Trust RK for a Picture Pefect Wedding Venue

10/13/2016

We’ll make your wedding dreams come true by helping select the perfect venue Everyone wants their wedding day to be perfect, and with so many details to juggle, getting it there can often feel overwhelming. Securing the venue can be an especially stressful endeavor, but that’s where we at the RK Group come in. Not […]

Why You Should Count On Us for Your Next Corporate Event

10/13/2016

The RK Group has a whole stable of talented event planners to make your corporate event a massive success! There’s plenty of reasons to put on a corporate event, whether it’s a holiday party, team building event, an incentive event for employees, a client appreciation event or whatever else you might have planned for your […]

Corporate Event Planning in San Antonio, TX

08/17/2016

So you’re in the process of planning a corporate event, and you need it to be perfect, and did say you need everything done from start to finish?  The RK Group has you covered to help you plan your event, whether that event be a meeting, convention, gala, fundraiser, or any other special event you […]

Corporate Catering and Event Planning in Austin Texas

04/19/2016

When it comes to corporate catering and event planning services in the Austin, Texas area, there are plenty of companies to choose from. A simple search for “corporate catering Austin TX” will provide 1,570,000 results alone on Google (as of this writing)! Finding the best one for your event can seem like a daunting task, […]

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Centerpieces for any event

07/18/2013

Whether you prefer simple and elegant or bold and luxurious, centerpieces can add that extra touch of detail and color that brightens the room and creates the ambiance for the whole event.  There are several tips and tricks for choosing the perfect centerpieces and we’ve listed a few below.   Choosing the Appropriate Centerpiece Think […]

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Turkey and Chestnuts and Yule Logs, OH MY!

11/13/2012

“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.” – Luciano Pavarotti and William Wright, from Pavarotti, My Own Story With the holidays approaching, Pavarotti’s pleasure will be a more frequent reality for people across the globe. In […]

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Planning the Perfect Outdoor Movie Party

07/24/2012

It’s been a while since the last time you heard from us. We have been busy working on incredible events and parties and, of course, having fun doing it!  As you can tell with the steadily climbing “will it ever go below 100”-temperatures we’re all feeling, summer is in full swing! And, you know what […]

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Big things are happening at The RK Group!

09/06/2011

Hello faithful blog followers, it has been far too long… There’s a good reason, I promise! We have been busy this summer, and I’m not just talking about all the fabulous parties we’ve been a part of (there were some great ones!). We have some exciting news to share and I hope you will all […]

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Wedding Planning 101: Good planning resources

07/29/2011

Happy Friday everyone! It’s almost time for the weekend and I thought that you might need something to fill your time. That’s why this week’s post will be all about my favorite resources for wedding planning. I’m talking blogs, magazines, inspiration sources, etc. This can easily and quickly take over your time, so please be […]

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We have a gold medalist among us…

07/08/2011

Have I mentioned that our employees are AMAZING? In late June, the RK Group’s very own Elaine Dagen, vice president of Meetings Plus, competed in the National Senior Games in Houston. There were more than 10,000 athletes participating from all 50 U.S. states as well as Canada. She represented Texas in the track events where […]

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Wedding Planning 101: The Caterer

06/30/2011

The caterer… Obviously this is going to be a very biased post because, let’s face it, The RK Group is catering in San Antonio. Yes, there are other great caterers to choose from, but we’ve been catering for 65 years, it’s something we know, something we know very well. I’m a foodie. I love good, […]

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Wedding Planning 101: The Wedding Planner

06/23/2011

Hello blogosphere! Oh, how I’ve neglected you these past few weeks. My sincerest apologies – life has been a bit hectic! Today, I thought I would talk about something simple that will save yourself the headaches and stress that sometimes comes with planning a wedding (or any event for that matter). For years, I have […]

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Wedding Planning 101: The Dress

05/19/2011

I want to start by letting you know that we have an AMAZING ad in the upcoming issue (Fall / Winter 2011) of The Knot Texas Magazine. This was even more exciting to me because that means that I received multiple issues of the magazine this week… before it even hits shelves. Sneak peak… It’s […]

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Wedding Planning 101: The Venue

05/06/2011

Oh, where to begin… Your venue is one of the first things – if not THE first thing – that you should check off your list. It will often set the tone for your entire wedding – everything from the dress to the décor to the type of food you serve. Venue shopping takes A […]

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Wedding Planning 101: Tools

04/29/2011

Today was such a big day in the wedding world that I have decided to forgo the venue post until next week (I hope that’s ok with you all). Today, I would like to talk about some great tools and tricks to make your life easier while planning the big day. The Royal Wedding is […]

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The Perfect Menu for your Royal Celebration

04/27/2011

Are you in a Royal Wedding FRENZY?! It seems like that’s all I’m hearing about this week. From the morning talkshows to the fashion blogs to right here in our office, its all people can think about. Rosemary, along with her good friend Joanne Boone (president and CEO of Rio Cruises San Antonio), is throwing […]

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Wedding Planning 101: The Engagement Party

04/21/2011

According to the wonderful experts at TheKnot.com the engagement party is usually thrown about three months after you get engaged, tradition states that the bride’s family throws the initial shindig, but it’s becoming more and more common for the groom’s family or both families to host them and etiquette says that if you invite someone […]

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The 2011 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

04/11/2011

WE TOOK IT BY STORM…AGAIN!!! We’re back and settled in San Antonio after another successful year at the Big, Bad Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (HLSR)! In 2010 we secured a substantial amount of very important business within HLSR and because of our hard work and commitment to excellence, we were able to secure a […]

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Historic Sunset Station

03/30/2011

Historic Sunset Station is an amazing venue for any type of event – reunions, graduations, parties, weddings and more. We love it when we receive photos from the events that we have on site. Recently, a couple that spent their special day with us passed on photos from their wedding. The wonderful Elizabeth Homan of […]

Ongoing Blog: Wedding Planning 101

03/28/2011

Many of you may not know that I am currently at the beginning of a journey that every girl dreams of – planning my wedding. So you can only imagine the extra excitement I felt when I started in my new position with the RK Group only three short weeks ago. This company is a […]

Vintage and Modern Brides – New Twists on Old Favorites

03/18/2011

The ring is on your finger, the date is set… it’s time to start planning one of the most important days of your life! Whether you are a simplistic girl or a glitz and glam kinda girl, planning your big day becomes part of your everyday routine until you say those life changing words “I […]

New Member Introduction

03/11/2011

Hello! I would like to introduce myself as the newest member of The RK Group team. With a love for anything and everything related to the culinary and events communities, I was destined to become a part of the one of the best catering and events companies in Texas and I am proud to say […]

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Meetings Plus

10/05/2010

Meetings+Plus Event Team Managers — Marisa Roberge and Elaine Dagen — produced the closing event of the Grace Hopper Celebration for Women in Computing at the Georgia Aquarium. Over 2000 women from 29 countries came to the 5-day conference that was held in Atlanta. Way to go Team!

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what happens when 60,000 people come to town!

07/08/2010

If you were in San Antonio over the 4th of July weekend you probably noticed the 60,000 people in town for the 2010 International Convention of Alcoholics Anonymous. Planning for this convention began years ago with the expectation most meetings and events would be held at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Alamodome and Hemisfair […]

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The RK Group prepares for Hurricane Alex

06/30/2010

The RK Group team is working closely with BCFS as Texas’ first hurricane, Alex, heads to shore within the next few days. Since early this week, The RK Group has been providing services for food and shelter to the 300-700 first response team members stationed at San Antonio evacuation locations. First responders include bus drivers, […]

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Perfect Recipe for the Holiday’s: Event Planning Mixed with Social Media

12/14/2009

This past Thursday, I was invited to speak on behalf of The RK Group at a social media gathering for Business, Media and Public Relations abbreviated as #bmpr. http://www.thebmpr.com/ The invitation was extended due to: our presence on Twitter and Facebook, our followers and fans, and RK employees who support The RK Group through Social […]

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Today’s event expectations are not only met, but exceeded by The RK Group

12/02/2009

You’re on a site visit and the venue manager is pointing: “Cake table here, gift drop off here, bar over there and the DJ will be in that far back corner”…. Ahh! Some people have the mind and imagination to handle such vagueness, but others need a tangible representation to envision the plan. That’s where […]

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Marisa Roberge in Raleigh, NC

11/19/2009

Meetings+Plus, a division of the RK Group, is proud to announce an associate in North Carolina who can provide professional meeting services for the Southeast. Marisa Roberge, Event & Production Director, who has produced outstanding events in many US cities is now headquartered in Raleigh, NC. If you want creative, flawless events or productions, contact […]

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Dancing in the Streets – RK Style!

11/06/2009

The RK Group had guests dancing in the streets on Wednesday evening at the festive La Villita. Over 2500 guests enjoyed all the sights, sounds and flavors of an authentic street party – San Antonio style. Sizzling fajitas, frosty beverages and a variety of entertainment were scattered throughout the event site. Amusements included caricaturists, Jody […]

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A Beautiful Wedding

10/19/2009

Let Illusions Rentals & Designs help you with your next social event. Whether it be tents, tables, equipment or chairs, Illusions can make your event breathtaking. Illusions provided a magnificent tent for the wedding listed below. Read on for more! Enjoy! http://www.sanantonioweddings.com/real_wedding_articles/Yvonne_Mauricio_and_David_Padilla_Real_Wedding.asp?ctr=10

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ON THE ROAD AGAIN……HERE WE GO!!

10/07/2009

Chicago and Minneapolis TWO destinations. TWO weeks apart. TWO Different Conferences. ONE HUGE SUCCESS! Meetings Plus Team is currently on site in Minneapolis working at the Minneapolis Convention Center having just finished another conference at McCormick Place in Chicago, September 20th thru 23rd, 2009. What a success that one was! I managed all of the […]

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Does Your Event Have a Rain Plan???

10/05/2009

I can’t tell you how many wedding and event planners called us this weekend looking for a tent during South Texas’ sporadic rain storms! The National Weather Advisory says that 2009 is the year of El Nino: http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/ Which means Fall and Winter of this year will be wet and cool. Let Illusions Rentals help […]

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Gooooo Longhorns!

09/30/2009

I worked with other RK Group team members last Saturday, the 26th of September at the UT Austin vs. UTEP football game. As we all know, UT clobbered the UTEP Miners! The score need not be repeated… I once attended UTEP and am originally from El Paso – yes, a tiny part of me wished […]

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RK Welcomes Executive Chef Eric Nelson

09/24/2009

The RK Group is proud to welcome Executive Chef Eric Nelson to our fabulous group in Texas! Chef Eric joins our team after having worked for our company in Arizona. His experience is far-reaching and his creativity is second to none. Already, he has re-energized his new team and has made a tangible mark at […]

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A Night of Stars in Arizona!

09/24/2009

It was a star-studded night for the USA Hosts/Circa Arizona team! Celestial star gazing, boot scootin’ and fireworks for super VIP clients at the fabulous La Puesta del Sol, located on an Indian reservation East of the city. The venue offers 360 degree views of 5 surrounding mountain ranges. As the desert sun sets, a […]

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Call Illusions for Tents, Tables, Chairs & More!

09/23/2009

The next time you find yourself in need of equipment for your event, call Illusions!! Whether large or small, we can assist in making your event exactly what you envision. Illusions owns hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment such as: Flatware   China     Tents     Props     Chairs   […]

Who rocks the house?? Circa Rocks the House!!

09/17/2009

Austin is a conundrum –trendy and hip, but classic and timeless – cutting edge to throw back, it makes no sense and yet perfect in every way. Theresa from our Circa Austin office captured Austin’s quirky soul in an event Monday night designed to give her guests a taste of what makes Austin so yummy! […]

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Meetings Plus Goes International!

09/17/2009

  On Saturday, August 29th, I finished my 10th day in China where I had been working on preparation for the DIOXIN 2010 conference that Meetings+Plus is planning for next September. This was an awesome experience both professionally and personally. I was blessed to have one extra day after the conference ended to travel to […]

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Light the Night 2009

09/15/2009

PLEASE REGISTER ON THE LINK BELOW!! We’re forming a team for Light The Night Walk (OCTOBER 24, 2009) and we hope you’ll join us. Light The Night Walk is The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s evening walk and fundraising event. It is the nation’s night to pay tribute and bring hope to thousands of people battling […]

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Valero Vista

09/15/2009

I’m very excited to announce that The RK Group will have an Open House today (9/16/09) at the Venues at Valero in the Vista Room. Chef Eric Nelson will prepare amazing dishes!! Many different looks and designs for the holiday season will be displayed. We look forward to showcasing this beautiful venue and also letting […]

We’ll make your wedding dreams come true by helping select the perfect venue

Everyone wants their wedding day to be perfect, and with so many details to juggle, getting it there can often feel overwhelming. Securing the venue can be an especially stressful endeavor, but that’s where we at the RK Group come in. Not only can we take on the catering, décor and design or your special day, we can also secure the perfect venue that fist both your theme and your budget. Whether it’s a beautiful beach, winning winery or a rustic ranch, we have a relationship with a huge variety of venues throughout the Lone Star State, and we’ll help you find the perfect spot for your perfect day.

Austin venues

When it comes to our state’s capital, there’s no shortage of wonderful venues for weddings, with a range of options that ensures there’s something for every taste and preference. One elegant choice is the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, where receptions can be held in the beautiful Grand Lobby, the museum has space as many of two thousand guests! There’s also The Vista on Seward Hill, located in the hills of Austin and offering a gorgeous setting for your wedding day. With stone fireplaces, a glass-lined pavilion, iron candelabras and cascading drapes, it adds romantic ambiance that cannot be replicated. For the ceremony itself, the European-style stone courtyard is an elegant location. Also in Austin is Laguna Gloria at the Contemporary Austin. An award-winning location that has been named one of the best wedding venues in the world by wedding sites like Brides.com and The Knot, Laguna Gloria features Italian-inspired villa and gardens with waterfront views and is a historic landmark.

Houston venues

As the largest city in Texas and the fourth largest city in the country, Houston is sure to have the venue you’re looking for. One great venue is the Gardens of Bammel Lane, a verdant spot in the River Oaks area of Houston. With landscaped grounds full of elegant Victorian lamps and wrought gates, a fountain and a romantic gazebo, there’s no part of the Gardens that isn’t absolutely picturesque. If your wedding is a smaller, more intimate affair, at the Gremillion & Co, Fine Art gallery, you can rent a private event space for your reception and have a collection of contemporary art as the backdrop. Their Main Gallery features moveable walls and track lighting for a unique entertaining area. Houston also boasts the Nouveau Antique Art Venue, in the heart of midtown. With a relaxed atmosphere and the largest private collections of stained glass Tiffany lamps hanging from the ceiling, it has a playful, vintage atmosphere and can easily accommodate two hundred people, along with a band and dance floor.

San Antonio venues

San Antonio isn’t just the state’s top tourist destination, it’s also full of Old World charm, and is also the place we at the RK Group have called home for almost seventy years. Located along the romantic and iconic River Walk is the Jack Guenther Pavilion at the Briscoe Western Art Museum, which offers both indoor and outdoor ceremony and reception options, with a sculpture garden and courtyard and rooms with amazing views of the river. There’s also the McNay Art Museum, a secluded twenty-three-acre site based around the original Spanish Colonial-Revival house. With beautiful grounds that include water features and sprawling gardens for their outdoor venue and an incredible art collection serving as the backdrop of their indoor venue, there’s no spot at the museum that isn’t amazing. For a venue that blends the modern and the historic, Historic Sunset Station features ten different event spaces with a unique look and feel for you to choose from, including the historic Train Depot.

Final Word

There’s no shortage of lovely venues across Texas to host your wedding at, and you can count on the RK Group to work with you and pick the one that best suits your wedding vision and taking away the stress of making sure your wedding day is the best day ever.

The RK Group has a whole stable of talented event planners to make your corporate event a massive success!

There’s plenty of reasons to put on a corporate event, whether it’s a holiday party, team building event, an incentive event for employees, a client appreciation event or whatever else you might have planned for your office, we’ve got you covered. The RK Group has been serving Austin and San Antonio area and beyond for decades, and have everything you need to pull of the perfect corporate event that will have everyone talking about it even long after it’s over. We’ve got the food, the set-up and a whole host of exciting venues. Let us take care of everything to make your corporate event memorable!

We’ve got catering covered

If your corporate event is going to need food, we at the RK Group have you covered with Rosemary’s Catering, based in San Antonio. The foundation and beginning of the RK Group, Rosemary’s Catering has been providing all kinds of events with deliciousness for almost seventy years! Whether your company is a small start-up of twenty or a building of two thousand, Rosemary’s is ready to provide with menus designed around your event – as opposed to a pre-chosen menu – with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for hors d’oeuvres, buffets or even a brunch, Rosemary’s will guide you through the whole process and make sure you get what you’re looking for. Not yet sure what you’re looking for? No worries, there’s even a sample menu online for you to check out and get ideas from, like a lamb quesadilla with feta, mint and green apple, or braised beef short rib with aujus, root vegetables and potato au gratin. We bet your mouth is watering all ready.

Everything your party needs to really pop

Missing some key elements for your corporate event? We can set you up with Illusions Rental and Designs in Austin and San Antonio and they’ll hook your event up with everything from tables, chairs and silverware to tents (both heated and air conditioned), lighting and décor, all customized for your event with the help of Illusion’s amazing design team and can include any kinds of logos and branding of your corporate office. Whether it’s a swanky soiree or a party in the park, Illusions Rental will configure to match and fit the mood. The crew can craft anything from a custom bar to a podium or even a stage! And at the end it’s all disassembled with so little fuss it may as well be magic.

We’ll handle all the details and activities

They say everything’s bigger in Texas, and your corporate event should be no different. You can make it bigger than life with the help of Circa Destination Management, based in Austin and San Antonio. Does your event need gift bags, awards or plaques? Done. Tours, transportation or special travel arrangements? Taken care of with everything from climate-controlled buses, vans, and sedans to limousines. The professionals at Circa have done it all and they do it with style. Circa keeps constant tabs on fun activities and excursions that you can use for your event, including zip-lines, rodeos, zoo outings, private movie shows and so much more! Circa can arrange food tours, brewery tours and make your event an outing to remember while taking care of everything.

Final Word

So take the headache out of your next corporate event and take it to the next level by giving the RK Group a call. With all the amazing, experienced companies on our team, you won’t have to lift a finger to create a high-quality festive event that will have your guests thrilled.  

So you’re in the process of planning a corporate event, and you need it to be perfect, and did say you need everything done from start to finish?  The RK Group has you covered to help you plan your event, whether that event be a meeting, convention, gala, fundraiser, or any other special event you may have in mind. Let us start from the beginning or take it away at any point you need us because we have the contacts and established relationships with entertainers, vendors, and presenters that you will want to have at your special event. At The RK Group, we know how to deliver just what you need from decorating you space, to providing food and drink, and of course the bringing all the entertainment.

  • With the ability to supply you with everything you can think of when it comes to corporate event catering anywhere in between San Antonio to Austin, Texas, our catering company, Rosemary’s Catering will sure to please your group’s palate. But, before you can dive into fine dining, you will want to be sure you have consulted with Illusions Rentals & Designs because they can transform your space, making it complete with any theme, décor, or entertainment that you may want for your big event. We know you will need tables and chairs for all your staff, but what about all the little extras to make it really stand out? Perhaps you need a chandelier, unless of course a mechanical bull would be a better reflection of your theme.
  • When planning for a wedding or corporate event from San Antonio to Austin, you will want a unique floral arrangement to impress all your guests or staff members. Making the right statement is easy with help from our partners from Flair Floral. From a stunning backdrop, or just the right centerpiece on every table, we can easily express your sentiments with flowers. The RK Group would love to handle all the details of your next event. Turn to us for everything from invitations, to providing valet service, and capturing all those special moments with a photographer.
  • Have you thought about how you wish to transport you guests to your corporate event? Well, The RK Group can arrange for your total transportation needs whether you need a limo, van, or bus for all your staff and guests. The RK Group can beautifully make you event a success that will be remembered for years to come. To book your next event, call the event planning team at 210-225-4535.

When it comes to corporate catering and event planning services in the Austin, Texas area, there are plenty of companies to choose from. A simple search for “corporate catering Austin TX” will provide 1,570,000 results alone on Google (as of this writing)! Finding the best one for your event can seem like a daunting task, to say the least. That’s why the RK Group stands behind Rosemary’s Catering.

Austin Catering by Rosemary’s Catering

Rosemary’s Catering, an RK Group Company serving the Austin, Houston, and San Antonio, Texas areas, stands out from other caterers by using over 70 years of experience in using innovative menus where every dish is customized per event as needed, the most quality ingredients are used, and focusing the utmost attention to details that have customers consistently calling Rosemary’s Catering back for ALL corporate catering and events.

They will help you soar in good taste with buffets and interactive culinary stations for small or large soirees, seated breakfast, lunch and/or dinner for meetings and presentations, reception fare, and passed hors d’oeuvres and beverages for receptions, to name just a few.

“No event is too big or too intimate for our Austin team, and no detail goes unnoticed by these professionals, led by General Manager Neil Fuselier and Executive Chef William Ragsdale. Austinites and Hill Country residents have been reaching out to Rosemary’s Catering for more than 30 years, and depend on our groundbreaking ideas for everything from the spontaneous and outrageous to the ceremonial. We are the exclusive and/or preferred caterer at more than 75 venues in the area and are experts at organizing office parties, too. In addition, the Austin team manages all event operations at The Story of Texas Café, the Bullock Texas State History Museum, Texas Expresso, the Texas State Capitol Grill, and the University of Texas Etter-Harbin Alumni Center.”

Rosemary’s Catering operates in Austin, San Antonio, and Houston, but for those looking to organize a corporate catering event specifically in Austin, or have more questions, can reach them by calling the Austin Office at 512-456-9913, by sending an e-mail to sales@therkgroup.com, or by filling out the contact form.

The RK Group can’t wait to get started helping you plan and cater your next event! Let us know how we can help with your party, reception, wedding, corporate or charitable function.

Whether you prefer simple and elegant or bold and luxurious, centerpieces can add that extra touch of detail and color that brightens the room and creates the ambiance for the whole event.  There are several tips and tricks for choosing the perfect centerpieces and we’ve listed a few below.
 

Choosing the Appropriate Centerpiece

  • Think about cost
    •  The beauty of centerpieces is the wide array of options! Whether you’re looking for something over the top that’s overflowing with beautiful flowers or maybe a bit more simple, you have to set a budget first. An abundance of  flowers may not be in your budget, but you can still have a beautiful centerpiece composed of candles in mason jars or a small flower floating in a glass bowl can create an amazing effect with a small budget. If you have a larger budget, get creative and mix different arrangement sizes and styles to create an interesting room. The sky is the limit!
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  • What affect are you trying to create
    • Are you looking for elegance? Or amusement? Or boldly outrageous? Decide what inspires you before you head out to meet with the florist. Pictures, colors, budget and theme are all important to have on hand. The affect you are trying to create can dictate the type of flowers, the colors, the style, the size and the overall look of the whole arrangement.  
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  •  Complement the colors in the room
    •  Centerpieces should flow nicely with table linens and your event’s décor. When thinking about elegance and simplicity, choose bold colored linens or a bold colored centerpiece, but be sure not to use both. When two bold colors are competing the effect can be overwhelming and end up clashing. However, if you are hosting an event where you want to be amusing and entertaining, then go to town with the combinations and really wow your guests! Don’t be afraid to try out color combinations you’ve never seen before, you never know what might look perfect together.
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  • Choose wisely
    • When is it too much? Is the centerpiece so overwhelming that it consumes the entire table? Does the centerpiece look complete? Is it well balanced? These are all things that a florist can help you answer. Trust your vendors and their knowledge about balance and colors. If you’ve decided to handle the centerpieces yourself, do your research! Use blogs and sites like pinterest to really get a good idea of what works well at an event similar to what you’ll be throwing.
 
If you’re looking for design expertise when it comes to beautiful centerpieces, look no further than Flair Floral. Our team creates some of the most interesting and stunning pieces you’ll see. With access to a wide array of vases, props, candles, flowers and more, they will come up with a beautiful selection of centerpiece ideas to fit the look, style, theme and budget of your event. If you need inspiration, take a look at our pinterest page – it’s full of it! 
 

 

All of the centerpieces in this post have been created by Flair. Start with a price range and they will work with you from there! 
 
Happy Planning!

“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.”
– Luciano Pavarotti and William Wright, from Pavarotti, My Own Story
With the holidays approaching, Pavarotti’s pleasure will be a more frequent reality for people across the globe. In every country people of varying ethnicity will stop for just a little while to enjoy the different holidays they celebrate. Families and friends come together, passed loved ones are remembered, and employers share the wealth and good cheer with their teams. Holiday parties abound! And of course, every good party has to have… Great Food!
With so much focus on family and where we come from, the holidays are a great time to give homage to one of our favorite food themes – Go local, but go global. It such a lovely contradiction when you think about it…
Go Local

Beautiful buffet using local, fresh
ingredients by Rosemary’s Catering

There is a huge push in the world of food to use local vendors and flavor. Farmers Markets have found new life across the nation.
Grass-fed beef from local ranches is sought after. More and more restaurants and catering companies are opting to purchase from nearby growers rather than large suppliers that send out mass quantities of processed food. But it’s not just where the food comes from, it’s the type of foods and how they taste. Large groups who gather in different cities across the nation are sampling local fare wherever they land. They want to taste the culture. For your event, incorporating a menu that is unique to your region ties your guests together with food that that everyone knows and enjoys.


Go Global

Croquembouche by Rosemary’s Catering

While we live in the same area and know the same foods, celebrating where we come from is just as comforting. For many, the holidays are one of the few times a year that we pull out traditional recipes from the countries of our forefathers. The French have their Bûchede Noël, a jellyroll-type genoise cake that is frosted and decorated as a yule log. The Germans have Weihnachtsgan, or the Christmas Goose, prepared with wine and stuffed with vegetables like our turkeys. At Hanukkah, fried foods like potato pancakes called “Latkas” are popular to symbolize the oil that burned for eight days in the Temple.   Every culture is so rich in traditional foods, that maybe your holiday party could highlight the popular ones from several parts of the globe.

So how do these two themes blend so beautifully? Use local food to create a global experience. Or cook a traditional dish with local flair. The possibilities are endless.
At Rosemary’s Catering, we love this kind of mash-up, and would be thrilled to help you create the perfect, unique menu. We can blend Hanukkah with a south Texas flavor by adding peppers and cilantro to the traditional latkas and present them with delicious, homemade sauces – your guests will swoon. Or, turn the Bûche de Noël into smaller, plated desserts to serve to every guest at your event. Looking for something a little less traditional? We’ll take the traditional holiday comfort foods and add a modern twist. Your guests’ pallets will be craving more and more of the unique flavor combinations and exciting presentation from our extraordinary culinary team. We can’t wait to help make your holiday festivities (large or small) delicious.
“Food is out common ground, a universal experience.”
– James Beard
For more Holiday inspiration, take a look at our Holiday Parties Pinterest board! And, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook.
Below are some great links to inspire your inner holiday-globe-trotter:
 
Happy Holiday Season!

It’s been a while since the last time you heard from us. We have been busy working on incredible events and parties and, of course, having fun doing it! 

As you can tell with the steadily climbing “will it ever go below 100”-temperatures we’re all feeling, summer is in full swing! And, you know what that means… summer party time! There’s still time for a summer celebration, outdoor cocktail hour, picnic with friends, outdoor movie night, over-the-top birthday celebration or even an end of summer swaray.

We’ve put together a series of posts that you can use for summer parties (hey, we still have a month left!), or even for ideas throughout the year. Tune in every week for our newest tip and trick, and don’t hesitate to call us if you need catering, rentals, floral or just to chat!

This week, we have the perfect tips for throwing an outdoor movie party all are sure to enjoy. If you are like most of us and have a tight budget this summer, don’t worry about spending a lot of money on food or equipment. All you need are a few household items, some time for planning, and of course our tips and ideas.

Picture source: http://www.eventlucky.com

Time and Location
I know what most of you are thinking…..an outdoor party in the summer? In Texas? Well the early evening (say around 7:00 PM) is the perfect time of the day for an outdoor event. As for the location, your backyard is ideal. Try to find a clear, flat area where there is little lighting. You can use candles, flashlights, or other forms of minimal lighting so guests can move around during the movie. Spray down the area ahead of time with bug repellent to ward off pesky bugs or other critters.

Equipment
An inexpensive and easy way to show a move outdoors is to simply bring out your big screen TV and a DVD player. If you are willing to spend some money, there are businesses that rent out projectors and sound equipment for an inexpensive, hourly rate. For the screen, you can always use the side of your house or even a white bed sheet and a couple of PVC pipes. 
Seating

1-300x1981
Picture source: http://ambianceandarmoires.blogspot.com

You don’t need to go out and buy expensive lawn furniture or rent chairs. All you need are a few blankets and maybe some lawn chairs you have in the garage. Just make sure your guests are comfortable enough to enjoy the movie. Want to spruce it up with some fancy lounge furniture? Contact Illusions Rentals and Designs! 

Food and Refreshments 
Stick to the basics when it comes to food. Offer your guests popcorn, chips, dips, and other quick snacks. If you are willing to cook a little make sandwiches, cheese sticks, pizza bites, or other finger foods your guests will enjoy. As for refreshments, keep it simple and serve water, lemonade, or tea. Looking to make it a bit more of an event-to-remember? Contact us and we can whip up some movie-worthy, innovative treats for your event. 
The Movie
Choose a movie most of your guests will enjoy. If your entertaining mostly children, stick to a Disney classic. If your guests are a mixture of children and adults, try a more family friendly movie. Remember, the movie is the most important part of the party so choose wisely.

The fun doesn’t have to end once the sun goes down. An outdoor movie party is the perfect event for a cool summer night and a great way to bring together family and friends of all ages. Just remember to keep it simple and above all have fun and enjoy these summer months. After all they will be over before you know it! 

Picture Source: http://9gag.com/

Check out our Pinterest Board for more ideas on planning the perfect outdoor movie party! While you are there make sure to look at our other boards for more tips and ideas for your upcoming event!

Oh, and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook. The RK Group, Rosemary’s Catering and Illusions Rentals and Designs have a page. Great tips and information!

Hope you enjoyed this weeks summer party idea. More to come soon! HAPPY SUMMER! 

Hello faithful blog followers, it has been far too long… There’s a good reason, I promise! We have been busy this summer, and I’m not just talking about all the fabulous parties we’ve been a part of (there were some great ones!). We have some exciting news to share and I hope you will all be as thrilled as we are…

Rosemary’s Catering is now OPEN in HOUSTON! And we’re very excited, can you tell?? Some of you may have read the blog post a few month’s ago about our involvement with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and you may be scratching your head. For the past few years we have been catering parties in Houston, but working from our San Antonio headquarters. We are now thrilled that we actually have an office and a staff in Houston. So, all you Houstonians, give us a call, we’re ready to caterer your next event. Already have a venue or looking to do something at a ranch or home? Don’t fret, we’ll travel where ever you need us to be. Our doors are open! Need something? Call Donia Blossom at 713.396.0551.

Illusions Rentals and Designs is now OPEN in AUSTIN! Rosemary’s Catering, an RK Group Company, had been an Austin resident for many many years, officing out of the UT Alumni Center and servicing many venues across town. It was only natural for us to introduce our rental company, Illusions Rentals and Designs, into the market. We’ve put together an amazing team and are currently setting up a great warehouse space and showroom. Just like San Antonio, our Austin office will have a large supply of tents, tables, linens, chairs, china, flatware, decor, lighting, flooring and more. Our design experts can make an event come to life with their amazing visions. Our doors are now open! Call us today at 512.610.2880.

Oh, and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook. The RK Group and Illusions Rentals and Designs each have a page. Great tips and information!

Happy Tuesday, we hope you all had a great long weekend! Come and visit us soon.

Happy Friday everyone! It’s almost time for the weekend and I thought that you might need something to fill your time. That’s why this week’s post will be all about my favorite resources for wedding planning. I’m talking blogs, magazines, inspiration sources, etc. This can easily and quickly take over your time, so please be warned before reading this post…

Let me start by saying I have a magazine problem. I am addicted and I readily admit it. Yes, I know you can get the same information on the magazine’s website, but there’s just something about being able to flip through the pages and pull our – or dog ear – the things I like (why did the kindle commercial just pop into my head…). Call me old school, but there’s just something I love about the design, it’s inspirational to me. I was buying bridal magazines long before I ever got engaged, I just love all the tips and tricks. There are things you can use in everyday life and I love that. Don’t be afraid to think outside your city or “region” either. Just because it’s not a city publication doesn’t mean it won’t have good ideas for your big day.

Here are a few of my favorites:

  • The Knot Texas Magazine
  • San Antonio Weddings Magazine
  • San Antonio Wedding Guide
  • Austin Wedding Day
  • Austin Wedding Guide
  • Houston Brides
  • Weddings in Houston
  • Bridal Guide
  • Brides
  • Weddings Unveiled
  • Martha Stewart Weddings

Now, that’s not to say that I don’t ever get online. In fact, it’s the opposite… I’m addicted. The great ideas that you can find on blogs are unrivaled. I tend to be attracted to blogs / websites that aren’t also magazines. The publications above have great websites, but I’m looking for something different when I’m surfing online.

Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Style Me Pretty – This blog is full of inspiration in the form of real weddings and products / services. It’s broken into sections based on regions. Don’t worry, there is indeed a Texas section. Peruse them all, you never know, you might find the best ideas from a wedding in Australia.
  • Once Wed – Great resource for DIY ideas, vendors, real weddings and even a whole section devoted to pre-owned wedding dresses. Can you say jackpot?
  • 100 Layer Cake – Surf this blog and find inspiration shoots, great vendors, sneak previews (BHLDN, Fall 2011 anyone?) and of course, DIY ideas.
  • Green Weddings Shoes – Real weddings, vendors, galleries, honeymoons and more.
  • Ruffled Blog – Vendors, inspiration, galleries and pre-owned wedding items.
  • The Knot – Of course, a go to for all brides. The Knot has a ton of resources, ideas, real weddings and vendors to choose from. It also offers budget tools, checklists, inspiration boards and more. Be careful, they’ll constantly remind you of the number of days you have left. I got the seven month reminder this week and it kind of scared me… so much to do!
  • Pinterest – This is not a wedding blog, but it’s full of inspiration for every part of your life. I am fully addicted to this site. You can surf the web or have people surf for you to create “boards” of full of things you love. Its a great way to organize your online favorites. It’s a site you have to be invited to join, but don’t let that deter you. You can request one and will usually get it quickly.

One more fun resource for San Antonio Brides. A relatively new concept and definitely new to the Alamo City, the San Antonio Wedding Library is a membership based upscale boutique library where you have access to all sorts of resources. I haven’t had the chance to check it out yet, but hope to soon!

And finally, don’t forget to fully utilize your vendors. Whether it’s a weddings planner or catering manager, they will all sorts of ideas to make your day exactly how you want it.

Happy Planning!
Jessica

Have I mentioned that our employees are AMAZING?

In late June, the RK Group’s very own Elaine Dagen, vice president of Meetings Plus, competed in the National Senior Games in Houston. There were more than 10,000 athletes participating from all 50 U.S. states as well as Canada. She represented Texas in the track events where she won two silver medals in the 1500M and 4X100M relay and one gold medal in the 800M race. For three days she was inspired to do her best in the company of athletes who were in their 80’s and 90’s, still competing and looking GREAT! The competition is split up by age in five year increments. Everyone from 50 – 100 + years old is eligible to participate after qualifying.

The next one is in Cleveland in 2013 — so start training! Then Minneapolis in 2015.

This is just one example of the great things our amazing employees do! We are so proud of you Elaine!

Elaine with her Gold medal (#313)

Meetings Plus, an RK Group company, operates as a full service meeting and event planning company. They put together amazing events around the nation that range from awards ceremonies to conventions to trade shows and beyond. It’s no wonder Elaine is such a great athlete and competitor, she is always on the go putting on great events for her clients. It’s amazing to see the work they do. As we always say, “Attitude is Everything.”

The caterer… Obviously this is going to be a very biased post because, let’s face it, The RK Group is catering in San Antonio. Yes, there are other great caterers to choose from, but we’ve been catering for 65 years, it’s something we know, something we know very well.

I’m a foodie. I love good, interesting, innovative menus, a new spin on a traditional favorite or just something that makes people stop and say “wow, that was delicious!”. With that said, it’s obvious that the menu at our wedding would be a very important factor in my mind. If you’re like me and my fiance, you can think of the menu as an added decoration or piece of entertainment. Food can be fun, memorable and the highlight of the night.

After starting in my position with The RK Group just a few months ago, I immediately started listening to what the chef offered, talking to him about things that are trending in the food world, asking him what he thinks really makes a party special, etc. Now I know that I have an added advantage here, but that’s why I’m going to give you all the pointers you need to help you be successful!

Executive Chef Eric Nelson mans the nitrogen ice cream bar

As with any other vendor, you need to do your research. Think about it, if you schedule a meeting with a caterer because they are all the rage, but they really specialize in Mexican food and that’s not what you want chances are, even if you get them to try something a little different and more to your liking, they won’t hit a home run. You need to be able to trust in the skills of the caterer.

Here are some tips:

  1. Schedule a consultation towards the beginning of your planning. Many people don’t realize that once you add everything up, catering can easily become one of the priciest parts of your wedding. By having the meeting early, you can help plan your budget accordingly.
  2. Research what you want. I’m not just talking about researching caterers, though of course do this. Find reviews, talk to friends that have gotten married or have parties often, talk to your office, I’m sure you will find plenty of resources. Don’t stop there though, research what kind of food or presentation you want. Often, this will lead you to the right caterer.
  3. Think about what food you like. Go into the meeting with an idea of menu items that you would like to see. That could be the trending dish of the moment or an old family favorite. Whatever it is, don’t be scared to ask. Often times, the chef or catering manager will be able to suggest new or unique ways for presentations or twists on old favorites.
  4. When comparing bids, review them closely. What I mean by this specifically, is that every cater has a different way of structuring their bids. When you’re reviewing them, be mindful that some caterers may include food, service, rentals, etc in one price while others might break them out separately. This might not seem like a big deal until you don’t look at the big picture and think that one caterer is bidding $10 per person and one is bidding $40.
  5. Have an idea of what style you want. There are so many: heavy hors d’oeuvres, buffet, food stations, interactive stations, seated dinner, etc.

I had my initial consultation with The RK Group for catering last week. It was strange putting myself in the shoes of a client. Though, let me tell you, I was thrilled with the result. My catering manager (and party throwing extraordinaire) is Dawn Dawes. She is incredibly knowledgeable about all of the most popular San Antonio venues. She walked us through a typical layout of the space, what works best, how many tables we should plan to have where, etc. It was more than just catering – and that’s the BIG benefit to coming to The RK Group, you can get everything taken care of at once and without a headache. I broke some of the rules and didn’t go in with a clear idea of what I wanted (but again, remember I know the chef) and just gave him free reign on the menu with a little direction of our likes and dislikes. I trust him fully to bring something wonderful to the table.

I encourage you to be very open minded. I came in with an idea that they later told me would probably not work out as well as I was hoping. They quickly suggested new options that sounded wonderful and I was back on track.

Just a few reasons I think The RK Group is a winning pick for brides (trying to be unbiased here):

  1. The experience of the team along is unrivaled. We have the best of the best here and they know what they’re doing. It doesn’t begin and end with the menu, they help you with the layout, the details and everything in between.
  2. The quality of the food. Our executive chef Eric Nelson and his team are extraordinary. They are amazing at coming up with new, innovative menu options. They can even take a family recipe and build it into the menu. I continue to be amazed by them.
  3. The service. This is one area where we always shine. Our team is impeccable and understands the importance of efficient, quality service. They are experts at what they do. We stand for the best and that’s what we continue to deliver.
  4. The overall planning experience. If you want stress free, this is your place. Did I mention one-stop-shop. That means you only have to coordinate one vendor for everything from catering to linens to china to tables to floral and more.
  5. Our team knows San Antonio. Still looking for a venue? Don’t be afraid to ask for suggestions. Our team has great relationships with venues throughout San Antonio, Austin and the Hill Country. We can provide you a list of great options.

This is the fun part. Like I said, imagine the menu as another piece of the entertainment. Your guests will be thrilled to have good food that they maybe don’t see everyday. Call (210.223.2680) or email (sales@therkgroup.com) our sales team today and schedule a consultation to start talking about your big day.

Coming soon: Online resources I love.

Happy Planning!
Jessica

Hello blogosphere! Oh, how I’ve neglected you these past few weeks. My sincerest apologies – life has been a bit hectic!
Today, I thought I would talk about something simple that will save yourself the headaches and stress that sometimes comes with planning a wedding (or any event for that matter). For years, I have been an avid watcher of all sorts of shows dealing with weddings and events (when my fiance proposed he later said “Now you actually have a reason to watch the shows and read the magazines!”) so I thought I had a pretty good idea of what goes into making a wedding successful. I found out pretty quickly that I might not make it to my walk down the aisle due to exhaustion and stress if I didn’t get some help.
Bend the Light Photography
So, I have two (fabulous) words for you… Wedding Planner (insert sigh of relief here).  I never envisioned myself having one. I am a ‘hands-on’ type of person (ok, slight control freak) that likes to touch everything and is very reluctant to give up control. But, in this case, it was probably the best decision I’ve made yet.
What can a wedding planner do for you?
Oh, where do I begin. Remember, this is their job which means they know weddings inside and out. They can help you make a budget, keep you on track with a detailed timeline, suggest great ideas that you may never have thought of and give you great ideas for vendors – not to mention they may be able to help you even more with all of the personal relationships that they have with these vendors. And have you thought of the day of activities? Who is going to be setting everything up for you? Mom? I don’t think so. While that might sound like a great idea, really think about if that will turn out the way you want. Your wedding planner can be like a great girlfriend with the best knowledge ever – someone that you can bounce ideas off of and feel confident that the job is getting done with accuracy and your vision in mind. They are there to keep the day running whole making your life a little less stressful. Believe me, they can do a lot. And, like I said, this is their job, think about how much you have invested in your job and that’s what they know about weddings. Intrigued yet?
What if I don’t have a huge budget?
Well let me start by saying that I am a very budget conscious bride who is not going to spend a huge amount on our wedding. That’s just my vision, I have nothing against those who go all out – send me an invite, I’d love to see the neat things you think of! So you might be thinking, why would you spend the money on a wedding planner? Well, strangely enough a wedding planner can likely save you money in the end. With their vendor connections and knowledge they have gained through years in the business, they will be your best bargaining tool. Sometimes they will even have partnerships with other vendors that might save you a percentage if you use them. It’s a win win I promise. Plus, they will often create a realistic budget for you and help guide you to stay on track. HUGE plus in my book. I knew nothing about how the budget should be divided and I am well known to veer off track if I want something.
How do I find a wedding planner?
As with every other vendor, it’s all about chemistry. With a wedding planner this is extremely important. You don’t want to dread their calls or hate every idea they have. Really research who might be the right fit for you. I found mine after I met with photographers that I really loved. They were very complimentary of my wedding planner and after hearing my vision, they highly recommended her. I trusted their judgement because they had the right style and knew my vision.
How do I know I’m making the right decision?
The interview, it’s important. Make sure that you ask them the hard questions. To make sure that you are happy with their answers. There’s nothing wrong with asking them about vendors or ideas they might have. That’s the only way to know if they’re right for you. Make sure that you really evaluate if this person has the right feel and personality for you. Again, it’s about the chemistry. If you don’t feel like this person could end up being a great friend, chances are it’s not a good fit.
Everyone needs help, trust me. Especially if you have a lot going on at work and in the rest of your life, you don’t want it to feel like you have a second job when you get home. This should be something you enjoy!
Below, I’ve listed a few people that we’ve worked with and my own personal wedding planner extraordinaire. This by no means all of the wonderful talent in San Antonio, if you have someone you love, send them my way, we would love to meet them!
Wedding Planners in San Antonio:
Maria Morgan – Wedding Planners, Inc.
Betty Parish – Wedding Planners, Inc.
Diana Boucher – I Do! Wedding Consulting
Brandi Dunagan – Country Sugar Events (For anything DIY, she’s your girl and my personal wedding planner so I especially love her!) 
Things in the planning world are starting to pick up. Next week: How to choose your caterer and what to expect. Plus my favorite blogs and online resources. 
 
Happy Planning! 
Jessica
I want to start by letting you know that we have an AMAZING ad in the upcoming issue (Fall / Winter 2011) of The Knot Texas Magazine. This was even more exciting to me because that means that I received multiple issues of the magazine this week… before it even hits shelves. Sneak peak… It’s a good one!!
Now on to the dress. I’ve now entered into the nine months out category. And, let me tell you, the list is getting long. I spend most of my nights reading magazines or hunting for the perfect ideas online. During the 9 to 11 month period, most timelines say to start your dress shopping… among many, many other tasks. So for the past few weekends my mom, grandmother (or Mimi as I call her), future Mother in Law and best friend have been trekking to stores all across central Texas.
Here are a few things I’ve learned:
  • Do your research on the individual stores. Once you have researched the stores you want to go to, I REALLY encourage you to look at the individual brands of dresses that they carry before you go. That way, you can walk into the store and know which dresses you are interested in. Trust me, this will make your consultant love you and it will give you the most opportunities during your appointment.
  • SET YOUR BUDGET BEFORE YOU GO! It doesn’t do any good to try on dresses that are outside of your budget. It might seem like something fun – try on the really expensive dress just to play princess for a minute – trust me, DON’T DO IT! Unless you (or your mother) are willing to buy this dress if you fall in love with it, it’s important not to tempt yourself. Once you fall in love with a dress, nothing will ever look as good to you.
  • Use your first appointment to get the experience and figure out what you like. I was really surprised to learn what style looked good on me. I tried on dresses that I never imagined I would like or look good in and I loved them. Go in with an open mind.
  • Trust your consultant. This is what they do day in and day out. Trust their judgment and consider their opinion closely. Yes, they don’t know you very well, but they know wedding dresses better then you ever will. If your consultant brings you a dress that you hate on the hanger, just try it out you might be pleasantly surprised. 
  • Give yourself plenty of time. When they say start shopping at 9 to 11 months, they mean it. A typical dress order takes between four and six months and then you have to get alterations – usually about another six weeks. Plan accordingly and make sure that you are on top of this. You don’t want to incur any added costs for expediting.
  • Trunk shows can be your best friend. Though few and far between, shops will usually offer anywhere from 10 to 15 percent off all merchandise during trunk shows. You will also have the opportunity to preview the newest line of dresses. Be warned that the dresses are runway size. If you’ve been to a store and they have a trunk show coming up for a designer you love, don’t be afraid to ask them to order specific dresses for you.
  • Sample sales. These can be a great deal with some dresses being 50 percent or more off the sticker price. Be very careful, though. With the wear and tear on the dress, it might cost you more in the end just to get it fixed. Not to mention, the dresses have been stretched and stepped on and sometimes even ripped open at the zipper. Just use your best judgment here.
  • Take a camera. Or a phone with a camera. It’s likely that your dresses won’t all be at the same store, a camera will help you remember which one’s you liked. Designate someone you trust and try to get the back and the front of the dress. If you like a specific veil – or the look – try it with every dress to get the best comparison.
  • Don’t let the sizes scare you. In the bridal world, dresses run small, I mean really small. Sample sizes are usually a 10, which translates into about a 6 or 8 depending on the designer. There are times you will have to use your imagination to visualize how the dress will really fit. Don’t take this as a message that you need to eat nothing but salads for the next nine months, not true. If you find the right dress, the fit will look great on you.
  • Other cities. Don’t forget about alterations. If you buy a dress and get them to alter it and say you’re in San Antonio and they’re in Austin, be prepared to make many trips for fittings.
  • Don’t discount your mom’s or grandmother’s dress. Seamstresses can do wonders. If they are willing to let you have your way with the dress, take it to get looked at and see what you can dream up.
  • Have fun! This is supposed to be an experience that you will remember for a lifetime. Make a day of it, go to lunch and bond with the girls (or boys) you love.
Here are some of the stores I visited in San Antonio and Austin. There are many, many more, I was just looking for specific dresses and designers. I’m keeping the list short – two per city.
San Antonio:
  • Julian Gold. Look here for everything designer. They provide the whole experience and the consultants are wonderful. There’s a reason they have been so successful for so many years. My consultant was Barbie she’s wonderful.
  • Bridal Salon of San Antonio. I am visiting this store this weekend. They also have some higher end designer dresses and some lower price points.
Austin:
  •  Serendipity. A really great store with many dress options in a variety of prices. I really enjoyed my experience here and found many potential options for “the one”.
  •  Unbridaled. This was much more of a boutique, which I liked. They had many designers that other stores didn’t carry. If you are looking for something a bit different, definitely try this shop. They are very helpful and great to work with.
Off the beaten path:
  • Etsy.com. I know I’ve mentioned my love of Etsy in another post. Don’t discount the fact that there are many talented designers on this website and you might be able to custom order or find the dress of your dreams.
Lower cost options:
  • If you are strapped for cash but want a designer dress, visit preownedweddingdresses.com. This is a site for people to post dresses they are trying to sell. Don’t be scared – many of these dresses were purchased and never worn for various reasons and you can get them for more than half off in some cases.
Coming soon:
Wedding blogs I love.
To get a planner or not to get a planner?
Vendors: how do I choose?!
Happy shopping!!
Jessica
Oh, where to begin…
Your venue is one of the first things – if not THE first thing – that you should check off your list. It will often set the tone for your entire wedding – everything from the dress to the décor to the type of food you serve. Venue shopping takes A LOT of time because it’s really one of those things that you have to go see yourself. There we so many places I fell in love with on the internet and once I got to them, I quickly fell out of love. The more you visit, the more your individual style will be apparent.
I always knew I wanted an outdoor wedding. I envisioned the beautiful hills of the Texas Hill Country as my backdrop. I searched the hills in every direction possible, and this included several locations in Austin, and soon came to realize maybe it wasn’t what I really wanted. Though it very well might be for you… Here are some of my favorite Austin and Hill Country venues:
Laguna Gloria
  • Riven Rock Ranch: Beautiful Hill Country views will win your heart.
  • Vista West Ranch: A ranch-like setting with spectacular facilities and views of the hills.
  • Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center: Wildflowers are my weakness. This is a unique venue that you have to explore.
  • Mercury Hall: Set in the heart of Austin, but with privacy and charm. Many options and looks await exploring with this charming space.
  • AMOA Laguna Gloria: Totally stole my heart when I looked at this venue. There are multiple areas for the ceremony and reception. There are water views (lake), an amphitheater and architectural details that will take you back decades. Not to mention the history. Go visit for the art and the story, and take a nice stroll around the outdoor space and be prepared to fall in love.
  • The Bob Bullock History Museum: If you are a history and museum junkie, you will love the feel of this venue. With beautiful design and attention to detail, your reception will be filled with history and elegance.
  • Texas Old Town: If you’re looking for a place that screams “Texas” this might be it. Set in the Hill Country, the outdoor and indoor spaces will easily meet your expectations.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking… “I want to use The RK Group for everything, do they go all the way to the Hill Country and Austin??” Well, you’re in luck; we have a whole team in Austin that is happy to assist you with everything from tents to tables to china and catering. All the wonderful services we offer in San Antonio are available to our northern neighbors as well.
San Antonio is filled with unique venues – some with tons of culture, others with a modern edge and even some with views that will not disappoint. Here are a few of my favorites:
Sunset Station
The Bushnell
Pearl Stables
Southwest School of Art – inside the chapel
Southwest School of Art – the gardens
  •  Historic Sunset Station: Talk about history, this venue was an old train station. You have your choice of multiple depots all with different looks. The parking is convenient and it’s close to downtown, so out of town guests can have easy access. I urge you to check it out!
  •  The Venues at Valero: Did you just say “Huh? For a wedding? Isn’t that an office?” It’s beautiful and the views are even MORE beautiful! There’s a wonderful outdoor area and an impressive indoor area complete with views of the hills. Take a look; you won’t be disappointed.
  • Pearl Stables: Located in the heart of the amazing Pearl Brewery, this venue is an old horse stable that has been turned into a magnificent space. It’s full historic mementos and the setting is spectacular. The building is completely round, giving the main room a unique feel.
  • McNay Art Museum: I love this venue. It has history, it’s beautiful and you can say that Monet and Picasso were at your wedding. 
  • San Antonio Museum of Art: Again, awesome space. Set on the banks of the San Antonio River Walk, this is a venue that can really be customized to your liking and you’ll have amazing art work to look at all night long.
  • UIW Sky Room: Talk about views – that’s all your guests will be talking about. You can see the whole city from here.
  • The Bushnell: This is a venue to remember, for sure. The setting is unlike anything in San Antonio. You will be able to see the whole city -360 degrees of it – from the top of this building. It’s located in historic Monte Vista, and will not disappoint.
  • Southwest School of Art: Probably one of the most popular venues in town and there’s a reason for that. It’s spectacular. Enveloped in a garden on the banks of the San Antonio River in downtown San Antonio. Overflowing with history and a very special feeling. WARNING: If you want this venue, be prepared to book AT LEAST one year out. And you can probably forget about April and early May – Fiesta Arts Fair takes place and the grass needs time to grow back.
There are SO many more spectacular places, this is just a sampling of what I looked at. If you know of any you loved and really want to share, please please send them my way.
Happy hunting!
Jessica

Today was such a big day in the wedding world that I have decided to forgo the venue post until next week (I hope that’s ok with you all). Today, I would like to talk about some great tools and tricks to make your life easier while planning the big day. The Royal Wedding is all the news stations can talk about – I secretly, or maybe not so secretly, love it. I mean, what girl doesn’t like a good love story? Especially one that ends with a regular girl turning into a princess, oh the fairy tale. We’re in the wedding and events business so, of course, many of us have been following this very closely. I have found so many great tips and I just couldn’t wait another week to share them.

Being in marketing, one of my favorite websites is Mashable, a site that gives all sorts of news and tools relating to social media and the web. Now, you might be thinking: “Social media and my wedding, what? Are you crazy?” I would answer that with yes, I am, but please think beyond Facebook and Twitter and realize that there are tons of great sites that can help! I’ve listed some below that I have used and some that I have found, but not used in depth yet. Take a look:

  • COLOURlovers: A great resource for one of the first steps, picking your color scheme. Once that step is finished, a whole new world of planning will open up to you.
  • Etsy: Ok, let me take a deep breath because this is going to be loud… I LOVE ETSY! I always have, even before I was engaged. That being said, they have great wedding resources. If you are slightly offbeat or like things that are a bit different, go to this site and explore. It might take a while, but it’s totally worth it. Also, sign up for their wedding newsletter, you won’t regret it. Check out their great blog too.
  • Google: Specifically, google weddings. Did you know there was such a thing? Neither did I until I happened upon it. You can create websites, edit photos, use googledocs to keep the budget in line, shareery soon.Screen shot 2011-04-29 at 2.06.16 PM
  • Amazon: What are you looking forward to most when you think of your wedding? Gifts of course, well I mean that and being married to the love of your life. Personally, I am an Amazon, junkie. If I lived closer to the home base I would probably buy all my groceries from them, not that I can’t now. Amazon has a great tool called a Universal Wishlist. This great tool lets you add gifts from all sorts of sites to one central location. I’m not to the registry point yet, but once I get there, this will be used, guaranteed.Screen shot 2011-04-29 at 2.09.13 PM
  • Apps: I speak iPhone, so sorry blackberry and Android users, I don’t know how helpful I will be to you in this section. Take a look at: the Wedding Wire app for all of your organizational needs, Brides Magazine also has a pretty useful app, as does The Knot – Wedding 101 and The Wedding Dress LookBook.Screen shot 2011-04-29 at 2.11.00 PM
  • Hard core social media lover: Do you find yourself constantly on Twitter or Facebook and feel naked when your phone or laptop or iPad is suddenly nowhere to be found? Then this might be the perfect thing for you. A writer for Mashable had the brilliant idea – he’s like you – of incorporating Facebook and Twitter as sort of a mobile guest book. Simply create a hashtag and tweet away. Go a step further and use TwitterFall if your guests are like you. You might just creat some cheap entertainment with this idea.

Tired yet? Don’t forget you have to plan the honeymoon!

  • YourTour: Again, suggested by Mashable and looks like a very helpful site to plan a multi-destination trip.
  • Stay.com: Personal travel guide? Yes, please! Build your own according to what you and your betrothed love to do.
  • Kayak: Best site for comparison shopping. Sign up for their eblast to learn about the great deals that surface.
  • Apps: There are WAY too many to list here. More to come on this.

Now, this is just a small sampling of all the great resources out there for you. I am a blog-a-holic (did I just make up a word?) so I will be dedicating a whole post to my favorites in the weeks to come. If there’s anything you want to specifically learn about, let me know and I will dig around. Thanks for stopping by and I promise – Next week: Venues – this one will be great!

Happy planning!
Jessica

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Are you in a Royal Wedding FRENZY?! It seems like that’s all I’m hearing about this week. From the morning talkshows to the fashion blogs to right here in our office, its all people can think about. Rosemary, along with her good friend Joanne Boone (president and CEO of Rio Cruises San Antonio), is throwing a royal wedding watch party at – wait for it – 3 A.M. on Friday morning! The party will be British themed – everything from the food to the clothing to the decorations.

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Our executive chef, Eric Nelson, a wonderfully talented “bloke”, came up with a menu that was overflowing with British influence and character. There will be plenty to “nosh” on and the setting will be grand! If you’re looking for a menu to serve at your bash, look no further. This is the menu that Chef Nelson suggests will make your guests remark: “Why, this is splendid!”

 

Poached Egg Wellingtons

Tender poached eggs wrapped in flaky puff pastry with sautéed Madeira mushrooms and fresh baby spinach and drizzled with Bearnaise sauce

 

Crisp pancetta and potato hash

with caramelized shallots and chopped chives

 

Chilled tomato minced basil salad

with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and black sea salt

 

Assorted English muffins, scones and crumpets

served with assorted jams and spreads

 

I’ve provided the recipes for the Bearnaise sauce and crumpets below. If you make anything on this menu, please let us know how it turns out! For more information on what Rosemary is planning, take a look at the wonderful article on MySA.com that appeared in the TASTE section of San Antonio Express-News last Sunday.

 

Cheers!

Jessica

 

 

Bearnaise sauce

  • 1/3 cup tarragon vinegar
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed roughly
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
  • 2 tablespoons chervil, finely chopped
  • 6 sprigs tarragon
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup butter, melted and at room temperature
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
Directions
  1. In a saucepan, combine vinegar, wine, peppercorns, shallots, chervil and tarragon.
  2. Cook over high heat until reduced to 1/3 cup or less.
  3. Strain through a chinois and set aside.
  4. Place the egg yolks in a thick bowl and set over a double boiler.
  5. Stir yolks vigorously.
  6. When the yolks have thickened to the consistency of very heavy cream, begin to slowly add the melted butter while stirring continuously.
  7. When all of the butter has been incorporated, add in the wine/vinegar/herb reduction a few drops at a time and immediately remove from heat.
  8. Add cayenne and salt to taste.

 

 

Crumpets

  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 cup lukewarm milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
Directions
  1. Put water, milk, butter, flour, yeast, baking powder and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer.
  2. Beat at high speed for 2 minutes.
  3. Mixture will be a thick batter.
  4. Remove bowl from mixer and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let stand for about 1 hour.
  5. Batter will rise and become bubbly.
  6. Heat a lightly oiled griddle to about 325 degrees.
  7. Place well-oiled ring molds on the griddle and scoop about 1/4 cup of batter into each mold.
  8. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes.
  9. The top of the crumpet will have dry edges and lots of open bubbles; it should hold its shape when the mold is removed.
  10. Flip crumpets and continue to cook for another 4 minutes or so.
  11. Top and bottom will be lightly browned and the inside will be airy.

According to the wonderful experts at TheKnot.com the engagement party is usually thrown about three months after you get engaged, tradition states that the bride’s family throws the initial shindig, but it’s becoming more and more common for the groom’s family or both families to host them and etiquette says that if you invite someone to the engagement party, they should expect to get a wedding invitation as well. Historically, this is a time for both families to get together to build relationships and realize that they are truly becoming one big, happy family.

 

I am terribly lucky. My fiancé and I have been together for seven years, yes, since high school, and throughout this time it’s easy to say our families have gotten very close. We share holidays together, we call each other on birthdays, our mothers “talk teaching” – they’re both elementary school teachers and we always have a great time together. It was only natural that an engagement party was going to be fun, relaxed and full of all of the people we loved.

 

Though the party is usually the responsibility of the bride’s parents, my future mother- and father-in-law (or as the blogosphere calls them, FMIL and FFIL) graciously took it upon themselves to host the night of fun. We held true to the timeline I mentioned above – we were engaged on December 15, so it’s about four months. We waited until April because we wanted the perfect weather, the perfect blooms and the party was Fiesta themed, so it only made sense. I love all of the bright colors and fun decorations that this theme allowed.

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, we had to have only the best, so all catering and decorations were provided by The RK Group. Can I just say, WOW! Now, I know you think I’m biased, because well, let’s face it, this is the BLOG of The RK Group! But, in all seriousness, the food was EXTRAORDINARY, the service, SPECTACULAR, and the décor, BEAUTIFUL. It was so nice to have such an amazing and professional team set up the tables, get everything prepared, make sure the food was always out, keep areas clean and provide great service, all while making our guests feel comfortable. There was not a guest all night that didn’t come up to me and comment on how wonderful it was. The process was painless, too. My FMIL was able to communicate everything that she wanted through email and phone conversations. She was able to customize to her budget and the feel that she wanted. Truly a wonderful experience all around. If this is how the casual, low key engagement party played out, I can’t wait to see what they can do at the wedding!

 

 

 

The night was amazing. Full of loved ones, old friends, eclectic groups and oh, did I mention Mariachis? They were great, by the way.

 

 

 

Next week: The venue! This is a fun one, so make sure to check the blog.

 

Jessica Young

WE TOOK IT BY STORM…AGAIN!!!

We’re back and settled in San Antonio after another successful year at the Big, Bad Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (HLSR)!

In 2010 we secured a substantial amount of very important business within HLSR and because of our hard work and commitment to excellence, we were able to secure a three-year contract. Enter 2011…

Working with the HLSR is a very high honor because we are based in San Antonio. Catering more than 180 miles away brings a good amount of challenges; challenges that we love to overcome and make look easy. We literally have to pack up and move a large part of our operation to Houston for an entire month, and fully commit to making it a great experience. Our Senior Vice President Ken Holtzinger, Staffing Extraordinaire Michelle Rivera, Operations Guru Sal Becerra, Executive Chef Eric Nelson, Executive Sous Chef Mercedes Valadez and a small, very talented group of crew members relocate to Houston for more than four weeks.

Rodeo 1

Before relocation we have to divvy up everything in our warehouse (sometimes bolts are actually pulled out of the ground to move a piece of equipment that we can’t live without) and spread it between our San Antonio and Austin operations while taking what we need for HLSR. This is a daunting task because many of our large events happen in March.

On February 21st a compact crew arrived at our San Antonio headquarters early to begin packing on an extreme level. By the time everything arrived at our final destination in Reliant Park, Houston, it fills more than eight 24-foot trucks.

Our feet hit the Houston ground running and we immediately set up our three grand kitchens. Fortunately, Illusions built us two very beautiful and amazingly workable kitchen tents before we arrived and the Reliant Arena has an existing and well-equipped kitchen that we called our own. Ovens, fryers, grills, sinks, worktables, coolers and even a full sized dish machine are split between the Stadium Kitchen and the tents. Organization and quickness are key because production started the very next day.

Stadium Production Tent

Out of our three fantastic kitchens comes food for four main areas of service. Backstage Catering, Director’s Club, Chute Seats/Rockin’ Rodeo Pavilion and the Arena are all umbrellas for many catered functions. Our Backstage Catering involves taking over a dining room on the ground level of Reliant Stadium. Here, we fill the bellies of many different groups including: the Houston Texans, audio visual crews, stage hands, production artists and the musicians that perform every night. Every night it was our job to take extra special care of the star of the day. Some days Janet Jackson shined the brightest and other days it was Kid Rock or Kiss. No matter who it was, we prepared exactly what they wanted and with whatever special direction they gave. While it is just one meal for a handful of people, it is quite important and we take it very seriously.

The Director’s Club is where the HLSR VIPs spend their evenings. Feeding this group is one of the toughest logistical situations that we deal with because every piece of food, plate, fork, piece of equipment and staff member has to move through one single freight elevator. Like I said, we love a challenge and thankfully we are able to prevail through difficult situations.

Near the actual dirt of the rodeo is the Rodeo Contestants Room. Each night all of the rodeo participants and their families gather to prepare for their performance, visit and watch the competition. We take extra special care to feed the 300 folks that come through every day. We pay attention to their preferred comfort foods: fried chicken, smoked brisket, spaghetti with meatballs, strip steaks and chicken and dumplings were some favorites among the tasty dinners.

Amazingly enough, every meal for Backstage Catering, Director’s Club and Rodeo Contestants was prepared in one kitchen tent. Ovens and various shifts of chefs ran more than 16 hours a day to make all of the breakfasts, lunches and dinners just perfect. That adds up to more than 1200 meals a day for these groups alone!

Just behind the Astro Dome sits another kitchen tent that produces up to 600 meals a night for events in the Chute Seats and Rockin’ Rodeo area. Each guest in the Chute Seats is welcomed by a 16 oz. Cowboy Ribeye Steak dinner and a prime spot to watch the music performance. Rockin’ Rodeo is an opportunity for different corporations and groups to have a private dinner before the rodeo. Each menu has a different theme that we can customize to their various presentations or ceremonies.

Across Reliant Park is the Arena where we occupy an existing kitchen. Every day we feed visitors to the Stockman’s club with a tasty and fulfilling bar-style menu. As diners enjoy their meals and drinks they can watch the horses practice in the Arena. Behind the scenes of the Stockman’s Club is a small crew working non-stop to prepare for the many “off-premise” events that we have everyday. All across the rodeo grounds are events that require catering and we keep ourselves busy by feeding up to 1800 people everyday in these events alone. When we add it all up we are very busy folks feeding up to, and sometimes more than, 3000 rodeo guests every day.

To recap, that was:

180 miles from San Antonio

Three kitchens

Four main areas to serve plus special event locations

16-hours cooking per day

30 days

More than 3,000 meals per day

WOW!!

February 21st to March 21st turns out to be a surprisingly short month; within the blink of an eye, we’re loading trucks again and caravanning to San Antonio. We have a great time in Houston, pushing ourselves to new limits everyday. We learn so much in such a short period of time and never stop brainstorming ways to make the next rodeo bigger and better. Houston Rodeo 2012 is right around the corner and is off-premise catering to the EXTREME!

Chefn' Rodeo Style

Co-written by Executive Chef Eric Nelson and Executive Sous Chef Mercedes Valadez

Historic Sunset Station is an amazing venue for any type of event – reunions, graduations, parties, weddings and more. We love it when we receive photos from the events that we have on site. Recently, a couple that spent their special day with us passed on photos from their wedding. The wonderful Elizabeth Homan of Artistic Images by Elizabeth produced an amazing video of Rebecca and Jay, take a look! The space they used turned out incredible.

Jessica

Many of you may not know that I am currently at the beginning of a journey that every girl dreams of – planning my wedding. So you can only imagine the extra excitement I felt when I started in my new position with the RK Group only three short weeks ago. This company is a mecca for all brides-to-be. With rentals, catering, floral, destination management, transportation, entertainment resources and venues, what more could a girl ask for?

Being a resourceful girl, one that likes convenience and creative ideas (I’m pretty sure I could build a piece of furniture with all of the magazine’s I’ve collected in three short months since getting engaged) I jumped on the idea of creating an ongoing “wedding planning 101” blog. Starting this week, I will write a regular blog entry on this site that will chronicle my journey from engaged to married. I will show you all of the amazing things that the RK Group offers with a behind-the-scenes view into my appointments, the process and what you can expect. I will introduce our wonderful team and give you insight into the magic that they can produce. I will also introduce you to some of our exclusive venues as I hunt for the perfect place for the big day.

My planning will be based off of the typical “timelines” put in place by all of the wonderful wedding planning resources. I will also introduce you to some of my favorite blogs and the new trends in the industry. I encourage you to leave me questions or comments you might have for our team and I will try my best to get them answered. Stay tuned in for updates… much, much more to come!

Jessica

The ring is on your finger, the date is set… it’s time to start planning one of the most important days of your life!

Whether you are a simplistic girl or a glitz and glam kinda girl, planning your big day becomes part of your everyday routine until you say those life changing words “I DO”.

So what is hot for 2011? At Illusions Rentals & Designs we are seeing two distinct trends, the Vintage Bride and the Contemporary bride.

The Vintage Bride -Old has definitely become the NEW! Vintage inspired with modern elements is very trendy for 2011. Outdoor natural settings with soft color tones such as ivory, olive green and dusty pink help to create the garden, flowery, pretty feel. Couples are also embracing the vintage trend by adding parents and grandparents wedding pictures into their décor. Brides are continuing the nostalgic romantic, vintage theme by wearing their mother or grandmothers wedding dress. Vintage photography with draped cloth back drops is another trend that is becoming more popular with this look.

 

The Contemporary Bride- 2011 has couples steering away from the “traditional” wedding colors and introducing a splash of color with bright vibrant palettes. When you decide on your wedding, you must then choose the season. Making the choice of season will determine what color palette you will use.

 

The color trends for 2011 are tropical, fun and whimsical! Some of the hot colors are apple green, mauve, lilac, hot pink, slate grey, celadon, aged gold, coral, red, violet purple and mocha.

Rather than the traditional round, 10-top table, couples are now opting to mix table shapes and sizes infusing a fun atmosphere. Lounge areas are another trend that is rapidly evolving; warm bold tones are incorporated to create a relaxed, comfortable feel.

 

Our creativity, vast inventory and ability to custom make specialty linen allows Illusions Rentals and Flair Floral to honor our “one stop shop” philosophy and make your vision a reality. Call us today to set up your appointment!

 

-Michelle Flores-

210.223.2742

www.therkgroup.com

 

Hello!

I would like to introduce myself as the newest member of The RK Group team. With a love for anything and everything related to the culinary and events communities, I was destined to become a part of the one of the best catering and events companies in Texas and I am proud to say I am a member of this team.

 

 

I have joined the impressive group of individuals as a marketing coordinator where I will use my knowledge of marketing practices and the industry to help spread the word about each company under The RK Group umbrella and everything they do – which is a lot, trust me. I will also work very, very hard to develop some new and exciting things with social media and the website that may include everything from instructional videos to contests and promotions to special event news – more to come on this so check back soon!

 

 

The blog will still contain news and announcements about everything we do. If you have a question or comment, please feel free to email me or simply paste a comment below. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

 

Have a great day!

Jessica Young

Jyoung@therkgroup.com

www.therkgroup.com

 

Elaine Pic

Meetings+Plus Event Team Managers — Marisa Roberge and Elaine Dagen —
produced the closing event of the Grace Hopper Celebration for Women in Computing at the Georgia Aquarium. Over 2000 women from 29 countries came to the 5-day conference that was held in Atlanta. Way to go Team!

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If you were in San Antonio over the 4th of July weekend you probably noticed the 60,000 people in town for the 2010 International Convention of Alcoholics Anonymous. Planning for this convention began years ago with the expectation most meetings and events would be held at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, Alamodome and Hemisfair Park. Being that The RK Group LLC is the exclusive caterer at the Henry B Gonzalez Convention Center, Elias Aguirre with The RK Group LLC, Darlene Baldearenda with Circa Texas, and Travis Kowalski with Illusions Rentals and Design were involved from day one.

convention
Aguirre says “We were prepared with a plan of action to support this convention in all ways possible with all our various companies. It really took a delicate coordination between all of our companies to help support such a large convention.”

From transportation to tenting and food, The RK Group had their hand in the success of this convention. Attendees knew the “Big Meeting” would be held at the Alamodome, what they didn’t know was how to get there through the unexpected rain due to Hurricane Alex.34723_10150213208820436_270279615435_13414466_2021331_nIllusions Rentals went to work constructing miles of tenting for the convenience and safety of all guests. The tenting was initially constructed due to the Texas heat, but instead used for rain cover. Also rained out was Party in the Park with less than 24 hour notice! The RK Group and Illusions Rentals went to work moving the party from Hemisfair Park into the convention center and coordinated with Downtown Operations to make the event a successful move, due to rain.

ADA taxi
Circa Texas worked diligently with all hotels in the San Antonio area as guests were lodging as far out as Boerne, Texas. Circa set up two routes, one to service outside of I-410 and the other for inside of I-410. Both routes smoothly scheduled pick-ups and drop-offs thanks to the Circa headquarters stationed at The RK Group corporate office. Circa was also able to strategically plan the assistance of all special needs individuals attending the conference with 700 wheelchairs and scooters available for all ADA (American with Disabilities Act) attendees, as well as ADA friendly taxis.
It’s estimated The RK Group LLC provided
225,000 cups of coffee
200,000 bottles of water and sodas
and enough food to feed the entire City of San Antonio!
This was the largest convention in the history of San Antonio and The RK Group was honored to be a part of such an amazing event for a truly wonderful cause.
Check out what else is happening at The RK Group by visiting our Facebook Page and Following us on Twitter!
me-Rachel Kellar
eliasCo-authored by Elias Aguirre

The RK Group team is working closely with BCFS as Texas’ first hurricane, Alex, heads to shore within the next few days.

Since early this week, The RK Group has been providing services for food and shelter to the 300-700 first response team members stationed at San Antonio evacuation locations. First responders include bus drivers, ambulance drivers, medics, police officers and other Texas emergency members who are in San Antonio until they are dispatched to emergency locations.

RK Group Executive Chef Eric Nelson assures: “We are ready to go, we are just waiting on the word”. If and when Hurricane Alex hits land, The RK Group is prepared with trucks and food on stand-by for an immediate trip to the Rio Grande Valley. The RK Group is also providing tenting and generators in San Antonio with more equipment loaded for transport to the Rio Grande Valley as necessary.

Chef Nelson adds, “The RK Group is dedicated to Texas citizens and we are privileged to have the opportunity to help in a potential time of need.” If Hurricane Alex fades out before hitting land, this will have been a great trial run for The RK Group as well as the city of San Antonio.

“BCFS is a national leader in medical sheltering and provides critical emergency support services to state and local governments during disasters.” Learn More

Posted by Rachel Kellar, Account Executive, The RK Group L.L.C.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter! @therkgroup

This past Thursday, I was invited to speak on behalf of The RK Group at a social media gathering for Business, Media and Public Relations abbreviated as #bmpr. http://www.thebmpr.com/

The invitation was extended due to:
our presence on Twitter and Facebook,
our followers and fans,
and RK employees who support The RK Group through Social Media.

Other speakers at #bmpr included Tanji Patton (@tanjipatton) a former news anchor with a website and business devoted to her love of French cuisine, SeaWorld GM Dan Decker (@danjdecker) with a live owl and wallabee who fascinated the audience with their beauty (photos by MatthewEgan) and SavorSA (@SavorSA) who provides restaurant reviews throughout the city of San Antonio.

Donna Tuttle’s introduction of The RK Group included praise of our events and tweets with pictures of delicious food that leave her craving more!
Our presentation provided an insight into the RK Group that some members of the audience were unaware of such as our partnership with FEMA subcontractors to assist when a south-eastern natural disaster strikes, our involvement at the Alamodome, Convention Center, USAA, Valero Energy and many charities throughout the city.

We also provided some tips and shortcuts to save money on business and personal holiday parties. Some examples were choose a venue with existing décor or cut down on bar costs with custom signature drinks such as: Dan Decker Daiquiris, Donna Tuttle-tini’s or #BMPR bellinis

While it was tough following the live animal presentation, guests did enjoy our send off gift (via @NTJ) and the chance to win a free office lunch.

Our free lunch winner is: @bkearney (for being the first to Re-Tweet) and @derrich. Congratulations!

Thank you to all who entered our lunch contest, if you’re still hungry remember that RosemaryDelivers!

We are looking forward to next year’s #bmpr events and more social media involvement!

~Rachel Kellar~

You’re on a site visit and the venue manager is pointing: “Cake table here, gift drop off here, bar over there and the DJ will be in that far back corner”…. Ahh! Some people have the mind and imagination to handle such vagueness, but others need a tangible representation to envision the plan. That’s where I come in!

I create digital diagrams at The RK Group for events ranging from 50 to 50,000 guests. We work in the Convention Center, famous museums, corporate rooms and huge tents that can pop up anywhere around the city. Creating diagrams is not only helpful for all vendors but has also become a necessity.

Guest seating, bar placement, and emergency exits are some obvious reasons for event diagrams, but also consider the following:

    • Where is the caterer entering from? Is the walk so far that the food will be cold by the time it reaches the tables?

 

  • Will there be a crowd around the bar? Barsshouldn’t be placed at a direct entrance, exit or near any significant area. If it’s a bar- people will find it.

 

Design Program Example: Meeting Matrix
Works great for Ballrooms. Builds initial layout and inputs correct number of tables and chairs based on guest attendance. This diagram shows seating for 2030 with 10 people per table.
    • Will guests be cramped at the table while seated? To avoid cramping while guests are seated allow for 3-4 feet between each table.
    • Is there a need for lights or AV equipment at your event? If so, it is a great idea to include lighting in the diagram. We produced an event with flat screen TVs showing a video of the charity. We had to be sure chairs were positioned so everyone could see the TV screens.

 

  • Is the venue irregularly shaped or does it have unique attributes? If so, consider your guests and their view of the stage or designated point of interest.

 

Design Program Example: Smart Draw
Provides a blank canvas and allows for different layers to import existing venue layouts

Providing a custom diagram is expected of event professionals and popular venues especially when the venue can provide a floor plan. Some venues, such as private residences, don’t have floor plans available. In any case, if the client requests one, it should become a reality. At The RK Group, we have three different programs in our office that allow us to create various types of diagrams from existing facilities to those that are custom designed. Some provide a bird’s eye view and another shows the view from your exact seat!


Design Program Example: PartyCAD
A CAD program that creates virtual tours of your event space and birds eye view. Allows you to create various types of tent (hoecker, pole, etc). There is even a free online tutorial for this program!

Don’t be afraid to imagine your event and then and ask an event professional to provide a realistic representation. Thanks to industry technology, it is possible!

– Rachel Kellar, Sales Associate, The RK Group

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Meetings+Plus, a division of the RK Group, is proud to announce an associate in North Carolina who can provide professional meeting services for the Southeast. Marisa Roberge, Event & Production Director, who has produced outstanding events in many US cities is now headquartered in Raleigh, NC. If you want creative, flawless events or productions, contact Marisa at mroberge@therkgroup.com — M+ is known for creating cost savings as proficiently as we create extraordinary events!!

The RK Group had guests dancing in the streets on Wednesday evening at the festive La Villita. Over 2500 guests enjoyed all the sights, sounds and flavors of an authentic street party – San Antonio style. Sizzling fajitas, frosty beverages and a variety of entertainment were scattered throughout the event site. Amusements included caricaturists, Jody Jenkins Band and line dancing with David Callaghan, sultry Leslie Lugo Band with salsa instructors, cowboy stilt walkers, mechanical bull, trick ropers, and our favorite, guitarist Galo Gutierrez. The whimsical performers of Urban 15 made quite a splash as they danced and drummed their way throughout all the plazas.

Guests were treated to a private performance on the Arneson River Theater stage of Mariachis and Ballet Folklorico dancers. Throughout the performance, colorful rivercruisers filled with travelers passed by with friendly waves and smiles – so magical – so San Antonio!

– Darlene Baldearena

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Let Illusions Rentals & Designs help you with your next social event. Whether it be tents, tables, equipment or chairs, Illusions can make your event breathtaking. Illusions provided a magnificent tent for the wedding listed below. Read on for more! Enjoy!

http://www.sanantonioweddings.com/real_wedding_articles/Yvonne_Mauricio_and_David_Padilla_Real_Wedding.asp?ctr=10

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Chicago and Minneapolis

TWO destinations. TWO weeks apart. TWO Different Conferences.

ONE HUGE SUCCESS!

Meetings Plus Team is currently on site in Minneapolis working at the Minneapolis Convention Center having just finished another conference at McCormick Place in Chicago, September 20th thru 23rd, 2009. What a success that one was! I managed all of the food and beverage events for CSCMP to include: two VIP Parties, Hospitality Suites, Preconference breaks and meals, VIP Board Dinner, VIP Chairman’s Reception, etc. at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place as well as major receptions, meals, and breaks at McCormick Place West for well over 2,000 attendees.

Elaine Dagen (Our Vice-President), Marisa Roberge and Sandra Torrez (Our Event Specialists) all arrived safely in Minneapolis last Sunday – October 4th to begin preparing for NSHMBA’s Annual Conference that kicks off on Thursday – October 8th and culminates with the Brillante Awards Presentation and Entertainment on Saturday – October 10th. Both Elaine and Marisa have worked very hard to coordinate this event.

The finale will feature a special performance by Latin Star, Alejandro Fernandez, who has sold over 15 million copies in over 20 countries. Sandra, has coordinated all the food and beverage services as well as many other logistical pieces for their numerous sessions and company meetings. Our team has worked NSHMBA’s Annual Conference for several years and with our expertise, knowledge, attention to detail, enthusiasm and passion for this meeting, it is sure to be a success again this year! Stay tuned for more details!

SPECIAL NOTE TO ALL: I am constantly reminded how really fantastic our own team is at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center after working in other Centers around the country. We have been the in house caterer there for 38 years producing and creating “memorable” events for all the groups that come to our Center. What moves us ahead of the rest besides our wonderful food and service is our attention to detail, creativity, inability to accept nothing less than perfection for each and every event, attitude of all of our staff and the knowledge that we are a company that “gets it” and are willing to go that extra mile to ensure that everything we touch is the very best we can do.

By: Kathy Clark, Director of Operations

I can’t tell you how many wedding and event planners called us this weekend looking for a tent during South Texas’ sporadic rain storms!

The National Weather Advisory says that 2009 is the year of El Nino: http://www.cpc.noaa.gov/ Which means Fall and Winter of this year will be wet and cool. Let Illusions Rentals help you with all your cold and wet weather needs!

We have everything from umbrella heaters and generators to small pop up tents and extra large Hoecker tents. All tents have wall options that will keep the cold and wet air out. Lighting and air circulation are necessary in tents but we also enjoy adding special draping and visual effects when possible. Surprisingly the final product on some tent creations can be more flattering than an actual venue (and makes your event completely unique!).

Here are some things to keep in mind when planning a fall or winter event:

– Check the weather forecast continuously beginning 2 months before the event. If you are really concerned about your event, start checking the weather every day beginning 4 weeks before the event!

If you think you may need a tent – call and reserve a tent as soon as possible. If it doesn’t rain, you may lose your deposit but that’s a lot less than losing your entire event in a torrential down pour!

– Don’t forget flooring: If it’s raining outside will your guests be walking in mud? Illusions Rentals has flooring options you may want to consider

– In case of cold weather: consider umbrella heaters for localized areas such as patios or small-tented areas. Large tents may require a larger heating system.

If you are hosting an indoor event: Will you guests be walking into your event in the rain? Consider tented walkways into the venue, tenting a parking area or carpeting near the entrance to prevent slippery floors throughout the event.

Best of Luck with your Fall and Winter events and be sure to call Illusions Rentals for assistance with your rain plan. 210-223-2742 ask for Laurie!

—by Rachel Kellar

I worked with other RK Group team members last Saturday, the 26th of September at the UT Austin vs. UTEP football game. As we all know, UT clobbered the UTEP Miners! The score need not be repeated… I once attended UTEP and am originally from El Paso – yes, a tiny part of me wished the win wasn’t as exaggerated as it was!

More importantly, I was reminded first hand of what a phenomenal team it is that we have at The RK Group! Our versatility in being able to flawlessly produce functions that widely range in type, size, and venue is remarkable.

The RK Group has been the concessionaire for the UT Alumni Center in Austin for decades. Each year, we serve hundreds of thousands of fans cheering on their beloved Longhorns. It takes a true team spirit on the part of RK to make each football game performance a triumph. Our group has perfected the operation to an exact science! Every detail is executed just as meticulously as Coach Brown leading his team to victory. As you can imagine, much goes in to planning for such an event. Some areas include staffing, staging areas, ensuring adequate resources , of course providing delicious food to munch on and fully stocking refreshing beverages to enjoy – just to name a few! Last but certainly not least, is that putting together these game day events results in GREAT FUN for both our team and the loyal UT Alumni.

~~~~~by: Roxanne Fuentes

The RK Group is proud to welcome Executive Chef Eric Nelson to our fabulous group in Texas! Chef Eric joins our team after having worked for our company in Arizona. His experience is far-reaching and his creativity is second to none. Already, he has re-energized his new team and has made a tangible mark at RK. His creations are unique, fresh, and delectable.He has worked in many different areas of the US to include Phoenix and Naples Florida. In each city, he worked for the Ritz Carlton. Chef Eric received his degree in Culinary Arts from the Scottsdale Culinary Institute which provided him with a quality foundation to add to his already fully developed passion for the culinary arts.His two children, Cameron and Chloe, and wife Sherri, just welcomed a new baby into the family named Olyvia Faith. The Nelsons are excited to come to San Antonio and make it their new home.Chef Eric enjoys learning new things, meeting new people and seeing new places. He is fully committed and excited to get to know and learn about his new team. He is confident that he will further The RK Group’s commitment to excellence in catering and event planning.

He is a firm believer in having fun at work and knows that loving what you do and being able to be creative is an essential part of a career. Chef Eric has little tolerance for poor attitudes.

In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, of course! He also enjoys building new things and working around the house.

Welcome Eric!

~~~~by Roxanne Fuentes

It was a star-studded night for the USA Hosts/Circa Arizona team! Celestial star gazing, boot scootin’ and fireworks for super VIP clients at the fabulous La Puesta del Sol, located on an Indian reservation East of the city. The venue offers 360 degree views of 5 surrounding mountain ranges. As the desert sun sets, a blanket of stars appear to lie just out of reach. Spectacular!!

– Darlene Baldearena

The next time you find yourself in need of equipment for your event, call Illusions!! Whether large or small, we can assist in making your event exactly what you envision. Illusions owns hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment such as:
    • Flatware

 

  • China

 

 

  • Tents

 

 

  • Props

 

 

  • Chairs

 

 

  • Tables

 

With so much inventory, Illusions is able to proivde remarkable services to you -our clients! Illusions can make your event happen successfully- whether a convention or a wedding… We can be reached at 210-223-2742.

 


Austin is a conundrum –trendy and hip, but classic and timeless – cutting edge to throw back, it makes no sense and yet perfect in every way. Theresa from our Circa Austin office captured Austin’s quirky soul in an event Monday night designed to give her guests a taste of what makes Austin so yummy! 8’ mirrored guitar and disco balls glistened as guests entered through a tunnel of 6’ tall hand painted guitars into a nightclub scene straight from Sixth Street. On stage, three up and coming jazz musicians, who are working to make it in the biz, entertained guests with their easy style of mixing classic jazz, rock and roll with a hint of rock-a-billy.
Then, about 20 minutes into their set, they introduce 96 year old Pinetop Perkins, one of the last great Mississippi bluesmen still performing. The room is brought to a frenzy! Pinetop’s skills at the piano are mesmerizing. He sings from deep in his heart and his fingers never stop moving. No longer touring or scheduling events, he is notorious for “dropping” in at a variety of local clubs for impromptu performances. It’s the perfect reflection of old and new – singing the blues and feeling on top of the world – Rock on Austin.
-Darlene Baldearena
Click on our logo to see our website!

 

On Saturday, August 29th, I finished my 10th day in China where I had been working on preparation for the DIOXIN 2010 conference that Meetings+Plus is planning for next September. This was an awesome experience both professionally and personally. I was blessed to have one extra day after the conference ended to travel to The Great Wall. I opted to go to a rural, non-tourist area and hike to the Wall. It was a beautiful sunny day — attached is photo that was taken about 3 hours into the hike. Truly an amazing experience!!祝福你
(This says – Blessings to you!) Elaine
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PLEASE REGISTER ON THE LINK BELOW!!
We’re forming a team for Light The Night Walk (OCTOBER 24, 2009) and we hope you’ll join us. Light The Night Walk is The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s evening walk and fundraising event. It is the nation’s night to pay tribute and bring hope to thousands of people battling blood cancers and to commemorate loved ones lost.

By joining our team and raising funds for this important cause, you’ll be making a real impact on the fight against cancer. On Walk night, you’ll join us with other teams and individuals from all over our community in the culmination of our efforts to find cures. Walk night is a family-oriented evening in which participants carry illuminated balloons, raise awareness of blood cancers and come together as a caring community.

We all know someone who has been affected by cancer. Please join the team and “walk the talk.”
Thanks in advance for your support,
Tiffani Bond-Schumann
210-223-2680 X244

Click Here to Register Now!

I’m very excited to announce that The RK Group will have an Open House today (9/16/09) at the Venues at Valero in the Vista Room. Chef Eric Nelson will prepare amazing dishes!! Many different looks and designs for the holiday season will be displayed. We look forward to showcasing this beautiful venue and also letting all of our clients know what dates are still available for the 2009/10 holiday season.

Come join us from 530 to 730 pm- you won’t be disappointed.

The RK Group will be sure to dazzle!

Dawn Dawes
Sr. Account Executive

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