Andrew Holmes Catering Gets Hitched!

Hi Everyone!

So we got married in March (nearly 6 months ago - where does the time go!). We have had a lot of people over the last few months asking us about suppliers we used and how we found being on the other side so I thought I would do a blog post about it! And yes - we did cater our own wedding, I know we are mental!

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1. Venue - Trudder Lodge

When choosing our venue there really wasn't a decision to be made. Trudder Lodge is like a second home, we cater there a lot and love the homely feel of this beautiful venue. We love that you can take it for the weekend and make it your own. We had both our immediate families stay in the house for the wedding weekend which was really lovely. Also, with us both being from Wicklow we wanted a venue where our friends and families didn't have to travel too far and for those that did, the surrounding hotels no more than 15 minutes drive could accomodate them. 

Niamh and Susan were also brilliant to us. We know them so well at this point but they still treated us like every other Bride&Groom and we are so glad they opened their home up to us for our own day. 

The Marquee @Trudder Lodge for our wedding reception 

The Marquee @Trudder Lodge for our wedding reception 

2. Photographer - Siobhan Byrne Photography 

Having worked with Siobhan many times, and catering her own wedding back in 2014, we knew she was our wedding photographer. I feel we were very fortunate to work with a photographer who we knew so well and felt comfortable with - it is so important to feel at ease with your photographer as he/she spends all day with you so it helps if you can relax and have a bit of craic too!

Siobhan spent time on our wedding morning in both our family homes and stuck around all day until the parry was in full swing! She was a trooper!

When we received our images we were incredibly happy - she captured the day perfectly!

We had our ceremony in The Holy Rosary, Greystones.

We had our ceremony in The Holy Rosary, Greystones.

3. Music  - DJ4me

If we didn't work in the wedding industry I know for sure we would have had a band. But we do and someone else who does is Colm Donnelly of DJ4me. We have worked a lot with Colm at many weddings and we have seen him a few times as the only wedding entertainment and you absolutely do not miss a band. 

Colm is very interactive and is a master at filling a dancefloor - our guests were up dancing before we had dessert! 

We opted to have Colm playing light dinner music for us while having our meal which really added to the atmosphere and then he got the party going after the meal and played right through until end of night! We had an epic night and could not recommend him enough!

To add to the dancefloor shenanigans Andrews brother Barry made us a hand-crafted "LOVE" sign- we loved them!

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4. Ceremony Music  - Something Blue Acoustics

We got married in a church in Andrews native Greystones. When we knew we were going to have to provide musicians we opted to enlist Kelly and Damien of Something Blue Acoustics. 

Again, we had seen these guys perform at other weddings and just loved their set. Kelly has the most beautiful voice and Damien compliments it perfectly on the guitar. Kelly was also extremely helpful in helping us pick our ceremony music and what would and wouldn't work.

To top it off these guys also provide you with a personalised USB after your wedding with all your ceremony music on it recorded by them - it is so unique and an amazing keepsake of our day.

Grabbing a quick hello with Kelly post ceremony!

Grabbing a quick hello with Kelly post ceremony!

5. Flowers - Beth Holmes and Austen Flowers

Being completely honest neither myself or Andrew are massive lovers of flowers. We can absolute appreciate them and have seen some stunning weddings but they were not the biggest factor in our wedding planning process.

Andrews mum Beth on the other hand adores flowers and is extremely talented at flower arranging so we asked her to be our wedding florist - ha! Thankfully she was only too delighted and she put together our church flowers, venue flowers and bouquets/buttonholes. And for someone who does not absolutely love flowers I was so in love with them! She did an amazing job. I loved my bouquet so much that I couldn't throw it in the bin so I had it preserved and framed which, again, is another beautiful wedding keepsake! 

With all that said there was one thing I had my heart set on and it was a floral arch at the front door or Trudder Lodge. I had seen it done last autumn at another wedding there and knew then I needed to have it! 

Camelia from Austen Flowers was the lady who we enlisted for this and it was just -  wow! It is probally one of the best decisions we made as on our wedding day as the weather wasn't great so we had all our bridal party and family photos taken with it so it served a great purpose (That's what I tell Andrew anyway when he gives out to me for blowing the budget!:)

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Our beautiful floral arch by Camelia and my bouquet by Andrews mum

6. Food - Andrew Holmes Catering

So many people told us in the lead up to our wedding that we were insane doing the food ourselves and in the week leading up to the wedding I would tend to agree! 

Having said that, Andrews passion is food and he had a very clear idea of the menu he wanted for our wedding day and couldn't envisage hiring someone else to do this huge task.

Andrew worked the week of the wedding prepping our menu - looking back on it I now know why he was so keen as it got him off all other wedding duties!! The day before the wedding he handed the reigns over to an old colleague whom he trusted to bring our wedding menu to life, along with a team of other chefs whom he equally trusted. 

We have pretty much the same team working with us that have worked with us from day one so if we were going to be on the other side of the wedding then so were they and it was great to share our day with them alongside us. 

Andrew put together a "family-style" sharing menu for us. The menu complimented our banquet-style seating. For starters it was traditional antipasti with sourdough breads and dips. For mains we had char-grilled featherblade of beef with green beans, sweet potato, baby potatoes and honey roasted carrots and for desserts we had a desserts table with a selection of our favourite desserts including toblerone cheesecakes and raspberry possets. 

We also skipped the traditional wedding cake and went for a cheese wedding cake instead that was assembled on the day by one of our lovely staff Beth.

When it comes to late-night food we always ask our clients what is your go-to food after a night out - for myself and Andrew its pizza! So what better way to help our guests with the soakage than with pizzas! 

For this we booked in Dave from Doughkitchen. His pizzas are UNREAL! I think myself and Andrew were first in the queue at midnight for one - ha! Highly recommend Dave - his pizzas, set-up and chefs are an all-round win and he is a super nice guy too!

Say cheese!

Say cheese!

7. Dress and Suits

I had every brides worst nightmare - when my dress arrived 2 months before the wedding I hated it! Total disaster! Thankfully, I had been following a UK brand online called Needle and Thread who have the most beautiful bridal range. So I went online and ordered a dress, it came within 4 days and it was stunning - I loved it. Crisis averted!

However, it needed some altering and Anne Gregory was highly recommended to me by Niamh at Trudder Lodge so she did all my alterations, she was amazing! Having been in her shop, her gowns are stunning  - I could have bought a third dress but there definitely would not have been a wedding if I spent any more;)

Andrew and his groomsmen also got their suits from Anne and they were great too!

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So there you have it, our wedding in a nutshell!

Before our wedding, past clients always told us to enjoy the day and savor every moment as it goes by way too fast and there has not been a truer word spoken!

So future brides and grooms - we give the same advice!

Happy planning guys:)

Tracy x

Having a picture on Andrews late-grandmothers bench @ Greystones Beach

Having a picture on Andrews late-grandmothers bench @ Greystones Beach

Trudder Lodge as the night fell

Trudder Lodge as the night fell

5 Money Saving Hacks When Planning A Wedding

Having catered on average 90 weddings to date we have picked up some tips and tricks along the way to save money and, being the nice folk we are, we thought we would share them!

So here goes.....

1) AlCOHOL

Probably one of the most important inputs to any wedding right?! Over the last few years we have managed to create a very accurate calculation as to the amount of alcohol actually required. For your drinks reception 1.5 glasses of bubbles per guest will cover you for a 2-2.5 hour drinks reception (once you calculate your guest numbers by 1.5 then divide by 6 glasses in a bottle and that will give you the total number of bottles required). As for bottled beer - 2 bottles per head will see you covered for this.

Wine with dinner - we suggest .75 a bottle of wine per guest (some places suggest half a bottle per head but we have sometimes found that to be a tad on the short side).

Prosecco Tip - stock up on this post Valentines Day when it is all slashed in price! You can thank us later:-)

2) FAVOURS

There is noting worse than walking into a reception room the morning after a wedding and seeing wedding favours  still on the tables after you have no doubt put so much time, energy (and money!) into creating only for them to be forgotten about!

Don't get us wrong we have seen some beautiful, unique, and in some cases yummy, favours in our time and they can be a lovely special touch but our advice? Save your money - more prosecco anyone?!

3) BANDS

Ok this is gonna be a controversial one and will divide opinion but we think with a REALLY good DJ you could forgo a band. Now there are some absolutely fantastic bands out there so I guess this will really depend on how important music is to you and of course the budget you have set aside for entertainment BUT we have seen some weddings absolutely rocking with just a DJ and in our opinion there is only one man for the job  - Colm Donnely DJ4me. As someone planning my own wedding at the moment having Colm as our all-night entertainment is one of the things we are most looking forward to!

4) DECORATIONS

Are you getting married in a DIY venue? If so ask the wedding planner/coordinator are there any wedding decorations that have been stock-piled from other weddings. Again, walking into a reception room the morning after the wedding its always suprising what gets left behind. Adverts.ie is also another great place to find brides selling their pre-loved wedding decorations and hey, we all love a bargain!

5) FOOD PRE-ORDERS

As wedding caterers this is a big one for us! WE HATE WASTE! We offer all our clients a discount to provide us with a pre-order two-weeks in advance of the wedding. This gives us a rough guideline of food orders required(not exact as you will always have people change their minds on the day - lets not go there!) so we can minimise waste - win win!

So there you have it! Hope it helps some of you - if you do end up saving an absolute fortune we accept gifts of all forms:-)

Our Top Tips For Choosing Your Wedding Menu

When it comes to weddings there is no denying that food plays one of the most important roles in the day so its important to put time into working with your  caterer to design a menu that not only reflects the style and theme of your big day but most importantly yourselves as a couple.

Here are our top 5 tips for choosing your wedding menu...

Andrew Holmes - Executive Head Chef

Andrew Holmes - Executive Head Chef

1. MIX IT UP

Here at AHC, we are big fans of sharing food at weddings. We believe it assists as an ice-breaker and is a great focal point to get conversation flowing between guests who may not necessarily know each other that well - if at all. Having Antipasti boards as your starter will do just the job and you can then follow this by an individual plated main.

Antipasti Boards

Antipasti Boards

Including "sharing boards" for dessert acts an a good bookend to this meal. We suggest doing a trio of dessert and including a chocolate, citrus and cream-based dessert so there is something for everyone! Guests can share amongst themselves or keep their own, either way the conversation is kept flowing...

Dessert Sharing Boards

Dessert Sharing Boards

2. KEEP DIETARY REQUIREMENTS IN MIND

Always talk to your caterer about a "silent" veggie option. As this is not a main offering caterers should not charge you for this. Also keep in mind any allergies or intolerances your guests may have and be sure to ask your guests to let you know in advance, with notice your caterer should not have an issue accommodating these guests.

Vegetarian Risotto

Vegetarian Risotto

3. COMPLIMENTARY TASTING

All caterers should offer you a complimentary tasting of your chosen wedding menu so ensure you ask about this. Our clients tell us it is one of the best parts of the wedding planning journey as they get to enjoy the wedding meal without the stress of the big day.

There is no love sincerer than the love of food - George Bernard Shaw

4. KEEP IT SEASONAL

When thinking about your wedding menu ensure you take into consideration what produce will be in season. Your chosen caterer should be well ahead of you on this point and should discuss a menu with you that will be seasonal or offer alternative suggestions to ideas you may have that may not be "in-season".

Summer Superfood Salad

Summer Superfood Salad

5. REMEMBER, IT'S ALL ABOUT YOU!

When choosing a menu, something we cannot stress enough is to take into consideration your personal tastes and what YOU want to eat for that first meal as a married couple. Sure its important to take into consideration the vegetarians and what not but to design a menu around what is going to please your fussy uncle is not something you should do!