FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
HELP! I'M PLANNING A WEDDING FOR THE FIRST TIME. WHERE DO I START?
You found us, so congratulations on a successful step number 1!
Check out our awesome benefits and Month Of Planning Package for more details about how we can help, then call, email, or set up a time to meet with us in person and we'll walk you through the process, one step at a time. Check out our Wedding 101 page, too, as there might be some helpful details there to help you get started.
HOW FAR IN ADVANCE SHOULD I CONTACT YOU TO START PLANNING MY EVENT?
We recommend contacting us as soon as you know you'll be having an event. We start planning many of our weddings and larger events a year or more in advance. While we can plan in a much shorter time frame, most dates during our peak season of May-October sell out fast and early. If you aren't sure of your date or venue yet, that's OK! We have a full list of the area's most impressive venues and a flexible date range helps to ensure that you'll get your pick of venues and vendors (like us)!
I'M TRYING TO DECIDE BETWEEN SEVERAL DIFFERENT VENUES. DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE ON HOW TO CHOOSE?
Yes, there are lots of considerations. For a full list of our preferred MDI area venues, please contact us! For a lengthy guide on (almost) everything you should consider when choosing a venue, check out our list of questions you should be asking yourself and your venue.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT THE DAY-OF MY EVENT?
We typically arrive on-site three hours prior to the start time of the event for the set-up of your space and for our chefs to start to prepare your meal on-site. For most events, we account for one hour of clean-up after all guests have left the event space.
Many of our clients are surprised to learn that we cook all of our menu items at your event location and don't transport already cooked foods from our production kitchen. Essentially, we set up a fully functioning, high-end restaurant at your location to serve you and your guests and then break it down again in a matter of hours. If you’ve ever seen Top Chef or Restaurant Wars, it’s similar to that! And, because of this, some of our events do require a fair amount of staffing based on ratios compiled from our years of experience catering more than a thousand events.
WHAT IS YOUR BALLPARK PRICING?
All of our events are one-of-a-kind and therefore pricing varies greatly from one event to the next. All of our pricing is competitive and carefully quoted based on the following criteria:
Date and Time of Event
Number of Guests
Planning & Decor
Length of Event
With that in mind, BHCC can create events for all budget levels starting under $25 per person for a self-service, drop-off option. Most of our on-site, fully staffed weddings and events average from $100-175+ per person, which includes a host of food and beverage options, planning assistance, set-up, clean-up, staffing, gratuities, beverage options, and all fees. Of course, we're happy to work with you to create the event of your dreams, with almost any budget!
BHCC IS KNOWN FOR ITS AMAZING FOOD AND BEVERAGES, BUT WHAT ARE THE OTHER BENEFITS THAT YOU OFFER?
Glad you asked! Bar Harbor Catering Company is not only known for its modern and delicious food and beverages, but also for the way in which each BHCC event is managed with precise attention to every detail, and a focus on the event as a whole.
We work extensively with our preferred rental company Wallace Events, before, during, and after each event. We pick up where they left off on the set-up of the event, and breaking it down on the reverse end, ensuring you and your guests can enjoy and leave the work to us! We also work with you, advising you on exactly what you'll need for plates, glasses, and all your other rental needs. Our experience and knowledge mean no guesswork for you!
BHCC also employs an amazing team of professional planners, and when you book a BHCC event, you automatically get the knowledge and know-how of each and every one! Our team has managed thousands of events, from small cocktail parties to multi-day, off-site events for hundreds of people, with logistical considerations a mile long.
WHAT SORT OF SETUP AND BREAKDOWN SERVICES CAN I EXPECT WITH BHCC?
We like to pick up where the rentals are dropped off and leave off where they are picked up. This means that everything from table and chair placement in the reception area, as well as place settings, busing, clean-up, and trash removal are covered for you.
We always like to leave every place better than how we found it! Our staff typically arrives three hours in advance of your first guests’ arrival and begins setting up so that you can enjoy the wow factor along with your guests as they arrive. We stay onsite once your party has ended to clean, do the dishes, and make sure everything is clean and tidy - we even take the trash with us! Now that's full service!
WHAT IF I CHANGE MY MIND ABOUT MY MENU OR MY GUEST COUNT CHANGES AFTER WE BOOK?
We also know things change over the months leading up to an event, so you are welcome to make changes as much as needed. We expect that things like guest counts and final menus will undoubtedly change somewhat during the course of planning. All final menu changes and guest counts are due 60 days from your event.
WHAT SORT OF ASSISTANCE CAN I EXPECT FROM BHCC?
Our job is to make your event stress free, which we find is best accomplished through detailed planning. But don’t worry, we’ll help guide you through the intricacies of event planning with ease! We’ll not only help you design a menu that reflects you, but also help organize a functioning timeline, floor plan, and rental order.
DO YOU PROVIDE RENTALS?
While we don't have any rentals in-house, we help coordinate these items on your behalf through a third party rental company, specifically, Wallace Events. Rentals themselves are an additional fee and are needed for most events, however, BHCC's rentals coordination throughout the planning process is free of charge.
HOW MANY PIECES SHOULD I ORDER?
We take the guesswork out of your ordering process! All pricing is based per person and all counts are based on your full guest count. While some people may eat a little, and others more than their fair share, we make sure you’re covered either way using our carefully calculated portions that are scaled to your guest count.
WHAT’S AN EVENT PRODUCTION FEE?
An event production fee is applied to all events and is standard for most catering companies. This fee covers the administrative work and countless hours required to produce your event. This includes site visits, planning hours, preparing and revising menus/estimates/contracts, organizing staff and rental equipment, ordering food, and handling kitchen and event production. It also covers BHCC equipment usage and replacement and basic décor. It also covers credit card processing fees associated with payments made via credit cards. This fee is not a gratuity.
IS MY ONLINE PAYMENT SAFE AND SECURE?
WHAT IS YOUR REFUNDS, RETURNS, & CANCELLATION POLICY?
BHCC will issue refunds and returns as per our contract with you. In order to confirm your event, a signed contract and a 50% deposit are required. The first $1,000 of each deposit is non-refundable and deposit refunds on cancellations (less $1,000) are handled as follows:
Notice over 180 days prior to event: Full refund of deposit (less $1,000)
Notice 179-60 days prior to event: 50% refund of deposit (less $1,000)
Notice 59-14 days prior to event: No refund of deposit
Notice 13 days or less prior to event: No refund of deposit, plus full amount of the remaining balance due.
DOES BHCC OPERATE THROUGHOUT THE STATE OF MAINE?
Delivery and services are provided within a 1.5-hour driving radius of our home base in Bar Harbor. Pricing varies depending on location and timing, so please inquire for more details.