Wedding Q&A with Borrowed & Blue
Mar 28, 2016
Auberge du Soleil recently teamed up with Borrowed and Blue, the online resource for Napa weddings, to give couples everything they need to know about our catering services. Here is Borrowed & Blue’s Q&A with Emily Coyne, the Director of Catering at Auberge du Soleil.
- What is unique about the catering at Auberge du Soleil?
Our catering comes straight from our Michelin starred restaurant. Our Executive Chef designs the weddings menus and oversees everything in the kitchen. This means that instead of the typical wedding banquet experience, guests here will enjoy an upscale restaurant dining experience. Our servers ask each wedding guest the temperature they would like their filet mignon cooked, as well as if they have any dietary preferences. Should a guest mention at the wedding that they need a gluten free meal, or prefer no shellfish, our catering team will immediately make the necessary adjustments regardless of the “set” wedding menu that is being served. We also strive to include those little “extra touches.” For instance, if we learn that a wedding guest is celebrating their own anniversary that weekend, we would bring them a special dessert plate with “Happy Anniversary” written in chocolate. The catering at Auberge du Soleil is thoughtful, refined, and sets the scene to create the perfectly quintessential wine country wedding.
- What services are included in the catering you provide?
We work with many clients who plan their weddings from a distance and are overwhelmed by the thought of the hundreds of details they must address. For the couple that wishes to avoid the minutia of renting table settings and picking a napkin fold, we provide a simple solution. Our services include linens, votive candles, table numbers, flatware, china, Riedel crystal stemware, setup, breakdown, and day of coordination for everything at Auberge du Soleil. Our service is very hands on, and clients will be guided through the process from the moment they first tour the property until their last dance. We have an experienced team that works to seamlessly orchestrate everything and clients will never feel that they are shuffled from one person to the next. Very often the person that a couple first tours with is the same person sending them down the aisle on the wedding day and showing them how to cut the cake.
- Where do you source your ingredients from?
Our Executive Chef visits the farmer’s market each week and sources many ingredients from there. We work with a multitude of boutique, organic farms. We strive to source everything that we can locally, and our Chef works within the parameters of the growing season to plan his menus. There is such an abundance of wonderful produce in the area, and we want to showcase those items at the moments they are in their prime.
- What is the first question you ask when you sit down with a couple?
I don’t have a specific question that I always ask, but I do always start by trying to learn a bit more about the couple and what their personal tastes and priorities are. In order to exceed a client’s expectations, it’s important that we first understand what those expectations are. In the initial process, I know that many couples are overwhelmed and may not have a firm grasp on their wedding vision yet. In this case, I seek to offer some insights and help educate them – if they are open to it of course!
- What’s the biggest mistake that engaged couples can make when choosing their caterer?
I often find that in the initial stage the budget is a large factor. Unfortunately, many couples don’t want to talk about what their budget is and this is a huge mistake when selecting a venue and catering. I want to make it easy for clients to understand their total expected catering costs. I don’t want to hide this information or provide them with an unrealistic estimate. It’s uncomfortable for some couples to provide a number that they are prepared to spend on the venue and food, but without knowledge of this it’s challenging to guide them in the right direction. The final estimate we send should never be a surprise to clients, and yet sometimes it is. If couples are forthcoming with their caterer early on about what their budget is then it’s much easier on everyone. Not only can this help guide the client towards what menu related decisions are best for them, but it also allows everyone to make sure that the fit is good and that the couple and their guests will be happy with the end result