Wight Wedding Blog

© Silk Wedding photography

Tips to help with your catering

Now this post will just be a start and we will be covering catering a lot more in the future as there can be lots of elements to consider. If you don’t have an in house event co-ordinator or a wedding planner helping you in your own marquee or outdoor venue, then sometimes it can be hard to make decisions with so many options. These are just a few things you may consider.

Deciding which type of catering you would like to go for on your wedding day can leave you reeling with all your possible options and quantities. For some it can be tricky, especially if they are trying to choose something all their guests would enjoy, yet easier for others who choose something THEY will enjoy on their wedding day with dietary options for those who won’t. You may already have an idea of the type of wedding and catering that would suit the day you are creating. If a family member is paying for the catering then it would be polite to consider a particular dietary requirement they have and incorporate it into the menu, or ask your caterer if it is possible to have a meal made for them.

You may be using the in-house caterers at your chosen venue who can offer varying types of catering and can help by letting you know which types have worked for previous couples and the venue itself, but don’t be afraid to ask for something different and what you really want. They will mostly be willing to accommodate where they can.

You may want to consider some of the following when planning your catering.

© Silk Wedding Photography

Final numbers no later than a week before –

Caterers aren’t doing this to be awkward. They need to ensure they have the correct amount of stock in and delivery days are sometimes once or twice a week, not every day. Some elements will be prepared a day before with ingredients needed a day or two before that. Decrease in numbers can be accommodated (obviously - and it is only fair to pay for those as they will have prepared them) but any increases may leave one or two of your guests with a different meal to others.  

When are you getting married? –

The time you get married and plan on getting to your venue can be a deciding factor in which type of catering you choose and whether you will need to feed guests later in the evening. An early ceremony may mean you choose an afternoon reception meal and ask your guests to stay late into the night to boogie with the newly weds. You might find your guests a little sluggish when dancing to YMCA if you don’t think about offering them a little snack or buffet later in the evening (or it may be the copious amounts of Pimms they drank and half an hour too long in the sun).

   

© Silk Wedding Photography 

 

Canapé reception or not? –

The reception is a good time to offer your guests some food to keep them going until dinnertime, however this depends on how long your reception is and how many photos you are trying to fit into that time. Think about when guests will join you for your ceremony, whether they then drive to your reception venue, go straight to dinner or mingle on the lawn whilst photos are being taken, before sitting for dinner. If it has been hours since lunchtime and will be a while before dinner then perhaps a few snacks or canapés would keep the wolves from the door. However, money spent on canapés and snacks may take away from more being spent on the main reception meal they can wait a little longer for.

Don’t forget your cake –

We have seen on many occasions the cake cut after an amazing meal that everyone is stuffed from, portioned and displayed for all to taste with not everyone quite ready for round 2 of sweet. Consider this when choosing how many tiers or cupcakes you will need and also which type of dessert you choose. Your cake could be your choice of dessert or it can be served to guests later in the evening as the sweet option. To avoid needing/wanting people to eat it on the night you could decide to buy portion boxes and send it home for everyone to have with tea the next day, either at home or an post-wedding brunch.

  

Photography credit - left: Wight Photography right: Petticoats and frills cakes

Seating plan –

Don’t underestimate the need for a seating plan when communicating your catering requirements. If you have choices or dietary requirements then your caterer will need to know where they are sitting, preferably not on the day but ahead of time. Makes the service to you and your guests a lot easier and smoother ensuring your vegetarian cousin doesn’t get the rare steak placed professionally in front of them. Collect all of this information when you send out invites and if guests don’t let you know then they may have to get what is given on the day (harsh but you have lots to think about, and you did ask).

Little fussy people –

Don’t forget about the children that will be eating on your wedding day. If you are absolutely sure they will eat part or all of what you have chosen then that is fine, but they can be fussy. Perhaps check with the parents and if you are unsure then ask the caterers to provide a child friendly option. Another detail they will need to know ahead of time.

They have done this before –

The caterers you are working with will have catered at weddings before and can usually offer golden nuggets (not chicken!!) of advice that will help you save money or ensure you and your guests are suitably yet not over stuffed on the day. Some will tell you when you are thinking about providing too much or too little as it can be difficult for you if you haven’t tried to organise catering for multitudes of people before. A French theme for your day with frogs legs all round may be asking your guests to find the adventurer in them, but it could lead to waste of money and legs.  

Photography credit Rookley Country Park

And finally…….It is your day!

Both of you will have planned your wedding day for a long time and in the weeks and days leading up to it, you will find yourselves under more stress. Make sure you enjoy your day and try and soak everything in (and up!) by choose a menu or catering style that you will be happy with and will ensure your day is one for you both to remember.

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