Steps Leading Up to Your Event

What's Next: Steps Leading Up to Your Event

Now that you’ve made the fantastic decision to host your event in The Cookery’s Front Room, what’s next?  The following information will take you through the next steps leading up to your event day.  If there is anything we have not covered in this guide, please do not hesitate to contact us!  Email

Our Guest Portal is also a great resource for your planning needs - it includes our Preferred Caterer list, Inventory list, sample layouts and linen dimensions, a page that explains your Event Proposal and amenity details, and more!

1 |  You said, “Yes!  The Cookery is the perfect venue for my event!” 

The final Event Proposal was sent to you to confirm, and the Rental Agreement and Rules and Regulations sheet was signed.  The Date-Hold Deposit was paid.  Your event day and time is now booked!

2 |  Choosing a Caterer

It’s now time to focus on FOOD!  Please refer to our list of Preferred Caterers on the Guest Portal to select your caterer.  Contact any of them to receive menu and pricing options.

You will be working directly with your caterer on the meal planning for your event.  All of our Preferred Caterers are familiar with The Cookery, and are a great resource for layout ideas, which will be determined by the style of service you choose (seated meal, buffet, passed or plattered hors d'oeuvres), and the flow and feel you want for your event!  All of the caterers on our list are also happy to discuss any dietary restrictions that you may have.

Once you have decided on a caterer and have chosen your menu, the caterer will send us an invoice for the initial deposit.  We will place the deposit with them on your behalf.  If your actual budget for the meal exceeds the catering budget that is listed on your Event Proposal, you will need to increase the amount you have on deposit with us in order to keep your total deposit with us at 50% of the total budget for the event.

3 |  Layout Meeting

Design the perfect layout for your event with our General Manager, Tammy Carwane.  This meeting will confirm the optimal layout for your event as well as help you plan for any additional rentals and discuss any AV needs.  Following the layout meeting you will receive a digital copy of your layout to reference as you decide on your florals and other decor. 

4 |  Linen Meeting

Now that your catering details and layout are confirmed, it's time to choose linens!  The Cookery works with CE Rentals in Raleigh, who offers countless color, style and texture options.  Tammy will meet with you at CE Rentals in order to ensure every detail is addressed.

If you prefer not to work with CE Rentals, you are more than welcome to rent linens from American Party Rentals or any other trusted linen rental company.

5 |  Final walk-through

We typically schedule a final walk-through about three weeks before your event. This ensures that all layout, inventory and rental inventory orders are correct and confirmed. This is also an opportunity for you to discuss any questions or concerns about the final event planning details!

6 |  Security Deposit Payment 2 Weeks Before Your Event

Your security deposit of $1500 is due to The Cookery 2 weeks prior to your event.  The security deposit check is made payable to The Cookery, and mailed to 1101 W. Chapel Hill St., Durham, NC 27701. 

This deposit is refundable as long as there is no damage to The Cookery's property. The Security Deposit is applied to your Final Balance Due (which is due on your event date), less any deductions for damages to The Cookery's property. Please review our Rules and Regulations for details about damages and your Security Deposit.

Most items on the invoice that are due on the date of your event are able to be determined beforehand. However, the labor included on both the caterer's contract and The Cookery's contract are estimates, so if the party runs late, or if the staff is out a little earlier than they thought, the actual labor may be slightly different.  The Cookery will have an invoice ready several days before your date once the final guest count is in and any other last minute changes have been made.   That invoice is due on the day of your event.  If you would prefer not to think about business on the actual day, you are welcome to pay the invoice early.  

Your final numbers from the caterer will be received later in the week.  Once we receive these final numbers, we adjust your invoice accordingly, and either deduct any overage from your security deposit or send any overpayment back with your security deposit.  You should receive your deposit back by mail within 1-2 weeks after your event.

7 |  5 Days Before Your Event

5 days prior to your event we will need the following items.  Each item is listed in detail below!

  • Your final guest count for your bar package
  • Your bar package selections
  • Any additional amenities or rentals
  • Details about the flow of the evening and plans for service
  • If your slideshow is utilizing Dropbox, we request you upload your photos to our Dropbox account 5 days prior to the event.

If you would like to confirm any of these details further in advance, we encourage you to do so!

8 |  The Event Day and Final Balance Due

You've made it - woo hoo!  All details are set, and now the big day is here! Your job is to enjoy your event! We will do everything in our power to make sure your event runs without a hitch. Our staff and catering staff will attend to your needs and ensure that you have a wonderful event.  

What to expect

You and your caterer have access to the facility 2.5 hours before the event.  Therefore, if your event begins at 6:30pm, our staff and the catering staff will arrive at The Cookery at 4:00pm to begin set-up.  

If you have friends or family that are arriving before the event to set up table decor, please note that the catering staff will not have the tables, chairs, and linens out until about an hour after the start of set up.


Final Balance Due

Your Final Balance Due is due on your event date.  Before the end of your event, you may pay this balance with cash, check or credit card.  Unfortunately we have to charge a 3% processing fee for credit card payments in order to cover our costs for processing.  See Security Deposit Payment above for more information!