Choosing the people responsible for creating mouthwatering delicacies for your wedding can be a real challenge. There are a few things you must consider before making your decision.
I wish there had been someone to warn me when I was going through this because the wedding catering business is quite diverse and quality of food can make the world of a difference.
With my experience in mind, I developed this article to hopefully help another bride to be.
Start with the Basics
The best way to begin you selection is to come up with a basic meal plan that you both agree on including a couple appetizers and the main course. This doesn’t have to be definite, just an idea for each caterer to expand on with their specialties when you go food tasting. An example might be baked chicken, potato, beef roast, white fish, rice dish, noodle dish, seasonal vegetable. Then they have the opportunity to turn each part into a nice dish to impress your taste buds.
Another important aspect of choosing a wedding caterer is the cost. This comes in when you choose the type of meal you would like for the wedding and the specific caterer. You should get a list of about 10 caterers in the area to start your decision making. It is important you get rough figures from each caterer based on the numbers from you estimated guest list to eliminate any out of your budget to save yourself time and trouble. Also this is the time to ask if each caterer is available on your wedding date and if they allow you to provide you own beverages which can save you money.
The cost of your caterer will differ with the type of meal you provide at the wedding. Sit down vs. buffet style are your two main choices and each have good and bad aspects. Sit down dinners are wonderful because everyone gets what they ordered and they just relax as the wait staff serves the food and cleans up the plates while continuously refilling beverages on the tables. They are also not so great if you don’t want to spend a lot of money and time planning every detail.
Sit down dinners require you to send out eating cards to get everyone’s order, which you typically get to pick two or three choices and the more you choose the pricier the bill. Also you then have to have a seating chart which can be a huge headache if your families don’t know each other extremely well or there is a divorce on either side. However if you do want a seating chart you can arrange it with either type of meal. One last thing is that sit down meals require the same portions so some people will have too much food and others won’t have enough. This tends to lead to wasted food, which in the end costs you more.
Buffet meals on the other hand are more flexible with portions because people eat as much as they need and require less wait staff to serve food which saves you money. Also you have the option for more types of food because people can choose the sides they want and take a little of everything. This keeps the stress off of what you picked to go along with each main course. You also don’t have to worry about getting meal cards from everyone you invited and planning what meal goes with which main course and the price is right. Buffets cost about half to two thirds the price of a sit down meal which works well if you are on a tight budget. Just make sure your venue has the room for the set up and people walking around to get to and from the buffet. Overall I loved the buffet at my own wedding and it allowed me to taste a little of everything with room for cake!
Good Eating Enhances the Day
After reading all that I know it seems like a crazy process with a lot of headaches but it really can be easy as long as you follow your budget and taste buds. If you shop around and find that catering a full meal is way out of your budget you can always have your wedding around late lunch time and order a bunch of appetizers. This way you don’t have to pay for a sit down meal or a buffet and can have food and beverages provided at less cost. There are many great caterers out there and the right one can help you with the hard decisions. Good luck with picking your caterer and I hope this advice helps!
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