Today I am wrapping up my series of posts on the MVMT Dinner, an Art Deco themed event I coordinated in July.
But before I write another word, I must thank my hardworking and dedicated staff …
David filled about 150 votive candle holders with decorative black sand. Nathan was quality control and tested every votive candle, passing it down the assembly line to his brother only when he was certain it was in perfect working order.
Two scoops each x 150. No more. No less.
My mom ironed and ironed and ironed.
David and Sara came along to help me set up. I don’t think they even snuck many of the gelato bar toppings. Well maybe just a few.
They are small but they aren’t unionized and you can pay them in gummy bears. They helped a lot and I couldn’t have pulled it off without them; especially my mom who does not accept payment in gummy bears.
The pre-dinner reception was held in the foyer of the church’s worship center. It was a great place to mingle and chat and share in some wonderful hors d’oeuvres.
The crudité tower was beautiful and had a nice assortment of fresh vegetables and cheeses along with olives, marinated mushrooms and crunchy chilled grapes. Served alongside was a delicious hummus with crackers and pita wedges.
I love the presentation.
We also included one passed hors d’oeuvre.
A unique savory cone filled with a Thai basil goat cheese, topped with a wasabi pea.
The filling was delicious!
We were off to a good start.
I love all of the behind the scenes action …
The pre-dinner reception was great. Unfortunately, the dinner itself was not what I had hoped.
The caterer we used is very good and came highly recommended. They had fantastic customer service and accepted our job short notice. They accommodated several changes and adapted to a last minute final head count. I also have to say that on the night of the event, the wait staff was fantastic!
That being said, there were a few lessons learned and things I would do differently. Hopefully I can pass along my missteps and save a reader or two any catering regrets …
Think everything through and don’t assume the details will be covered.
The crudité tower had marinated mushrooms on it that were awkward to select with your fingers. The tower should have had small serving tongs. Alas, I had to go and find a few plastic spoons. Luckily, I had purchased disposable plates and napkins for the hors d’oeuvre table, just in case, or there would have been none.
Be certain of what you are getting and don’t assume anything.
I did not have enough time to arrange a pre-menu selection tasting. Knowing that, I should have asked more questions and assumed less as the dinner itself turned out not to be at all what I was expecting.
The picture in my head of beautiful Tuscan roasted vegetables alongside a savory citrus roasted chicken breast artfully placed on a bed of orzo was not what was set before me. The vegetables were finely diced and mixed in with the orzo making them virtually undetectable. The chicken was a baked chicken breast and while it was tender and the flavor was good, I was very disappointed at the missing beautifully browned crispy skin that the term “roasted” led me to assume. In fact, there was no color on the plate at all. The veggies disappeared into the pale orzo along side an equally pale chicken breast.
When I shared my disappointment with a friend, she said “oh, the vegetables were in the orzo, I thought they just forgot them” – can you hear my breath drawing in? Not the reaction to dinner I was hoping for.
Follow your instinct and don’t be talked into something that doesn’t feel right. Oh how that applies to soooo many things in life.
The missing spoons. The missing spoons that haunt my dreams. I let the catering representative I worked with talk me out of spoons. She said they really aren’t really necessary. She said they are often left off. She said they cost more. It is amazing how much each piece of tableware adds to the overall cost (I think I need to go into the party rental business). I nixed the spoons. I didn’t want to but I did and in the end, the tables just didn’t look complete. They looked like somebody forgot the spoons.
I know it sounds picky and no, it was not an epic world crisis but I was raised knowing how to properly set a table. Ask anyone who knows me, it is kind of “my thing”. For all of the planning and effort it takes to pull an event together, you don’t want a small detail to negatively impact the finished product.
Bottom line, don’t omit the spoons.
Set a complete table and negotiate a better price for it. Also, the salad forks were so small I felt like I was eating from an oyster fork but we have spent enough time on flatware and negativity.
The Lesson … Ask. Ask. Ask. Verify. Verify. Verify. Until you are satisfied with every detail and know that you are getting what you expect.
I really hate not being able to give the caterer a glowing review. They were lovely to work with and really did go above and beyond for us in many ways. But in the end, the devil is in the details as they say.
On a far more positive note, I have to share with you one of the highlights of the evening.
Perry the Coffee Guy.
Okay, he’s not really the “coffee guy” – he owns The Coffee Chop. I found him through an online search for a mobile coffee barista and read some really great articles about him.
As this was not an event suitable for the standard “cocktail hour”, we decided instead to have a coffee bar. It was a great decision. Perry did a fantastic job, coming fully stocked with Italian sodas and a complete espresso bar. Let me tell you, he was a big hit. He was busy all evening and was very sweet and personable. He even sent me an e-mail a few days later complimenting me on the event and letting me know how welcome he felt and how much fun he had. Classy guy and a skilled Barista. I highly, highly recommend him if you are planning an event in the Phoenix area. His website is http://thecoffeechop.com but I have had trouble linking to it and am hoping it will work in the future.
So that is it for the MVMT Dinner. But the MVMT at Mission Community Church has only just begun and was launched this past Sunday to the congregation.
I was so blessed to work on this event and truly loved every minute of it. Thanks for indulging me and letting me share it with you. In the end, the MVMT Dinner wasn’t about the food or missing spoons or fancy hors d’oeuvres. It was about coming together in fellowship to celebrate all that God has blessed us with as we trust Him and take the next step He has for us as a church.
I would love for you to see what the MVMT is all about and why it is such a blessing to be part of a community of Christ followers who truly seek to be His “Hands and Feet” in every way.
Do Justice. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly. Mica 6:8