Hard to imagine being outside sleeveless, and in sandals – but those gorgeous warm days are just ahead.
It also means right now is the ideal time to book an outside event, especially if you want a weekend date May through September.
Why we love outdoor events:
More bang for your buck! Outdoor wedding festivities are less pricey than indoor spaces.
The great outdoors is less stuffy and more… well, open! Go big without folks feeling crowded.
Having a ceremony outdoors (think flower-covered gazebo) is oh-so-romantic!
Let the sunlight be your lighting – and nature as your backdrop. Great photographs!
Choose a venue with a barn (or set up a tent) just in case the weather gets iffy.
If your event is in the evening, there’s nothing more romantic than getting married as the sun slowly sinks beneath the horizon.
Hello to a big evening bonfire for more outdoor fun.
Some outdoor venues are dog-friendly. (Just sayin’!)
We know all about the best places! That means we can steer you towards event spaces that meet your needs well-ahead of time. No surprises.
Give us your requirements, including your must-haves and we’ll work with you to make sure your day is picture-perfect and seriously delicious!
One of the interesting aspects of working with Jacquie’s Gourmet Catering is getting to know more about many of the event spaces in and around Indy.
One of the venues we unhesitatingly recommend – especially for weddings -- is Morgan Acres. Located in Hancock County, this lovely space consists of five beautifully maintained acres complete with vineyard, brambles, orchard, pond and plenty of outdoor sites for special events. Take a look at this video: (https://www.morganacresindy.com/why-morgan-acres.html)
Morgan Acres also has some especially unique features:
The 4000-square-foot Grand Barn is the 180 year old centerpiece of the property.
Recently renovated, its hand-hewn beams, high wood ceilings, and real hardwood flooring
Numerous tent locations available and multiple barns on the property – plus a vineyard and a pond!
You can rent the venue for the afternoon, evening, or even the entire weekend, if you like.
Morgan Acres contributes 5% of every rental to our partner charity, Reece's Rainbow, supporting Down Syndrome.
The Barn includes a bridal suite, kitchen, (2) full bathrooms, loft seating and dance floor. Two large sets of barn doors in front and back open, inviting natural lighting and air flow.
The large main loft is joined to two balcony sections by arched, wooden walkways. The upper sections can seat up to 175 with additional seating on the main level and is ADA accessible. An outdoor deck is available for expanded seating or outdoor activities.
Originally part of a 1000-acre farmstead reaching from Cumberland Road into Hancock County, the house & main barn were built from the trees grown on the property. The Grand Barn has been restored to maintain its original integrity and design. The property remains a historically significant piece of Indiana history and is eligible for the Indiana Historic Registry.
Multiple wedding packages available. Plus -- Jacquie’s Gourmet Catering has catered large and small events here numerous times. We hope to cater your wedding at Morgan Acres this wedding season!
Jacquie’s Gourmet Catering has some truly lovely outdoor venues available from which to cater your next event. Hawks Point Acres in Anderson is one of our favorites.
Hawks Point Acres’ location in Madison County renders it an ideal crossroads for guests meeting up from Indianapolis, Muncie, Kokomo, Greenfield, and other eastern Indiana cities.
But it’s the romantic newly built barn on the tree-covered seven acres, it’s ideal for weddings and other special occasions – and recognized by The Knot “Best of Weddings” 2023.
Built in 2016, Hawks Point barn offers 2,000 square feet for up 175 people to enjoy. Party-perfect amenities include: three indoor bathrooms, heating and air conditioning, three crystal chandeliers, twinkle lights, organza draping, numerous pieces of rustic décor such as wine barrels, crates, old doors, multiple wooden signs and chalkboard signs. It’s truly a hidden gem (https://www.hawkspointacres.com/take-a-tour/).
The bride and bridal party have the use of a completely renovated and very welcoming farmhouse with two dressing rooms for hair and makeup. It also includes a cozy living room, kitchenette and bathroom.
The groomsmen have their own dedicated space with furniture made for relaxing and having fun during the hours leading up to the ceremony and reception.
Outside chairs and a stately white pergola are included for picture-perfect ceremonies. Inside the barn you’ll find chairs and round 8-person tables for your reception. There’s also plenty of onsite parking, which include ADA compliant spots and wheelchair accessibility to the barn and ceremony location.
Ask about Hawks Point onsite overnight accommodation for up to 6 people – a wonderful feature for out-of-town guests.
It all adds up to a perfect place for your beautifully and deliciously catered wedding party and reception. Best part? Jacquie’s planning team will be happy to help you book a tour and choose your date, simplifying your party-planning!
The Conservatory at Evergreen is the newest event space for which Jacquie’s Gourmet team provides catering. Located at 8140 W. 34th St Indianapolis, IN 46214, The Conservatory is set on a lush 23-acre space adjacent to Eagle Creek Reservoir. Privately owned for 92 years, the new owners took care to maintain the integrity, history, and serenity of the surrounding land when they crafted the beautiful glass-walled event building.
The scenery -- visible from all sides -- even the glass roof! -- is nothing short of spectacular, offering panoramic views of a peaceful, pristine lake surrounded by sprawling hills, evergreens, and woods. It’s a beautiful place to begin your event with a wow! – and create a lasting memory.
Entertain up to 250 guests as you tie the knot or tie one on for a special day that you and your guests will always remember. Here’s what The Conservatory at Evergreen provides:
4,320 square feet inside a contemporary glass structure
Covered pergola overlooking a 4-acre lake
Six vineyard guest tables
Tables and chairs for up to 250 guests
If you have a special date in your future, holding it at The Conservatory at Evergreen guarantees a "statement event" and a beautiful memory. As always, Jacquie’s Gourmet Catering team has lots of catering and party planning ideas for you and your guests. Let’s start the conversation.
Westfield’s West Fork Event Center is one of Indy’s newest and hippest centers to book a party – and we’re pleased to be one of the approved vendors.
The fresh new event center is part of the Indianapolis-based West Fork Whiskey Co., home to several distillery-themed restaurants and centers.
Often referred to as “West Fork Whiskey,” the event enter is a part of a 30,000-square-foot facility includes expanded distillery operations, as well as a restaurant, cocktail lounge, event center and retail space – located across the street from Westfield’s Grand Park Sports Campus at 10 E. 191st Street.
Upstairs in the attached Mezzanine, located above the working distillery and overlooking the The MASH House restaurant, parties up to 90 guests can be accommodated.
For larger groups of up to 300, the West Fork Event Center itself is austere, open and starkly designed for maximum impact. It is an ideal place for a holiday or corporate party -- or any type of large gathering. Great vibe and fantastic contemporary space -- not to mention a cozy dressing room for getting ready for your event.
We are having a great time celebrating at this new place, and would love to see you there – so book early to get the date you want. Bottoms up!
According to Jaquelyn Aleece, founder of The Wedding Plan & Company, “Instead of waiting months and fighting for the ideal weekend date at your venue of choice, you might opt to hold your wedding during the week instead.”
This idea gained momentum right after Covid restrictions lifted, and has stayed despite venues’ availability easing. Why? Because, just about everything you want will be less pricey and more available. (Plus you get a better chance of getting the venue and the caterer you really want.)
Considering that there are only 52 weekends in any given year, venues, florists, caterers, and rental companies can (and do) charge a premium for Friday and Saturday weddings. That's why a weekday wedding can be a lot more practical.
Here’s what wedding planners say about weekday weddings:
"If you get married during the week, it's a big cost saver," reports Christine Figliuolo, founder of Creations By Christine Events. “If you go with a less popular day, you'll likely save on everything from the venue to the photographer.”
If your venue is booked one, two, even three years out, you probably don't want to wait that long to get married.
Sarah Trotter, owner and lead planner of Lasting Impressions Weddings suggests, “A weekday wedding might make sense if you have a special calendar date in mind.”
Weekday weddings are more commonplace in destination weddings, where couples and their guests are building vacations around their nuptials. Guests are more likely to be flexible since they're already at the location.
There's a high likelihood that your guests will have conflicts around jobs, children, sports, and other obligations.
A lot depends on the timing of the ceremony, and how many people are local versus flying in from out of town.
Those guests who can come may not be able to stay for a late evening if they have to work the next day.
Cost savings may not be huge. The truth is that the work of a photographer, a wedding planner, florist, bartender, or cost of food and drink is exactly the same no matter the day. It’s the convenience of a less busy time that saves you money.
How to finagle your weekday event
Let guests know the date and location (even if it's not the specific venue) at least 6 months before the wedding.
· Ensure that the most important guests can attend. Clear the day and date with them prior to signing venue or vendor contracts.
· Manage your expectations. Choose the day and time with your guests in mind. Be considerate of everyone else who has a life.
The best week day for weddings? Experts agree that Thursday evenings work well as many folks can take the following day, Friday, off work.
Another ideal day is the Monday of any three-day weekend such as Labor Day or frankly, any holiday (like the 4th of July, for instance) that includes an extra day off. Bonus – you can plan the wedding around that holiday, weaving the theme into your colors, music, decor and food. Plus with a three day span to work around, more family and friends are likely to come to your event!
No matter what day you choose for your wedding, Jacquie’s Gourmet Catering team will work with you to make sure your wedding reception goes smoothly and tastes amazing. Let’s talk about what you want.
Want to have a smaller wedding but also want to be sure the food is fantastic and the day goes smoothly? We have your back at Jacquie’s Gourmet Catering.
We are happy to work with a smaller budget – in fact, we do this quite often. We’ve found that tight budgets don't necessarily mean a muted celebration. It just brings out the creativity in brides …and our helpful party planners!
There are tons of unique ways to work with a smaller budget when planning your ceremony and reception details. Lucky for you, Jacquie Bols has lots of ideas and lots of experience in this area.
Here are her top 5 tips for planning small weddings:
Use the same location for your ceremony and reception. Generally you commit to having a facility for a certain amount of time. In most cases there is no additional fee for having both events at the same place, as long as they are back-to-back. This also makes the planning process easier since you'll be working though the details with the same group of folks at one location. Saves travel time, too!
Plan your event for off-season. May, June and July are peak wedding months. So if you want to book a popular place, research off-season pricing. Bonus, the destination won't be crowded (or won’t have another wedding to contend with right before or after yours). If you are planning an out of town wedding, guests won't be faced with super expensive hotel room prices off-season.
Hold your event outside. In addition to saving money, having an outdoor event makes things a lot less formal, and sets an upbeat tone.
You do need to make sure paths are safe for seniors and youngsters – no tripping hazards.
And – have a plan for iffy weather. Rain showers do spring up in warmer months. Having a tent or a barn as a back up is always a good idea.
Make sure food served is OK for a limited time in warm weather. That goes for the cake, too.
One other tip: People drink more when they are hot. So be prepared.
Limit your guest list. OK, this one seems obvious. But it’s really tough to whittle down a list of good friends and family members. Be sure to go over multiple drafts of your guest list before deciding on a final count. (You can also save by requesting ‘no children’).
Go easy on décor. If you are getting married outside, your costs will be lower – because outside is simpler. Go with a simple color theme and stick to it. Soft muted tones (including flowers, tablecloths, bridal party clothing, and just about everything else) look more expensive than bright bold colors.
Take a cue from nature. Consider what flowers will be in season and buy them and arrange them with friends the night before.
There are plenty of nicer-looking paperware options for plates these days. Bonus: They are recyclable. Ditto for plastic or compostable flatware.
When it comes to food planning, we can help you cut corners without short-changing on taste and quality.
Large suitable venues around the Indy area can be hard to find and very pricey. They also need to be reserved well in advance.
By large, we are talking about usable square footage of the event venue, and/or the number of people attending. Generally, talking about large events means large on both counts.
Jacquie Bols, owner/operater of Jacquie’s Gourmet Catering, suggests there are multiple ways to manage very large events. Here are a few of her thoughts and recommendations:
Since large event spaces can be pricey to reserve, you might consider an event space that offers both inside AND outside space to help keep costs down (such as event barns and outside adjoining spaces). Obviously, this is easier during warmer months.
You may not need to rent special venue space. Sometimes corporate buildings have main lobbies or conference centers that can be used far more economically than renting an event space.
If you opt to rent venue space, make sure your caterer knows the space and has worked there before.
Choosing a caterer that has LOTS of experience with large events is vital. Preparing, cooking and serving food for hundreds of people is a daunting task and a lot can go wrong if your caterer is not used to large numbers.
It’s always a good idea to keep your primary menu simple with larger events. Make an impact with multiple stations that can be filled with chilled appetizers or room temperature items. These stations can be restocked as needed – and will keep your guests satisfied if the main meal is delayed.
Have multiple bars at large events. Nobody likes to wait in a long queue for a drink.
Map out traffic flow around serving, seating, bar area, and bathrooms well in advance.
Make very sure to consider parking needs. You don’t want your guests to be inconvenienced before they even walk into your event.
At Jacquie’s Gourmet Catering, we have lots of experience hosting large events -- from large wedding receptions to ritzy corporate holiday parties. Not only can we can help guide you to find the right place for your needs, we can also make sure your event goes smoothly – and deliciously – from start to finish.
Wedding receptions are the festive part of the whole wedding thing – the ‘release’ after weeks of planning that everyone looks forward to—family, friends, and the couple themselves.
There’s music, meeting new people, family reunions, celebrating with adult beverages, eating yummy food, dancing… and generally having a great time celebrating the new couple.
Of course, there’s a lot of planning that goes into that celebration. Lot’s of decorating, too. So here’s what trend-setters are saying about what’s new this year in receptions…
"Although sustainability is not a new concept, it has become more of a priority for couples planning weddings today," according to Town and Country magazine. We think that’s pretty awesome, as Jacquie’s Gourmet Catering has always been about sustainability, from food sourcing (local is always our preference), to using recyclable materials as much as possible. When planning your wedding reception, we can work closely with you to ensure the menu you prefer is seasonal as well as being environmentally friendly.
Reception florals can include a lot of living plants and tons of greenery for a super fresh-smelling, verdant feel. Ivy trellises and walls of green are also trending. We’re happy to help with suggestions for eco-friendly flowers – perhaps even gifted to guests to take home. The pots themselves can be wrapped in silky or semi-transparent fabrics to hide the pot and create a natural garden feel.
Airy, open spaces are very on trend for receptions. Among our favorites are industrial, loft-style spaces, rooftops, art museums, and re-purposed mid-century style downtown buildings. These spaces are great fun to decorate – incorporating the vibe of the space.
Statement patterns are big. Whether it's classic floral or geometric, something complex or simple shapes, the options are endless. Whichever pattern type works for you, incorporate the look from start to finish—from invitations to flowers, tabletops to dance floors—even lighting.
Planning a weekend-long celebration of special experiences for guests is becoming more common, too. This is especially true given the rising popularity of multi-day celebrations. It’s a thoughtful way to show appreciation to those who came in from out of town to celebrate with you. Think: champagne served upon arrival, bar-hopping or wine-tasting a day before the the rehearsal dinner, a day of sightseeing after the wedding – whatever works for your group. Just be sure to let everyone know the itinerary.
Laser-cut overlays on reception tables are gaining in popularity. Laser-cut lighting also adds depth, drama and texture. Hire an expert or ask us for help.
High impact florals: Who says neutrals rule your wedding? Pick a color theme and go vibrant -- from flowers such as poppies, roses, and wildflowers – to bird of paradise. One look we love is lining up floral colors from light pink to hot pink, flowing into red, right through purple. Bold and fun!
The After-Party –with the emphasis being on the late-night part of the evening, with bride and groom changing clothes and the event becoming a fun dance party. Hors d’oeuvres, light desserts and special drinks are often a part of the fun!
Jacquie’s Gourmet Catering party planners are happy to help you plan and decorate as much or as little as you want. Let us know your theme and colors and we can go to town – or just tell us what where you’d like some suggestions. Either way, we are happy to help.
You can set the tone for your next event right out of the gate by having it someplace unexpected.
Among the hippest corporate and private event choices is The Indianapolis Art Center. It’s vibrant, avant gard, dramatic, and chic – probably because it was designed by an icon, Michael Graves. There’s also plenty of gorgeous works of art displayed on the walls and throughout the grounds, giving your guests plenty to talk about as they celebrate. Set atop nearly 10 acres along the banks of the White River, the Art Center is tucked just off north College Avenue, at 820 East 67th Street.
Another trendy, hip place to hold an event? The Vogue on College Avenue. Great stage – especially if you have a speaker scheduled. Fantastic lighting available, great sound system – naturally! And lots of seating available. And – everyone around town has been there and remembers going to concerts there. Again, lots to talk about!
Other unusual places we love to cater – and your guests will enjoy include:
Madam Walker Theatre
Rahal Racing Zionsville
Vision Loft at The Stutz
Not familiar with some of those we mentioned? Check them out at our website: https://www.jacquies.net/venues-2/. There you’ll find pics, stats and other relevant information.
We love catering corporate parties at unusual and unexpected places! We frequently take our color themes and décor right from the place and exhibits themselves – which not only cuts down on décor budget, but also puts guests in a festive mood.
These venues are very welcoming, with plenty of parking, and provide guests with lots to discuss as they peruse, eat, listen, dance, and celebrate.
Let’s get artsy, festive, intentional, historic, and bold -- and help make your next event one that makes a lasting impression!