Idea Book: Blue Elephant Events & Catering, ACE finalist, Catering East, Under 2 Million

The Achievement in Catering & Events (ACE) awards honor those who have worked tirelessly to keep their clients thrilled and their companies on the cutting edge. Each year, caterers and event planners from around the globe submit their best work from the past year in hopes of being recognized as the best in the industry. Catersource’s annual awards show, also including the ICA CATIE awards, took place in Las Vegas at Caesars Palace on February 19, 2018.

Each company submitted two events for ACE consideration. Here is a look at the two events that elevated Blue Elephant Events & Catering in the category of Catering East, Under 2 Million in revenue.

ONE: Mann-Gow Wedding

The parents of the bride were acquaintances of Reuben Bell, president of Blue Elephant catering & Events, so that in and of itself makes any type of client transaction a bit stickier. However, says Bell, “We managed to turn the emotional and logistical challenges present by the clients and venue into a spectacular event. Both sides of the family were thrilled every guest at the wedding wowed.

The venue chosen was a summer cottage on the ocean in Ogunquit, Maine. The house itself was far too small to host a reception of this size, and everything had to be planned outside. Electricity was inadequate, the property sat on a narrow one-way street, and the exterior was not large enough to host 150+ guests at one time. Because of both emotional attachment of the bride's family to the property and the groom's desire to keep costs under control, Blue Elephant made it work.

All photos © Nadra Photography

The client let Blue Elephant take the lead with the ceremony site. The team created a space that had both traditional seating and lounge seating interspersed throughout. This seating area with its backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean was truly spectacular.

Although they did not choose to honor many of the couple’s Jewish customs in the ceremony, the groom did build the Chuppah himself out of reclaimed barn boards from grandfather's barn. This was a special touch that resonated not only with his family, but with all of guests at the wedding.

Sails from the groom's grandfather's sailboat were used to create a canopy over the outdoor bar. This was another nice family touch honoring a grandparent who was no longer present, and it was a remarkable conversation piece for the guests.

Interested in submitting an entry for the 2019 awards season? Stay tuned for details on the 2019 award program, opening in Q3. Click here for the latest information on the 2019 conference & tradeshow.

TWO: Normandin Wedding

This client booked the entire event through Blue Elephant: catering, bar, decor, event design, florals, music, lighting, invitations, transportation, lodging, and all of the other small details that helped make this event a memorable one.

While challenges such as family dynamics, second guessing, and water/power needs made some aspects of planning the event difficult, Blue Elephant was excited to showcase its talents for the guests of the couple.

All photos © Nadra Photography

One of the favorite aspects of this event was the bar setup. Blue Elephant the first to use a new product in our area: a restored vintage 1930’s truck complete with beer taps and full service bar. The visual impact of this rustic truck added to the rustic bar setting was fantastic, and quickly became the highlight of the entire reception.

The event, set outside, had a lovely rustic vibe


Salad course

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Kathleen Stoehr

Kathleen Stoehr is the Director of Community & Content Strategy for Catersource, which includes print and digital content, as well as live education at both Catersource, the Art of Catering Food, and Leading Caterers of America Executive Summit.