Wedding Catering Advice – Wedding Advice
Wedding Catering Advice from simple fair to the most lavish of meals, here at the wedding Affair we have seen it all. In truth the many weddings we have attended have always had great food. It’s as much about what you want to provide rather than the cost of the food. We have seen some wonderful full menus and so great buffet style servings. Its as much about you as the couple if you want big and lavish, home comfort food or the ultimate in Pork Pie and pickles all our caterers are here to help.
Whats My Catering Choice?
Your search for a wedding caterer begins once you have selected the site for your reception. Most locations require that you use their in-house caterer, which makes your choice fairly simple. Locations that have this requirement include hotels, country clubs and some of the more unusual facilities such as museums, boats or historical homes. You could also be asked to select an independent caterer from a pre-approved list.
If you are in a position to select your own caterer, try to narrow down your list to no more than three. When you call each caterer, have as much information ready as possible such as your wedding date, time of day, approximate number of guests and the degree of formality and style. If you have any general menu ideas or preferences, let the caterer know so they can be better prepared for your initial meeting. If possible, have them send you some sample wedding menus and references to review beforehand.
At the initial meeting, caterers will want to discuss your tastes and budget in detail. Your choices will most likely include the following: a sit-down meal, a buffet or any other options or ideas. Your caterer will be able to describe all of these options and their appropriateness for the time of day, number of guests and style.
Wedding Menu Tasting
When you finally narrow down your service style, most caterers will ask to arrange a time for you and your fiancé to sample their cuisine. This is called a tasting, and it usually takes place at the caterer’s establishment.
Buy this time you should also have some idea of costs, most caterers base their prices on a per-person cost.
Facilities with in-house catering departments may have a minimum charge or set-up fee, while an off-premises caterer will usually work within any reasonable, agreed-upon budget.
Some caterers offer lower prices or special menus for children, so be sure to let them know the number of children in attendance. Typically the wedding cake is not included in the meal cost.
Your final guest count is usually required one week before the event. This will be the minimum number of people for which you will actually be charged. Most caterers will plan on the addition of a few last-minute guests and will add the meals to the bill after the wedding. Although it is not required, you may consider including meals for wedding-related personnel, such as the DJ, musicians, photographer and wedding consultant. If cost is an issue, ask your caterer about “vendor meals.” These meals are more casual than the guest menu and are offered at a lower cost per person.
Remember to get specifics as to what extras are included in the caterer’s charges, such as table linens, plates, glasses, crystal, silverware and service pieces. You don’t want any surprises on your wedding day–at least not this kind.
Please be a considerate host, many people these days prefer to avoid red meat. If you would prefer a red meat perhaps consider offering an alternative of fish or chicken (pre ordered alternative only). Sample the vegetarian course as well as the main offering, some establishments have little imagination when it comes to vegetarian food. Cost also comes in to the menu choice so know your budget and try to stick to it. Remember you can break from tradition if you like curry perhaps have a big pot for all the guests to tuck into, stir fry vegetables and noodles can also make a fun change. The options are endless but please remember that you are catering for a large number of people who will all be expected to eat at the same time, so don’t over complicate your menu choice.
Once the menu is finalized, the next step is determining the number of staff you will need to serve your feast and keep your reception running smoothly. The general ratio is one server for every 10 to 12 guests for a sit-down dinner. In addition, providing a full and open bar will require more staffing than a limited bar with wine, beer and soft drinks. Be sure to confirm the proper attire for the wait staff beforehand so it is in keeping with the degree of formality for your reception.
Ensure that your catering contract details all of the particulars of your reception. Specify the day, date and time; the address of the site; food items by course and the number of guests covered; provisions for special meals; the time the meal will be served; contact people, including someone from your end with whom the caterers can consult; the number of servers and bartenders and their uniforms; linens; beverages to be served and bar guidelines; terms of payment; and liability insurance. Typically, an advance deposit is due when you sign the contract and remember to check on the cancellation policy for unforeseen events.