Wedding catering makes a big difference to your wedding reception, and will have a big impact on how guests remember the day. If you’re hiring a venue that has its own catering you may not have much choice, but if you’re picking your own caterer then go for the best you can afford. Find out more with our wedding catering tips:
Here are a few of the latest wedding catering trends:
Seafood dishes and soups are starting to replace salads as fashionable starters. If you do want to offer salad, it should include some substantial elements such as nuts and cheese, and if possible should be served with soup as well. Smoked salmon and fish mousse are good choices for starters.
Wedding dishes tend to change from season to season. While heartier meals are usually served at an autumn or winter wedding most caterers will recommend salads and lighter types of food for a midsummer wedding.
If you have a special signature dish that your caterer can produce, the main course will be the time to present it, however keeping it simple with traditional roast chicken, steak or salmon will certainly leave your guests satisfied. More unusual meats like lamb or veal are also now finding their way onto wedding menus.
For a really modern twist, strolling receptions where guests move between a number of food stations offering different types of dishes is very popular. You can include foods from many different countries, whole stands dedicated to sticky desserts or exotic cocktails, and specialities such as sushi.
While desserts are slowly becoming more subtle and we are seeing a return to traditional flavours and hot puddings, many couples are still looking for decadent dessert buffets. If you want something classy dessert trios consisting of three miniature desserts is a fashionable choice.
Choosing a wedding caterer
If you are hiring independent wedding caterers you will need to do so twelve to eighteen months before the big day, at about the same time as you book the reception venue. You should meet with them again four to five months prior to the wedding to finalise the details.
You and your partner should first decide what type of menu you want before you look for caterers. For informal outdoor receptions, a BBQ or spit roast can be a good choice and if you are hosting your wedding at home, you will need a mobile caterer. A formal wedding may require a sit down dinner with several courses, or you might like a simple buffet.
Are there are any specific dishes that you and your fiancé really like and want to include in your wedding menu? A good caterer should be happy to cook them and to suggest ways in which the rest of the menu can be adapted to complement these dishes.
A reputable caterer should be happy to organise a tasting session for you. When you meet with caterers ask whether you can book a tasting session and also ask for references that you can call and chat with.
Find out whether caterers can accommodate special dietary needs such as vegetarianism and food intolerances or allergies. They should be able to tell you what precautions they take to prevent cross contamination via cooking utensils as well as being able to provide dishes that don’t include certain ingredients.
Confirm the type of service, particularly if it is a formal sit down dinner. Are the waiters and waitresses experienced in silver service, and will they be wearing appropriate clothing for your wedding? Enquire about the type of crockery and cutlery the caterer will be using to ensure that it matches the overall theme and look of your wedding.
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