Tenured Tips

Ways to Style a Stunning Celebration

…without sacrificing service.

Picture it. A beautifully-design wedding cake with layer upon layer of decadent frosting. Just looking at it makes your mouth water. But here’s the thing: when you cut into it, it’s all foam inside. Wah wah.

It’s not different with the pretty part. Oftentimes, planners and event designers design something beautiful without considering how it impacts the service. The party is all image and not functionality. But to have a successful wedding, you need creativity and logistics. After all, a successful celebration is about the whole experience and what the guests will remember from beginning to end.

At Kate + Company, we never sacrifice a guests’ experience for the design of the party. Instead, we take your guests on a journey filled with beauty and exceptional service.

here are some of our top tips for designing a party that looks good and feels even better.

Don’t Crowd Too Many People Around a Table

This one seems pretty obvious, but you might be surprised at what people try to do in the name of design. (Or to cut corners and save money or space.) Cramming more people at a table than is comfortable means overlapping china, flatware, and stemware. Or knocking elbows and maybe knees. Talk about awkward!

And, most times, it isn’t necessary. After all, even small areas can be creatively designed so guests can be comfortably seated and have plenty of room to move around. 

When we design a room, we take everything you can imagine (and more!) into consideration. We start with the shape of the venue and what items can’t be moved. Then, we consider the sizes and shapes of the tables, the number of people that can easily fit at each, how far apart the tables need to be to allow access for the caterers, and how many chairs will make a table look balanced or unbalanced.  

Once we understand those factors, we begin laying out the room to comfortably accommodate the guests during cocktails, dinner, and dancing.

Make Sure Your Caterer Has Room

As we briefly touched on above, your caterer must have plenty of room to do what they need to do – serve food, pour wine or water, clear plates, etc.

It doesn’t matter if you’re opting for a formal plated dinner or a casual, station-style reception. The catering staff need room to – not only prepare and cook the meal – but move around the space safely and comfortably. 

Could you imagine a server tripping over a chair and spilling the lobster ravioli all over Grandma Jane? Again, awkward! And not a great experience for you or any of your guests (or that server). 


Opt for an Open Bar

A cash bar is exactly what it sounds like – a bar where guests pay for their own drinks. And while this may save you a bit (or a lot!) of money depending on your friends, a cash bar sets a different tone. One that doesn’t necessarily mesh with a formal, black-tie vibe.

For one, it’s a burden for your guests. Not only do they have to pay for their drinks, but they may have to start a tab, keep up with tipping, remember to close out their tab, etc. Not exactly an enjoyable and stress-free experience for your guests.

And two, cash bars tend to mean long lines. You want your guests out on the dance floor, not waiting in line for a cocktail.

Now, this doesn’t mean you have to have a full, open bar. Other options include serving only beer and wine or elevating the experience further and pairing wine with each course of the dinner. You could also only serve a specialty cocktail or have a mixologist design a signature cocktail to fit your wedding theme. 

Long story short, we don’t recommend splurging on decor if it means sacrificing being a great host(ess). Don’t skimp on the food to have over-the-top floral arrangements. And think twice before ordering a limo for your wedding party in lieu of an open bar. 

Because there’s nothing worse than showing up to a wedding, bringing a gift, seeing the beautiful (ahem, expensive) decor, and then having to pay for your own drinks. *sad trombone moment*

Sometimes planners sacrifice form and function for the perfect Instagram shot. But we design spaces from the perspective of how your guests will feel first. And I can almost guarantee they’ll feel happier about an open bar than they will about that hanging floral installation.

But let’s call a spade a spade because Kate + Company does, after all, cater to a luxe clientele and we want to have our cake and eat it too. So in our most perfect world we have the open bar, the hanging floral installation, and so much more. 

Think About Logistics

Logistics involves all the little details that you might not think about. Like where trash cans and bussing trays will be located. How is ice being run to the bar? Who is washing glasses, and how are they being washed?

For tented and outdoor weddings, you also need to think about power needs and capability. Whether there are enough bathrooms to handle the guest list. And what transportation arrangements make the most sense.

When planning your own wedding, it’s easy to overlook these kinds of things. Which is why so many couples find it valuable to hire an expert. Otherwise, when the big day comes and you run into a logistical issue, it’ll be too late.

We have everything figured out long before wedding day rolls around. In fact, we like to think that if all of us disappeared off the face of the earth, a complete stranger could take our timelines and notes and do a relatively good job at making your wedding a success. 

And that’s because we truly dig into the details and go over everything with a fine-toothed comb (twice!) to ensure your big day is equal parts style and substance.


A beautifully-styled wedding is what we all dream about.

It’s what we see in our social media feeds and aspire to have. But a pretty package will only get you so far. If the service is awful, the experience will be too. And your guests will leave wishing they had never marked ‘yes’ on that RSVP.

We’re all about taking you and your guests on a journey. As soon as they open the invitation, it begins. And it doesn’t end until they’ve said goodnight to you at your wedding. The journey is filled with lots of beautiful things, no doubt, but with us there’s also solid support too. 

Because a party shouldn’t have to have one or the other. 

It would be our pleasure to style your wedding and provide exceptional service throughout. Let’s get started!

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