There’s nothing quite as satisfying as seeing an amazing event or celebration come to life. But have you ever wondered how much hard work and planning goes on behind the scenes? We took a peek at a day in the life of Kalm Kitchen Event Manager Hannah Woodley as she helped make one couple’s dream of their perfect day come true!
‘Event planning is so varied, and here at Kalm Kitchen no day is ever the same. That’s one of the many reasons I love it. Some of our clients plan their event over three years, and others plan them in three months.
One of the most significant factors of event planning is the amount of detail that goes into every single event, regardless of whether it is a corporate dinner for 30 people, or a wedding for 200 people. Here at Kalm Kitchen we have a structured, sequential process that runs across all departments of the business, from the office team to event managers, kitchen, logistics and finance. Every individual has responsibilities, but we all support each other and respect the role each of us plays. At the heart of it, Kalm Kitchen is built on teamwork, which is critical for event planning.
Our commitment to each event starts right from the moment of initial enquiry, through inspiration meetings and onto discussing minute details of logistics and final preparations. There is no typical day as every event is different, and the amount of prep and planning can vary hugely. But here’s an idea of what we might get up to on one super-long day!’
// It’s typically an 8.30am arrival time on site. That means we’re up with the sun – and rarely home before it sets!
// First task is to greet the venue staff, sign-in process followed and walk through event timings for the day.
// The van will have been already packed, so our job is to unload van with the Head Chef and Porter, checking off all items against the logistics packing list.
// Then the tables are dressed with linen and guest napkins. The theme for the day really starts to take shape now.
// We run through the menu with the chefs and cross-check timings for the day, such as when speeches are happening, when the cake will be cut, presentations etc. A service plan is then planned and written.
// It’s my responsibility to contact waiting staff for the day to confirm arrival times, parking instructions and check correct details have all been received. Then I’ll greet other suppliers such as photographer, videographer, florist, and run through details and timings for the day so everyone is confident, on the same page and all working to the same schedule.
// The fun part – we lay-up tables for the wedding breakfast including bridal styling items, and set up the bar, plus any additional styled stations or features for pre-ceremony. For this wedding we had an interactive ‘Pimp your Prosecco’ station, with items such as passion fruit, raspberries and cassis. Later on guests were invited to ‘Pimp their Gin’!
// Shortly before guests are due, I liaise with main point of contact, ie; MC, party planners etc, then waiting staff arrive around half an hour before guests arrive. I’ll hold a team briefing with front of house, waiting team and the chef team, walking through the entire event: timings, menu, staff roles & responsibilities so no detail is left to chance!
// Guests arrive and drinks and canapés reception starts, which lasts for around one and a half hours. Beautiful, styled drinks and canapés are circulated, and we always create a canapé tray that is exclusively designed for the Bride and Groom or VIP guests hosting the event.
// During the reception, final touches are made – candle lighting, icing of jugs, triple checking the table plan against the laid-up tables, aligning place settings, steaming of tablecloths if required etc.
// We try to sneak the photographers and videographers into the venue where the main meal is taking place to capture the final setting, closely followed by the Bride and Groom. If we’re lucky, their reactions to seeing all of their hard work, planning and ideas brought to life is caught on camera!
// Announcement is made for guests to check the table plan before making their way to the dining room and take their seats. Guests are poured with initial drinks or toast drink if speeches are due to take place before the meal. During speeches, our waiting team set up stations such as tea and coffee, patisserie bars etc. to add a show-stopping surprise to the end of the meal.
// Food is plated up, service begins, and everyone tucks into the menu we have spent months creating!
// At the end of any seated meal, Kalm Kitchen provides a staffed tea and coffee station, complimented with some delicious petit fours, which is set up alongside the evening bar.
// The band starts up pretty quickly at the end of the meal and the evening party commences! Depending on the event, cake cutting is soon after the end of the meal and flows straight into the first dance so that the Bride and Groom or event hosts can relax and enjoy a drink and get stuck into the evening party with their guests.
// During this point the waiting team start clearing the tables of any items left over from the meal that are no longer required, refocusing attention back to the intricate bridal styling items and stunning floral centerpieces. Cake is carried away back to the kitchen where our chefs cut up what is required and style it beautifully for guests to help themselves to throughout the evening.
// The front of house team is reduced to the required amount for evening food service and staffing the bar if we are running it. Food continues to be circulated, grazing stations are maintained, replenished and cleared until the end of the event.
// The last leg of the event is loading up the catering van (there’s an in-house joke about who’s best at playing Tetris!) and leaving our kitchen sparkling ready for the next adventure. Then it’s home to bed for a much-needed rest!
Would you like to talk to one of our friendly team about helping to plan any event or celebration – however big or small? Do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01483 813360.