{Industry Insider} Catering with The Four Seasons

January 17, 2014 - by Preeti

Welcome to the first in a series of inside looks to the wedding industry. Over the coming months we will be interviewing some of finest, and most exciting wedding professionals.

This inside look will be a gateway to the ins and outs of the wedding industry and how it all works. Whether you are new to the wedding planning process or in the midst of it, these are must reads!

We are kicking off the series with one of the most amazing folks I have met, Mr. David Robinson, the Director of Catering at the San Francisco Four Seasons. He has been in the wedding and events industry for more than two decades and brings an unmatch amount of experience to his brides and families.

Four Seasons Wedding Ballroom Ha Le Events width=

I had a phone interview with him. (I'll be meeting him at the Four Seasons Wedding Fair - so promise a photo!)

For those new to the wedding planning process, tell us what you do as Director of Catering.

David: I work with our culinary and banquet teams to create the best food and drinks for our customers. We work to innovate new ideas and concepts that help us stand apart.

How does that relate to weddings?

I want our brides, grooms, families, and guests to have an experience of a lifetime. That means understanding their likes, dislikes, concerns, visions and executing a wedding that makes those dreams come true. I work to ensure this all happens. Our team works with wedding planners (they are fantastic folks!) and vendors to make the wedding an experience for everyone.

For us, no details are too small or insignificant. In fact is the details that make the wedding truly yours. For example, we once had a bride that loved chocolate chip cookies. Her friends knew her as a cookie lover. After dinner was served, servers came out with platefuls of warm, gooey, delicious cookies for the guests to enjoy!

How do "wedding packages" work?

Back in the day, there used to be a three tiered system of packages offered from hotels. We noticed that it was too cookie cutter for our families, and allowed for very little wiggle room. We threw out that concept and created a wedding package that at the base, includes the full experience of food and beverage.

From there, we want the weddings to be made yours. You can choose a variety of options, and we are very flexible to make it happen. This of course is paramount for a cultural wedding, especially Indian weddings. I've worked with baraats and animals, along with the fires (agnidev), so that the experience is the family's and guests.

There seems to be a comeback to the "hotel wedding". Do you see that as well?

Absolutely. With large weddings, we are seeing an all-in-one experience is popular. They can have the sangeet, mehndi, ceremony, and reception all in the comfort of one hotel. Guests do not have to worry about getting lost or arriving late. Families can relax that their wedding events are held under one roof.

What is your favorite, and most challenging aspect, of working with South Asian weddings?

My favorite part is learning and experiencing the cultural side of Indian weddings. Every wedding is different, and there are such rich culture and colors, one is swept away.

The second thing I love about the weddings is the food. The food is wonderful. We work with two excellent Indian caterers Amber and New Delhi, both in San Francisco, to bring our guests great Indian food.

Sooo, the Four Seasons Wedding Fair is just ten days away. We hear there is going to be an Indian wedding display. Can you tell us about it?!

Sure. We are really excited to work with Laura Little from Floramor. She is a fantastic designer and has created an entire Mandap set. From the flowers to the fire and even more. Brides will be able to catch a glimpse of the latest trends.

Speaking of trends, what trends are you seeing for 2014?

It is not just about the flowers. The past couple years has seen very heavy floral decor. This year, we see people moving towards the whole interior design experience and style, not just flowers.

Color themes will be either monochromatic or a palette of bright colors. And, as mentioned earlier, hotel weddings are making a comeback.

For those with an outdoor space, cigar rolling is very popular. It brings us back to a speakeasy days with guests lingering out in the evening enjoying a hand rolled cigar and scotch or bourbon.

Last question, for brides still on the hunt for a venue, what advice can you offer them?

Pay attention to the interactions you have with every level of staff at the venue. First impression is everything. If that interaction is sloppy or rude, you will wonder if this could continue in the wedding process. Also, you should be comfortable and feel they are trustworthy. It is our job to project your financial investment and your heart. You should be at ease knowing that your venue will do everything it needs to do to make the wedding happen.

As the wedding couple, you should feel comfortable and relaxed. Ask yourself, "do I feel at ease to get married here?"


Thank you so much David for taking the time to give us an insider look to your job at the Four Seasons San Francisco.

To visit the bridal fair, you can buy tickets for just $25. Check out our review from last year, it was amazing!!!

For information on setting up a consultation at the Four Seasons SF, you can fill out this form. Be sure to mention to them that you found them through us.

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