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
Firestone Winery – Los Olivos, California
Firestone Vineyard is the perfect setting for the wedding of your dreams! Its unique, elegant and unforgettable. The rolling hills that frame every inch of backdrop provide nothing short of jaw-dropping photos.
Sara Beth & Yan’s wedding was one of those weddings where you just know they were meant to be. The never ending sparkle in Sara Beth’s eyes and Yan’s constant ear-to-ear smile lit up the entire night and made for a beautiful affair that everyone enjoyed. Rustic but elegant, everything about their wedding was pure perfection.
On the Menu
Menu creation is always one of the best parts of planning your wedding. With that being said, Catering Connection was right by their side to help create a magnificent wedding menu of the following:
Hors Doeuvres – Elegantly Displayed Humus Dip with Pita Chips and Vegetable Crudites | Thai- Spiced Pork Dumplings with Cilantro Dipping Sauce | Crisp Tostada with Pulled Chicken, Black Bean Relish & Guacamole | Asparagus Spears with Lemon Parmesan Dip Searved in Shot Glasses
Dinner – Citrus Glazed Salmon served with Orange, Bell Peppers and Ginger Relish | Chicken Stuffed with Garlic & Lemon Thyme Sauce | Grilled Polenta Cake with Ratatouille and Fontina Cheese | Roasted Red Potatoes | Grilled Vegetable Platter | Field Green with Fresh Strawberries, Goat Cheese & Roasted Walnuts
Another favorite part of any wedding, desserts! And wow did Sara Beth and Yan do it right. Their mini cupcake table was created by the ever amazing Enjoy Cupcakes and was absolutely stunning and mouthwatering all at the same time.
Closing The Night
Music by Bonnie kept the beats lively and the dance floor packed. As the night concluded Sara Beth & Yan closed out their night with their grand exit full of bubbles and laughter!
Vendors who made this magical wedding possible:
Ceremony/Reception Location: Firestone Vineyards
Flowers: Anna Le Pley Taylor
QAD // Summer BBQ 2014
I don’t know about you, but themed parties are some of our favorite! When QAD, one of our long time corporate clients, told us their theme for their Summer BBQ was a Baseball- “Take me out to the Ballgame” theme, we were all about it.
Themed parties bring out creativity, and we love that!
When a company comes to us with a fun theme, we make it our job to match the theme with a fun and tasty menu that everyone will love! And for a baseball theme – Pre-Game, Game Time and Post Game snacks were a must!
The Pre-Game Appetizers Were a Hit!
Classic Buffalo Chicken Wings
Teriyaki Chicken Wings
And no baseball game is complete without Pretzels!
Game Time // Play Ball
For the “Game Time” menu, we created individual stations that had something different at each one!
Slider Bar: with Angus Beef Sliders, BBQ Pork Sandwich, Grilled Portabello Mushroom & Sweet Potato Fries
Hot Dog Stand: with Hot Dogs, Corn Dogs & Chili Dogs
Garden Stand: with Caesar Salad, Macaroni Salad & Fruit Salad
Post Game // Strike Out
Ice Cream Cart with Ice Cream Sandwiches, Popsicles, and a variety of different ice cream flavors!
QAD threw a fantastic summer picnic and it was just as much fun helping create a menu to match. We already can’t wait till the next!
By Ursula O'Neill on September 2nd, 2014. Categories: All.
A CHARMING CEREMONY LOCATION
Location: 1100 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
The Santa Barbara Courthouse is without a doubt one of the most beautiful ceremony locations in town. It exudes beauty and screams romance. The breathtaking scenery from every angle makes the Santa Barbara Courthouse an ideal destination to tie the knot. The historical landmark offers spectacular Spanish-Colonial Revival architecture that wedding photographers can’t get enough of. From the top of the clock tower, to the bottom at the Sunken Gardens – the Santa Barbara Courthouse is a canvas that any bride & groom can make their own!
The grounds offer 5 different areas that can be reserved in three hour increments(9-12, 12-3, and 3-6). The court house can hold up to 200 guests and as little as 10.
Sunken Gardens: 200 people max, $700
Like all locations, the Courthouse has it’s own set of rules it likes it’s Bride & Grooms to follow: Chairs can be delivered to the site only an hour before ceremony, amplified music isn’t allowed but short acoustic music is…Rice, flowers, and confetti are all not allowed in the area.
The Mural Room
The Mural room inside the courthouse is another beautiful space that can be used for ceremonies and allows for up to 125 guests for 2 hour increments at the rate of $240. Unlike outside the courthouse, the Mural Room allows for live music and flowers!
The Clock Tower
The Clock Tower, with 360 degree ocean and mountain views, is by far one of the most unique locations to have a ceremony. Although you can not reserve the location, it is FREE and available for up to 25 guests.
We have had the pleasure of working at the courthouse with some of our past couples! The venue itself, the pictures, and the overall experience never seems to disappoint!
Jennifer & Brandon’s Courthouse Wedding
Photos by: Rich Morgan Photography
Cory & Erik’s Courthouse Ceremony
Photos by: Brandi Welles Photography