The 12 X 12: Tips for Tying the Knot

The 12 X 12: Tips for Tying the Knot

Week 4: Caterer, Event Planner, & The Bryan Museum

Dear Brides & Grooms,

Today I’m introducing you to a couple of ladies that can help with the creation of truly memorable wedding experience. One is an integral part of a family institution in Galveston. The other is a young lady with a rising career in wedding planning that possesses that certain “Je ne sais quoi.” 

First up: Elaine Deltz: Catering & restaurateur

How long have you been in business?

Our restaurant, Bennos of Galveston, opened March 17, 1983. We began catering out of the back of the restaurant not too long after that and have been catering ever since!

What’s the Galveston wedding scene like? 

We have a very diverse wedding scene in Galveston. Couples can choose from very casual to highly formal, sophisticated venues. We are very lucky to have such a wide variety of venues, vendors, and atmospheres!

How did you find your profession?

I got into this business by chance. My roommate in college is part of Benno’s extended family and after graduation, Benno needed someone in sales. The rest is history! I started with the company in August 2004. It is such a fun profession!

What do you love most about your job & what is the most challenging

I love that every event is different, unique, and special in its way. You get to know the host/couple by what they choose. It is such fun getting to know each client! The most challenging part of a caterer is coming up with a menu. Because we customize every menu, we do not have any pre-set menus. When a couple doesn’t know what they want it can be a fun challenge to create a menu that is unique and fits their vision.

What are some of the most memorable weddings or events you’ve done? 

The largest wedding we have catered during my tenure was on a ranch on the west end of Galveston. 800 guests, three tents, six buffets, eight bars, two bands, different seating areas, this was a fantastic reception!

What’s a hot trend right now & what do you project for 2021? 

We’ve done quite a few breakfasts for dinner weddings in the past year. This seems to be a trend that a lot of couples are jumping on. It is so nice to have something so different than the standard surf and turf! Think pancakes, chicken and waffles, different benedicts, etc.

How have weddings changed in the last 10 years? 

Couples want more detailed & personalized attention. Certain foods “fads” come & go but we specialize in Cajun Seafood, and that’s never going out of style. 

What’s something all weddings have in common?

Love, whether between the couple or amongst their family and friends. You can always feel the love!

Do you participate in Bridal Shows? If so are they helpful? 

We do participate in Bridal Shows. It is an excellent way for couples to meet with multiple vendors in one setting without having to make individual appointments with countless vendors. It is great exposure for vendors to bring in more business!

What sets you apart from the pack?

Our customization. Every menu is customized to each client and event. We have no preset menus so each client gets exactly what they want!

How many events have you collaborated with The Bryan Museum on?

We have done quite a few events with The Bryan Museum, I can’t remember the exact number! It is always a pleasure working with Peter, Richard, and the rest of the staff at The Bryan!

What’s one piece of advice you’d give a newly engaged couple?

Get your big items, venue, caterer, florist, photographer, music vendor booked as far out as possible and then enjoy the months leading up to the wedding without having to worry about those things.

Elaine Deltz

Catering By Benno

Galveston Seawall Restaurant

1212 Seawall Blvd. Galveston, Texas 77550

Phone: (409) 762-4621                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Catering and Rentals

112 28th Street, Galveston, Texas 77550

Phone: (409) 762-3666

 FAX: (409) 765-9559

Next up: Haylee J. Handly: WEDDING & EVENT PLANNER

How long have you been in business?

I’ve spent about a decade in the wedding industry, but have owned Water to Wine Events for about 3 years!

What’s the Galveston wedding scene like? 

Eclectic! The island has everything. From beaches to ballrooms, to historic homes and a stunning glass conservatory! (My favorite, of course!) There is something for everyone here.

How did you find your profession?

I’ve worked in the hospitality industry since I was 14, and became a certified wedding planner at 17! Over the last decade, I’ve worked for caterers, cake artists, floral designers, and as a wedding venue director all while planning on the side. I finally decided it was time to turn my calling into a career and start my Planning + Design company.

What do you love most about your job & what is the most challenging? 

There are few things more satisfying than seeing a client light up when they see what we’ve created for them! When they take a look at their design proposal and are flat out giddy that it represents THEM! One of the best responses I’ve gotten from a bride: “I have no idea how you captured absolutely everything I have ever dreamed of in our one meeting but you did. I am so in love!! Every little detail is so Michael and me, and I just have goosebumps.”. THAT is what I love the most!

Wedding hangovers are real! Not just the physical toll they take (I’m basically immobile for 24 hours after a wedding), but going from being joined-at-the-hip with my clients, to simply following their love story on social media… Our couples are the best, so it can be a sad transition to make!

What are some of the most memorable weddings or events you’ve done?

My favorite personal memory happened at The Bryan Museum! When our bride walked into the conservatory and saw all of the design plans had come to life, she cried and gave me the biggest hug! Another fun moment was when a groom played the piano serenaded his new wife at the reception! Such a beautiful surprise! 

What’s a hot trend right now & what do you project for 2021

Something I’m excited to see our clients shifting away from specific themes and trends, and leaning into a “branded” wedding experience! We’ll see couples focus on intentional details that are unique to them, and give their guests a great experience! Custom stationery, artful flowers, and immersive entertainment are going to be high-priority in 2021!

How have weddings changed in the last 10 years?

Pinterest has changed so much about how today’s couples plan their wedding! There are so many possibilities out there, that couples 10 years ago wouldn’t have even known were an option! I love helping my clients decipher their vision, and create something that is both beautiful, realistic, and fresh!

What’s something all weddings have in common?

Two people in love, and the start of their marriage more beautiful than the celebration! 

Do you participate in Bridal Shows? If so, are they helpful?

I participate in the Houston Bridal Extravaganza, as well as local bridal shows hosted by my favorite venues! It’s so helpful to meet couples face-to-face, answer questions, and get excited with them! 

What sets you apart from the pack?

We are passionate about providing our clients with the best experience possible during their season of engagement! For me, that means guiding and being available from the beginning, no matter the level of service they partner with us for! We facilitate a calm and collaborative planning process, create elevated designs with authentic details, and produce memorable celebrations that they can look back on and remember for years to come! 

How many events have you collaborated with The Bryan Museum on?

Three and counting! The staff is so great to work with, and the conservatory is stunning – it’s one of my favorite venues!

What’s one piece of advice you’d give a newly engaged couple?

My first piece of advice would be, of course – to hire a wedding planner! Outside of that, it’s important to start your planning journey by getting on the same page. Talk through your wedding priorities, decide together what level of outside-input is welcomed, and seek guidance from a wedding professional on how to make your budget work best for YOU! (before making big purchases)

Haylee Handly

Owner, Planner & Designer




Social | @watertowineevents 

Lastly, I’ll leave you with ME – lol: Peter Ochoa: Director of Events for The Bryan Museum.

Myself, and my colleague Richard Farnsworth III, have been with the Museum before it even opened to the public. We created our entire Wedding & Events program over 5 years ago geared towards assisting every single Bride & Client with personal attention. We both have decades of experience in working with the public, events, design, & most importantly customer service. Richard has a rich background in food & wine (not to mention exquisite taste) and I have 15 years’ experience working in various departments in Museums in Southern California & Texas! I’m also a BOI!

We are proud to be celebrating our 5th year of providing couples with the ultimate wedding experience.

This last year we added a wonderful, new event coordinator, Jessica Shofner, to our team. She has several years’ experience working with brides and hosting events. And the ability to keep everyone calm. lol

When you host your wedding here you receive over 50 years of combined professional experience and customer care, which is what we pride ourselves on. We approach your wedding with years of knowledge, but also with a fresh eye each time. We hope we get the opportunity to show you firsthand.

 I hope you’ve enjoyed meeting some of our vendors this month and hope you get an opportunity to work with them at your wedding. They have all been vetted and each one has personally worked with our couples over the years. I implicitly trust all of them and highly appreciate their craft & artistry.

In the next couple of months, I will be hosting mini-chats and providing personal experience via our website. I hope you will check-in and check them out. 

Until then we look forward to the many future weddings of our Bryan couples!

And we are waiting to MEET YOU!

Take care

And start planning!!

Peter Ochoa