All posts by willabys

Happy Couple

A word from a bride…

Shannin and crew,

You deserve a huge shout out for the amazing food and service you provided at our July wedding. Everyone commented on how delicious the food was! We also loved our to -go bag and were so thankful for it once we left the venue for the night.

Happy bride and groom

May Flowers and No May Showers

Beautiful day for a wedding!

Our wedding season has begun and we so enjoyed working with this lovely couple. Early May weather can be a big question mark, but the rain stayed away and everyone enjoyed a beautiful day at Zenith Vineyards. Ashley from ADB Photo took many stunning photos, as usual, and we thank her for sharing with us!

Congratulations to the bride and groom, we wish you a lifetime of happiness!

Happy Bride!

Here are a few words from a recent Bride…

Hi Jean,

Just wanted to send a note and let you know how pleased we were with our wedding and the services provided! Everything went off without a hitch, and the food was AMAZING! We had several guests tell us how good it was and Derek and I have loved eating the leftovers all week.

Shannin was amazing, as well, and we can’t say enough good things about the planning process and ultimate execution. You and your team were phenomenal to work with and Willaby’s will be top of mind whenever we plan another event.

Thanks again!

Dress Up Fun


Two of our employees got to have a bit of dress up fun today! Iona and Marli had the privilege of being part of a photo shoot with ADB Photographix.  What beautiful “brides to be” they are!

Rain Rain Didn’t go Away

We had the opportunity to do a great fall wedding recently at Youngberg Hill Vineyards. Although the plan was to have the ceremony outdoors and the reception in the beautiful new building, mother nature had other plans… the bride and groom didn’t want their guests to be moved around to accommodate a room “switch over”,  so guests were invited to sit comfortably at their reception tables and enjoy the beautiful ceremony. It was a great plan and everyone enjoyed the relaxed happy atmosphere.


Another Great Youngberg Hill Wedding

I would like to state that we could not have been happier with the professional service provided by Willaby’s. My husband and I plus the future bride & groom met with Jean Mateson initially and thereafter with Shannin. Both were extremely helpful and easy to work with. The food was exceptional and our guests were very complimentary. The wedding venue was the Youngberg Hill Vineyard and I can certainly see why Willaby’s is their preferred catering company. They worked with us to develop our menu, table linens, etc and their guidance and experience with weddings made all the difference! I certainly recommend Willaby’s Catering to anyone looking for a memorable wedding reception in the McMinnville-Salem area.

Parents of Bride

Perfect Backyard Wedding

Here is what our client said about their perfect August backyard wedding…

I can’t say how much we appreciated all the work you and your staff put toward our wedding.  The food was amazing and so many of our guests said they loved loved  loved the food. Your staff was very attentive and always happy to help. I will recommend Willaby’s Catering over and over for ANY event.

Tyler and Shawn

Breakfast for Dinner!

Don’t you just love to have breakfast at dinner time! Well the bride and groom at a recent wedding decided that since their favorite meal of the day is breakfast, they wanted all those wonderful foods at their wedding reception.  We included chicken and waffles, teriyaki glazed salmon bites, berry blintzes, maple bacon and mini yogurt and granola parfaits to name a few.  And of course at the dessert table…. DONUTS!  We love to work outside the box!

July Rain Plan

It’s mid July just 2 days before an outdoor wedding at beautiful Youngberg Hill Inn and Vineyards and the forecast has now changed to rain! Yikes! Every tent in the valley and beyond is booked. Willaby’s owner Jean Mateson gets on the phone and pulls out a miracle in the 24 hours before the wedding.  It just so happens that the groom for a wedding  we are doing the next week knows about tents!  Thanks to Madjek Rentals in Silverton for their amazing help saving many guests from a rather soggy Saturday evening.

Rain Plan!

I just wanted to give you our final thank you for a job well done. We were extremely pleased how it all came together and you were incredible on the day of wedding, as well as your assistant Brooke. She was really sweet and helpful after you left with wrapping it all up. Everything was waiting for us to load in the morning and in great shape.

We had many compliments on the food.  All the vendors you recommended were superb and we thank them all. We couldn’t have dealt with the tent issue without you and they were right there on Sunday morning to remove it.

All in all – a great experience!

MOB July 2016

Vineyard Wedding

Thank you so much for such an amazing spread yesterday. The food was great and your staff were superb! The day was absolutely flawless and we appreciate all your help. The bride and groom were thrilled with the way you decorated the room…it was beautiful.  Thank you so much for everything.

Mother of the Bride May 2016

You guys are the best!

“Thank you so much for all the work that you did to make our big day extra special. The food was delicious and the presentation was beautiful. We really appreciate all the effort you put into making our wedding celebration perfect. You guys are the best!”
Matt & Suzanne Bailey
Bride and Groom

The food was amazing!

“We want to thank you and your staff for going above and beyond for us and to make our day so perfect. The food was amazing! I was very thankful for going out of your way to do the last minute changes for us.”
Lupe & Angel Anaya
Bride and Groom

Went above and beyond to assure our satisfaction

“From the outset, we found ourselves in capable hands with Jean. She listened to our requests, made helpful suggestions, and was always willing to meet or talk us through our numerous questions and changes. Jean had a unique way of understanding, coordinating and executing our reception vision and went above and beyond to assure our satisfaction. We would highly recommend Jean as an event coordinator to anyone.”
Mike & Lael Weiss
Parents of the Bride

Would not hesitate to recommend

“I worked with Jean Williamson, Owner of Willabys Catering & Event Design, for my daughter’s wedding in August of 2008. We made two trips to the venue so the majority of the planning was accomplished via emails as I live in Portland and my daughter lived in New York City at the time. Once we decided that we wanted an outdoor wedding, a cocktail reception on the decks and a sit down dinner in the main ballroom, Jean made it happen and it was even more beautiful than we had imagined. When we learned the buses carrying our guests from Portland were running 45 minutes late, Jean set up a champagne bar for the other guests at a moment’s notice and even offered to make extra appetizers. I would not hesitate to recommend Jean to anyone looking for an event coordinator.”
Sheila Lorance
Mother of the Bride

Wonderful job at coordinating

“Thank you so much for all your help with Amy and Carlos’ wedding. Everyone thought the food was superb! Your staff was always helpful and considerate at ALL times. Your staff was great on the phone answering last minute questions and helping with the small last minute details. You did a wonderful job at coordinating from the rehearsal to the wedding all went perfect.”
Janice Beck
Mother and Bride

We were so impressed

“Thank you for all your hard work and expertise at our wedding. We were so impressed with the food and the very thoughtful catering staff. Many guests commented on how both the food and the professional, warm and courteous staff made for a great party. You did a wonderful job at managing all of the rentals, décor and transforming our yard into a beautiful wedding site. We will forever remember your help you gave us.”
The LaJoie Family

Very professional, friendly and helpful

“Thank you again to such a fabulous group of people at Willabys Catering. The food was absolutely delicious and we are still receiving compliments! The staff was very professional, friendly and helpful. We will definitely refer you to all our friends and family. Jean it was especially a pleasure working with you and you should be very proud of your wonderful business and staff.”
DwynAnn Colgan
Mother of Bride

Everyone RAVED about the food!

“THANK YOU so much for all the work you did for our wedding! We truly appreciate all of your attention to details. Everything was perfect and everyone RAVED about the food! Your staff was amazing! Thank you Jean and staff we could not have done it without you!”
Michael & Erin
Groom and Bride

It was glorious!

“Jean, Thank you for making our wedding PERFECT. You handled all aspects from food, coordination, décor and flowers and it was spectacular. Thanks to you and your wonderful staff. We have had so many people ask who did our catering and design they have said how great everything was. It was glorious!”
Lisa & Jack
Bride and Groom


This past week we did two tastings here at our Willabys “Tasting Room” with some prospective clients and it reminded me what an important part of our guest services this is.
On Friday we had the parents of a future bride here from Chicago and we tasted them on a summery menu of things that reflect the months when their daughter’s wedding will be. They had requested some particular items and I was happy to cook them what they had wanted to try.

They had wanted to taste some gnocchi in a brightly flavored “Caprese” sauce with fresh heirloom tomatoes, basil and mozzarella; Continue reading TASTING WITH US

Chefs Night Out

A HUGE thank you to all who joined us at Chefs Night Out at Willamette Valley Vineyards last Sunday afternoon, October 2.  Salem’s annual benefit for the Polk-Marion Foodbank was nicely attended and 17 food vendors and an equal number of wineries and breweries were there to feed the hungry masses and the slake their thirst with some of the best our Valley has to offer.

Willabys was represented by Pedro Romero and myself serving up Little Corn Pancakes topped with Black Bean/Corn Salsa and Continue reading Chefs Night Out

Just Like That

So there we were, coasting along with a glorious Indian Summer when Saturday night hit us with high winds and the rain that we will, of course, get used to.

This September has been filled with one exciting event after another and we’ve been loving using the local bounty that seems to leap from the fields of the Willamette Valley in August and September. We’ve been roasting, braising, pickling and smoking in an attempt to Continue reading Just Like That

Locally Grown

Each morning as I drive across the Willamette Valley to the Willaby’s kitchens I am amazed at how quickly it turns into a harvest wonderland and I am amazed at how many different crops are being grown. Of course, there are the grapes, vineyard after vineyard, but also now, the berries are in full swing, with gorgeous plump blueberries, blackberries and raspberries practically bursting off the vines.
In the kitchen we have been putting this local provender to good use by making vinaigrettes with the Continue reading Locally Grown

That Time of the Year

Greetings from Chef David…

It is getting to be that time of the year that we truly look forward to at Willaby’s.  The sun is coming out, the first produce of a new season is arriving and we are busy, busy, busy creating and cooking the specialties that will help to make your wedding, your reception or your graduation party an event that you will remember forever.

We have just finished our kitchen expansion and this past weekend we sent out three lunches, a lovely cocktail party and seated dinners for 135 and 75 all on Saturday!  We have dusted off our Traeger Continue reading That Time of the Year

Hello From Chef David!

Greetings Willaby’s friends and clients,

My name is David Mahler and I am excited to be the new Chef at Willaby’s Catering. I’ve moved here after two years of running the kitchen in an internationally known Eco-Lodge in Costa Rica. I am originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, where I was a restaurant chef for over 20 years, although my cooking has taken me not just to Costa Rica but all over the US.

What I bring to Willaby’s tasteful and well-known kitchen is a desire to work with clients and our staff developing menus custom tailored for you. I love to cook fresh made products sourced from local Continue reading Hello From Chef David!

Another Venue to Love!

We are so excited to have found another gorgeous Oregon Wedding venue to show you!

Domaine Margelle is truly breathtaking, even more so in person, but check out their site for some gorgeous vista views.

We are always excited to see a new gorgeous venue emerge that truly offers something different. Domaine Margelle is a one-of-a-kind experience venue with its own Country Farmhouse on the property. It’s like a European Villa with its own stone wall. Fantastic! Lots of great spots for pictures and Continue reading Another Venue to Love!

Bridal Open House

Let’s get ready for weddings… Summer is fast approaching and that means wedding season! Come visit us at the Bridal Open House on Sunday, February 27 from 1-4pm at Willamette Valley Vineyards where we will be serving up all kinds of tasty treats for your picky palette.

This is always a fun event and we really enjoy getting the opportunity to meet potential brides and show off our work! Which is yummy food, so there’s really no down side. Continue reading Bridal Open House

New year! New name! New perspective!

The Willaby’s family welcomed 2011 in the happiest, and most appropriate of ways. A wedding! Owner, Jean Williamson married love Scott Mateson in a new year’s eve wedding that had guests dancing and, of course, dining the night away. And what fun it was!

In the intimate Founders’ Room at Willamette Valley Vineyards, Jean was escorted down the aisle by her three boys and met groom Scott surrounded by close friends, family and oodles of rose pedals. Continue reading New year! New name! New perspective!

Join us at the Oregon Wedding Showcase!

January 22-23 at the Oregon State Fairgrounds we will be doing our thing with a fabulous booth! The Oregon Wedding Showcase is always a good time for us. We love meeting with brides, grooms and wedding party members. The energy is fun and we get to see lots of friends!

Stop by our booth to get great ideas and talk to us about your wedding vision. We’ll have some sample menus and other photos on hand ready to show off all we can do!