Category Archive Crushed Ice Catering

Wedding Spotlight: Allison & Matt’s Ice House Reception

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Ice House Louisville Featured Wedding: Allison and Matt

We host A LOT of wedding receptions here at the Ice House. We get the extreme pleasure of working with some of the best Clients in the wedding planning world! Allison was no exception to this. To say that this Bride-to-be was a joy to work with is an understatement. From the first meeting with Allison and her Mom, we knew that the Ice House and Crushed Ice Catering were the perfect fit for her. We instantly fell in love with this family – and secretly wanted to grab drinks, chat and become forever BFFs with them.

When choosing a wedding to highlight, we did not have to look far. We are so happy that Allison took the time to provide us with feedback and (AMAZING) photos from her special day.

 

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Everyone in the event planning world knows that it takes a village to pull off a successful party. Allison’s Dream Team consisted of the most talented vendors in the city, and beyond!

Photographer: Bella Grace Studios

Caterer: Crushed Ice Catering

Planners: The Ice House and Crushed Ice Catering

Linens: La Tavola Fine Linens

Entertainment: The Respectables

Florist: David Williams at Magnolias

Cake: Nord’s Bakery

Transportation: Xtreme Transportation

Makeup: Jessica Hill

Hair: Belles & Co.

Shoes: Badgley Mischka

We asked Allison to share her experience working with the Ice House and Crushed Ice Catering – her testimonial speaks to what our mission is here at the Ice House:

“Erica and her team at the Ice House were a joy to work with. They were always responsive, providing helpful insights and advice and truly helped to plan the big evening. I never felt alone or lost in the process which was such a blessing. Everything turned out beautifully!”

And finally, Allison’s parting words for future Brides-to-be… “Write your Thank You notes as you receive gifts” – a Bride with not only style and grace, but good etiquette too. Now, you can see why we loved her as much as we did!

Congratulations to Allison and Matt, we were honored that you chose the Ice House for your special day.

To The Bride on a Budget

To the Bride on a Budget: Top Cost Saving Techniques When Planning Your Wedding

As sales people, and more importantly, Louisville wedding planners at the Ice House – we often hear “how can we cut our budget?” – “is this charge really necessary?” – “the estimated event total is much more than we expected”.

We get it. Budgets are undeniably important, yet often difficult to stick to – and the total overall cost does not come without a great deal of sticker shock. It is our goal to not only exceed your expectations, but to ensure no one goes homeless, broke or hungry throughout the planning process.

Quite often, you will hear your Ice House and/or Crushed Ice Catering team member say – “trust us”. Trust that we know what is best for you and your event. Trust that we know our venue best. Trust that we know some of the best cost saving techniques when it comes to food, beverage and venue costs. Share with us your budget – it eliminates the guess work and allows us to get down to the bottom line. It is your day – and you should have it exactly the way you want. We are here to offer some of our best techniques for cutting costs, without cutting out your vision:

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Every Bride and Groom should set a realistic budget

#1 – Negotiables versus non-negotiables: Just as important as your guest list, begin a list EARLY on in the planning process of what items are must-haves (non-negotiables) and which items are flexible (negotiable). Perhaps it has been your dream to have a live band and that is #1 on your non-negotiable list. But you and your fiance aren’t big on cake. Forgo the cake – and hire the live band! Just remember to offer your guests another dessert option (more often than not, at a lower price).

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Deciding what is important, may be the most important thing you do.

#2 – Expectations versus reality: We live in a Pinterest driven event world. More often than not, clients come to us with inspiration boards from Pinterest from high-end weddings taking place in New York, Los Angeles, Hawaii, etc. It is difficult for us to explain that yes, we can execute that look – but for a substantial cost. Keep it realistic. Pinterest is wonderful tool for inspiration. But understand that while you can shoot for the moon, your budget may not permit.

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Pinterest is a great tool, but proceed with budgetary caution.

#3 – Beer and Wine Darling is Fine: It is perfectly acceptable to offer beer and wine only. By eliminating liquor from your bar package, you are not only saving a few bucks, but you are also saving some of your guests from the dreaded hangover the next day. If your caterer is as cool as Crushed Ice Catering, we can even have one or two secret bottles stashed for Wedding Party only, or your Bourbon Loving Dad.

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Your guests will be satisfied with a limited bar.

#4 – Off-season is in: Check with vendors for special off-season or non-peak discounts. Typically, Friday and Sundays are cheaper than Saturdays, and off-season months will save you some big bucks (as long as an outdoor wedding is not in the picture – remember guest comfort should be your #1 priority).

#5 – The Guest Count Debacle: By far – the easiest way to cut your budget is to trim your guest list. From our experience, this may be the easiest cost-saving technique, but it is BY FAR the toughest on this list. Discuss with your fiancé your “rules” for who is invited and who is not, and stick to your guns – no matter what your future MOL might say (unless she’s fronting the bill, of course). Here are some of our suggestions for who makes the cut:

 

  •                 Have you met this person before?
  •                 Do you allow a plus one if you know they are not in a LTR, engaged or married?
  •                 Have you sat down and had a meal with this person in the last 2 years?
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Who do you want to share in your special day? Spend some time on the guest list!

#6 – Hire Local: In hiring local vendors, you are not only supporting the local economy, but you’re saving a few bucks along the way. There is no charge for travel expenses, accommodations, etc. Also, many caterers offer discounts for vendor meals, so be sure to ask! Inquire about the Ice House’s list of suggested vendors for some of the top local talent!

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Local vendors are the best vendors!

#7 – Shop Smart: Shop for Bridesmaids dresses, wedding weekend outfits, shoes, and all of those other important fashion accessories on discount designer sites such as Hautelook, Zulily, Gilt. You can often find designer items for 50-60% off the full price. If you are okay wearing last season Badgley Mischka’s (who sees your shoes anyways?) then this is a great technique to cut your budget, but maintain your style.

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Online savings are the way to go!

#8 – Forgo Favors: Favors are a great way to say “Thank You”. But let’s be honest – who really needs another koozie to add to their bar collection? Favors are typically cheap, so you aren’t trimming too much fat from your budget – but a couple hundred bucks saved here can go towards something higher up on your non-negotiable list.

#9 – Chaaaa Chinnnnng, Make payments with credit cards: Why HELLLLLLLLO points! Want your Honeymoon paid for? Make your large wedding related purchases with that little piece of plastic and relish in the points that you earn. Depending on the card and their rewards, you could get your airfare, hotel and dinners paid for on your Honeymoon.

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Rack up those rewards with your credit card’s point system.

#10 – Don’t blow your life savings on one night: Yes, your Wedding is the biggest day of your life thus far. It is a fleeting moment that will be enjoyable for you and anyone that loves you no matter what amount of money you spend to make it one-of-a-kind. Remember what is important throughout the process – and that is the fact that you get to marry the love of your life and start your lives together. You don’t want to start the beginning of forever in financial peril. Your guests may not remember the gold flatware, or letterpress invitations two years from now (unless all of your guests are planners J). What they will remember is the two of you beginning your journey together, and being a witness to a phenomenal thing called love.

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In the end, remember the real reason for the festivities.

Keep in mind, these are merely just our suggestions to the common questions and concerns that we hear daily. It important to set a realistic budget, and even decide how much wiggle room you will allow for overages, if any. Ultimately, remember throughout the process to have fun, love each other – and accept help (and offers of help) from anyone.

Cheers and Happy Planning!

Erica

Brunch Weddings

Mini Pancakes

Are you a brunch lover? That’s a silly thing to ask because everybody loves brunch. Now here’s a real question: Do you think you’d have a brunch wedding? You may be thinking “no” right away, but I bet by the end of this week’s post you’ll be considering it for your Louisville Wedding!

Before I go into specifics, let me give you a general run-down about why brunch weddings are the best.

  • First off, hosting in the early hours of the day means that the heat hasn’t hit just yet. This gives you a few extra hours not having to worry about sweating off your fresh makeup and being able to enjoy being outside a bit longer.
  • You can also host on a Saturday or Sunday and many venues, like The Ice House, offer discounts for booking on a Sunday since it’s less popular. That means less money spent on your part. Plus, we have an awesome rooftop garden that would be perfect for a brunch reception!
  • Speaking of saving money, brunch events also tend to lean more on the casual side. This means the decor can be playful and even your dress, groomsmen suits, and bridesmaids dresses can match the event and keep it a little less formal. Your menu can also be on the lighter side, and there’s no need to pay for an expensive lighting package or a full bar!

Let’s break it down a little more:

 

DRINKS

Like I said, we don’t need a full bar at 10AM, but it’s nice to have a little somethin’ for your guests to sip on. I’m sure you already know what I’m talking about too- Mimosas. Ahhhhh yes, everyone loves a little bubbly in their OJ! But have you thought about a mimosa bar? Grab your favorite varieties of juice, put out some bowls of fresh fruit and let the guests be their own bartender. The combinations are endless and make for a fun and refreshing morning drink.

If mimosas aren’t your thing (Gasp!) then maybe you’d like to try a Bloody Mary bar. Have your bartender serve up spicy or sweet Bloody Marys and have your guests load up a skewer of their favorites! Pickles, bacon, celery, peppers, spices and more, are sure to add a fun twist to a morning cocktail.

Get creative with your drinks!
Bloody Mary and Mimosa Bars are Perfect for Brunch

As a former Barista, there’s one beverage that a brunch wedding would not be complete without: Coffee. Not only is it a “thank you” for those guests who struggled to put themselves together this early for you, but it’s an excuse to create the most adorable coffee bar or cart. Serve a cup to your friends and family as they walk in to the ceremony and keep it going throughout the reception. Personalize cardboard cup and/or sleeves to add a fun touch,  and a fancy mocha will keep those under-agers happy even though they can’t have a mimosa.

Coffee bars are a MUST for brunch.
Keep those early risers happy with a special coffee bar.

FOOD

Your Food choices also offer you a chance for you to stray from the ordinary. Find a caterer like Crushed Ice Catering that has an awesome breakfast menu and go to town. Omelets, frittata, muffins, quiche, waffles (yes please!), fresh fruit. I could go on forever with all of the awesome options.

Even though “brunch” and “cake” aren’t usually two words we put together, having a small cake for your dessert can still be a great idea. Ditch the heavy icing and 5-tiers and try something simple and sweet like a naked cake. Many bakers are trying these lately and they are really a beautiful and delicious way to keep with tradition. You can even pair your small cake with donuts or pastries to stick with the morning theme.

Try a waffle cake for something unexpected and delicious!
Feeling like you want to try something new? How about a waffle cake!
A small Naked Cake would be perfect for a brunch reception
“Naked Cakes” are a beautiful and delicious option for brunch.

RECEPTION

Receptions during the day may not require the same “entertainment” as an evening affair. A band or a DJ could be a great idea as far as music goes, but chances are, grandma isn’t going to want to cut a rug on the dance floor at 11am. This is a great time to socialize and have some yard games out for guests to just enjoy their time with their family and friends. Cornhole, ladder golf, giant Jenga, and even board games will be sure to make everyone feel like a kid again and have fun celebrating with you.

Personalize your Corn Hole Boards!
Add a personal touch to your reception activities.

DECOR

This may be my favorite point of all. Your decor can be simple yet make an impact at the same time. Focus on plants and pops of color instead of lighting and candles. Paper garland or bunting banners look so cute and bring more color and height. Your buffets or stations are bound to be delicious so play up how good they look set up! Chalk signs, menu tags and greenery will make them stand out and look as beautiful as they are yummy.

Love you a Brunch!
Chalk walls and menu tags look awesome on your buffet set up.

Liking the idea but still feeling that a brunch wedding isn’t for you? Take these ideas and pass them along to your family or bridal party and turn them into a shower or day-after party for a smaller crowd. You can’t go wrong with brunch!

 

Cheers,

Madeleine

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Weddings: Why We Love Them!

Picking a date for your wedding is a big decision. You may be trying to land a specific day, one with special significance to you and your partner, but often times it comes down to what the venue has available. Many couples shy away from summer dates thinking either spring or fall has better Louisville weather, availability, etc. However, there are so many upsides to choosing summer for your big day and here’s why we at the Ice House and Crushed Ice Catering love summer weddings!

WEATHER: Yes, you take the risk of it being a bit hot, but chances are that the day will be warm and beautifully sunny. By choosing summer, you’ve just opened the door to a whole other group of venues that offer outdoor spaces. The options to do an outdoor cocktail hour, rooftop ceremony, or even a garden-party type reception are available. Not to mention the photos ops that are presented for an outdoor space. Which brings us to our next point…

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Guests enjoy cocktail hour on a beautiful July evening at the rooftop garden.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Just think about the fun that your photographer could have being outside! Not only is the natural lighting a huge benefit, but day-of photo op locations are now endless. You don’t need to worry about taking off and putting on jackets, rosy cheeks, or goosebumps, but you can take advantage of the natural greenery, flowers and sunshine through the clouds. You’ll really appreciate the photos after it’s all said and done.

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Photos at sunset create the perfect romantic lighting.

COLOR/DRESS: Fall and winter weddings limit themselves to a darker color palette. Although this could lead to a more “romantic” or upscale wedding, your options for bridesmaid dresses are limited. The decision of long versus short dresses may be made for you. Summer offers a huge selection of color options from linens, dresses, suits & ties, and flowers. Plus, flowers are in abundance and your florist will be excited to put together bouquets or centerpieces full of color to stand out and make an impact.

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We love this bright and colorful tablescape by Crushed Ice Catering.

GUESTS: Most people usually save their vacation days for summer and have an easier time traveling during this time. If you’re expecting more guests to be available, generally summer is a better option.

COCKTAILS & FOOD: When it comes to picking out your food and bar menu, you really can’t go wrong in the summer. Foods and ingredients are their freshest and generally make everything tastier.  Caterers like Crushed Ice Catering and our Chef Lawrence Agnew take advantage of the freshest locally grown foods for a top notch meal. To top it all off, pick a signature cocktail that reflects the personality of you and your significant other. Your guests will surely appreciate a refreshing beverage unique to you!

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Adding a signature Cocktail or champagne toast is a great and refreshing way to add a little something to your summer menu.

HONEYMOON: Now lets not forget about the honeymoon! Having a summer wedding gives you a good chance to schedule your honeymoon directly after the event. More destinations are available during the summer months and traveling back and forth is easier. However, since the weather is good locally, you don’t have to travel to a tropical location. You can have your honeymoon is a big city or out in the country based on your preference.

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Bride and Groom leave for their honeymoon in style.

The Ice House could be the perfect summer wedding venue. From the rooftop garden to the terrace directly off of the main hall, we aren’t short on beautiful outdoor spaces. Our exclusive caterer, Crushed Ice Catering, provides the highest quality fresh food, and summer guarantees the best ingredients for you and your guests. On top of the awesome space and food available, during the month of July we offer a 20% discount for the venue pricing which means more flowers and fun for you! See, summer isn’t so bad after all!

 

Cheers!

Madeleine

 

Crushed Ice Catering: Why the Ice House has an exclusive caterer

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“So we have to use your caterer, Crushed Ice Catering?”

It’s a common question that the Ice House is asked quite often. Here at the Ice House, we have an exclusive catering partnership with Crushed Ice Catering. To most, it is viewed as a benefit – but to some, it comes with many questions. Since our inception, Crushed Ice Catering has always been a part of the Ice House – even before the Ice House was complete in 2011.

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Crushed Ice Catering’s Executive Chef, Laurence Agnew, checking out the progress of the Ice House Main Hall back in 2010.

We are going to highlight why our partnership with an exclusive caterer, Crushed Ice Catering, is beneficial to you and your next event:

We ALL know the ropes.

Whether we are team Ice House or team Crushed Ice Catering, all of our managers know the venue and the food service operation like the back of our hands. Our Chef and Kitchen Staff know how to operate the equipment, and even had their hand in the kitchen design – to promote the best use of space and efficiency. The are no limitations or unknowns when using the equipment. Everyone knows where everything is, at all times – which can be a huge time-saver during your event.

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Crushed Ice Catering’s Sous Chef, Zach Tackett, preparing appetizer’s in the Ice House kitchen.

Last minute requests can easily be fulfilled. 

So you didn’t know the Great Aunt Sally was allergic to soy, and Crushed Ice Catering‘s Asian Take Away Station just isn’t going to cut it for her appetite and dietary restrictions. No fear! Having our kitchen on-site allows our Chef to dip into his inventory, creating a customized dish on-the-fly to not only appease Great Aunt Sally, but leave her saving, “where did they pull that deliciousness from?”

A guest drops their fork on the ground? It can easily be replaced.

Your college fraternity brothers are drinking tequila like it’s senior year all over again – we can dip into the liquor room to re-stock (and we hold all necessary insurance (liquor, facility, etc), which is a huge plus +).

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Dietary restrictions? Crushed Ice Catering has you covered.

We have you covered, and so does our staff. 

Rather than one dedicated event representative, you receive two. One for catering, one for the venue. What does this mean for your event? Each of our managers are cross-trained in EVERY department, and essentially you have MULTIPLE sets of eyes on EVERY aspect of your event. We are all inter-changeable. Lauren, your Catering Manager, is fully capable of coordinating your Ceremony if need be. And Erica, your Ice House Manager, is TIPS certified to step behind the bar if the lines are a little too long for our liking. We have each other’s back, and will not stand to see one fail.

Another HUGE benefit is that all of our staff is both Ice House and Crushed Ice Catering staff. We are a sister-company, and every one on-site for your special day knows where everything is. Need directions to the nearest restroom? Let our staff guide you. Need one extra place setting for a vendor? We have tables and chairs on-site. They are not only pros when it comes to the the food service, but the venue as well.

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Our service staff is one-of-a-kind at Crushed Ice Catering and the Ice House.

The real difference is in the food. 

What it really comes down to is the food quality. Your food is arriving on your guests tables hot, fresh and most importantly, restaurant-quality. We do not have the need to freeze, reheat or transport your food. Crushed Ice Catering kitchen is here, on-site, so the need for traveling, hot boxes and warming ovens is non-existent. Your food is cooked the DAY OF your event. This speaks volumes for the quality of the food.

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Chicken Saltimbocca with Parma Ham, Basil, Chicken Mousse Brique Dough with Confit Potato, Asparagus and Red Wine – Yum!

We hope we left you with some valuable insight into our exclusive relationship with Crushed Ice Catering at the Ice House. We love being a part of both sister companies – and the true difference comes out in the execution of your event. We would not be successful if it were not for our partnership. We are one big happy family – ensuring that your special day goes flawlessly.

Cheers!

Erica