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Are you planning a wedding for this summer? Congratulations! If you’ve yet to nail down all the details of your big event, a wedding expo is an excellent opportunity to meet a wide variety of vendors, from photographers to florists, planners, and event staff. With one of the biggest shows in Cambridge just a few weeks away, we thought we’d share a few tips for making the most of these exciting, if potentially overwhelming, events.

 

1. AVOID HAND CRAMPS BY MAKING LABELS

Many vendors offer a prize draw as a way of collecting contact information from couples who may be interested in their services. Pre-printing labels with your contact information and wedding date can be a huge time-saver. It is also a good idea to create a wedding email address, and to include this on the label as well, so that all of the information you’ll eventually receive will be stored in one place.

 

2. PLAN AHEAD AND SET GOALS

Some very large wedding expos can have hundreds of vendors. To make the most of your time there, consider setting three goals (DJ, photographer, and flowers, for example) and then planning to visit only vendors offering these services. If the wedding expo’s website offers a map and list of vendors, consult these in advance. Otherwise, be sure to pick up a printed map or take a look at the one posted outside the entrance before you head in.

 

3. PICK THE RIGHT TIME TO GO

If you’re not a big fan of crowds, keep in mind that wedding shows are generally least busy on the first evening of the weekend event. The first three hours on the Saturday or Sunday are also a little less crowded. Take note of when the fashion show component is on if a dress is one of your goals but if it isn’t, this might be a good time to visit the vendors.

 

At Your Service. Wedding Tips from the Pros.

 

4. DRESS FOR SUCCESS

At your average wedding expo, you can expect to spend about two to three hours walking around. Wear comfortable shoes and consider carrying a small backpack or bag with a cross-body strap. Be sure to put a water bottle and a healthy snack such as an energy bar in there, too.

 

5. CHOOSE A PLUS ONE (OR TWO) WHOSE JUDGEMENT YOU TRUST.

With all the vendors competing for your attention, it is easy to become overwhelmed or carried away by all the possibilities. Choose a companion who understands your goals for the day and will support you in achieving them.

 

6. DON’T FORGET TO HAVE FUN!

Planning a wedding can be stressful at times, and while a wedding expo is a wonderful opportunity to check a few items off your list, it’s far from your only chance. Try to keep an open mind and simply enjoy the event without putting too much pressure on yourself. Have a great time!

 

 

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At Your Service owner and operator Morgan Jones is a proud member of The Rotary Club of Cambridge Sunrise, and while At Your Service is well aware of the good that Rotary International does for the world, we wanted to make sure our Partners know what it means both to be a Rotarian and to have active clubs in our communities. On a personal level, the Rotarian focus is to Do Good in the World; something we aim to embody at At Your Service: Rotary can be looked at like our mentor.

 

We spoke with Jen Clarke, Public Relations of The Rotary Club of Cambridge Sunrise to talk about what the community means to Rotary, and what Rotary means to the community.

 

“We do good in the world,” says Jen, which is an accurate way to sum up the ultimate goal of Rotary clubs. “The Rotary Club of Cambridge Sunrise is made up of people with a passion for making a difference in our city, and the world. We are leaders who love helping people and our motto is ‘Service above Self.’” The group meets over breakfast 2 or 3 Fridays a month to hear guest speakers and strategize ways to change lives for the better. The group contributes over $50,000 locally and internationally to achieve that goal. For example, the club supports One4Another, an organization based in Waterloo Region that arranges orthopaedic surgeries for children in Uganda who otherwise wouldn’t receive treatment. Support is also provided to food banks, KidsAbility, and the fight to eradicate polio globally. No plight is too small, too large, or out of reach.

Rotary Club of Cambridge Sunrise

Supporting your local Rotary club is easy. You can become a member – as Jen says, “We are community leaders who are business owners, realtors, administrators, retirees, doctors, accountants, artists, and many other professions.” When you’re interested in learning more about opportunities with your local Rotary club, get in touch with someone who is already a member by contacting the club. Even better, arrange to come out to a meeting and experience in-person the difference Rotary can make. You can also support Rotary fundraisers with financial contributions, like sponsoring runners in the Rotary Classic Superhero Run. This year, with the support of all 3 Rotary clubs in Cambridge, the Run was able to provide KidsAbility with $35,000.

 

The Rotary Club of Cambridge Sunrise is interested in learning more about your organization and supports local charitable initiatives and community programs. Get in touch to help make the world a better place for our neighbours and all corners of the globe.

 

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Party planning is a lot of fun, and many people take pride in their ability to juggle all of the moving parts that a successful event requires. At the same time, those moving parts are exactly the reason many people consider party planning to be overwhelming. You can power through a lot of things, but when should you delegate tasks to friends, family, caterers, servers, or party planners? Here are our top tips to know whether it’s time to ask for help.

 

WHEN YOU CAN’T FIND EXTRA TIME IN YOUR SCHEDULE TO PLAN:

Depending on how all-out you go, count on adding a minimum of 24 hours to your regularly scheduled routine. That’s an entire extra day, at the least, added to your work or free-time, depending on the event. It’s our professional event-staffing-experience opinion that the Number One Most Underestimated Aspect of Party Planning is the amount of time it takes. In addition to choosing a theme, ordering a cake, and sending out invitations, you also have to configure the guest list, choose a location, decide whether to cater or prepare food yourself, get a bar going, design invitations and keep track of rsvp’s, answer endless questions, and decorate. And get dressed, wait for the babysitter, and get out the door on time yourself.

 

At Your Service. Plan, Execute & Deliver. Leave it to the Professionals

WHEN YOU WANT A PROFESSIONAL EVENT AND YOUR PARTY PLANNING EXPERIENCE LIVES ONLINE

Even the craftiest of people don’t necessarily have an eye for interior design, and they aren’t likely to have extensive experience planning foot traffic, natural flow, and knowing which licenses you need to have on hand for any given event. Event planners come equipped with professional design skills as well as organization. If you want your corporate Christmas party, charity event, or awards banquet to look professional, hiring professionals to organize, cater, and serve your guests will provide exactly the atmosphere you want while saving you from stress. Professionals know all the tips and tricks to pulling off an event that can’t be found online. No need to worry if red wine gets spilled on white linen, if a guest forgot to mention their shellfish allergy, whether your bartenders are Smart Serve certified, or that your decorations look cheap.

 

WHEN YOU HAVE A STRICT BUDGET:

As you read this blog post you may see dollar signs dancing around while thinking, “I can do this cheaper myself.” Hiring professionals will save you money, particularly if you’re throwing a corporate party. Event planners will stick to your budget with ease while maintaining a glossy finished party because they have partnerships with decorators, caterers and serving companies that will get you the best price without sacrifice. Need some glittery centerpieces? They probably have some in their storage unit. They’re also professional problem solvers! Anxious about seating charts? Dreaming of a gourmet meal on a fixed-price budget? Wondering whether it’s tacky to disallow children?  There’s an event planner for that! 

 

Put your wedding, your work Christmas party, your athletics banquet, your family reunion in the hands of trusted professionals and get the chance to maintain your regular routine, stay on budget, and actually enjoy the event yourself. Not sure where to start? At Your Service event staffing has contacts all over southern Ontario! Call us to talk about your event at 226-336-2881.

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By Guest Blogger Jelly Triangle Marketing Marvels

 

Do you still write down your guest list? How about your RSVP’s? Make planning your next party a snap with tech. There really is an app for that! From planning decorations and the menu to tracking RSVP’s and logistics, here are our favourite ways to party plan.

 

BE PREPARED:

Pinterest (www.pinterest.com) is your best friend when it comes to planning decorations, menu items, even the floor plan. It’s like a scrapbook without the hassle of glue and scissors. If you’re a regular Pinterest user, you’ve probably already got several boards on the go, but start a brand new one just for this birthday party or retirement party, or even your wedding. On this board save only those decorations and culinary delights you intend to use so that you aren’t constantly going back through a pile of photos you don’t need. This also makes shopping a breeze.

 

SEND INVITATIONS AND TRACK RSVPS:

Facebook and Evite are easy and free ways to track party attendance. Both can be made private, to allow or disallow guests to bring a date. On Facebook you can invite non-Facebook users by email address or text, and on Evite you can upload your guest list from an Excel spreadsheet, in addition to manually entered email addresses. Both programs will automatically update your RSVP list to effortlessly let you manage responses. Send updates and reminders about the party including location changes and whether guests should bring their own lawn chair. Use electronic party attendance programs to keep track of potluck dishes, to find out if there are any guest dietary restrictions, and to send a thank you out after the event. Want personalized thank you notes but don’t have time to write them yourself? Check out local gratitude guru Thank You Notes!

 

SET THE PLAYLIST AND FORGET IT:

Your party needs tunes! We’re all for the return of vinyl, but unless you want to spend the event changing out records, turn on a playlist. You’ve got a ton of options for every device. Plug in a speaker to your computer, laptop, tablet, or even use Bluetooth wireless to connect your phone, and press play. Use old reliables iTunes or Windows Media Player to play your own music, or connect with Spotify for access to a bunch of new tunes – just be prepared to listen to an ad every so often, or pay for a month’s worth of premium service. You can choose your playlist to go through everything your own, to play only highly rated tracks, just one artist, and on some apps you can even choose a mood or theme. Go ahead and spend a few hours before the party customizing your own stellar playlist, we won’t tell! Just don’t forget to select “Repeat” before you go answer the door.

 

THERE’S NO APP FOR THAT:

To take the stress out of your party planning, hire At Your Service to take excellent care of you and your guests. No matter your location, the size or theme of your event, you can count on At Your Service for set up, clean up, and everything in between so that you can enjoy your guests.

 

Are you planning your wedding, a massive party, or maybe you host regularly?

 

Jelly Triangle Marketing Marvels can build you a customized party-planning website. Have all the bells and whistles built in just the way you want them from planning to invitations and guest-tracking. Store your maps, directions, and guest lists in one spot for easy access. Call us at 519-624-8888 to start planning!

 

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When you're hosting a large group serving your meal buffet-style is fantastic. Suitable for both formal and casual events buffet service inspires easy mingling, easily caters to dietary needs of all kinds, and it's fairly easy on the host. Here are some of our best tips to serve up a buffet your guests will be talking about and using themselves for years to come!

 

THE LAYOUT:

This is everything. Seriously, you can serve the most incredible food your guests have ever tasted, but they have to get to it first. Food is best enjoyed when guests are in a good mood so make the buffet service easy to use from start to finish. If your event space isn't large enough to obviously separate dining and serving, place the buffet in one room and dining in another to give everyone room to move, and to eat. Consider placing the main meal and the beverage bar on different tables; your beverage bar could even be in the dining area. Place plates at the start of the buffet table with napkins and flatware at the end – bonus points if you wrap individual sets of flatware in napkins and place them in a basket so guests can quickly one-hand the whole thing and keep the line moving. If you have plenty of room in your dining area make the buffet accessible from both sides of the table.

 

THE FOOD:

How hungry are your guests? If you've been serving appetizers it's safe to intersperse main dishes and sides. If guests are famished place side dishes at the beginning of the buffet to ensure those get picked over first, allowing all guests a chance at the main dishes. Whether you're serving burgers or setting up a pasta bar, place condiments and dressings near to the dishes they accompany. Make sure all food is self-serve with appropriate tongs, serving spoons, or toothpicks at the ready. Label dishes so that guests with dietary restrictions (and picky eaters) can dine safely. Do a trial run of your layout the day before with your trays and serving dishes to make sure everything fits and to know ahead of time if you need to borrow anything. Need more room? Whip out a silver or china tiered serving tray!

 

POISE AND POLISH:

Decorate your buffet table with a bright or patterned fabric table cloth and add some flower or balloon bouquets. Use the fine china, silverware, and formal napkins for a splash of class, just be prepared to clear plates and cutlery as the night progresses to minimize breakage.

 

KEYS TO SUCCESS:

Make garbage or dish depository obvious and sweep the rooms every 15 minutes or so to ensure a tidy space. Be ready to replenish trays by conducting a quick visual check of the buffet itself approximately every 10 or so guests, and to maintain a tidy presentation.

Hosting a party? Hire At Your Service so that you can host without stress. Our professional service team will keep your buffet tidy, redirect guest traffic with class, and even tidy up throughout and after the event! We have a service team for every theme and budget. Call (226) 336-2881 or contact us online for a quote.

 

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Lily Ruth is a family-owned-and-operated catering company located in Cambridge, Ontario. Named for her beloved grandmother Lily Ruth Matlow, owner Rachelle Matlow started Lily Ruth as a way to share her family’s profound appreciation of a home cooked meal served with all the comforts of home to their local community. Catering to all tastes and events, Lily Ruth serves up a wide variety of delectable dishes for your business lunch, baby shower, charity gala, or wedding, and everything in between. Trust their team to treat your event like it’s their own.

 

“We’re a catering company that truly cares about the experience our clients have,” says Rachelle. “We’re very hands on. My husband is the chef, I handle the bookings, and many of our staff have been with us for a long time. We make your event the best it can possibly be. And we do really good food!” Their prime rib is a particularly popular choice from their vast and ever-changing menu. Looking for tea sandwiches or a dessert bar? No problem. Seating a group of 300 for an evening of exceptional cuisine? No problem! When pressed to list her favourite menu items Rachelle simply cannot choose, “I stand by our food. There’s nothing that I don’t like! Anything we do, we do it well.”

 

At Your Service and Lily Ruth have teamed up several times over the last year, uniting our expertise and quality customer service particularly during wedding season. And we’re gearing up to do it all over again! While Rachelle employs her own service staff, spring and summer require all hands on deck and then some. Working with Rachelle and her team is a truly joyful experience.

 

Our teams complement each other and work together seamlessly. Hiring from a pool of people in a city the size of Cambridge provides dedicated servers to Lily Ruth’s regular staff and At Your Service enhances those teams with specialists from our extensive network of skilled servers with exceptional experience in everything from formal serving to wine and food knowledge. This, alongside our personable approach to service, is what Rachelle speaks to when she talks about our partnership. “Morgan is completely hands-on. He wants to know how the event went, he appreciates all feedback, and he humanizes the experience,” Rachelle says, identifying At Your Service owner and operator Morgan Jones as a likeminded business owner. “He talks to the clients, he talks to his staff, he’s very easy to work with. I’m very specific. We’re known for our service staff and he gets that.” She mentions in particular a time last summer when a server called in sick at the last minute and Morgan and his wife Bridget – both professional servers – stepped up as replacements themselves.

 

We’re pleased to work with Lily Ruth, and we know that you will be, too! Rachelle is ready to take your booking anytime whether you’re planning your wedding next year or a business lunch next week. Call her at 519-623-8500.

 

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As an event planner you’ve got checklists for your checklists. Organization is key to repeat business, and to keeping your stress levels reasonable. Throw out that entire checklist by partnering with an event staffing business like At Your Service. Party planning, wedding planning, corporate event planning, conventions, galas, charity event planning – whatever the event we can create a dynamic professional serving team customized to suit your client’s unique needs. The benefits of working with a staffing company instead of hiring your own crew are endless. Here are just some of the highlights:

 

SAVE TIME

As a team supervisor you not only have to craft and manage schedules for multiple employees and events, but also throw the party. Staff management includes ensuring Smart Serve certification for all staff, (and other per-event requirements are met by at least one person on the team), finding replacement staff when someone drops out last minute or increasing staff quantity when guest numbers suddenly go up. Possibly best of all, with a partnership you’ll never have to deal with meeting full-time and part-time shift requirements, or Human Resources complaints.

 

wedding party girls

At Your Service already has all of these matters keenly managed so that you don’t have to. We will take care of replacing any staff that come down with the flu the day of your client’s wedding, we handle part-time and full-time balancing acts, and HR is one of our specialities. Use the time you save on staff management to make your client’s dreams reality, and still have time for a lunch break, too.

 

SAVE MONEY

Working a one-time-use staff service into your event budget is far less expensive than hiring and maintaining your own servers. You don’t have to pay salaries or training, no need to keep track of hours and cut multiple pay cheques. When you have your own staff you have to worry about paying them during slow times or risk losing your team to someone else. By hiring out serving staff payroll becomes a one-time expense that you can easily work into the client’s budget.

 

PROVIDE A CUSTOMIZED EXPERIENCE

Saving time and money are logical reasons to strike up a partnership between your party planning business and an event staffing business. The best-kept secret about this agreement is your instant access to your event service dream team. Speaking strictly on our own behalf, the At Your Service team includes specialties that include the obvious like Smart Serve certification and access to Food Handler’s Certification, and attributes like the ability to speak multiple languages, a diverse range of cultural familiarities, fancy bar tricks, plating techniques, and more. How better to impress your clients than with a service team chosen just for them?

Are you interested in forming a partnership with At Your Service event staffing? Let’s talk! We serve the greater Southern Ontario area. Contact us through our website or call (226) 336-2881.

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At Your Service provides you with stress-free party hosting services, but we know that even the most organized event planners wake up in the middle of the night wondering if they’ve covered all the bases. Here is an FAQ list of the most common questions we get asked, about what happens when you make a reservation, to put your mind back at ease. Whether you’re planning months in advance or a question popped up in your mind at 1 a.m. the night before, we hope your answer is here.

 

Q: WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I SEND A SERVICE REQUEST?

A: At Your Service will reach out to you within 2 business days to discuss the details of your event and send you a customized order form. Once your completed form is returned to us, we will begin recruiting. Two or 3 days before your event we will check in with you again to confirm, and to incorporate any additional requests you may have for your service crew. The day before, we will send you a staff sheet with the names of your amazing team. After that, it’s party time!

staff pouring champagne

Q: WHEN DO YOU CHARGE MY CREDIT CARD?

A: We require a credit card in order to hold your reservation. An invoice will be sent to you the day after the event when you can inform us which method of payment you wish to use. While we require a credit card to hold your reservation, payment may otherwise be made by cheque or e-transfer. If you wish to tip your service crew, we encourage you to do so personally to each server at the end of your event.

 

Q: HOW FAR IN ADVANCE DO I NEED TO BOOK AT YOUR SERVICE FOR MY EVENT?

A: Quite often we are able to accept staffing requests the day before your event, but it’s always better to book as far in advance as possible to ensure you can reserve the appropriately staffed crew for your specific event needs. While each member of our team is well-rounded in serving duties, we have wait staff, bar staff, head waiters, and supervisors available when given enough notice. We recommend that you book at least a month in advance especially during June, July, August, and December due to high demand, but we are professionals with back up plans for our back up plans, so even if you didn’t book in advance give us a call and you may be pleasantly surprised!

 

Q: WHAT IS THE AVERAGE PRICE FOR AT YOUR SERVICE EVENT STAFFING?

A: At Your Service provides customized staffing crews for each event – we’re not average! We diligently work within your budget and provide discounted rates for caterers, Food and Beverage venues, Chamber of Commerce members, fundraisers, charity and not-for-profit events, and more. We can create a staff profile to serve your event needs and, working with your itinerary, stay on budget, whether you’re throwing a house party for 20 or a wedding for 500.

 

If you still have questions, or would like further explanation get in touch with us through our website or by calling (226) 336-2881

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The love of your life is turning 50, and you’re throwing The Party Of The Half Century! You pick a date, brainstorm themes – Tropical vacation! Black Tie! Rock ‘n Roll! – craft your guest list, start to plan a menu, and order the cake. You’ve got 30 people coming and a house to organize party-style.

 

Do you cater the food, or make it yourself? Where are you going to put extra chairs? Now your head is spinning and what started as a celebration of your beloved has mutated into tension headaches and To Do lists. The party is going to be great, everyone will have fun, but what about you? When will you have time to greet and mingle with your guests? Who will take pictures while you’re in the kitchen plating food? How will traffic flow around the buffet table?

Catering Home Party

Now imagine your party run by an event staffing company. Yes, hire staff even for your house party! Professional event staffing – we suggest At Your Service – isn’t just for corporate parties and charity balls. Here’s how we can help.


Host the party, don’t ghost the party. Your beloved is hanging out in the living room receiving well wishes and toasts, while you answer the door and greet each new guest with a huge smile and hearty hello. Coats are whisked away, appetizers are circulating, and everyone has a drink in their hand. Even you! Aren’t those mini quiche divine? Why thank you, Uncle John, we did refinish that vintage desk ourselves! While you enjoy yourself, the smartly-dressed and graceful event staff take care of coats and shoes, food prep, service, the bar, and clean up. You have fun. You’re not stuck in the kitchen prepping and clearing. No mad dash for ice for you! You reap the rewards of your thoughtful party planning.

 

PRO TIP: KNOW HOW INVOLVED WITH SET UP, SERVICE, AND TAKE DOWN YOU INTEND TO BE BEFORE RESERVING A SERVICE CREW.

 

This is vital in determining the ideal number of your staff you’ll need, and how early they need to arrive. Leave set up details to your head waiter. Before the party, imagine it in full swing. Note where people are likely to gather and where to move furniture around to accommodate more standing room or additional seating. Make sure that traffic can flow at all times, whether at the bar, the buffet, or the bathroom. Make notes, rent additional fixtures, and leave the set up to your head waiter while you concentrate on choosing a specialty cocktail.

 

PRO TIP: HERE’S YOUR PARTY SPACE LAYOUT CHECKLIST:

 

  • Guest parking

  • Guest seating and standing areas

  • Food preparation

  • Food service (buffet or staff-served)

  • Bar

  • Guest coat and footwear storage

  • Dirty dish storage

  • Garbage storage

  • Gift repository

  • Cake display

  • Service staff personal storage

  • Service staff parking

 

BONUS PRO TIP: YOUR HEAD WAITER CAN MAKE ALL RENTAL ARRANGEMENTS ON YOUR BEHALF, INCLUDING DISHES/GLASSWARE, SERVING TRAYS, BAR UTENSILS, TABLES, AND CHAIRS.

 

Ready to find out how At Your Service can make your next house party a breeze? Book today by calling (226) 336-2881 or online here 

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