Preparing for a wedding reception at the Breakers Palm Beach
They considered European castles and island hideaways, but one Texas couple in search of the ideal wedding destination confessed to Director of Catering Joan Bever, that they selected The Breakers Palm Beach because it offers both architectural elegance and seaside romance—plus, the resources to make planning their event a cinch. Located just ten minutes from the Palm Beach Airport on 140-oceanfront acres, Florida’s oldest hotel has stunningly diverse spaces and a creative and culinary team of “perfectionists” who ensure that each wedding is unlike any other with one exception: all are flawlessly executed.
“There’s nothing we can’t do or provide at The Breakers,” Bever asserts. With venues ranging from opulent ballrooms “in every size” to four courtyards, lawns and a Beach Gazebo, brides and grooms can treat guests to memorable experiences throughout a wedding weekend. In-house Design Studio professionals are “as talented as any individual designer I’ve known,” says Bever, who expects event staff to be constantly “traveling, looking at new things, coming up with something really clever and seeing it through to fruition.”
Brides and grooms “tell us up front that they want this event to be unlike any other,” says Executive Chef of Banquets Jeff Simms, who relishes the challenge and says wedding meals at The Breakers are “very a la carte style in nature” and feature the highest quality, often locally-procured ingredients. Serving wedding guests requires collaboration between four or five kitchens and as many as 50 chefs. “It’s about mapping out every detail; every chef has a job,” he says of his team’s ability—in just 10 minutes—to prepare and serve 300 individual raw bar appetizers with select sea delicacies, a caviar-filled gold egg shell, and an ice sculpture on each plate. Pairing wines with wedding feasts is an art The Breakers has
mastered thanks to “an impeccably trained staff and a world renowned wine list,” says Virginia Philip, who became only the tenth female Master Sommelier in 2002, three weeks before winning the American Sommelier Association’s “Best Sommelier in America” competition. Whether it’s selecting a cold, smooth sake as a refreshing accompaniment to sushi or steering couples toward an “easy-drinking red” like Côtes du Rhône, Philip takes
couples’ tastes into consideration while helping them to establish a wine tradition that they can return to as they celebrate future milestones together.
Once couples choose The Breakers, the resort’s dedicated team mobilizes to fulfill every desire, from rehearsal dinner tablecloths emblazoned with Texas maps to newspaper-wrapped, fresh-caught and fried snapper and chips to satisfy an English groom’s cravings.
“Our culture is clearly what makes us successful,” Simms says. “It’s one team, one goal; from the dishwashers to the servers to the chefs.” As couples bid guests farewell at a Sunday brunch in the Mediterranean Courtyard or on the Ocean Terrace, Simms often stops by: “Not because I need to, but I want to talk to the clients. I feel an enormous sense of responsibility to exceed their expectations,” he says. “When I have the entire family telling me, ‘It was over the top—it was the best day of our life,’ that’s what keeps me going,” he says.
> Written by Kim Knox Beckius
GRACE ORMONDE WEDDING STYLE