Why do I need so many staff? We are just eating off paper plates.
Over the years we have developed guidelines for acceptable server/guest ratios. We take into account: your guest count, the type of dinner or bar service you have requested, the level of service from your caterer or venue, and the amount of additional logistics your event may require when we recommend our numbers. Even if you are using disposables as long as guests are eating and drinking, guests are leaving a mess, and we are here to make sure that mess is taken care of so you get your deposit back. If you like to learn more about how we make our recommendations, please read: Determining Your Event Needs.
Why do I see 90 minutes of set-up quoted?
All professional vendors arrive early, we are no exception, for any event, wedding or small party, it is standard for set-up to be complete before guest arrival.
We build in 90 minutes of set-up into each event. Some events need more set-up, but 90 minutes is our gold standard for most events. While it may seem like a long time to the uninitiated, 90 minutes provides our staff with time to: Arrive and simply orient with the space, connect with the host/planner and discuss the finer points of the event, find and prepare their workstations, assist with the set-up of the dining room or bar, have time to spot and resolve any potential problems before they arise. We also want to be considerate of the space you have chosen by allowing our staff adequate time after an event to leave the venue as they found it, or often times, better. That is why you will also see 60 minutes of breakdown quoted.
In this 90 minutes of set-up you could reasonably assume staff could: take a dining room in which tables and chairs were set up by a rental company or the venue and set all tables with linen, and place settings. You will need to provide a template table so staff know how you would like it to look. With a diagram and table numbers they can assist in getting your tables numbered and set flower arrangements. Our staff do not have time to add decorative touches, construct items, or assist with furniture set-up. We are happy to provide this service, but it is not part of the initial estimate unless explicitly discussed.
Your wedding planner or family volunteer is going to be busy. They have decor to arrange, family and friends to charm, vendors (including us) to meet with and direct. Setting tables, prepping the buffet and managing the nitty gritty details of food set-up is not going to be a priority for them, for us, it is.
What does Blue Ridge Event Staffing need to succeed?
The staff will need a well lit workspace with a water source. This needs to be a special consideration for those planning weddings outdoors or in non-traditional spaces like breweries, barns, or vineyards. Bartenders will need a bar station provided, if there is not a bar station at your venue please ensure one is rented with your rental order, or we can add this to your invoice with us.
Catering Equipment. Your menu will require equipment either provided by the venue, rented by yourself, your planner, or through our rental management service. This needs to include adequate items to keep food warm. Bowls, platters, baskets and serving utensils for all sides, condiments and other items like pitchers, drink dispensers, etc. If you need help determining what you need, we would be happy to help. Please ask for a rental consultation and an office member will review your menus and provide you with a list of equipment to make an order or to add to your existing rental order.
Access to trash receptacles. Some venues do not have adequate trash receptacles for the amount of waste a large event produces. In these cases it is incumbent on the client to make provisions for trash removal. In most cases BRES staff arrive in their own vehicles, we do not ask our staff to remove trash in their personal vehicles.
Details. The more information you can offer the staff, the better. Your staff greatly benefit from having a copy of the following in advance:
- Menus – with any portioning notes
- Timelines – the simpler the better, dinner and cake cutting mean a lot to us, the time the bridesmaids get their hair done, not so much
- Diagrams of dining room/buffet line set-up
- Advance notice of any special considerations: stationed champagne toasts, hor’s d’oeurves, cake cutting and any boxes provided for saving 1st anniversary cake, extra set-up or breakdown, etc.
A Day-of-Coordinator Some venues require that you have a professional to manage your event. Our day-of coordinator can meet with you, discuss your plans and be present on the day-of for vendor questions, set-up concerns, ceremony logistics, and to generally help provide a smooth experience for you. Alternately, we are happy to recommend colleagues who are planners and offer a higher level of service, including vendor management, planning and decorating services.
What about Tipping?
Please see our Tipping Article in Resources regarding our most frequently asked questions about tipping event staff.