Local Vendor Spotlight: Lisa’s Weddings
By Diane Ambrogio, on October 8th, 2015
We love to work with our favorite local Florida Keys wedding vendors because they really have an understanding of the area and why our couples come down here to get married. We often work with Lisa Bradeen as an officiator of many of our weddings. She has a dynamic and charismatic personality that really shines in the ceremonies she writes and performs. She is more than happy to work with you on the whole process customizing your vows and explaining the legal process of getting your marriage license. She will customize as much or as little as you like and always offers a rehearsal of the ceremony to her couples the day before. She even offers a unique lobster release ceremony that really adds a keys flair to your ceremony and will certainly have your guests talking!! Here is a little bit about Lisa:
WHY HIRE ME?
- Each Bride receives a detailed, ornate Wedding Packet which includes 14 sample vows to choose from, marriage license requirements, Florida Keys information from a Local’s point of view and other helpful suggestions. It s a step by step guide on getting married in the Keys.
- My World Famous “Lobster Release” ceremony is one of a kind , an unforgettable ceremony your guests will never forget. A Bride’s favorite!
- I customize the vows for each couple; no two are duplicated.
- Each couple receives a “keepsake” Marriage Vows/ Folder on decorative paper to commemorate their Special Day.
- I am available to assist you at the Clerk’s Office with paperwork if needed.
- I certify and require a signature receipt with each Marriage License that is to be filed with the State of Florida.
- I am an Ordained Minister and a Florida Notary, licensed to perform non-denomination/secular or religious ceremonies.
- All insurances, religious licenses, and Notary certifications are active and current.
- I am involved with the development of the Ceremony from beginning to the completion with the Bride & Groom so it will be the perfect fit.
- My willingness, attention to detail and enthusiasm surpasses the competition. I make each Bride feel Special!
For more information on Lisa’s services please visit her website or contact us at Caribbean Catering.
By Diane Ambrogio, on October 6th, 2015
This menu option is often overlooked, but it really is a great choice! It is a statement for you dinner service to have the chef on-site cooking to order. It also allows each guest to select their own meal. Everyone literally gets exactly what they want. It also accommodates for a vegetarian option, seafood and meat. One of the very few menu choices that can actually please every single one of your guests. We also load up the toppings! You are not going to walk away with a pig plate of just pasta. You can load on as much seafood and veggies you want! Each guest creates their own unique dinner from selections of: shrimp, scallops, mussels, chicken, julienne vegetables, mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, onions, garlic, wine, pesto, alfredo, marinara, and of course several pastas. This option also includes a plated fresh salad and baked bread.
We did pasta stations at our event last weekend and it was big hit. Everyone loved their dinner and just about everyone had seconds.
Pasta stations are also pretty budget friendly; Cost: $47.00/person · Chef Fee: $150.00 per chef. Contact us at Caribbean Catering for more information on our Pasta Stations or to discuss other menu options.
Local Vendors Spotlight: Engaged Design Studio
By Diane Ambrogio, on September 18th, 2015
Engaged design studio is located in Islamorada and they can handle all you printing needs for your next event or wedding. From invitations to escort cards they can do it all. They are conveniently located in Caribbean Catering’s plaza. We are quickly becoming wedding central at the Galleria Plaza! We use them for all of our printing needs and come highly recommended. Here is a little about one of our favorite local vendors:
“In the summer of 2014, digital and print communication became much easier in the Florida Keys when Monica Horsley, former owner of By Invitation Only, one of the largest invitation and stationery stores in Central Virginia open Engaged Design Studio. The Islamorada resident created a one-of-a-kind boutique design and marketing studio specializing in personal and business communications and correspondence. She combines the traditional elegance of printed cards and stationery with the latest in web design and digital outreach to help everyone from business owners to brides with their communications needs.
On the paper side of the business, EDS’s offers one-stop shopping for save-the-dates, invitations, place cards, menus, holiday cards, business cards and so much more. Prospective clients can come into the studio, view an array of samples and receive expert advice from Horsley who has helped hundreds of brides and businesses with all of their paper and printing needs.”
Visit Engaged Design Studio’s website at this link or contact us at Caribbean Catering for more information on local vendors.
By Diane Ambrogio, on September 12th, 2015
A casting company called Liz Lewis Casting Partners are working on a great LGBT project that’s looking to feature some same-sex couples who are either engaged or married to share their stories. The flyer below has more details.
This video project will be on a popular YouTube channel and will incorporate video content (interviews, home video footage, photos, etc.) from 50 different couples from 50 different states.
If you could help us spread the word, that would be great! They are looking for couples who are either engaged or are already married. That would be very helpful if you could reach out to them! All we are looking for is a self-tape of them talking about their stories. We have a few questions that we are hoping these couples can answer in the videos such as…
1. Your names and where you live.
2. How you met.
3. First date story
4. First kiss story
5. Relationship Status/Future plans
6. Any activities you like to do as a couple, or any other interesting facts.
It can be done on a computer or a phone, nothing too fancy. Just as long as we can see them and the video is clear.
By Diane Ambrogio, on September 10th, 2015
A huge trend we are seeing a lot of this year is……the ruffle cake! It is a beautiful and modern design and works well with so many different styles from rustic to elegant. Here are some photos of ruffle cakes we have done this year.
As ruffles, frills and extensive layers splashed across the runway from designers, it was inevitable that this epitome of femininity would continue its reign in wedding style.
For a seriously elegant look, skip the bold patterns and add-ons in favor of subtle embellishments with allover sugar ruffles. The look is light and airy and needs very little added detail. Finish it off with fresh flowers in between each tier or a few sugar flowers on top.
Watch this space for more wedding trends!
New Florida Keys Wedding Venue
By Diane Ambrogio, on August 13th, 2015
Always with an ear to the ground, we have discovered an amazing new Florida Keys wedding venue. This gated, 2.5 acre property boasts a beautiful sandy beach directly on the Gulf of Mexico. Which means, Sunsets!!! We love a sunset wedding and there are much fewer properties available on the bayside with a sunset view, making this a gem. The property is also nestled in beautiful palm tree and hardwood hammocks dotted with bougainvillea.
The estate has three residences on the property. The best part is that you can choose to rent out just one or all three. They are flexible and have a lot of different options available. From one day or one night rentals to three day or weekly rentals. Which is a huge benefit for a lot of our out of town brides who would prefer to not rent for a full week as many other rental properties require.
The property also has parking for up to 75 vehicles, which is a huge bonus many venues have the space for a large event but no parking to match.
A property representative is available 24/7 during your stay.
The option of booking a massage, yoga and even a Wedding Etiquette course during your stay is also a nice amenity.
For more information about this venue please visit their website or contact us at Caribbean Catering.
Spotlight: Local Wedding Venues
By Diane Ambrogio, on August 5th, 2015
There are so many great wedding venues available in the Florida Keys. This week I would like to spotlight a couple of our favorite venues in the Upper Keys. There are a lot of things to consider when choosing an appropriate venue for your wedding. Before we get to our Spotlight Local Wedding Venues here are some things to consider when choosing a venue:
1. Your Wedding Style: Do you dream in tuxedos and ballgowns? Then choose a venue that will reflect this style it will save you money in the long run since you won’t have to spend as much in transforming the space to suit you needs.
2. Size appropriate for you anticipated guest list: Expecting 300 people? Then be sure to check with your venue on their maximum capacity.
3. Ease of accessibility: When having a destination wedding you will want to take into consideration the proximity and availability of accommodations and goods and services for your guests.
One of our favorite locations here in the upper keys is Ocean Pointe Suites. It has 60 acres of property tucked away on the Oceanside in Tavernier. It is in close proximity to shopping and restaurants and boasts 170 spacious suites. This means that in most cases all of your guests will be able to stay on property. The pool will be one big family reunion! There is also a bar and restaurant on-site and boat dockage available.
The property also has a beautiful sandy beach perfect for a ceremony or even for the reception itself. There is also a covered space near the beach where many of the receptions are catered following a beach ceremony. The property has an affordable site fee and you get a lot for your money.
1. Covered space: A commodity down here for a beach wedding. Short of springing for a tent you won’t find this anywhere else.
2. Fans: This space has built in ceiling fans, so clutch on a hot day down here.
3. Lighting: Lighting is also built into this space so another way to save.
4. Tables & Chairs: Depending on how many guests you have they can accommodate dinner seating for up to 40 people.
5. They take care of the bar: For a reasonable price your full bar service is covered. No guessing if you will run out of booze or hauling it all with you.
With all of these great points for this local venue, there is still more. It has an absolutely lovely view and the staff is friendly, accommodating and a pleasure to work with.
Here are some images from recent events at Ocean Pointe Suites.
For more information about Ocean Pointe Suites contact us at Caribbean Catering 305.664.0004 or Adrian at Ocean Pointe 305 440 2365.
DIY Beach Wedding Ideas
By Diane Ambrogio, on August 2nd, 2015
Many of our brides these days do at least some of their wedding details DIY, or do it yourself. It’s a great way to save a little money when costs can add up quick. It can also give your wedding details a personal touch and sentimental value for you and your partner. I have recently discovered a new and amazing craft product, Japanese Washi Tape. This amazing invention can be used for so many things. If you haven’t heard of it before, get ready for your obsession to begin! The best way to describe washi tape is that it feels like masking tape — very, very pretty masking tape. It’s made of paper, but is not as delicate as you would expect. Plus, it comes in patterns and designs that will make even the most dedicated crafters swoon and varying widths to allow you to create some fun and intricate washi tape designs.Here are a few cute projects using Washi tape for a DIY Beach Wedding.
Check out these easy to make washi tape centerpieces.
Spice up your wedding favors with a bit a Washi tape.
You can use Washi tape to add some color and design to your invitations.
Have your guests use washi tape to put notes or photos in your guest book.
Use washi tape on your escort cards.
50 Shades of Chicken Recipes
By Diane Ambrogio, on July 29th, 2015
This book contains 50 delicious chicken recipes, each one more seductive than the last. It will make every meal a turn-on. Is is a very clever (and delicious) play on the popular 50 Shades of Grey novels.
The story follows the adventures of Miss Chicken, a young free-range, from raw innocence to golden brown ecstasy. Like Anastasia Steele, Miss Chicken finds herself at the mercy of a dominating man, in this case, a wealthy, sexy, and very talented chef.
And before long, from slow drizzling to trussing, Miss Chicken discovers the sheer thrill of becoming the main course. A parody in three acts—“The Novice Bird” (easy recipes for roasters), “Falling to Pieces” (parts perfect for weeknight meals), and “Advanced Techniques” (the climax of cooking)—Fifty Shades of Chicken is a cookbook of fifty irresistible, repertoire-boosting chicken dishes that will leave you hungry for more.
With memorable tips and revealing photographs, Fifty Shades of Chicken will have you dominating dinner.
One of my favorite recipes in the book to give you a taste:
“The way his apron hangs from his hips already has me all wobbly. But as he coats my thighs with sticky liquid I can hardly contain myself. Is it the wine, or is my aroma starting to drive him crazy, too? He heats me up fast, and it won’t take much to finish me off now. His lips quirk up into a smile. My own juices are mixing with the coating and running all over the place. I get the strangest, sweetest, most hedonistic feeling up and down. Its epicureanism run wild! He spreads my thighs on a plate. Sticky hands and at least five wet napkins. What will the house keeper think? Who cares?”
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, patted dry with paper towels
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon plus a pinch of coarse kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Preheat the oven to 450°F. In a large bowl, toss together the chicken, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and the pepper.
- In a small saucepan, simmer together the onion, wine, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, and a pinch of salt until most of the liquid has evaporated, 15 to 20 minutes. Mix in the honey and butter.
- Spoon the mixture over the chicken and toss well. Spread the thighs, onion mixture, and any juices onto a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until the chicken is no longer pink and the onions are meltingly tender and caramelized, about 25 minutes. Serves 2 to 4
Check out the website where you can purchase the book and find out more…
Tastings with Caribbean Catering
By Diane Ambrogio, on July 21st, 2015
For many clients one of the best parts of planning your event is a tasting! Of course it is an important step in the process to make sure that the food you will be serving is in line with your tastes. It usually doesn’t take too much convincing on our part, since our chef does such a good job! Below are some things to consider when coming in to visit us for a tasting.
For the tasting, we ask that our couples select up to 4 appetizers, 1 salad, 2 entrees and 2 sides. A tasting is meant to give you an idea of the quality of our food and the presentation style. We ask you to narrow down some choices so that you will have the opportunity to taste items that you are interested in serving at your event. At your tasting, we will usually make most of the final decisions on your menu. So be honest and tell us what you like and be sure to come hungry! You will be served full sized portions.
We are available for tastings Mon-Fri between 10 AM and 2 PM. We don’t usually have time to do tastings on the weekends since we are likely doing other events. We can sometimes make acceptions but be sure to contact us in advance. We would prefer at least a weeks notice to so we have everything prepared and scheduled with the chef. Tastings are held in our main kitchen and meeting space located at:
80925 Overseas Highway
Islamorada, FL 33036
Caribbean Catering is happy to offer tastings to all of our clients. Once you have booked your date a tasting is complimentary for the wedding couple. You are welcome to do a tasting before booking however we do charge $100.00 and require that you already have your local venue reserved. If you are bringing additional guests they are all welcome to taste the dishes with you but you will be served portions for two.
When you sit with us for your tasting it is also a great opportunity to look at our available rentals and make some decisions about your design as well. We will discuss the specifics of your entire event during your tasting, including the timeline. Even if final decisions are not made at the tasting it will give us a good idea of what outstanding items to discuss with you and decide upon in the future.
No one wants to turn down the opportunity to taste some delicious food! So come on down to Islamorada and see us.