03 Aug A Permanent Wedding
Organization, precision, teamwork and vision. These are a few of the nouns that are required to transform a venue like downtown’s,The Permanent, into a 1970’s disco wedding wonderland.
There are a myriad moving parts that must be perfectly coordinated, which is why it’s best to leave it up to the professionals–especially when you’re inviting 120 of your closest friends and relatives!
At around 2pm, I arrive at The Permanent, a stunning heritage building at 330 West Pender, to observe the preparations for Coco and Daryl’s big day. Built in 1907, it was originally home to the BC Permanent & Loan Company (hence its name).
A Focused Team
As I walk through the grand front entrance, I am immediately in awe of this stunning space with its elegant neo-classical stained glass atrium high above. While I am distracted by the grandiose edifice, the Savoury City team is moving all about me, focused on the task at hand, and not on the beauty above.
A Culinary Ballet
Bobbing and weaving around florists, incoming furniture, pallets of beverages and DJ equipment, the Savoury City team is engaged in a delicate pas de deux–a culinary ballet, if you will. As I make my way to the back of the house, I notice Cherry, one of the amazing SC team members, surrounded by charts, spreadsheets, and copious notes, making sure everyone knows what to do and where to go. What impresses me is the constant and continuous flow of communication between the team at every stage of the production.
To someone on the outside, the process of transforming the blank canvas of The Permanent into a 1970’s, disco themed wedding venue seems chaotic, but upon closer inspection, one realizes that the chaos is highly choreographed and organized.
Enter the Chef
Amid the organized chaos, Executive Chef, Mathew enters with his Kitchen staff in tow at around 2:30pm. There is a palpable excitement in the room when his team arrives. Mathew immediately springs into action, instructing his staff, checking over the menu, making sure the hot food is being prepped properly and ensuring the cold food stays cold and fresh. Everything has to be timed perfectly–no small task, as this particular dinner features ling cod, braised lamb, whole deboned and stuffed chicken, wrapped in proscuitto, deconstructed lasagna and potatoes and polenta. And that doesn’t include the canapes and desserts!
For Chef Mathew, this is all in a day’s work, and he moves through The Permanent’s basement kitchen with grace and confidence, giving out orders and instruction like an experienced, yet benevolent, military general about to go over the top!
While Chef Mathew and his staff are downstairs, busy perfecting the evening’s menu, things are taking shape upstairs, as SC’s event planner, Ashley, is making sure that her servers will be ready to jump into action when the guests arrive.
Flowers, Cakes, Canapes. Oh My!
Ashley is in constant communication with The Permanent’s event staff, Jaq, Riene, Diana, Jesse and James, and works in close liaison with Full Bloom Studios, The Cake and the Giraffe, and Bespoke Decor, all of whom are responsible for transforming this stately venue into a fantastically funky 70’s discoteque. All the pieces of the wedding puzzle fitting themselves together to reveal the big picture!
All Hail the Queen!
Donna, Savoury City owner, and the “Queen of Catering,” arrives at about 3pm to oversee her domain. She brings with her an air of excitement and insouciance all at once–due entirely to the fact that her staff are so clearly in control. They know what to do and do it very well. However, Donna is a hands royalty, and within minutes, she’s working with her staff, helping to dress the table, discussing menu details with Chef Mathew, and making sure that every detail is perfect.
The Family Compact
Donna’s clients are more than just customers–they become part of her extended family, so each wedding she caters is personal and meaningful. As I leave, Donna is engaged in lively conversation with her team–she’s done this a hundred times, but every wedding she does seems to imbue her with new delight.
It’s rather infectious!