Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wedding at the River Bend Resort

Like many weddings this summer, bees were the theme here - "Meant to Bee" specifically. Table centerpieces included honey comb candles, personalized honey jars and yellow tulips and white, black and yellow color scheme visuals everywhere.

The brides family was a treat and the mother-of-the-bride a personal friend. The bride being the youngest in the family (and the last to marry), this was quite the affair to remember. The menu included one of our famous "Cascading Fruit Display" complete with chocolate fondue in addition to a traditional buffet complete with a served Caesar salad and bread baskets with a bistro dipping oil. It is always a wonderful touch to serve a portion of the meal (if not all of it). It spaces the meal out and prevents a back log at the buffet line. People don't eat at the same rate, so serving the salad automatically spreads out the flow at the buffet.

River Bend Resort is one of the up-and-coming wedding venues in our area. Located in Harrisburg along the river, they specialize in RV stay overs. They have a small hotel, but the RV slots far out number the rooms there. Located near the large RV manufactures of Junction City, their goal was to be the main stop over for those needing repairs. They have included in their riverfront resort a full service restaurant (but no catering services) and two large but connectible reception halls. They have a beautiful facility and, while we were the first caterer to use it, they were well equipped to handle us.

Check out their website at


Something to think about when planning the catering for your wedding or event, is "what facilities does the venue have?" Often times, as in the case of the River Bend Resort, the facility has no kitchen facilities - no ovens, no sinks, no running water and no stove tops. This may limit your choice of caterers if they are not equipped to cook on site or not sufficiently close to the venue to transport already cooked food without it being overcooked. There are certain entrees to be leery of and ask a lot of questions if you are considering these.

For instance, never transport a pasta dish. Pasta is something that should be cooked on site or not at all. Noodles don't hold up well and quickly turn to mush in any kind of liquid or heat. Beef entrees are another item to be careful of. Be sure to request that the beef entree be served in the medium / medium rare range. Either a caterer will be equipped to grill beef on site or they will account for under cooking the meat for the proper temperature. Well-done or overcooked entrees are the earmark of a stale fundraiser and should never be a part of a bride's special day.

One more thing to note - There is a reason chicken is the dish of choice for large events (fundraisers not with standing). Not only is it one of the more cost effective dishes for budgeting reasons, it holds up well under even the most extreme conditions. As long as steps are taken to assure the chicken stays moist, it can hold longer than any entree I have ever seen.

If you have a specific caterer in mind and are not set on a menu, ask your caterer's advise on menus that transport well or could be prepare on site. He or she will know from experience what works well and more often than not, they'll have an entree they specialize in.