Emerald Coast Catering & Design Inc.
Why just entertain, when you can dazzle?!
3906 Hwy 98 W, Ste 40
Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 (map)
Catering services: Buffet, Cocktail Reception, Family Style, Hors...
Bar services: Limited Bar, Open Bar
Alcohol services: Champagne Toast
Maximum capacity: 450
Catering, Event Rentals & Photobooths
We had the most incredible wedding! Planning an out of state wedding was quite difficult, but we are thankful for Gary Serafin and Emerald Coast Catering for making it all happen!! We had a beach wedding at a private home on Grayton Beach. Gary and his staff were so professional and easy to work with. He was able to accommodate our need for American food and Asian food for the menu. Gary called and checked in with us before we even had the opportunity to call him the week of the wedding. The ceremony and reception were on the beach and they did a fantastic job setting it all up. Our friends and family stated it was the best wedding they've been too and it was an experience. The food was excellent, the beverage service was incredible and Gary and his staff made sure that we (the bride and groom) got to enjoy our menu selection and made sure we had drinks. Thank you Gary and Emerald Coast Catering for making it the perfect wedding for us!!
Planning an out of state wedding is never easy, but I am sincerely thankful that we chose Gary, and Emerald Coast Catering, Inc. as our principal catering vendor for our daughter’s Destin area beach wedding. Gary and his staff were so professional and easy to work with. The menu selection was so varied and plentiful, the only problem planning was trying not to get too carried away with all the options. On the wedding day, when the weather was obviously not going to cooperate, Gary pulled out the reinforcements to help us do a major overhaul of the original wedding location setup and reception layout to allow for rain probabilities. No small feat with a guest list of 125!! All hands pitched in as the staff, (Jimmy and his crew were fabulous too) assured me that they could and would handle all my setups, and left me free to move on to the next emergency. By wedding time, everything was in place and our guests were charmed by the excellent food and superior beverage service. We have several professional chefs in the family, so the quality of the food to be served was a very important issue for me, and Gary and his staff did a fabulous job earning many compliments all throughout the evening. I don't know what I would have done without their amazing level of service, they made sure our event was ready to do on time, and smoothly ran all aspects of the party leaving my husband and I free to enjoy our guests. Thank you Emerald Coast Catering! You truly deserve your award winning status among vendors!
My husband who is a foodie and has collected wine 20 plus years was quite impressed by Emerald Coast. He was especially impressed when they made suggestions to our guests on what wine to have with each dish. Not something required of a caterer but it shows the company hires quality people to represent them.
But let me back up to when we first contacted Emerald Coast. They responded immediately and were very professional. I had a good feeling about these folks from our very first conversation with Gary. We rented a huge house for the wedding and reception on the internet sight unseen. Gary was familiar with the place and gave us advice above and beyond the catering aspect of the wedding that took a load of worry off our shoulders. Bill, my husband, spoke with Jan on the phone and she gave great advice on how to set up for the ceremony and reception. Again guidance on the ceremony wasn't part of the catering contract and very much appreciated by a bride getting married at a place she has never seen! Unfortunately we did not have the opportunity to meet Gary and Jan in person. There was a food and wine festival that same weekend and I believe they were making what could possibly be the world's biggest pot of Paella (per their representative) which in and of itself is quite impressive!
But I digress...on to the day of the wedding. We were impressed at how early they came to set up and that was a big help since we were decorating the tables. The food was very good especially the asian chicken spoon appetizers. We did a buffet with service meaning they served people at the buffet station which they executed beautifully. I already told you about the fabulous bartending so that leaves the cake service which was also outstanding!
I barely noticed them breaking everything down and the next day we found the leftovers wrapped and in the fridge. So I guess this is a very long way of saying, go with Emerald Coast for your catering needs. Well done and oh yeah I almost forgot they are right on the money as far as pricing (pun intended)! You get more than what you pay for...like those asian chicken spoon appetizers...wonder if they can freeze and ship some those to us......
I had a destination beach wedding at a friend's beautiful beachfront home in September. I was initially very pleased with Gary and ECC because they were responsive and affordable, and offered a 'one-stop shop' for all the rentals as well as catering, which for me was a big plus. I was working full time and, with my fiancee Todd, we were doing all of the planning ourselves from Atlanta.
First, the pros:
The food was good. I had a lot of people tell me that they really enjoyed the food; the menu was good and it was prepared appropriately.
The service staff were very nice to me. I have one issue that I will comment about below.
Having all of the arrangements go through one vendor was really huge for me. I was overwhelmed as it was, with so many decisions to make, so the fact we could get the catering, tent, furniture and linens all from one vendor helped a lot.
whew... where to start.
When we first met Gary he seemed nice enough and had a lot of experience, and he offered a lot, especially for the price. That they also had the ability to help with some design/layout to create our vision was great. Jan, Gary's wife, does the design work. Todd was the one who spoke with her more; I think I only had one conversation with her but she talked the entire time often even interrupting herself, and I had a very difficult time expressing what we wanted to do. She did offer a lot of ideas, and often seemed disappointed with the direction we wanted to go with and would repeat that we should do it a different way. Ultimately, we thought the service was to help guide us and carry out our vision, but it seemed like there was an underlying agenda... and I have no idea why. We had a pretty simple event and wanted it to be that way. That said, there was some good guidance that we got from Jan and Gary and we did often take their advice -- as you may well know planning a wedding is stressful and overwhelming and we were doing it for the first time on our own, while working full time, 6 hours away.
One of the main things we had to consider was that we were having our event in a residential neighborhood, and there was a noise policy/curfew that we knew about, that the party had to officially end at 10pm. However, we made it explicitly clear to Gary, and it was in our contract since February, that none of the furniture, linens, tent, etc would be taken down until Sunday. We knew they would pack up their kitchen stuff and their staff would leave, but if we wanted to stay, I wanted to be damn sure that we could. Turns out, the night of the event, they started to take down all of the furniture at 10:30, and when I stopped them, and got on the phone with Gary, he said that it wasn't in the contract and then the staff proceeded to take it all down. Still to this day, he hasn't apologized for stopping my wedding dead in its tracks at 10:30 which was blatantly and clearly stipulated in the contract not to happen until Sunday. This was a huge disappointment for me-- in addition to the fact that at 10-10:30 on my wedding night I was standing in the house frantically looking through my wedding folder rather than being with all of my friends and family (some had traveled from Europe).
Jan was really nasty to me. I came outside during the day while everything was getting set up at the house (we were staying at the house where the reception was in the back yard, so I was there all day). I came outside briefly around noon and there was some discussion between Jan and Anna (our day-of planner and owner of the house) about the placement of the dj table, bar, etc. I suggested contacting Seth the DJ, who was just around the corner, to get his input. I was abruptly told (yelled at, really) by Jan that SHE would have the final decision. Shocked, I informed her that it was MY wedding, and it would be MY decision. Let me tell you how much fun it is to be yelled at for no reason on your wedding day. I thought getting the DJ's input is a perfectly reasonable thing to do. At that point, after all of 5 minutes interaction with Jan, I removed myself from the situation and left my extremely capable DJ and friends and coordinator in charge. I was also told that had it not been for the near-begging on my sister's part, one member of the staff was about to walk away from the event he was so 'over it' with Jan's behavior.
Prior to the event, Jan called Anna, the owner of the home we had the event at, but she didn't know that Anna is a dear friend of mine. Jan proceeded to tell Anna how terrible I was, how many changes I was making, and even used the term "bridezilla" to describe me, even though I only spoke with her on the phone once or maybe twice. As far as I know, she was the only person throughout our entire wedding planning process, to use that term about me. I was mostly very calm, we had a small event (45 people) and I even felt uncomfortable with so much attention on me.
My mom came with me to do a tasting about a month before the event. At the time, we discussed with Gary hiring an additional server so that our sit-down dinner would have the extra benefit of a server there just for beverage service. This extra server was to refill anyone's drinks or bring around a bottle of wine to make sure the seated service was as relaxing as possible. This did not seem to have been communicated to the staff. At one point during the meal, my mom, keep in mind Mother of the Bride, asked for a drink of water and the server told her, "the bar is right over there". Someone even reminded this server who was making the simple request and she was again told where the bar was.
We had a dance floor that looked terrible. Within an hour or so dancing, its edges were falling apart, not to mention it had a completely uneven surface. When I brought this to Gary's attention after the wedding, he said that it was brand new and would have been fine had they been allowed to put it where they wanted, but I spoke with my day-of planner who agreed they could put it where they wanted, where it had been designed for, and no one had told them to move it. It was embarrassing.
I could go on but I won't. Basically, I still have not yet gotten any kind of apology about the mishap with the event being broken down that night. Gary has ignored the majority of my concerns and has not taken responsibility for any oversights or indicated that Jan's behavior was out of the ordinary (or reacted to it or commented on it at all).
So if you do hire ECC, just watch your back. Read your contract, and hope for the best I guess. I wish so much that my wedding had been different but the fact remains that it was what it was. Hopefully this review will help you future brides and party-throwers. I know that people don't always see eye-to-eye all the time, and I understand personalities clash. But I think it's a fair assumption that 1) the contract should be followed and 2) the vendor should be nice to the bride on her wedding day. It's just that simple.
For what it's worth, Dine by Design was hired by my mother-in-law to do the rehearsal dinner and it was FABULOUS.
Catering, Ceremony & Reception Venue
The food was absolutely amazing! The service at the reception was outstanding. The display was fantastic!
My wedding, and monetary output, was probably much smaller than normal for them, but I never felt unimportant.
I only had two complaints and those were about the beach ceremony, not the reception which is the primary service.
1. Since this was a destination wedding and my first wedding, I didn't have much knowledge or guidance in what to think about for details. I was very disappointed that the beach was covered in black debris (algae?). I didn't think about this. I think, as a beach wedding caterer, they could have at least told me about this and perhaps offered, for pay, a service to rake or clean up the debris. It would have made much nicer pictures and it would have been a simple thing to fix.
2. There was little clarification about how I wanted the arbor to look, so I assumed it was understood. In hindsight I should have had a family member check it for me or taken the time to further explain or show them exactly what I was envisioning.
Catering, Flowers, Wedding Planning, Lighting & Decor, Event Rentals & Photobooths, Ceremony & Reception Venue
The desire for the perfect wedding site, food , decor and ceremony was delivered with the upmost detail. My daughter and I leaned on ECC's professionalism to guide us thru the process . I felt confident that Olivia & Josh's wedding would be everything she wished for and it was plus SO much more ! They were very considerate of the budget providing options for us to choose which made us very comfortable. The staff was on top of every detail in serving all our guests. Proper wedding etiquette was important to me and again the consultant was there. I could not have been more proud of the decision to hire ECC . Their wedding " set the standard" which has yet to be eclipsed by their peers. They are still taking about it ! Thank you ECC for making a elegant and classy memory for all who attended which will last a life time .
Gary and his team at Emerald Coast Catering did a wonderful job for our reception dinner. Everyone raved about the food and enjoyed the entire dinner! He was flexible and fun to work with. He worked well with my wedding planner and just helped make everything easy!! They are excellent for catering at a good cost!! Thanks ECC!!
Gary and his team at Emerald Coast Catering did a wonderful job for our reception dinner for 125 people. Everyone raved about the food and enjoyed the entire dinner! He was flexible and fun to work with. He worked well with my wedding planner and just helped make everything easy!! They are excellent for catering at a good cost!! Thanks ECC!!
This year I celebrated my 50th birthday during a visit to Grayton Beach. Gary Serafin and Emerald Coast Catering provided an outstanding menu and service for my event. Being in the wine business it is very important to me to have wonderful food and wine pairings and Emerald Coast Catering did a fun and fantastic job! I look forward to working with them on future parties and celebrations when on the Emerald Coast!
Owner / "Big Dog"
Black Dog Cellars
Emerald Coast Catering made my wedding magical! We had our wedding in a small church with a very old parish house and Gary and Jan turned it in to a beautiful reception. Gary was extremely accommodating and catered to my vegetarian diet, while still offering a wide variety of hors d'oeuvres that everyone would enjoy. Jan, with her artful eye, created a beautiful reception that we will never forget!
Event Rentals & Photobooths, Transportation, Unique Services (Other)
Gary was the BEST to work with! He was down-to-earth, laid-back, and willing to help us with ANYTHING. I would recommend Emerald Coast Catering to any bride and groom looking for a catering company in the Emerald Coast area.
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