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Food can make all the difference

January 29, 2011

The favorite part of any wedding ceremony for many comes when the party gears up during the reception after the knot is tied. One of the most important parts of the reception is the caterer, who ensures everything is taken care of.

Davis & Elkins Catering director Michael Ratliff said the college can provide catering at off-site locations and the several receptions spaces on campus. He said the catering service strives to meet what couples want for their party.

"Just about everything is made from scratch," Ratliff said. "We have pre-made menus, but there are no real rules. Tell us what you want and we will make it for you."

Article Photos

DELICIOUS — Davis & Elkins Catering Services offers a variety of choices for catering options. No matter the decision, the staff is willing to create an event that is what you envisioned. D&E?Catering Director Michael Ratliff said even though there are menus, ‘there are no real rules.’ (Photo courtesy Michael Ratliff)

The only restriction to off-site catering, Ratliff said, is if activities are taking place on campus.

"We try to make sure if we travel it is the only event we do that day," Ratliff said.

According to Ratliff, couples should make sure they ask questions about the venue and make shure they have a kitchen or have something set up with another vendor.

"Make sure the caterer can give you what you want," he said. "It is your party and it is my job to make sure you get what you want."

Ratliff said people can book up to a year in advance or as close to three weeks before the event. He said he cannot quote prices a year in advance because the price of food often changes. Ratliff said the catering service will also work to meet any dietary restrictions.

Ratliff said it is also important for couples to determine their budget for their wedding and then prioritize what is most important to them.

For more details about D&E Catering Services, call Ratliff at 304-637-1566.

The 88 Restaurant in Buckhannon not only provides catering on its location but can also provide off-site services. Owner Cathleen Loughney said receptions at her location can serve 100 to 150 people; however, off-site catering can provide food for more.

"We work to customize events and that is what makes it unique," Loughney said. "We are cooking for guests, it is not off a conveyer belt. We are culinary professionals and enjoy what we are doing."

The restaurant lists all their menues online so that couples can see what is offered.

"It is a good tool," she said.

For more information visit,

Masterpiece Rental offers several items brides and grooms can choose from to make sure their reception is perfect. Co-owner Billy Kniffen stressed the importance of making plans early.

"In West Virginia there are a limited amount of resources so people should plan early and look at their dates," he said. "We do 10 to 12 weddings a weekend during the peak season."

Kniffen said couples need to find out all the facts for the possible reception space and to check all the rules.

"It can ruin your wedding plans," he said. "Find out all the facts. Some places do not allow for outside items to be brought in."

Masterpiece offers various items for almost any event including barbecue rentals, cookers, dinnerware, glassware and cutlery. The business offers tents for outdoor spaces. Tents range in size from 15-feet-by-15-feet to 60-feet-by-120-feet and larger. The business can also provide catering supplies, table settings, linens, wedding accessories, wedding decorations and chair rentals.

Masterpiece is a family enterprise that takes into consideration the customer's needs, quotes, delivery and special arrangements to ensure the very best it has to offer its clientele.

"We have a lot of people that come in and start planning their wedding," he said. "We think of things that couples may not think about. We are not wedding planners, but we help the bride think of things they may not."

Masterpiece also offers a catering service with Beander's. Restaurant Manager Desire Watson said, with the catering and the items offered by Masterpiece, the business can cover just about everything except the dress.

"We are all about making it simplified," Watson said. "We offer custom menus based on what the couple wants."

Masterpiece Rental is located at 1029 Beverly Pike. For more information, call 304-637-2789 or visit



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