There’s no doubt that the quality of the catering is what sustains a wedding. Your guests may have come to see you exchange your vows and celebrate your union, but a true party involves good food. In fact, gastronomy is usually what guests remember the most and, therefore, is one of the most important things to take care of.
It’s commonly known that the catering takes up roughly half of your wedding budget, so with this in mind, you can start researching the best teams around. Also find out whether your venue has its own catering services or if you need to hire them separately. Here are 5 useful tips:
- Step 1. Number of guests and type of catering
- Step 2. Look for good reviews
- Step 3. Ask about the services they include
- Step 4. Taste the food: quality and quantity
- Step 5. Consider all the other details
The number of guests is highly important for any aspect of wedding organisation. The catering will change according to how many family and friends will be there, since some services include a minimum or a maximum number. In this sense, the quality of the food must be guaranteed regardless of the number of people, because many catering companies, when they have to provide for large groups, become assembly lines of food that overlook the individual quality of every plate.
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The number of guests and the style of your wedding will determine the type of catering. If you’re hosting a classical event and have a large number of attendees, the traditional wedding breakfast, with round tables and the seated guests, is the best option. This is the catering style that continues to be the most popular.
For less crowded and more casual weddings, two really practical and original options are canapés or finger food the whole evening, or a buffet with different food stalls. In these two cases, there are many modern chefs and breakthrough catering styles that ooze experimentation and originality. On the other hand, catering in rural environments have reconverted the traditional banquet with long wooden tables instead of round surfaces, rural chic decorations without tablecloths and vintage tableware, dim lights and dishes to taste very unique.
Something that may be important to you, no matter the size of your wedding, is whether the caterer is familiar with your chosen venue. As Natalie from Chilli Bees Catering says, “it is always reassuring when your caterer has worked in your venue before and can advise what style of catering has worked well in the space previously. If they haven’t worked there before the caterer should be keen to organise a site visit to check the facilities available on site“.
The most important opinion is yours, but you should also take into account past experiences before you book. Newlyweds and foodie experts will all have something to say and you must learn to contrast information, opinions and advice. Without a doubt, those who know the catering service will know how to advise you better than anyone.
Wedding catering is not limited to offering dishes for your guests. Therefore, you should ask everything about what exactly is included in the price, so that you don’t lack certain aspects of the complete service, such as the waiters, the cake, the bar staff, and even, the decoration. In fact, many caterers differ from the rest not only because of the content of the banquet itself, but also because of the options and specialties that that serve to enrich both the setting up of the reception and the delicious flavours themselves. As the experts at Mencarelli Group say, “behind the success of each event there is a highly qualified staff team, a carefully personalised menu and outfits tailored to the peculiarities of the chosen location so as to enhance its magic.”
When you already have several possible options for catering, based on the references and the information you have obtained, it’s time to taste. The tasting is key to know how professionals work and to get to know the different menus that best suit your preferences.
There should be a perfect balance between quality and quantity on your plate. It’s also convenient to establish the amounts that will be distributed to each person to avoid unnecessary surprises on the big day.
Don’t forget the quality of the compositions. How does the presentation creatively work with the flavours? Seasonal products, typical of the season in which you celebrate the wedding, are a good option, but also the search for special and unexpectedly tasty sensations. Make sure that the products are fresh and that the designs of the dishes advance the magical gastronomic experience for your guests.
You can take your parents or friends knowledgeable in the matter to have more than one opinion and decide with more security, but remember that your personality always counts and that your word and that of your partner should always be the last.
These days, catering is becoming more adaptable to many styles and dietary requirements. It’s thus necessary to look for a service that can provide for any need your guest may have, and so, once you have confirmed the number of guests, make sure you find out their requirements! Any good catering company should be willing to take preferences on board and make sure that they can create a special experience for every guest, regardless of there diet needs.
Another detail that you should bear in mind is whether the company is flexible if you need to make last minute changes – you want the whole process to be easy, after all.
And, as with the decided venue, find out about the catering company’s cancellation policy, in the unlikely case of postponement or cancellation.