Weddings may be big or small affairs.
But no matter how intimate or how grand you choose your wedding reception to be, it is customary and even ideal to have your guests fed after the ceremony. In some cases, especially when the particular affair is kept extremely small and intimate, averaging on less than thirty guests, the couple would decide to have the food prepared themselves.
However, more often than not and with weddings getting grander and grander by the year, more couples would opt to have a catered event and employ the services of a wedding caterer. Now, with all the hustle and bustle adding to the stress when it comes to the planning of a wedding, couples grossly underestimate the logistics that goes into a caterer’s strategic plan to feed a battalion of guests.
Most couples are immensely misinformed about what really occurs when they decide to avail of the services of a caterer. Catering a wedding is not as straightforward as giving a guest estimate, cooking the food and serving them at the wedding.
No, there is a lot more that goes into catering than just choosing from a selection of hors d’oeuvres to serve and which wines to toast to. There is a lot more sophistication that goes into preparing the food for your guests than what most couples expect and this is an arduous task. To make this easier for the couple and the caterer, this article has collated a list of secrets to working with your caterer better.
SIT DOWN WITH YOUR CATERER
Though we might live in an age where communication is easily accomplished by sending an email or a text message, initially contacting your caterer through these ways is not so ideal. The best way to commence your business relationship with your caterer is to sit down with them and talk and convey your ideas of what you want your wedding reception to be. Let them know where your wedding reception is, the number of guests attending if you are having the ceremony on site and if you would prefer your reception to have a seated dinner or if you would rather have your guests stand up for a buffet, your food likes and dislikes if any. Do not be too general, if anything your caterer will appreciate if you go into the specifics as it will aid them from having to redo the menu when something does not sit well with you.
CATERERS HANDLE MORE THAN JUST YOUR FOOD
Remember, your caterer provides the silverware and dishes of which your food will be presented and eaten from. At times, when a reception hall does not provide for dining tables and chairs, your caterer would provide this as well. When communicating your budget to your caterer, consider that 35% of your budget will be allocated for the food while the rest goes to the staff, the rental equipment and the tax. Conveying your budget to your caterer will help them give you options. Remember, catering accounts for a fourth of your wedding budget so it is a good idea to work with your caterer to have an appropriate budget.
DO NOT SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF BY TRYING TO PLEASE EVERYONE
If the food is to your liking during the taste test, it is likely that your guest will too. Consider the fact that above all, this day is about you and your soon to be spouse, you do not have to make sure that the food is to everyone’s taste for the reason of pleasing them.
BE OPEN WITH YOUR CATERER
Your caterer will appreciate your candor and honesty when it comes to the food during your tasting. Consider that your caterer is meant to “cater” to your tastes so do not be afraid to share your honest opinions or to make suggestions. Should there be anything not fit to your tastes, the caterer would be more than happy to make accommodations and changes so that you would be more than satisfied with the meal served during your big day.
LET YOUR MENU REFLECT WHO YOU ARE
Do not go for the overly generic menu by selecting a few finger foods, some pasta and traditional hors d’oeuvres—no, your menu should be distinctive to who you and your partner are as a couple. Though this is not necessarily a step that every soon to be wed couple should keep in mind when planning out their menu, it is one that fosters a feeling of familiarity towards their guests. This is not to say that the entire menu should consist of personal dishes that the couple is known to love. A classic approach to this is– say your spouse hails all the way from Bacolod while you are a native of Cebu, and you can have two signature dishes from each province present in your menu to have it more personalized.
CHOOSE A CATERER YOU ARE COMFORTABLE WITH
Your caterer is going to be a part of your wedding plans as much as your wedding coordinator will be. So you will have to work with someone you are comfortable with and someone you can easily talk to when it comes to suggestions and opinions regarding the food. In this way, you are guaranteed a business relationship which you can handle stress-free and at ease.
Remember that your caterer would be doing so much more than just feeding your guests, the relationship you build with them is a determinative factor of how successful your wedding reception will be. Do not just consider your wedding caterers as your main purveyors of food but consider them as your collaborators into providing a unique wedding reception experience.