Apulent Events & Catering
We are very happy we chose to work with Apulent Events & Catering at their Shilshole Bay Beach Club location in Ballard. We lucked out with a beautiful day in March, so our ceremony was outside and the view was breathtaking. The reception was inside, but just as beautiful, since one entire side of the room is all windows.
Our wedding coordinator was Tasia Fisher. She was wonderful to work with, very professional, nice, calm, and replied to all of my email inquiries right away. She also made sure everything flowed nicely on the big day, including helping my Mom fix the cake, which shifted in transit.
Apulent provides the tables, chairs, linens, napkins, glassware, flatware, and china. We didn't have to spend anytime worrying about the basics. We simply chose our linen/napkin colors and then attended a wonderful evening of sampling all the food/drinks available to pick our menu. The food was wonderful! The wait staff and bartender were very friendly and accommodating. We felt very spoiled and our guests kept commenting on how attentive the staff was.
If you wan't a beautiful venue with great staff and little stress then choose Apulent at the Shilshole Bay Beach Club!!
Raquel Lee and the her event staff at the Shilshole Bay Beach Club was amazing to work with! Raquel was great with the venue planning process, and she was also very easy to work with. She was there every step of the way, from customized menu selections to venue layout and decor set-up, Raquel made the wedding process as stress free as possibly could be. Along with the venue planning itself, you can't beat the views that the Shilshole Bay Beach Club has to offer. The venue overlooking the water and all of Puget Sound, as well as access to a private beach for great beach photos, nothing could beat Shilshole Bay Beach Club. The food was delicious and the customized cocktails went great with our video game themed wedding too. I highly recommend this venue to anyone looking to host an event.
Apulent is the caterer attached to the Shilshole Bay Beach Club (I've also reviewed the Beach Club separately). I have mixed feelings about this catering company. At times I felt they were nice, but sometimes it just felt like I was getting jerked around.
For example, we called in December asking when their tasting would be. They told us that they only do tastings once a year, and that it hadn't been scheduled yet, though they believed it would be the beginning of March. We made plans for a trip accordingly. By January, we called again, and their plans were still not set. By February we finally got a date, and it ended up being the end of March which coincided with our trip, so we couldn't attend. They told us that we could do a private tasting by choosing 2 items from thier menu to taste at a cost of $50 per person. I honestly don't believe it's fair to charge the bride and groom $100 to TASTE two entrees. So we had selected proxys to attend the tasting in our place. We intended to pick items we wanted them to definately "grade" while at the tasting, but a menu wasn't sent to us until the day after the tasting, though we had asked for it several times during the weeks and days leading up to the event. In the email, there was an apology for the delay, and that they were "...literally printing at midnight on Friday evening for the tasting on Saturday." Which, regardless if that's true or not, the menu should have already been set and it wouldn't have been too difficult to email a rudimentary list, even if it was just half of what they planned on serving, or maybe even email it on the day of the tasting before it opened, that would've been good enough.
During the first meeting with the coordinator, I mentioned an advertisment on their website which claimed that the venue cost would be 1/2 off if the event was itself would occur before a certain date - it would seem that we qualified, but when we mentioned this to our planner, she said we didn't because it didn't count for certain events like wedding receptions on Saturdays. After the wedding, I asked again, because I saw the promotion was still going on and it just didn't sound fair, but this time she said that it was because we booked our event in 2009 (though the event was in 2010). There was no disclaimer in the website that clarified any restrictions, but somehow they felt it was fair to them to charge us the full venue price during this promotion when they are offering 1/2 price to others.
We did luck out on some aspects. Their food was actually really good. Our guests raved at the roast beef and mushrooms. The bartenders also did a pretty good job. We had over 200 guests and an open bar of beer and wine, so they were pretty busy, but kept up the pace as needed.
As the bride and groom, you can imagine how busy we were saying hello to our guests, so we were not able to have any hor 'd orves. One of the waitresses told us she'd bring by a small plate for the both of us to try each one - she never came back.
All in all, the positive things about this caterer is that they serve delicious food and have great bartenders. Negative aspects come from the responsiveness, value and flexibility, and of course fairness.
Any wedding catering is by definition overpriced :P So with that in mind, and accepting that as standard, Apulent was great!
Even though I tend not to like catered food (e.g., at most weddings I've attended as a guest...), Apulent was pleasantly homey. We had farfalle & tortellini with two different sauces as well as a grilled chicken station. The staff saved some appetizers for my new husband(!) and myself, since we arrived late at the reception. They also held off on serving our guests until we arrived so that they could make to get the green light from us first. I wish they would have just let everyone else eat, but I nevertheless appreciate that they wanted to check with the new bride & groom first...
Some of our guests said that the staff was a bit pushy / rushed prior to our late arrival...They were also a bit slow in replenishing the low supply of mushroom sauce, so some people were on their seconds by the time the last of our guests could get the sauce they wanted for their pasta...
Other than that, Apulent was great -- the servers stood by and were available when we needed them but out of the way when we didn't. They were also really approachable, because rather than standing off to the side talking amongst themselves, they stood watch over the event and anticipated as anyone needed them to help with anything.