Meet Taylor, Catering Manager at The Drake Oak Brook Hotel. She is a recipient of The DuPage County Suburban Young Professionals Award and prides herself on attention to detail, providing her couples with the wedding of their dreams.
How long have you been in the wedding industry?
I started with weddings and events when I was 17! Being 23 might seem like I am new to the scene, but I’ve been developing my wedding knowledge for around 5 years.
As Catering Manager, you have a lot of experience helping and meeting with couples who are planning their wedding. What are your expert tips to share with couples planning?
Do some research before you start planning. A client that knows what they are looking for will have more specific questions to ask, and you will save yourself so much time in finding a venue. That way, you will be more likely to find a venue that fits you and your vision – ultimately leading to the perfect day!
Are there any questions that couples should ask when meeting with a catering manager?
1. Ask about availability
2. Ask room capacity
a. Ask for sample floor plans and photos to see how others have been creative in spaces before.
3. Be certain of the taxes or other charges not listed on the menu. Often times, the venue that has the lowest entrée price does not necessarily mean that you are receiving the best value!
a. Always ask if the following has a charge or is included:
ii. Chair covers/sashes
iii. Set up fees?
iv. Room Rental Fee?
v. Ceremony Fee?
b. When planning menu cost, check to see if:
i. Wedding cake – included or extra?
ii. Cake Cutting Fee?
iii. Hors d’Oeuvres – included or extra?
What sets your venue apart from our Chicagoland reception sites? What would you like couples to know about The Drake Oak Brook Hotel?
There are so many unique things about the Drake Oak Brook Hotel. I am in love with the way this hotel is built and operated. The history here is something that cannot be replicated in any property in the Chicagoland area. The rich culture of the hotel includes many years of great events, valuable art both historic and customized specifically for this property, and the royal guests we have had with us in the years past. The hotel has great natural light, an abundance of ornate décor, and a family-feel to the property. You feel at home when you walk in the door.
In the area of weddings, our hotel has an amazing menu. We provide “all-inclusive” pricing. This means that the price on the menu is the only price you pay should you select the package as is! This has been a great tool for brides with budgeting properly, as there are no surprise payments or taxes added to the bill.
Items offered in our menu:
* 6 butler-passed hors d’oeuvres in every package
* Wedding cake included
* Full selection of the entire entrée list in every package
* In-house gold chiavari chairs
* Choice of wooden or our original, custom-made electrical light up dance floor
* A top shelf open bar in every package
* Complimentary Valet
* Complimentary Coat Check
* Complimentary Bridal Suite
Our packages start at just over $100 per plate before tax and service!
What can a couple discuss with you that they can’t find online?
– Pricing on the wedding menu is not listed online. We have different pricing for off-season weddings, Friday and Sunday Weddings, Group Room Blocks, and Sunday Brunch Accommodations
What is your favorite part of your job? Do you have a favorite memory of a couple or of a wedding you’ve been a part of?
I truly love what I do. I enjoy getting close to the family, learning the history of the bride and groom and what lead them to this extraordinary change in their life. My favorite wedding – ever. The groom planned a helicopter ride over Lake Michigan, and when the helicopter landed at the reception hall, a full mariachi band (It seemed like 15 musicians) greeted them with all of the guests from the reception to start off the cocktail hour. Talk about a show-stopper! (Cynthia if you are reading this thank you for the memory!)