For the past several months, as we’ve stayed at home and missed so many of the events that mark our spring and summer, we’ve been busy behind the scenes at Great Performances planning how we’ll be able to run events safely.

SOCIAL EVENTS

Covered Hors d'Oeuvres for catered events
How to make Catered Events Safe During Covid

The scale of our events may have changed, but the care and attention we put into them remain remains the same—if not somewhat heightened.

We’ve stepped back and taken a fresh perspective of how we run events and rethought every single step.

We have two main priorities:

  • running a great event with outstanding food and service for our clients and their guests
  • ensuring that we’re doing all we can to maintain everyone’s health and safety.

From the first moments of collaborating with our clients, we apply our Covid lens.

Top of mind is how to reduce the number of staff members.

We have to rethink menus and how we can continue to deliver flavor and variety but with fewer people in the kitchen.

We carefully plan the entire event, step by step, including preparing and serving food, pickups, beverage service, and bars.

Hors d’oeuvres are passed in covered trays with individual toothpicks to prevent direct contact with the food once it is placed on the tray.

And although bartenders are still preparing drinks at the bar, they’re behind a protective shield with a waiter acting as the liaison between guests ordering beverages and the bartender preparing the orders.

We have a responsibility to keep up to date on the latest guidelines for health and safety at events and gatherings, convey them to our clients, and get ahead of any permits that are required.

"We have to be much more thoughtful, strategic and cognizant and aware of everything that affects the event. In the past, I could have planned an event for 1000 people in less time than it took me to plan a recent event for 40 people.”

MICROWEDDINGS

Covid safety during weddings
COVID Wedding Catering NY

Of all the events that have been canceled this year, perhaps the most heartbreaking are the weddings.

For the most part, our couples have been incredibly flexible and resilient, despite their disappointment.

With the reopening of outdoor venues, we worked closely with our partners like Wave Hill and Caramoor to create a variety of packages to help couples celebrate their special day with their family and friends with an extra eye on health and safety.

These smaller, more intimate weddings – or microweddings – meet all requirements for social gatherings and we’re happy to celebrate with couples each weekend for the coming month, with back-to-back weddings on each weekend day.

“We are excited to help bring the dreams of our couples to life, even if it’s a little different than what they had originally planned! Many couples have decided to do a smaller ceremony and dinner now with plans to book a ‘Wedding Sequel’ next year: a larger celebration with their originally intended guest list.” Amanda DiUglio, Senior Event Director.

From the moment planning starts, we work together with the couple to help guide COVID-friendly set-ups, floor plans, and menu selections while keeping their personal style and vision.

Learn more about our microweddings.

CONTACT US

To discuss your event contact us

Call: 212.727.2424

Email: celebratefood@greatperformances.com

Or complete the form.

Our wedding specialists have been busy! Couples are still eager to get married and we’ve got the top tips for saying “I Do” during Covid and resources to help you navigate weddings in the time of the pandemic.

1. Embrace the Now

For couples who are eager to start their married lives together, we have been working hard with our partner venues to create special, intimate weddings, or micro-weddings, for you and your closest friends and family.

We worked with our partners at Caramoor and Wave Hill to craft special packages specifically for smaller-scale weddings but that still have the magic our couples have come to expect.

Click here to read more about our microweddings.

2. Prepare Your Guest List

Be aware of any guest count limits venues may have in addition to state and local guidelines, and when in doubt your event planner can help confirm the details for you.

3. Find Your Perfect Venue

Outdoor weddings, whether in a park, garden, or rooftop are the way to go right now.

We’ve curated some lists of our favorite venues that you can check out to gain inspiration.

Our venues range from country settings to rooftops in the heart of Manhattan, making it easy for you to still enjoy the wedding of your dreams.

Click the links below to check out some of our favorite venues, then contact our event specialists to book a site visit and start planning your wedding!

4. There's No Place Like Home

Don’t forget to consider your own backyard or perhaps you have access to some great outdoor spaces like a field or a farm.

We can help bring the party to you!

We have a variety of menus that can help you create the perfect wedding for you and your guests.

From more informal backyard barbecues to elegant seated dinners, our chefs have been creating menus celebrating the delicious produce of the season, all prepared and served with strict attention to health and safety protocols.

Click here to check out our Summer Entertaining Ideas

5. Celebrate With Everyone

Just because gatherings are limited in size, it doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate with everyone virtually!

Tools like Google Meet and Zoom are perfect for hosting virtual weddings.

Elevate a virtual experience with meals delivered to your family and friends so you can still enjoy a shared experience.

We’ve been working on elegant bento boxes filled with six incredibly delicious tasting portions that create a full meal complete with dessert.

Looking for something different?

Chat with our event specialists to learn more about our bento boxes, craving packages, and more!

Click here to check out our Bento Boxes

CONTACT US

To discuss your event contact us

Call: 212.727.2424

Email: celebratefood@greatperformances.com

Or complete the form.

Images credit: ©Kamp Weddings; @ryonlockhartphotography; @twahphotography; ©Sarma and Co; ©Gulnara Studio; ©Julian Ribinik Photography; ©Dave Robbins

THE BECKER WEDDING AT WAVE HILL: WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

By Great Performances

Wedding at Wave Hill
Jackie and Bill‘s beautiful garden party wedding at Wave Hill Photo: ©Joseph Lin
Wedding at Wave Hill
Wave Hill’s scenery made for incredible photos for Jackie and Bill’s Riverdale wedding. Photo: ©Joseph Lin

Every wedding tells a beautiful story. They’re often seen as both a conclusion to a committed relationship and as a new beginning or a blank page ready to be written on. Some wedding stories consist of more surprising twists and turns than others, and that’s what we have in the Becker’s romantic tale.

Jackie Helcer and Bill Becker met by chance, as many couples do, and through school, the start of their respective careers, and a long-distance relationship, they would somehow end up together in a beautiful, timeless moment, exchanging their vows under a warm September sun along the Hudson.

Let’s go back to how it all began. The bride was born in Sao Paolo, Brazil and grew up in Miami. The groom was stationed in Miami while in the Coast Guard. It was there that the two met on a night out all the way back in 2012.

The two felt a connection, and a relationship blossomed, but Jackie eventually moved to the northeast for her medical residency and fellowship, and Bill went on to graduate school in Virginia. Separated by hundreds of miles, they both committed themselves to the relationship, and promised to make it work.

In October 2014, after a long-distance courtship, he surprised her with news that he had accepted a job as a Vice President at Master Card in the New York area, where she lived.

He moved up to New York and the two moved into a Manhattan apartment together.

In February 2016, Bill planned a surprise trip to celebrate Jackie’s residency match; she knew they were going somewhere warm, but didn’t know the exact destination until they got to the airport. They were going to Martinique! 

Light and airy appetizers were designed by the Great Performances culinary team to reflect the feel of this sunset wedding at Wave Hill. Photo: ©Joseph Lin
The appetizers were created to echo the feeling of this lovely wedding venue in the Bronx Photo: ©Joseph Lin

When they arrived, Bill had planned an early (4am!!!) hike up a volcano with the intent of proposing at the summit during sunrise. But the weather had other plans…the two hiked for hours in the dark, then just as the sun started rising, a serious storm came in, bringing strong winds and blinding sideways rain. Needless to say, the proposal didn’t happen and they made their way back down to the base. Down below, the sun was shining and weather was beautiful, so they changed and headed to the beach.

Jackie and Bill were exhausted from the hike, but laughed off the whole thing. They ended up finding a beautiful, private beach and Bill suggested setting up the camera to take a photo. Before Jackie had any idea what was happening, Bill got down on one knee and asked her to marry him (of course, she said “Yes”!) Part two of the surprise was that after Martinique, they made a surprise stop in Miami where Jackie’s mom and sister live. Bill had made a reservation at the restaurant where they had their first date so they could celebrate with her family. Then for the final act, when they flew back to NYC, Bill’s parents picked them up at the airport. They had planned a whole surprise engagement brunch with their NYC friends and family. It was a whirlwind of celebrations! 

The two began planning for their big day a couple months later. Jackie and Bill had always wanted an outdoor, sunset wedding. They looked at a multitude of venues around New York City, and ultimately chose Wave Hill.

Set along rolling, wooded hills along the Hudson River in the western Bronx, Wave Hill provides a picturesque backdrop to weddings, with the setting sun casting a palette of warm colors from across the river and onto the grounds.

Once the couple strolled through the property and took in the views, they immediately knew it was the place for their special day. Since Great Performances is the exclusive caterer for Wave Hill, Jackie was excited because her vision for the catering lined up perfectly with what Great Performances is all about – delicious, healthy, seasonal food presented with flawless attention to detail. Being imaginative was also key, and Jackie felt at ease once she began speaking with Amanda and Emily about the menu and the design.

Jackie loved the creativity and energy with which the GP team approached the project. She didn’t want a cookie-cutter wedding, and Great Performances’ wedding team delivered perfectly.

Jackie and Bill celebrating their union at Wave Hill. Photo: ©Joseph Lin
Wedding at Wave Hill
Wave Hill was the perfect backdrop for Jackie and Bill’s celebration of love. Photo: ©Joseph Lin

The wedding took place on Saturday, September 9, 2017. The occasion was attended by approximately 110 guests – friends and family from all over.

Although the day started somewhat overcast, as the 5:45 pm ceremony drew close, the clouds parted as if on cue, and the warm September sun shown brightly over the grounds and guests, providing the stunning sunset wedding they had wished for!

The reception went off without a hitch and the guests loved the food. Apetizers included BBQ short ribs, Devils on Horseback (with bacon, dates, and almonds), coconut shrimp, and miso-glazed black bass bites.

Also served were raw Wellfleet & Blue Point oysters on the half shell, leg of lamb and tri-tip beef on the skewer, hand-made cavatelli, and Goffle Road Coq Au Vin. The guests raved about the menu selections and enjoyed everything from start to finish.

Jackie and Bill spent their honeymoon in Thailand a few weeks later, returned to New York, and began their adventure of a new life together.

 
 

What have the newlyweds been up to since that beautiful September day in the Bronx?

After the honeymoon, the pair moved to Bayside, Queens, and have lived there since.

In July of this year, though, they’re expecting a daughter, and are also planning a move from Bayside to Larchmont in Westchester County, where they are buying a home to raise their her in. They’ll also continue to work at their current jobs – he at Master Card in Westchester and she at Mount Sinai in Manhattan (after a maternity leave).

Bill’s parents live in the Rockaways, and his sister, her husband and their two children live in Brooklyn, so they all look forward to spending time together in the New York area and watching their extended family grow together.

Jackie says she’s recommended Great Performances to her friends. “The entire experience was stress-free and easy, from start to finish.” She adds, “Both Amanda and Emily were the absolute best, providing guidance, support, and a wonderful, creative energy. I gave them some of my ideas, and they just ran with them, exceeding my expectations!”

Photo: ©Joseph Lin

DREAMING OF A WEDDING AT WAVE HILL?

Contact us, we will help you make it happen

LOOKING FOR YOUR DREAM WEDDING VENUE? THIS LISTS CAN HELP

Have you ever wondered what a wedding would look like if it were the joining of a computer programmer for Etsy and a freelance writer/blogger? Well, wonder no more. These New York nuptials are the crème de la crème “all-out gorgeous” an explosion of beautiful fall details and maybe our new favorite wedding to date. Of course, no wedding is complete without the fabulous vendors behind the scenes and this wedding is boasting some mega-heavy hitters. Robert Sukrachand lent his hand to the picture-perfect images while Hatch Creative Studio created a masterpiece of floral proportions. THE Sylvia Weinstock made one extremely gorgeous cake and the paper goods were tackled by Hello!Lucky AND Ceci New York. All in all, total perfection.

“Eli and I saw our wedding as a public expression of who we are as a couple. We chose to have a traditional Jewish ceremony but spent a lot of time making it our own. We added our own vows and wrote our own translations for the seven blessings. The intimacy of the ceremony was incredibly special for us and brought all our guests together beautifully. It was especially important to me that I looked and felt like myself when I walked down the aisle. My wedding dress took a while to find, but as soon as I tried this one on, I was crying. It was the most gorgeous second skin I’ve ever worn. When Eli saw me that day, I know that he saw the woman he chose to marry. We tried to bring in as many DIY touches as possible, though we discovered that takes a lot of time! Among the highlights: My brother made our wooden ring box by hand” he even sewed the tiny pillow inside; our chuppah was my mother’s beautiful handiwork, and included 64 sunrays (for our song, “When I’m 64”); I made the bridesmaid necklaces, with each of our birthstones wrapped into the back clasp; Eli sang to me, backed by the band and his college acapella group (easily one of my favorite moments of the night); and our wedding was entirely gluten-free and delectable to boot!

“I imagine that every bride has a favorite idea for her wedding, and mine was the mailboxes (Barb’s gorgeous creation!) filled with personal notes that we wrote for each of our guests. Writing those notes was a wonderful reminder of why each person was there with us that night and we loved watching how thrilled the guests were when they saw them. The energy at the reception was electric from start to finish. We felt so warmly surrounded by all our family and friends. At the end of the night, I knew we’d thrown an amazing party when all of our guests started screaming for an encore! As we were driving back to the hotel, totally exhausted, we could not stop talking about the day. We wanted so much to keep the moment, to just hold it and have it for one second longer. I feel so blessed to have the memory, to have a wonderful husband, family, and friends, and to have so much love in my life.”

And a note from the Groom. “I just want to throw in a few additional details. One, the band was off the CHAIN. They were tight as hell and had obvious passion and joy while performing. Everyone was dancing even my other computer programmer friends (which is, like, a feat). Two, my suit was made from LASERS. Yes, it’s true! Alton Lane measures you with a super-futuristic laser booth and creates a suit that fits like a glove. They also are patient with the fashion-inept. Two thumbs up. Three, some other handmade touches include the Save the Dates (taken by my co-worker), the amazing website (made by Nadia and myself, which includes a custom-built online RSVP thing), and a recording booth that guests could use to leave us a fun voice message (assembled by me and Nadia’s dad, and complete with mad fun prompt signs, made by a friend of Nadia’s). Four, if you’re reading this and are planning for your wedding, know that all of those ridiculous nights when you and your spouse-to-be are wringing your hands and bandying about questions like “should we use plum or sage for the ribbons on the gift bags?” actually do pay off. It was such a mind-bending pleasure to see all of the details that Nadia and I had agonized overcome together into a coherent event that was much more than the sum of its parts. I hope that viewing our pictures is inspiring or useful to you in some way.”