Is there anything more important or more complex than wedding catering? Not only do you need to create a memorable and exciting spread, but you also need to balance your budget along with determining how many guests will be involved. Taking the planning step-by-step is the only way to make sure that your guests get fed while your sanity remains intact.
Start With the Pre-Planning
Before you begin looking into the numbers, you should have a rough idea of how you want your wedding to be catered. How many guests are you interested in serving? What kind of meals do you envision? Are you going to be having a lunch wedding or a dinner wedding? Are you going to have appetisers and canapes? What about the drinks and drink service?
Most people only have a general idea of what they want before they contract with a caterer. It's after they discuss their goals with their caterer that they can narrow down what they really want.
Connect With a Caterer
It's important to talk to a caterer as early as possible, as if you don't talk to a caterer you won't know what's available or feasible in your area. Your caterer knows everything about per head pricing, seasonal ingredients, and the best ways to make your ideas come true. Further, many caterers prefer to work with specific venues, or need to be booked well in advance; connecting with them early on is the best way to make sure you get everything you need.
Give Your Caterer Some Examples
One of the best ways to get exactly what you want from a caterer is to give them examples of what you want. You can send them images of food that you find particularly appealing, a list of your favourite ingredients, or examples from local restaurants that you really enjoy. When it comes to desserts like cakes, sometimes it can be helpful to bring an example of something that you loved, and let the caterer know about any changes to your example that you would enjoy.
Finalise Your Guest List
Your caterer is going to need to have a very exact guest list to be able to complete the catering. And that means that you're going to need to finalise your guest list before you can be aware of the full budget. Finalise your guest list as early as possible with a little bit of wiggle room, with the idea that there may be some changes that come closer to the date.
Get Back the RSVPs
Your wedding RSVPs should have given you information about dietary restrictions, in addition to which meals your guests are most interested in. This information will need to be forwarded to your caterer. Often, when sending RSVPs, the choice of a couple of proteins and a vegetarian meal are often offered: as an example, a chicken, beef, or salad plate. This tells the caterer exactly what they are going to need to prepare and for whom.
Decide on the Final Menu
Once you get your RSVPs back, you should know which entrees are going to be served for lunch or dinner. However, you're still going to need to work towards figuring out things such as canapes. Your caterer will be able to produce a full menu for you at this time, and you can work with your caterer to determine what you are most happy with.
Usually, your caterer is going to give you examples of different types of food that they might prepare, and you'll be able to select the ones that taste best to you. These may be based on the season, the general theme of your wedding, and your own personal tastes.
Finalise Everything as Early as Possible
Nothing related to catering should be left to the last minute, as it requires a lot of preplanning. Changing an appetiser just before an event may seem easy enough, but in fact it could change everything, from introducing scheduling issues to altering the total cost of your catered event.
Once you know which food items you want prepared, you should finalise everything with the caterer. From there, they can begin doing things such as scheduling their labour, planning how the food will be cooked, and making purchases in advance.
Organising wedding catering may feel overwhelming, but there's a lot that the caterer can take care of for you. Contacting a catering as early as possible is the best way to make sure everything goes off without a hitch. To get started with your planning now, contact Laissez-faire.