An Event for All Seasons
When it comes to planning a wedding, more is... well, more. From delicious food to gorgeous ice sculptures, Seasons Catering & Special Occasions does it all. To make things easier on you, our amazing couples, we've interviewed Kellie Stoddart, an owner of Seasons, to find out what "more" they can do for you!
Kentucky Bride Magazine: Have you always had a love for the event management and catering business?
Kellie Stoddart: Yes, ever since I began the business in 1998 with my partner, my passion was to meet people, assist them in their events and special moments and make a difference.
KBM: If so, when did you decide you wanted to turn your passion into a career?
KS: I decided the date we signed our business contract with the bank! That was the beginning of it all. Knowing it was our business and I wanted to make it a successful one.
KBM: What have been some challenges you’ve had to overcome as a business in the catering and event industry?
KS: The most challenging is keeping up with all the newest trends, fads, Pinterest ideas and marketing those ideas in all that we do. Marketing is a full time job, but it has to be an important part of anyone’s business. The branding of your business and the continuous marketing strategies are detrimental to a business.
KBM: When it comes to weddings, Seasons Catering & Special Occasions does it all. You all offer catering, event management and ice sculptures, among other things. How do couples benefit from using a full service event company like your own?
KS: Well, from what we have heard from our couples, it makes it very easy for them. They want to know they can handle most, if not all the planning with one company. It offers them piece of mind. Brides love to have their “checklist” organized and that’s one service we offer, a one stop shopping experience.
KS: My favorite dish is our marinated beef tenderloin with henry baines sauce and sweet corn pudding! It’s simply delicious. I have to begin with our delicious mini hot browns as an appetizer and conclude with our delicious warm bread pudding with bourbon sauce. It’s special to me because we prepare this for our family gatherings and family is very important to me.
KBM: In addition to having the ability to choose from the Seasons Catering list, catering customers are also offered the chance to create custom dishes. What is the most unique wedding dish you (or Chef Michael) has ever had to create?
KS: Oh my, with creating dishes for over 15 years it’s difficult to say what the most unique one was. We enjoy customized menus as it is personal to the client. I can remember a few dishes such as pirogues from a brides grandmother’s recipe, steak and eggs for a Portuguese wedding, yankee shrimp and grits, (again from brides recipe), risotto bites for a passed hors d’oeuvre, but nothing that was ever “out of the ordinary” for us. We love to create so we always encourage our brides to include their special dishes.
KBM: According to the “Event Management” tab on your website, your event management services include a host of amenities. This includes event logistics and floor plan layout/design, décor design services, parking and valet, security consultation, event support and production staffing, full-service catering, custom ice and fruit carvings venue consultation and procurement, vendor selection assistance, cleaning services, event equipment, rentals and supplies and entertainment and DJ services booking. Do you offer recommendations for each wedding vendor? How do you select which wedding vendors you recommend to your brides?
KS: We have a partnership with several professional vendors and enjoy the opportunity to refer them to our brides. Everyone has their own unique design, vision, theme and personality, so we offer them several vendor options that they can select from for their wedding. During our complimentary consultation there are a lot of questions asked to incorporate the entire day, not simply the reception alone. By asking our brides which vendors they have secured or not secured along with their flair and vision indicates which professional vendor I recommend to them. Not only have we worked with our referring vendors, but we know that our vendors have our best interest at hand knowing it’s a reflection of our company, as we have with them.
KBM: Not every company can say that they offer ice sculpting! How did Chef Stoddart become one of the community’s greatest ice sculptors?
KS: Chef Stoddart has carved ice since his early college days at the Culinary Institute of America and continues to have the passion to create and design unimaginable sculptures. He continues to carve in national competitions and belongs to the National Ice Carving Association where he meets other carvers that share their success stories and tips.
KBM: What types of ice sculptures are most popular for wedding receptions?
KS: In years past it was the beautiful glistening swan, but today we see a lot of monograms, ice bars, ice luges and 3D initials. The couples love their initials as a focal point on the hors d’oeuvre or buffet table. It truly is the “wow” factor and something remembered by the guests.
KBM: In addition to weddings, Seasons Catering & Special Occasions manages and caters to many different types of events. Besides weddings, what other types of events do you all do?
KS: Seasons caters to any event you can think of whether it's for the spring, summer, winter or fall. Seasons Catering can do it all! We cater a lot to the “corporate world”, open houses, private events such as retirement parties, birthday parties, baptismal, funerals. Simply an array of events.
KBM: What bundle packages are offered to those planning a wedding in the way of combining your catering and event management services, catering and ice sculpting services, etc.?
KS: If a bride prefers to utilize most of our services we offer a complimentary ice sculpture and a professional discount based upon how many services we provide to her.
KBM: Walk our couples through a Seasons Catering & Special Occasions wedding planning process, from the first consultation to the day of the actual event.
KS: It is definitely a detailed organized process. After the telephone inquiring we prefer to meet with the bride and family to introduce ourselves and our company. The complimentary consultation usually takes about an hour. At this time we discuss the brides vision, dreams, “day of” events, menu options and all vendor information. The consultation is a planning process, along with an educational process. Once the bride confirms her decision to contract Seasons as her caterer the detailed planning process begins with extensive menu options, revisions, additional meetings, pre-event site checks, a checklist or time line based upon the wedding day, final payments and calls to all vendors to confirm accuracy one week before the big day! Depending upon the length of the brides planning process, determines how many follow up calls and visits she may require. Most of our brides plan a year out to 8 months prior to their date. When the wedding day approaches all vendors, team members and check lists are “on point”. Depending if the bride chooses us to be her bridal consultant for the “day of” or month of indicates where our team arrives. If the bride contracts us to be her consultant we arrive at the church or ceremony location to be sure all details are going as planned. The catering team will arrive at the reception at least an hour prior to guests to do all the necessary set up and design work. Our team is very organized and efficient. Once the guests arrive to the reception they are usually greeted by greeters, a beverage and hors d’oeuvres as they await the newly married Mr. and Mrs. Upon their arrival they are greeted with beverages and hors d’oeuvres prior to seeing guests. We utilize a time line that is offered to all vendors so we are “all on the same page” and the reception flows seamlessly. Once Mr. and Mrs. are introduced, the party begins! The reception concludes with a bridal basket and cake sampling residing with the bride and groom as they drive away from their fun-filled, memorable, best day of their life!
KBM: At Kentucky Bride, we like to educate and inspire our brides. Help us to do that with a few of your own words of advice.
KS: Your wedding day is something very special, something you have dreamed about since you were a little girl. When you are planning your wedding be sure to tailor it around what you and your fiancé’ enjoy. It’s difficult to please everyone so don’t stress about it. Everyone attending your wedding wants to see you! They want to partake in this special day and celebrate.
Also, remember when selecting your vendor, ask questions, ask for references, ask to see their establishment and be sure to read all the details in the contracts. Never assume! Remember, Seasons can sell wonderful delicious food, but what we sell is memories and the experiences you have when planning your special day. Be happy, stay in love and enjoy the memories created.
Additionally, to connect with Seasons via social media, click the links below: