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    A conversation with Ladyfingers Catering marketing director Donna Brown. This article is from the Summer/Fall edition of Louisville Bride. To subscribe to Louisville Magazine and receive Louisville Bride twice yearly, click here. 

    What are some of the common catering mistakes you see at weddings?

    “One of the common mistakes that I see is locating your bar too close to the doorway. Then you end up with a big bottleneck. You really want to put your bar where people can come in and walk to it so you don’t have a big traffic jam in that area. Probably the biggest mistake I see now is people hiring food vendors that really don’t do wedding catering. So, (guests are) really just not getting the full dinners that they should. We’re seeing a lot of (couples) hire Qdoba to do their rehearsal dinner.”

    If you could make a perfect menu for a wedding, what would you put on it?

    “Hmm, a perfect menu for a wedding. I would have some really nice, local, Kentucky-themed passed appetizers for cocktail hour. I probably would have a mint julep station, or have mint juleps for a signature drink on that bar. Then for dinner I would do a real nice field-green salad with smoked tenderloin, roasted new potatoes, corn pudding and probably a grilled medley of vegetables. And then Ladyfingers’ butter buns. That would be a perfect menu.”

    Do you see any trendy foods happening this year? Is there something that all the brides are asking for?

    “Yeah, we always see different trends. This year, Kentucky-themed and locally grown is a recurring thing that we’re seeing. Stations are really big again this year. Those are probably two of the biggest things I see. And then we’re seeing a lot of signature drinks with bourbon in them. So there’s kind of a theme going on there: bourbon, bourbon and bourbon.”

    What are your recommendations for someone who’s on a small budget?

    “For a small budget I would recommend a heavy appetizer menu. Those tend to be affordable, but they’re enough food to feed people during dinnertime. For bar services, I would recommend a beer-and-wine bar. That’s affordable, but still a really nice bar.”

    What kinds of desserts are you seeing people serve? 

    “We’re seeing a trend of people doing a lot of dessert bars. Last weekend we had one who did a bar with cobblers and ice cream instead of a traditional cake. We’ll also see little bite-sized desserts instead of a wedding cake, or they’ll have a little wedding cake that they’ll cut and have a dessert station. We see a lot of chocolate fountains, too.”

    Would you say that people are forgoing the traditional wedding cake in favor of the smaller dessert?

    “I still wouldn’t say that they’re forgoing that. We probably see 25 percent who are forgoing that, but you still have 75 percent out there doing wedding cakes.”

    You’ve mentioned the cocktail hour between the wedding and reception. Do you have any ideas about what to do in that hour?

    “If they’re at a venue that has a garden, it’s always nice to have the bar and cocktail hour in that area or in a different area than the dinner. Passed apps are always a good thing to do so they have a little something to munch on while they’re waiting. There was one wedding where they set out different pieces of glass in pottery that guests put together into a platter for the bride and groom. We’ve seen picture frame mats, where guests can write something to the bride and groom, and then they frame that and put their wedding picture in it.”

    You see a lot of reception venues. What are some really cool ones? 

    “Oh, that puts me on the spot! They all have their own personality. For instance, the Gheens Lodge at The Parklands at Floyds Fork is rustic and park-like and natural, so that’s a cool one we like to cater at. The Muhammad Ali Center’s got a great view of the river, so we love that. The Gillespie and Passalino’s, they’re just different venues that have a mezzanine area that you can have your cocktail area in, that kind of overlooks the dining room, which is pretty. Did I mention Whiskey Row Lofts? It’s a cool venue. There’s a lot of heritage and history in that room. You know, the old time wood floors with the high ceilings and the big doorways — it’s just beautiful. Each of them has its own personality, but they all make for great wedding spaces.”

    Fill in the blank. If every couple _________ , it would make the caterer’s job easier.

    “If every couple would get a timeline (for the night) to the caterer, it would make our job easier.”


    This article is courtesy of Louisville Bride. To subscribe to Louisville Magazine, click here.

    Photo courtesy of Shutterstock/Marta Paniti

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