Planning Tips

Here are some tips to help you in planning your special event

Day and Date

Be sure to check a local event calendar to ensure that you haven't chosen a date that might create a conflict for your event. A local football game, graduation or large charity event might create problems with traffic, parking, acquiring hotel rooms for out-of-town guests and even attendance.

The Athens Convention and Visitors Bureau has an excellent community calendar.


The time of day can help in determining what type of menu you will need to serve. If you select a starting time that is normally a meal hour, you will be expected to feed your guests a fairly heavy menu. If you don't choose a substantial menu, your guests won't stay very long because they will get hungry.

Place/Event Site

The place that you choose for your event should be based on convenience, availability, capacity and whether the facility is appropriate for your event. Guest maximums are set by the facility through experience, logistics and fire marshall codes. Remember that maximum capacity of a facility will be different for a seated event and a stand-up reception event.

If a facility has most of their events outside you'll want to make absolutely sure that they can accomodate your event indoors or under a tent (with the option of heat or fans) in case of inclement weather.

If a facility holds 100 guests, you shouldn't invite over 200 guests and then hope that they won't be coming.

Location should also be considered when choosing your event site. Are you having a wedding ceremony in one place and the reception at a site 30 miles away? That's a long distance to ask your guests to drive.

See Trumps Caterings' banquet room, The Trumps Ballroom on Milledge

Guest List

The average return on invitations for guest attendance is 60% - 75%, depending on the occasion, the date, the percentage of out-of-town guests, etc. Therefore, if you'd like to have about 100 guests at your event, you can safely mail out invitations to 130 - 140 guests.


Four to six weeks before the event is the general rule for mailing your invitations to ensure your guests receive their invitations and have sufficient time to respond. If you have guests traveling from outside the regional area, it is courteous to mail their invitations 6-8 weeks ahead so that they can make travel arrangements.


Here are some things to think about when choosing the beverages for your event. Are you going to be having alcohol? What's appropriate?

Typically a party taking place late morning or early afternoon doesn't require a full liquor bar. But, you might want to consider a specialty drink, like a Bloody Mary or a champagne cocktail.

A formal affair would require that beer be poured into glasses.

Is everyone arriving at the same time, making it difficult for the bartender to serve your guests in a timely fashion? You may want to consider having beverages passed on trays by servers when guests first arrive.

Don't forget to have coffee and other non alcoholic beverages available for your guests.

What's a cash bar? Your guests will pay cash for their own drinks.

What's a hosted bar? The host (you) will pay for your guests drinks.

What does consumption mean? You will pay for just the amount of alcohol consumed by your guests. An inventory is done before the guests arrive and following their departure.

See Trumps Catering Beverage Options

Menu Selection

Trumps Catering is very flexible with exchanging menu items from one menu to another. We are also happy to create something special for your event. All you need to do is ask.

Remember when selecting your menu that a seated/served meal is more formal than a seated buffet style meal.

Trying to please everyone and have a lot of picky eaters on your guest list? We highly recommend a buffet for this situation.

Trumps is happy to help with your guests with dietary restrictions ... vegetarian, vegan, gluten intolerance, low salt, diabetic.

Trumps Catering also works with local farms to create fork to table meals and can tailor any menu to include local, kosher, organic, gluten free and antibiotic free items.

We are also able to partially serve your buffet menu, the salad, rolls and butter and dessert. This gives your guests something to do while waiting for their table to be called through the buffet line and keeps your guests from having to juggle too many plates. Partially serving your buffet meal also keeps your guests from constantly getting up and down.

Some of Trumps Hors d'Oeuvres Menu and Heavy Buffet Menu suggestions are heavy enough to constitute as a meal. So, if you are timing your event around dinner time but have a stand-up, mingling type event in mind, you may want to consider these menus.


If you want your guests to mingle and talk you won't want to hire a band that has a large amount of amplification. You'll have your guests yelling into each other's ears or leaving out of frustration with the noise. On the other hand if you want dancing, you want entertainment that will entice your guests onto the dance floor. The entertainment can often times set the tone of your event, so choose carefully. We are happy to make recommendations on bands, solo musicians and disc jockeys that we have worked with and are familiar with their work.


Fresh flowers? Balloons? Candles? Specialty linens? Do you have a theme in mind? What's the occasion?

You might want to think about a combination of decorations, fresh flowers and candles or balloons and fresh flowers. The options are almost endless. We work with most of the florists in and around the Athens area.

We are happy to make our recommendations based on your ideas and needs. To get an idea of the kind of work you can expect, you may want to visit the website of The Holly Garden or European Floral Design who are just a couple of the wonderful florists we work with in the area.


If your event is taking place outdoors, you'll want to check with the site to see what type of and how much furniture they have. Are you going to need more chairs and are the tables the size and shape that you have in mind? Are you going to need a tent?

We are happy to work with you on your rental needs and take the worry of deliveries, pick ups, and logistics off your hands. We will place your order, deal with the rental company, make the necessary changes as the final details of your party come to life and even add the total cost to your invoice with Trumps Catering.

Check out our Links Page to see the rental companies that Trumps Catering works with. There's lots to see online and a way to get some ideas.