The food you serve your guests can make or break your reception so you’ll want the best caterers to make sure everything is first class.
There are two main options: the in-house caterer based at your venue; and the off-site catering company, which brings everything to your venue.
Wedding packages are available at many venues, ranging in price depending on the style and formality of the event and the meals themselves. Generally speaking, the more formal the occasion, the more the catering is going to cost. Most packages include the food, the people to cook and serve it, the tables, chairs, linens, china, cutlery, glasses and bar staff, all priced on a ‘per head’ basis. Or if you want to use items outside the usual package – such as coloured linens, specific glasses or having chair covers – you can list everything you want and have it priced individually.
Depending on the venue, you may not have to use its in-house catering facilities. But if you particularly want to bring in someone of your own, you are likely to be charged a lot for the privilege and it may be more cost effective and a lot less hassle to look for a different venue.
If the reception venue is unfurnished, such as a marquee or the village hall, you’ll probably use a mixture of hire companies and outside caterers. The room will be a blank space so you’ll need to hire everything from tables and chairs to the glasses. Some catering companies can help with all of this, others provide just food.
Once you´ve chosen a caterer, ask for a tasting session of the proposed menu and drink options.
Discuss the menu, canapés, guest numbers, vegetarian and special dietary options ans when you need to confirm and pay for everything. Don’t be afraid to make changes to their food suggestions; it’s your wedding and you need to love, not just like, what you’ll be serving to your friends and family. Caterers are professionals and won’t be at all offended if you want something different.
At the same time as finalising the menu you should choose appropriate wines to complement your carefully chosen menu.