at your ceremony site.
Can I bring snacks or lunch into the bridal suite or groom's room before the ceremony?
Some venues allow you to bring in your own food but other's will require the caterer to provide any food brought into the venue. You may decide you'll be too busy to think about bringing in your own snacks and would prefer that we do that for you. Rocky Mountain Catering has several choices for you. Just ask your event designer for options and pricing.
Who will be responsible for placing decorations at the ceremony and reception?
While we would love to help with all the decorations, the truth is we are just too busy. You'll need to designate someone that will be responsible for the decorations at both the ceremony site and the reception site. This could be a few family members, your event/wedding planner, or, in some cases, your florist.
Please check with the venue for their rules and guidelines regarding the decorations that are allowed at both sites. Rocky Mountain Catering will arrive at the venue and immediately set up the tables and chairs at the reception site so families and/or the florist can start placing the table centerpieces and decorations as soon as possible. We'll also set up the ceremony site if we're required to do so by the venue so the decorations can be added there as well. Taking a picture of how each table should be decorated and giving copies to your families and to your event designer is very helpful.
What should I serve at my bar?
The choice to have a bar at your reception is a personal choice as is what you plan to offer at the bar. You may choose to offer beer and wine only. That's perfectly fine! If you feel like there should be mixed drinks, you may choose to offer just a few Signature mixed drinks and name them something fun. Offering just a few mixed drinks can decrease your alcohol expense. If you plan to offer a full mixed drink bar, you'll need to make sure all the mixers and cut fruit are purchased. You, your caterer, or your alcohol distributor can provide these. Remember to include ample ice with your alcohol order. You won't want to run out! Check with your venue if they provide ice.
What else is important related to the bar service?
You'll need to decide on glassware versus plastic cups. You can do a mixture of both. For wine service, you may decide to rent wine glasses. When the supply of wine glasses is exhausted, we can switch to clear plastic wine shortie cups which Rocky Mountain Catering can provide. The same applies to mixed drinks. You can choose to rent a certain number of old-fashioned glasses for mixed drinks and we can switch to the shortie plastic cups when the glassware supply is exhausted. Beer is typically supplied to the bar in bottles and most guests will accept the bottle in lieu of pouring beer into a beer glass. If you choose to purchase kegs, find out if your venue allows them. Some do not. If so, make sure taps are provided along with keg containers and an ample amount of ice to keep the kegs cold throughout your event.
All alcohol that is to be served cold needs to arrive to your reception site already cold. There isn't enough time to bring room-temperature alcohol down to the correct cold serving temperature in the time between delivery and the time your bar opens. Remember to bring the phone number of your alcohol distributor with you on your wedding day. If the alcohol doesn't arrive on time, they can be contacted for the time of arrival.
Can anyone drink at the bar at my reception since it's a private party?
All guests must be 21 years of age or older to be served at a bar at any venue in Colorado. Even though it's a private party, the venue and our bartenders are required to adhere to the Colorado Liquor Codes. Our bartenders are TIPS Certified as required by the venues. All of your guests must be able to produce their ID showing they are of legal drinking age to be served. Our bartenders reserve the right to card anyone. They also reserve the right to refuse service to anyone who appears to be intoxicated.
Will the bar stay open until the end of my reception? Can you do a last call?
We will execute what is called a "soft close" a half hour before your reception ends. We will not allow a last call. The bar just quietly closes and the bartender will start to prepare the remaining liquor for you to take home.
What happens to the remaining liquor at the end of my reception?
Please designate only one person to take the remaining liquor at the end of your reception that has not had a drink the entire night. We'll need to know who this person is before the start of your reception so we know who is responsible to take the alcohol and we give it to the correct person.
Can my vendors arrive early to my reception site?
Check with the venue as, typically, the vendors need to arrive on-site to the venue during your contract time. This is to avoid conflicts with other events that the venue has scheduled. Some venues may penalize you if your vendors arrive early.
I'm planning to have a toast. Do I have to serve champagne?
The toast is a traditional part of the wedding reception and there are options. Do you have to serve champagne? No, it's your choice. Some couples want to do the traditional champagne toast. Others don't feel that toasting with champagne is important to them. Maybe they don't care for champagne themselves and that's perfectly fine! Your choices are as follows:
1. You can do a champagne toast for all your wedding guests. We'll pour a small amount of champagne into the flutes and pass them to your guests just before the toasting begins.
2. You could decide to offer champagne to a limited number of guests such as just for you and your wedding party.
3. Just you and your new spouse will toast with champagne. Everyone else will toast with their drink-of-choice.
4. You could choose to have everyone present toast with their drink-of-choice. This will save on the cost of renting the flutes and the cost of the champagne.
5. You can choose to not do the toast at all. It's your wedding reception after all!
Should I serve coffee at my reception?
At most formal dinners, coffee is served with dessert and so some guests may look for coffee when your cake is served. But it's your choice! You can decide on the number of coffee servings you'll want to offer at your reception. Not everyone will drink coffee. We brew our coffee on-site at your reception so it's hot and fresh. Rocky Mountain Catering will set out a silver coffee server and offer creamer and a variety of sweeteners for your guests. You'll need to decide if you want to use our complimentary heavy-duty white disposable coffee cups or rent our stemmed white china coffee mugs. Area event rental companies can offer additional choices in coffee mugs.
What is the difference between plated, buffet-style, or family-style dinner service?
These are the three types of dinner service with plated usually being the most expensive option. With a plated meal comes the added cost of hiring servers to serve the courses and event chefs to prepare the plates in the kitchen. While a plated meal does add the extra cost of extra staff, if you choose to have a small wedding, you may not find that this added cost is prohibitive. Or you may have your heart set on it.
A plated meal also means that you will need to send out response cards so a guest can indicate their meal preference, and then you'll also need to have escort cards at the entrance to the dining room and place cards so guests can find their seat at the table. The servers will need to have a copy of the seating chart so they'll know where to deliver each plate.
A typical buffet is served with a salad, rolls and butter, 2 protein entrees such as a beef and chicken, and two side dishes. Buffet style allows for each guest to decide what they would like to eat and our staff will serve the side dishes and the entrees to your guests. This allows for faster service and portion control instead if having guests serve themselves. Your banquet captain will dismiss each table to avoid lines at the buffet. We would rather your guests enjoy socializing at their tables than standing in lines at the buffet. Typical time for all guests to be served dinner is about 20-25 minutes, depending on the number of guests. If your guest count is above 200, we prefer to set up a double-sided buffet to allow more guests to be served at once. The buffet style dinner service is a less expensive option since less serving staff is required.
Family-style dinner service is similar to a plated dinner since your guests stay seated at their table while serving staff serve food on platters and in large bowls that will be passed around and shared. This is a very inviting and social approach to your wedding dinner, and allows guests to get a chance to know each other as they talk and dine.
Because you’ll have platters being passed around the table, you’re going to need extra room to set them down. You'll need to have smaller centerpieces (which can save you money)! You won't need to have as many servers as a plated dinner but you'll have a few extra to bring out the platters and bowls to each table.
Where should I place the dinner plate if I'm planning to offer a buffet-style dinner?
If you plan to use disposable plates for dinner service, than the plates will be located at the buffet for guests to take when they arrive at the buffet. If you plan to use china plates, there are two options. You may choose to have the china plate on the guest tables as part of your guest's place setting. Your guests will then pick up their plate and carry it with them to the buffet. The second option is to have the china plates on the buffet for guests to take when they arrive at the buffet. Both options for china plates are acceptable, it's really just your preference.
How many guests can sit at each guest table?
It depends on the table size and it also depends if you plan to use disposables or china for dinner service. China takes up more room on the tables than disposables.
A 4FT round table can seat 4-6 guests with 4-5 guests seated comfortably. A 5FT round table can seat 8-10 with 8 guests seated comfortably. A 6FT round table can seat 10-12 with 10 guests seated comfortably.
Banquet tables at a reception will have guests seated on both sides so a 6Ft banquet table can seat 6 guests (3 on each side) with 2 additional if you "cap" the ends. 8FT Banquet Tables can seat 8 guests (4 on each side) and 10 if you "cap" the ends. If the banquet tables are placed end to end then only 2 guests can "cap" each end of the table line. It is possible to add guests at the "seam" where banquet tables are joined together.
Head tables will typically seat the wedding party on one side of the tables but your attendants can be seated on both sides if it's a large wedding party.
What extra tables will I need to think about?
You may choose to have the following extra tables at your reception:
Ceremony table, gift table, guest book table, escort card table, family and friend memory table, photo booth prop table, dessert table, sweetheart table, lawn games table, tall cocktail tables, children's table, cake table, DJ tables (ceremony and reception), and ceremony water table. We'll need to know which extra tables you need so the tablecloths for each table will be ordered.
How do I know which linens I'll need for the reception and ceremony?
Our event designers will assist you in deciding which tablecloths and napkins will be needed. It's your choice if you rent or purchase the linens. If you rent the linens, you'll pay the rental company directly, not through Rocky Mountain Catering. The linen rental proposal is separate from the catering proposal. Some venues have a preferred rental vendor and you'll be required to use their preferred vendor for any rental items brought into the venue. Check with the venue for their guidelines.
What does the serving staff wear to events?
Our serving staff is requited to wear a long white button-down shirt, black pants, black socks, black shoes, and a black apron during your event.
Does Rocky Mountain Catering have a liquor license?
No, we don't have a liquor license and we do not sell alcohol. We will provide a bartender for your event and we'll serve the alcohol to your guests. Our bartenders are TIPS certified as required by venues in Colorado.
Can you accommodate vendor meals?
Yes, Rocky Mountain Catering offers vendors that will stay through your event such as your DJ or photographer a meal charged at half price. Just let us know how many vendors will require a meal and we'll add them to your proposal at half price. Check your vendor contracts. Some will have that a meal must be provided to them in their contract with you.
Is there a charge to cut my cake and serve it?
No, we'll cut your cake and serve it to your guests complimentary.
Can I pick up my order?
Sure, just let us know that you'll be picking up your order and we'll have it ready on-time.