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FAQs about Weddings in Northwest Florida
Destination weddings can cause additional challenges to an already stressful planning process.
Our job as destination wedding specialists is to make planning your special day easy and enjoyable!
Below are some frequently asked question
You must look at each menu to determine items included. Most of our menus include dinnerware, flatware & linen-like napkins. Each menu will also list some optional items.
Most of the time dinnerware, flatware and linen-like napkins are included. Our standard selection dinnerware has several offerings from which to choose. We also offer many upgrade rental options such as chargers, Lenox china, linen napkins, tablecloths, etc. An exception to a standard dinnerware selection being included in the food pricing is an order of strictly hors d’oeuvres. Please see tips for hors d’oeuvres to see what we offer for cocktail parties.
There are many wonderful locations on the Emerald Coast, as you know! We are glad to provide you with a list of venues that we have found to be “wedding friendly” as listed on our “Event Friendly Venues” tab. The venues on our “Event Friendly Venues” list have either rental management companies or owners that allow weddings or events. They also have a layout, a location and ammenities which we have found to be adequate for an event.
Our list is by no means exhaustive. Should you find another event friendly venue, make certain that you ASK if weddings may be held there before you sign a contract. Many venues will allow weddings or large gatherings with an additional security deposit or higher cleaning fee. It truly is necessary to ask prior to contracting the venue, as they can shut your party down and ruin your day. A wedding is NOT the time to ask forgiveness instead of permission!
Once you determine your basic concept of the wedding, the venue will determine many aspects of the layout & design. For example: will you require a tent in case of rain, how many chairs & tables will actually fit in the space provided, what type of lighting is available, where are the electrical access points, where will guests park, is there beach access, are rest rooms readily available, is there accessibility for vendors to bring in rental items &/or food and services. Other factors you might consider are privacy, the 10pm noise ordinance, requirements for beach & fireworks permits.
Rentals: For your convenience, we offer furniture & linen rentals and tent coordination.
Beverage Service: See Beverage section and tips for choosing the appropriate Beverage Service, Bar Station & number of Bartenders. We allow our clients to bring in their own alcoholic beverages. This saves you quite a bit of money. It also saves you from the big “after wedding” beverage invoice that can bite into your nest egg! We do NOT provide bartenders unless we provide the beverage services.
All of our rental items, coordination fees, staffing and food prices are very competitive. Make certain to COMPARE everything included in each estimate you obtain in order to get a true cost of the item or service rendered.
Yes, they must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance. Our chef will work with you directly on the scheduling. Pricing: $50/per person.
Why is there a charge for tasting? We must schedule a chef who must order in product, shop, prep and cook your food. Those pesky chefs insist that we pay them for their time!
If you have 50 or more people on the beach a permit is required with a fee of $50. The permit application is available at the Walton County Courthouse, see the “Marriage License” tab on our website. Make certain to confirm the information with the County, as it is subject to change.
No. There are many accomplished wedding planners in the area. Some will work with you on all of your wedding planning, others will provide “day of” coordination. We are happy to work with wedding planners & coordinators.
If you have a large bridal party you will most likely need a wedding planner for at least “day of” services. It can be unruly to try and get a large group of people “down the aisle” in an efficient and attractive manner.
In terms of deciding on your venue & vendors, that is an individual decision. How much time do you have to invest in making those very important decisions? Have you ever planned a party or event? Do you have anyone who can give you valid, honest opinions? Does your budget include room for an additional service? ECC is happy to provide as much guidance as possible, but we cannot oversee every detail or coordinate all the vendors as a wedding planner does.
Yes. If you wish to have Emerald Coast Catering & Gourmet To Go provide only food and beverage and staff, that is fine. It is strongly recommended that you schedule the rental company to install the tent and furniture leaving plenty of time for decor ahead of the event starting time. Make certain you have someone designated to breakdown the items and have them “ready for pick up” or contract with the rental company to “deliver, setup, breakdown & pickup”. If that is not arranged ahead and you do not properly stack the chairs, etc. then you will receive an additional charge from your rental company.
Yes, make certain you have someone to place the linens on the tables prior to the florist or whomever is placing the centerpieces. You must also remember to schedule someone to remove the linens and centerpieces prior to the furniture being broken down. If you are renting the linens, have someone appointed to return the linens after use.
There are a couple of exceptions where we insist on providing the linens:
- If ECC is providing centerpieces, as we need to be able to place centerpieces & decor during our installation without delay;
- If you are having the tables pre-set with flatware, etc., as we must be able to do this without delay.
Yes, we are fine with providing only the food and beverage services. Don’t forget to have someone scheduled to gather the items and take them away immediately at the end of the event in order to breakdown without delay.
Yes. If you have a tent, you must coordinate with the tent company and get the lighting installed prior to the event. It must be taken down before the tent company comes to destall. If you are not lighting a tent and merely want to place accent lighting on stairs, fences or other spaces not involved with the tent or rental furniture it is recommended that you do so the day before the reception and plan on taking it down the day after the reception. This schedule works for most rental houses.
We offer “kiddie meals” for children 9 years of age and under. Some children’s meals are listed in our Menus section. We plate the children’s meals and serve them during cocktail hour. This allows their parents to assist them in dining, should they be young, and allow their parents to enjoy their own meals during the adult food service. It also prevents us from having to hire another chef as the kitchen staff is too busy with the adult food service after cocktail hour to plate up the children’s meals unless they have additional staff. If you decide not to offer the children special meals, the “9 years and under crowd” can dine from the food stations at half the adult price, with the children’s guest count no greater than 10% of the total guest count. Hors d’oeuvres, beverage & dessert costs are the same as adults.
They need to be included in your “vendor count” as it is typically a four hour plus party and the vendors will need to eat. We charge only half the price of an adult meal.
We suggest telling your vendors that they will be fed by the caterers and are to go to the kitchen tent when they have time for a break. Ask them not dine on the hors d’oeuvres as those are sold by the piece and should be enjoyed by your guests. The vendors will have plenty to eat with the main meal, and love it! Our staff is not to be included as a vendor, as we are WORKING!
Probably not. There are very few beaches that have any power access. If you do not want to incur the cost of a generator, the loud sound of a generator, and the labor and expense involved in setting up a generator on the beach, use battery operated equipment or live music. Many beaches prohibit electrical cords and generators entirely. Please check with the county.
We have Bose systems that are battery operated with microphones. They have CD capability and ipod capability. Consider these items for rental if you do not have live music for your ceremony. It is also nice to use these systems for toasts and music during the rehearsal dinner. You will need to assign a competent person to operate the system during your ceremony.