Photo by Jessica Brown Photography.
Let’s face it, 2020 presented some challenges for us all. The wedding industry and the couples that the wedding industry serves were met with opportunities to get creative when it came to celebrating that special day. As a business that thrives on providing beautiful memories, we want to spread a message of one that incorporates more joy in 2021. The Vibrant Occasions Catering team was built by our family to serve your family and at the end of the day our goal is always to make you smile. After all, more smiles brings more joy!
Here are five tips to make you smile from Vibrant Occasions Catering:
1. I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream. Sounds simple, but that’s the point! Ice cream conjures up nostalgic feelings and childhood memories for most people. Treating yourself and your guests at gatherings to this sweet treat will immediately bring a sense of comfort and happiness. Want our snow ice cream recipe? Grab it here! How to Make Snow Ice Cream
Groom’s ice cream station by Vibrant Occasions Catering. Photo by Jessica Brown Photography
2. I wanna dance with somebody. Sometimes we just need to stop overthinking and start dancing. We have all had our fair share of days in recent times mired in deep contemplation…well, enough of that! Grab your partner and swing her ‘round and ‘round. With or without a dance partner, dancing will produce endorphins to boost your mood, improving your mental and emotional health.
Photo by Jessica Brown Photography
3. Kiss your sweetie…or a puppy. Showing affection to those around you is a reminder that we are meant to love one another. In all the isolation many have been experiencing, we must not forget that human touch is very important to the human condition. Don’t have a human in your quarantine pod? Kiss that puppy, muah!
Photo by Jessica Brown Photography.
4. Pamper yourself. Indulge a little! Buy that expensive perfume, go to the salon or take a bubble bath. You deserve some pampering that will bring out your self-confidence and make you smile.
Photo by Jessica Brown Photography.
5. Eat cake for breakfast. Yes, we said it. Just try it. Just try eating a piece of cake with your coffee (or tea – whatever your jam is) and experience the instant satisfaction it brings. It’s pretty much our answer for “waking up on the wrong side of the bed.”
Photo by Jessica Brown Photography.
A big THANK YOU to Jessica Brown with Jessica Brown Photography for sharing these beautiful images with us of Holly and Jacob’s wedding that we worked together.
Photographer | Jessica Brown Photography
Catering and Bartenders | Vibrant Occasions
Film Image Scans | Photovision
Wedding Planner | Meredith Events
Ceremony & Reception Venue | The Grandeur House
Florist | Pocket Full of Posies
DJ and Lighting | Central Arkansas Entertainment
Cake | Sweet Lavender Bake Shop
Rentals | Party Time Rentals
Officiant | Malvern United Methodist Church, Bruce Bennet
Hair Stylist and MUA | La Belle Vie Boutique Salon
Transportation (antique car) | Rob Haynie
Non – Snow Ingredients
½ cup of sugar
1 cup of milk (any milk is fine or heavy whipping cream)
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
Download the recipe image, below, and share it with your friends and family!
Every year the Vibrant Occasions Catering team looks forward to the announcement of two major industry awards from The Knot and WeddingWire. Both platforms have become the “go-to” resource for engaged couples seeking the perfect vendors for their wedding day. The Knot and WeddingWire act as online directories of wedding vendors in multiple categories that can be easily located via their location search tools. We love that these platforms exist because it can come in really handy for couples planning their weddings and we are honored to be a member on both websites. Let’s take a look at the two platforms and how they go about choosing award recipients.
WeddingWire: Couples’ Choice Award
WeddingWire annually awards the Couples’ Choice Award® to the top local wedding professionals based solely on reviews from qualified wedding couples. The winners are the top scorers across the board in quality, service, responsiveness, and professionalism.
“More than ever this year we’ve seen the creativity, flexibility, and resourcefulness of wedding vendors shine,” said Lynnie, a WeddingWire Community Administrator.
With many thanks to our amazing clients, we can certainly say we couldn’t have won this award without you!
The Knot: Best of Weddings and Hall of Fame
The Knot announced its annual Best of Weddings and Hall of Fame award winners, continuing its commitment to support local businesses across the US, especially as COVID-19 greatly impacted wedding vendors and the industry as a whole in 2020. The two accolades honor wedding vendors nationwide with the most and the highest-rated reviews from real couples, their families and wedding guests on The Knot.
The Knot’s 15th annual Best of Weddings award winners represent the top wedding professionals as rated by couples, for couples around the nation. To determine the winners, The Knot analyzed its millions of user reviews across various vendor categories, including wedding planners, venues, photographers, cake bakers, musicians and more, to find the most and highest-rated vendors of the year. Exceptional vendors who have earned four or more of The Knot Best of Weddings awards are inducted into The Knot Best of Weddings Hall of Fame. This year, 1,422 wedding professionals were inducted into the Hall of Fame.
It is with much gratitude that Vibrant Occasions Catering won both The Knot Best of Weddings 2021 and The Knot Hall of Fame awards thanks to our couples’ reviews!
Sports have a way of bringing people together and creating an air of excitement. If you love sports and want to share the big game with family and friends, hosting a party is a great way to do it. Whether your crew is into football, basketball, or baseball—or tennis, swimming, or cricket—you can cheer on your team in good company, along with drinks, snacks, and entertainment. Whether you win or lose, you’ll have a good time hosting the ultimate sports party with these easy tips.
Food: The Main Event
Food is the centerpiece of every party, so make sure you have some delicious goodies prepared. Here are a few ideas to help you create yummy foods to keep your guests fed and fueled.
Sliders by Vibrant Occasions Catering.
Appetizers. Get everyone excited for the big game by serving some delicious appetizers. Try a tray filled with meat, cheese, and crackers or some veggies and dip. Go above and beyond by making some warm, delicious crab dip or spinach dip with slices of pita bread. Cut your meat and cheese into football shapes to give the appetizers a fun, sports-themed twist. If your favorite team is playing, make some food that’s a classic for the locals. Other favorites include tortilla chips and queso or guacamole.
Charcuterie Boards by Vibrant Occasions Catering.
Wings. Nothing says sports party quite like chicken wings. When you make the wings, be sure to include a few different sauces that range from mild to hot. Use a chicken wings recipe that will ensure they turn out nice and crispy. You can add to the fun by creating a “wing bar” that includes a variety of different sauces and spices for your guests to try.
Ribs. When it comes to sporty snacks, ribs are always a fan favorite. You can make baby back pork ribs in the oven that will come out tender and crispy for the big game. If you’re worried that ribs might be too messy, consider adding them to tacos, or shred them for delicious pork sandwiches instead.
Sandwiches or pizza: Handheld foods are ideal for sports parties, since most people will probably be mingling or cheering on their team. Serve sandwiches on football-shaped rolls, or create a simple sandwich bar where everyone can create their own using different ingredients. For pizza, you can arrange the pepperoni or other toppings into the shape of your team’s logo or a sports-inspired design.
Pizza by Vibrant Occasions Catering.
The vegetarian option: Create a range of delicious snacks and foods for the vegetarians on your guest list. A beautiful board filled with veggies and dip is one easy way to provide appetizers. Try a delicious, hot and creamy spinach and artichoke dip along with toasted pita bread or tasty crackers.
Healthy options: If you’re aiming for some lighter fare, cocktail shrimp is a good place to start. Other healthy options for your sports party include air-fried wings, fresh pico de gallo and chips, or delicious sweet potato fries. Look for ways you can prepare old favorites using healthier ingredients.
Shrimp Cocktail by Vibrant Occasions Catering.
Drinks: Sports Party Companions
Cocktails and Appetizers by Vibrant Occasions Catering.
Of course, you’ll need to provide a variety of drinks to go along with your snacks. From beer and soda to cocktails, here are some quick ideas to help you get started.
Beer. Provide a variety of beers for your guests, ranging from classic to light. Craft brews are highly popular, and you can also serve some beers from the local regions of each team that’s playing. If you don’t want guests constantly going into your fridge, fill a large cooler with ice and a variety of different beers. Make sure you provide a bottle opener, too.
Wine. Offer a variety of wines for those who prefer vino to beer. Once you have a food menu, select wines that will pair nicely with some of your main dishes.
Cocktails. There are countless beverages you can make for a sports party, but a great example of easy cocktails that will make your guests happy is a simple alcoholic punch. People can refill their glass whenever they want, and you won’t need to worry about mixing individual drinks. A Bloody Mary is another popular drink that’s easy to make. Serve delicious Micheladas for a spicy, Mexican-themed beverage.
Non-alcoholic options: Of course, not everyone will want to drink a beer or cocktail, so make sure you provide plenty of non-alcoholic beverages, too. Bottled water, sodas of all kinds, and fruit juices are perfect choices for kids and guests who prefer not to drink alcohol during the big game.
Hot drinks: Football season takes place during the colder months, so serve up a few hot drinks at your party. Hot chocolate with mini marshmallows is a fun choice, as is some delicious hot cider. If you want to add alcohol, make a mulled cider that includes a bit of wine. Of course, don’t forget the coffee – many people love to sip on coffee after a meal or during the game.
Decorations make it festive
From hockey to football and beyond, adding some fun decorations will make your sports party more memorable. Check out these quick and easy tips for sports décor.
House decorations. Hang your team’s flag outside on your porch, or display a banner inside for the big game. If you have memorabilia from your favorite team, be sure to put it on display, too. Signs featuring the two opposing team’s names is another easy idea for house décor.
Cups and plates. You can find paper cups and plates in a wide variety of sports designs. For example, if you’re hosting a soccer-watching party, look for plates and cups covered in soccer balls. The same applies to other sports including baseball, hockey, and football.
Furniture decorations. Drape a throw featuring your team’s logo over your couch to show off your fandom. Cover a table with a sports-themed tablecloth to make your food presentation festive. Hang a team banner across your wall or mantle for a fun touch.
Yard decorations. From flags to yard signs, you can decorate the front yard to welcome your guests in a fun way. Check your local party supply store for a range of unique sports-inspired yard signs, too.
DIY decorations. Get crafty, and create your own custom decorations for the party. Draw your team’s logo on a large poster board to hang above the TV. Fill a large bowl with footballs, golfballs, or hockey pucks, or hang streamers or balloons in your team’s colors.
Entertainment: Before and After the Game
Whether you’re waiting for the game to start or you want the party to continue after the game is over, there are several things you can include to provide additional entertainment to your guests.
Board games. Break out a variety of board games to keep guests engaged. It can be anything from chess to checkers or a group game, such as cards or charades, as long as everyone is having fun and interacting.
Video games. If you have a gaming console, offer it to your guests to use, maybe even set up a tournament.
Trivia. A rousing game of sports trivia is a great way to break the ice and get everyone excited for the main event.
Karaoke. If you’re feeling brave, buy or rent a karaoke machine for the party so everyone can sing their favorite tunes.
Ball games. Set up a basketball hoop, cornhole boards, or a volleyball net in your backyard for a few rounds of outdoor sports action.
Charades. Come up with some creative sports charades, and have everyone play before the game starts. You can even give out sports-related prizes for the winners if you choose.
Music. Every party needs music to make it fun, so create a playlist you can enjoy in the background. Choose songs or themes that go with the occasion, like team songs or inspirational rock n’ roll.
Seating Arrangement Ideas
Here are some ideas to ensure that your guests are comfortable and happy throughout the party.
Comfortable chairs or couches: Make sure you have ample seating for all of your guests, such as recliners, cushy couches, and comfortable chairs so that everyone can see the game and relax.
COVID-Safer Entertaining: If you’re concerned about social distancing, arrange individual chairs at least six feet apart. You may have to have a smaller headcount, but it will be worth it to keep everyone safe. If it’s nice outside, pull the TV out to the patio, and have an outdoor party, where it’s easier to distance.
The best seats. Arrange your seating around the television, and make sure that each seat has a good vantage point of the screen. You may need to rearrange some things, but it’s important that everyone attending your party has a great view of the game.
Tips to Make Your Sports Event the Highlight of the Year
From food and drink to décor, here are some other tips to ensure that your sports event is unforgettable.
- Hire a nanny to care for the kids so you can enjoy the party kid-free.
- Hire a bartender and/or waiter who can mix drinks and serve food to your guests, freeing you up to enjoy the moment with your friends.
- Have a designated driver and/or use a ride share service so that everyone gets home safely and avoids the risk of drunk driving.
- Keep it eco-friendly with labeled glasses and plates instead of disposables. Label each plate and cup with your guest’s name so they can use the same items throughout the night.
- Set the thermostat at the right temperature. Whether you’re celebrating winter sports or summer games, keep your home’s interior temperature at a comfortable level.
- Keep the camera ready to catch the magical moments. Take lots of photos and videos of your party that you can share and tag people on social media.
- Make sure the bathroom it’s ready for use by providing plenty of hand soap, toilet paper, and clean towels so guests can dry their hands.
- Set up a large table for food and drink in the living room to avoid clutter in the kitchen and make it easier to pop more appetizers in the oven and prepare more dishes as food runs out.
Whether your favorite spectator sport is basketball, hockey, golf, volleyball, or football, it’s easy to be the ultimate sports party host. Just provide plenty of food and drinks along with great entertainment for before and after the game, and your guests will have the time of their lives cheering on their favorite team.
Do you ever struggle with buying gifts for your sweetheart? This Valentine’s Day, Vibrant Occasions Catering will help you say love with food through our beautifully curated Dinner Package. We have chosen our culinary favorites for executing the perfect dinner date. A well-rounded selection of menu items have been developed with quality standards and gourmet ingredients to ensure a fine dining experience no matter what your taste buds desire.
Ordering is easy and planning ahead is encouraged. Simply review our menu of options. Then select two appetizers to enjoy with cocktails (or mocktails), one main course, two side dishes, one dessert and we will include our crisp garden salad and fresh baked dinner rolls per dinner package. One dinner package per person is only $45.00 and we will have it ready to pick up from our Benton, Arkansas location hot and ready-to-serve.
Whether you are in the mood for a juicy steak or a buttery salmon, Vibrant Occasions will make sure that this Valentine’s Day you won’t have to worry if your significant other will like what you got them. Enjoy your Valentine’s Day Dinner Package with a private romantic dinner at home, on a blanket in the park or the rooftop of a downtown hot spot. Wherever you dine, we will take care of the food.
Ready to impress your Valentine? Call us today at (501) 408 – 2111 or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your selections and our chefs will give you the best Valentine’s Day experience yet.
Christmas is nearing and as the holiday season arrives, so does the age-old question – to cook or to cater? In some cases, it’s obviously more economical to cook for your holiday gathering yourself – but we think you’d be surprised by how economical catering your Christmas party can be in the long run. You could save time, effort, and money by investing in catering for your holiday fête – now that’s really something to celebrate!
Catering Saves Time and Effort
If time is money, catering should always be your first choice for a holiday soirée. Catering means you spend much less time in the kitchen and more time charming your guests and enjoying the party you worked so hard to pull together! A good catering company will provide the food as well as a package that includes cutlery (disposable or silver), serviettes, heat lamps if needed, and much more. Some caterers will also be happy to rent you stools, table settings, dishes, chairs – anything you need to make the food involved a success!
However, the economy of catering relies on scale. The larger your gathering, the lower the cost per person will be. So if you’re having a get together of fewer than ten people, we may suggest catering the food for convenience, but it would likely be cheaper to pull it together on your own.
Lower Your Food Wastage
Another cost involved in hosting a large Christmas party is food waste. Do you know how many eggs you need to buy to make deviled eggs for 40 people? Or how many gallons of juice you should grab for the punch for a two-hour party versus an all-night affair? It’s always better to have too much than too little when you’re hosting, so many people end up drastically miscalculating and overspending by at least a hundred dollars. And that’s food that’s likely going to go to waste after the party – you can’t eat eight pounds of shrimp cocktail on your own after all!
Because we’ve been catering parties of all sizes for years, we know exactly how much chicken to buy and how many extra napkins you’ll need. We’re precision experts. And because we buy in bulk from our local sources, we’re able to get deals that the average person just can’t beat at the grocery store.
Questions To Ask Your Caterer Before Your Big Party
What’s included in the final price?
When you compare prices for catering your Christmas party, make sure that you are comparing apples to apples. One catering company may seem to be a steal, but end up costing you more in the long run with add-ons and hidden fees. Make sure to ask about things that are commonly not included in the quoted price, like:
- Additional fees like taxes and tips
- Bar costs – these will be separate from the food and from non-alcoholic beverage service
- Equipment – if you need chairs, tables, serving platters, etc. make sure to mention them upfront and make sure they’re included in the final quote
- Set up and clean up – avoid sticker shock by ensuring that these are included in the quote and not charged by the hour to be billed after the fact
Most companies do include these prices in their quotes, but it’s always better to ask up front than get an unpleasant surprise.
Can you accommodate my dietary needs?
It’s very common these days to have guests who are paleo, gluten-free, vegan, kosher, halal, or who have a food allergy. You should also consider whether your menu is appropriate for younger children and other picky eaters. Even if the caterer came recommended for their ability to handle special requests, you’ll want to be as clear as possible about your preferences and needs so the chef can work around them and help you build an inclusive menu.
If you have any other questions about catering your Christmas party or another holiday event, contact Vibrant Occasions – Arkansas’ most delicious caterers! We’d be happy to help you develop the perfect Christmas menu for your celebration this holiday season.
The least scary part of your spooky spectacular should be the spread! Between decorating the house, finding or making the most ghoulishly glamorous costumes, and crafting the perfect guest list, you’ve got enough on your plate. Whether you’re planning a small get-together on your back deck or a neighborhood stop-by in the front yard, find a catering partner that takes the horror out of feeding your family and guests.
Creative Treats Without the Tricks
Is your Spooky Season Pinterest board full of cute cupcakes and extraordinary hors d’oeuvres but you’ve got no idea how to make them? Don’t spend hours learning how to make new dishes and fill your fridge with practice runs – trust the pros that do this every day. Our experts can help you make those dreams a reality – without the nightmarish first runs.
Need ideas to make your Halloween plates look cute or theme your party from snacks to decorations? We can help there, too! A professional caterer has done it all – we can make creepy crawlies and zombie scenes leap to life on a cake or cookie, put a spooky touch on savory favorites, and create the perfect palette to delight your party guests.
Don’t Spook Your Guests with Allergies or Restrictions
Maybe you’ve got the RSVP game down to a science and know exactly who’s showing up with what allergies and/or dietary restrictions. Maybe you’re a food expert who has designed the perfect menu to avoid any allergies or dietary restrictions. Don’t worry if you don’t or you’re not – we’ve got you covered! As professional caterers, we’ve handled:
- Food Allergies, From Minor to Major
- Gluten and Dairy Intolerance
- Religious Dietary Restrictions
- Vegan and Vegetarian
- Something for Everyone
Without making each guest’s individual plate for them, it’s impossible to cover all of your bases. With a professional caterer, however, you can make sure that everyone has something to eat at your party. We prepare menus that encompass major allergies, dietary restrictions, intolerances, and other food choices and create labels to let your guests know what foods are perfect for them.
Skip the Kitchen Nightmares
The oven dings. Your second attempt at pumpkin shortbread is ready, but it needs to cool before you ice it. Pots, pans, baking sheets, and utensils are strewn about the kitchen, there’s somehow caramel on the ceiling, none of the cookie trays have been arranged, and your guests arrive in thirty minutes. Do you skip the cute couples costume you and your partner picked out months ago in favor of a time-saving look with eyeliner whiskers and cat ears?!
Worry not, dear reader. This doesn’t have to be your reality – not any more! A professional caterer will drop off the perfectly-prepared dishes you picked out and even help you arrange them on plates and trays, prep the punch bowls, and layout plates and utensils. You don’t have to worry about:
- Special Kitchen Equipment: We’ve got everything you need to produce anything you can dream of – without the double ovens or the time-consuming work.
- Serving Dishes and Warming Trays: You can put our delicious food on your own serving platters or use our professional catering equipment to make sure your Halloween spread looks its best and is enjoyed hot and fresh!
- Plates or Utensils: Professional caterers can provide high-quality disposable plates and utensils or rent the plates and silverware you need to serve any size party.
- Dreaded Dishwashing: Skip the pile of pots, pans, baking sheets, and other kitchenware so you can party into the night without worrying about dishes in the morning. Bonus: Skip the incessant counter-wiping that comes with preparing your Halloween feast!
Party with the Pros
When it comes to entertaining your guests – and delighting them with delicious food options – party with the pros by contacting us today! As the holiday season kicks off, you need a catering partner you can trust. Call for a catering consultation with our team at Vibrant Occasions!
Hands… Not Touching Hands..
Reaching out… Not touching me, not touching you!
“Sweet Caroline” sure is a popular song to play on a dance floor, maybe with just a few updated lyrics for the times!
We’re seeing lots of extra sanitizing stations throughout venues
Couples are even providing custom sanitizer bottles for guests!
It’s fun and useful!
Social distancing won’t interfere with guests having a great time! There are still plenty of opportunities to enjoy the reception while keeping distance from those outside of your family group.
We are asking that guests wear their masks while going through the buffet lines and ordering at the bars and drink stations.
We are doing our best to protect you and your families, we ask that you help do the same for us!
Since Self-Service Buffets are not allowed at this time, our staff gets to plate the food for you! A few great options include our Staff-served buffets, Action Stations, and Plated Service! We are serving behind Plexi-glass barriers as extra protection for your family and friends!
Your vendors should be able to be open and honest with you about the measures they are taking to follow all current guidelines from the state and federal officials.
We are always here to answer any questions you may have about what we are doing behind the scenes!
We are working tirelessly to make sure we are doing everything we can to ensure the safety of our couples, families and our staff as we work to re-open events during Phase 1. We worked with a team of amazing vendors in our state (too many to count!) to help create guidelines and safety measures for large events. The amount of creativity we see in our fellow vendors is inspiring!
We have all the Pasta-bilities to create your dream wedding and we are here to help!
Creativity Can Create Dream Weddings with so many Pasta-bilities!
Here’s some things to think about while planning your event!
Reach out to your vendors and ask them how they are complying with the directives issued for Phase 1.
Who is Responsible for What?
Your vendors will be responsible for some aspects of the guidelines. There are some details you will need to be responsible for as the host of the event. Ask questions. Know that we are all doing the best we can to give you the most current information.
Will There Be Changes to Catering?
The short answer, Yes!
Our new guidelines are limiting our service options for events during Phase 1. Self-service buffets are currently not approved. Reach out to your caterer as soon as possible to discuss food service options!
What is Vibrant Occasions Catering Doing?
In addition to the guidelines from the Governor, Vibrant Occasions has created our own Standard Operating Procedures to work from during this time. These are above and beyond what is being asked of caterers, but we want to ensure the safety of our guests as well as our staff.
We are looking at each event individually to go over every detail to make sure you know we are keeping your safety as a top priority.
- We already wear gloves during our food service, but you will see our staff wearing masks as well.
- As much as we have grown to know and love our couples and other vendors we work with, we will also maintain proper social distancing during events. We will not be shaking hands, hugging or participating in any unnecessary physical contact.
- We are also installing plexiglass shields for our staff-served buffets to limit contact with food.