An interview with Steve Guagliardi, Catering Sales & Event Planning Manager, Rich’s Catering & Special Events.
MOMENTS: What clues do you use to help you learn about a couple and what they’re looking for in a perfect reception?
SG: I do some digging on various social media sites and ask a few key questions prior to our first meeting to get a general sense of the couple and their vision. I try to find out if they have a theme or any specific wedding colors chosen yet. Usually, within that first meeting, I gain a good understanding of the direction they would like to go and I’m able to provide them with ideas on how to accomplish the perfect wedding.
MOMENTS: How do you help couples infuse their own personality and style into their reception?
SG: This is probably the most customized part of my job. Every couple is unique and there are so many ways to celebrate and highlight their personalities. I start by understanding what a perfect night out looks like for them, or asking about their favorite food, and we work from there. This past weekend, I created a step & repeat backdrop utilizing the couple’s monogram as well as their hashtag. We paired the backdrop with a red carpet at the entrance and everyone took advantage! I have another couple doing a ceremonial pizza cutting in place of a traditional wedding cake. We’ll serve the pizza as the late-night station.
MOMENTS: What’s your favorite part of a wedding reception?
SG: Cocktail hour (or two hours)! I love the beginning of the event when everyone, including the couple, begins to experience the event for the first time. The oohs and aahs make me feel great about what I do. I also believe that this portion of the event is the most social part. This is when the best mingling happens and you get a taste of what’s to come.
MOMENTS: What is your favorite wedding trend of the moment?
SG: Non-floral centerpieces. I love to incorporate flowers into an event, but not everywhere. Floral centerpieces range from $50-$75 per table and get thrown out at the end of the night. I can provide a more sustainable rental option that looks spectacular for only $30.
MOMENTS: What’s the best part of your job?
SG: No two couples or clients are the same! Some jobs can be very monotonous, but every client I have is different and even my repeat clients want to change up their event each year. I love to create and this gives me the freedom to do so regularly.
MOMENTS: What’s the most important part of your job?
SG: DETAILS! My entire job revolves around the details. Without precise organization and detailed information an event can fail quickly. I keep all of my event orders extremely detailed and organized to ensure nothing is missed.
MOMENTS: If you could have one “do over” from your own wedding, what would it be?
SG: I wish we had taken all of our photos before the ceremony. As I mentioned, I love a good cocktail hour (or two) and mine was cut very short due to family photos. I completely agree with the first look concept prior to the ceremony. By getting photos out of the way earlier it makes the day more enjoyable for the couple and they can mingle with their guests.