This post on wedding catering, sort of links to last week’s post (How to Pick a Wedding Venue) as you may be tied to using the on site catering facilities in some venues.
First tip is whatever food you are considering providing for your guests, be sure to have a pre-wedding taste test. When you do, also keep in mind that cooking a dish for a couple of people is very different to large scale wedding catering. Do you feel that the venue or catering provider will be able to deliver on the day?
For us the wedding catering was the biggest expense as we had a meal, a drinks reception and a buffet during the day and evening. We felt that an intimate wedding breakfast (the first meal you have as a married couple) could give us the opportunity to spend a little more time with out families and close friends, so we decided to limit the number to 50, this included immediate family and friends whom we had asked to have a role in the ceremony (bridesmaids, best men, ushers, witnesses and those doing readings). We also felt that guests who had traveled from abroad to be with us on our special day should also be included.
We looked at a few venues with regard to wedding catering. Most seemed vastly expensive for what you got. My (now) husband jokingly suggested that we could go to a local restaurant, one that is a favorite with my family. I actually thought “why not?!”
We approached the owner of Greek restaurant, Demetris Taverna, in Weston-Super-Mare to see if they could help. In the run up to the wedding we had a couple of meetings with them to discuss numbers, menu options and timings. Demetris created a bespoke menu for us, which we went to try with our parents a few months before the wedding. The food was, as ever, delicious.
If you are unsure of where to look for catering, ask people who have recently got married to recommend venues or catering companies, or look for reviews online to see if a venue is able to cope with catering for the numbers you are inviting. When choosing food to provide be aware of special dietary requirement. Vegetarian and vegan options may be required, and there are a growing number of people who have nut allergies or gluten intolerance.
We chose 3 options of starter, main and desert, that our guests could choose from, and asked them to provide their choice in advance. You can of course make it so everyone (bar special requirements) has the same option.
Your wedding breakfast doesn’t have to be a sit down meal. Buffets always go down well, especially at an evening reception, as does the every popular hog roast. Some couples decide to have afternoon tea, or rolling canapes and drinks.
Keep in mind that it is unlikely that all your guests will be able to make your wedding day. Make sure to confirm numbers with the catering company or venue at a specified time before the wedding. At this point you will usually be locked into paying for the food you are ordering, even if a guest or two fails to turn up.
Depending on the timings for the day you may need to think about providing more than one meal. We got married at 11:15am, meaning we felt we had to provide lunch as well as food at the evening reception. If your ceremony isn’t until mid-afternoon, you may only provide one meal or canapes and a meal or buffet.
It is best not to keep your guests hungry though. Combining a lack of food and, most likely, alcohol consumption, is just asking for trouble!
Speaking of drinks, what should you provide? There is no hard and fast rule for this. Some people provide free flowing wine or an open bar, others just a glass of bubbles for the toasts. We provided wine during the wedding breakfast and then has a drinks reception to welcome our evening guests, where everyone received a drink upon their arrival. Some couples like to provide a custom created cocktail, especially mixed for their wedding day. If you are not providing a free bar, find out if the supplier accepts card payments, and if not, be sure to let your guests know if it is a cash only bar, so they can come prepared.
Remember that some guests prefer to have a non-alcoholic options. Try mixing elderflower cordial with tonic water to create a tasty alternative to champagne, or the good old stand in, orange juice.
I hope this post has been useful for you. If you would like to receive news and special offers from EBM Photography, as well as other wedding tips, why not sign up to our newsletter.
So until next time, Cheers!
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