It is Autumn officially. And while we are still in the middle of weddings and beautiful warm weather here in Santa Barbara, it’s especially hard to imagine cold weather, warm fires, cozy food , family and holiday celebration. Yet, our emails and phones are buzzing with inquiries on holiday parties, private family gatherings and with the recovering economy, many corporations are resuming the traditional annual holiday party. Some of the most pressing questions from our clients include: 1) Where should I host my party 2) I want to do something unique – what ideas do you have? Read more »
Santa Barbara is well -known as “The American Riviera” and its many beach locations offer quintessential oceanside events which are always memorable. Many feel because something is beach-side, they must automatically make the meal and decor “beach-themed”. We love seeing elements mixed up, as in this lovely Tuscan-themed rehearsal dinner we catered at the Santa Barbara Beach Club. The setting was incredible and the colors just popped! Read more »
By Ursula O'Neill on September 17th, 2015. Categories: Social Events.
When “I-Dos” are said on the Fourth of July, you know it’s going to be sparkling celebration! Alexa and Brad had all the stuff of a summery celebration on America’s birthday , and we were there to be a part of it!
Special Touches: Read more »
By Ursula O'Neill on August 10th, 2015. Categories: Wedding Events.
Traditional business relationship-building always emphasized a strong , thick line between “business” and “pleasure”. One would rarely think of investing in an entire weekend away or social engagements with one’s client (or prospective client) in years past . Times have changed, and as businesses seek to stand out more from the competition, building personal relationships with business contacts has never been so important. Because of this, companies are looking at the way they network with suppliers and clients with a personal slant. This means hosting potential clients for weekend-long destination events that include their favorite activities to individual one-on-one time fun and leisure time invested. Because of this, “corporate event” is more than a noun, it is becoming a “verb” , as it is now an action and one whose very definition has evolved.
In Santa Barbara and its wine country, the “new networking” has reached new heights because of the incredible locations, spas and destination activities all around: from world-class golfing, wine-tasting, horseback riding, tennis to spas, glider plane riding, to elaborate experiential parties and team-building adventure courses where each part of the event is set up with activities and experiences custom-tailored for the guests attending. There are options for one-on-one networking as well as group activities for bonding.
The way to “corporate event” has become personal. Companies are going to great lengths to Read more »
It’s hard not to smile when you are so in love. Try being as in love as Sarah and Brian are and celebrating this love at one of Santa Barbara wine country’s most charming and historic wineries: Lincourt. These two newlyweds could not stop grinning ear -to-ear , and the joy was infectious for all who surrounded them that day (including us)!
Weddings at Lincourt are relaxed elegance, with sweeping views of the vines and Read more »
By Ursula O'Neill on July 14th, 2015. Categories: Wedding Events.
While Santa Barbara is filled with dramatically elegant wedding locations (and we love all of them), some of the best Santa Barbara gems are those whose very essence are historic and blend with the relaxed Santa Barbara Monterey architecture and Spanish heritage. Santa Barbara Woman’s Club – also known as Rockwood Woman’s Center – was founded in 1892 and is nestled behind the Queen of the Missions, just at the foot of the drive up to Santa Barbara’s beautiful Riviera. With ample self-parking and tucked in amongst Read more »
By Ursula O'Neill on July 14th, 2015. Categories: Wedding Events.
Summer is here and while weddings are in full swing for Catering Connection, we still have many private celebrations, company parties, BBQ’s and more. While traditional favorites always stand the test of time, we have had many clients ask us how they can do things differently for an annual summer event (such as a corporate picnic) or a private celebration where they want to stand out a bit. Here are some of our top recommendations to inspire your guests and keep things fresh for a memorable event: Read more »
One of our favorite Santa Barbara wedding locations is the Santa Barbara Historical Museum. It is centrally -located and within walking distance to downtown Santa Barbara, charming hotels and more. The museum captures Old Spanish Santa Barbara and provides a beautiful ambiance with lots of options for weddings and receptions. We are particularly honored to have been featured in Style Me Pretty with this particular wedding and are so grateful to all the event supply partners who worked together to make this as stunning as it was. It was a beautiful day for a beautiful couple. You can find the Style Me Pretty BLOG on this beautiful event and all the special touches here.
Tray-Passed Hors D’Oeuvres
Coffee & Desserts
The Event Supply Partner Team: Location: Santa Barbara Historical Museum | Catering: Catering Connection | Rentals: Ventura Rental Party Center | Lighting & Draping: Bella Vista Designs | Florals: Loop Flowers | Coordination: Events by Ashley W | Wedding Cake: Your Cake Baker | DJ/Entertainment by Gavin Roy | Photography by Patrick Moyer
By Ursula O'Neill on May 20th, 2015. Categories: Wedding Events.
“The talk of the town is (that) this was the party of the year. That night, everyone was filled with a joy, a sense of freedom to be a real human, happiness for you and most of all, real love. The warmth, human kindness and open heartedness was simply amazing,” said Reverend Miriam Lindbeck, one of Santa Barbara’s beloved wedding officiants in a note to the Catering Connection offices post-celebration.
The story of Catering Connection’s evolution cannot be told without a tribute to its owner and founder, Ursula O’Neill, coming over to the USA from Ireland via London and a lot of hard work and eventually becoming a U.S. Citizen in 2014. She has single-handedly built Catering Connection from the ground up. Catering Connection enjoys success as one of Santa Barbara’s premiere full service caterers , serving corporate events, weddings, private events, fundraisers and is the preferred daily supplier of quality meals and catering for several of the area’s leading corporations.
The Details: When it came time to put together a landmark 20th Business Anniversary, Ursula designed the entire event from start to finish with the collaborative creative input and work of some of the area’s leading event supply professionals (see The Standing Ovation below). The feel: a hybrid modern/industrial-meets-whimsical-vintage-with-Irish-infusion (think Whiskey-tasting station and Bells of Ireland florals) , complete with introducing a complete re-brand for Catering Connection.
Guests walked through a canopied entrance where they were greeted on the other side with a modern and industrial feel, full hosted bar, DJ music and passed appetizers. On their way to the back part of the event, they could stop at any one of the succulent hot food stations( see The Menu below) and enjoy more cozy fare. The feel in the back transitioned to a magical, intimate, vintage-style “pub” with the Ulysses Jasz band playing full force and a professional Lindy Hop Dance troupe to inspire guests to boogie.
Later in the evening, after toasts to Catering Connection were made, a surprise flashmob broke out to send Catering Connection off to its next 20 years. The flashmob was comprised of business professionals who have known Ursula for years who had secretly been meeting and practicing for weeks prior to the event. You can see a quick clip of the flashmob here.
As guests left, they took with them a momento of homemade, freshly-popped caramel corn with note that said, “Thanks for popping by”, a brand new Catering Connection apron and thank you note.
For Ursula, all the pomp and circumstance doesn’t go to her head, as even with family who flew over from Ireland to help her celebrate, all the press mentions on her business and booming success, she still credits her incredible team, who has been with her for years and is her family, too. What is she looking forward to most for the next 20 years? “Retiring!” she said.
The Standing Ovation: Catering Connection wishes to thank the amazing co-sponsors of this landmark 20th Business Anniversary Celebration: Ventura Rental Party Center | Bella Vista Designs | RowanOak Events | Santa Barbara Wine Country Weddings and Events | Music by Bonnie & Co | Premiere Event Production | Felici Events | Foley Family Wine (Lincourt and Firestone) | Engaging Inspiration | Blue Star Parking | and all of the amazing images capturing the soul of the event provided by Matt Roberts of Rewind Photography
The Menu :
Short Rib & Polenta Station served in Cosmo Glass
Ceviche Tostada Bar
Late night snack:
Pavlova Station – Make Your Own
Champagne Pom Pom
A Swig of Ireland
By Ursula O'Neill on May 8th, 2015. Categories: All.
On the Menu
Kristi & Michael had a menu nobody could resist. Their selection was wide and their choices were fabalous.
Hors Doeuvres: Jump Cajun Shrimp / Chicken Empanadas with Chipotle Dipping Sauce / Hickory Bacon Wrapped Dates with Almonds / Roasted Sweet Tomato Tart / Crab Wontons with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Kristi & Michael choose to have their dinner set up in stations. This is a fun alternative to the traditional buffet or plated meals. It allows for guests to walk to each station and mingle in between keeping the party lively!
Carving Station: Grilled Marinated Salmon Fillet / Herb & Garlic Sirloin of Beef
By the Sea Station: Jumbo Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce & Lemon Wedges / Ahi Tuna Tartar on Wonton Crisps with Wasabi Sauce / Oysters on the 1/2 Shell / Herb Crusted Mussels in the Shell
Venue: Stow House / Coordinator: Chelsea Labrock / Digital Photography: Rewind Photography / Film Photography: Tai Kerbs / Rentals: Classic Party Rentals / Cake: Catering Connection / Catering: Catering Connection / Band: Area 51 Musical Services / Band’s Guest Singer: Savannah Meares