We get asked to quote for a great many weddings and events, but we don’t always get to provide the catering. When you enquire about menus, any professional caterer will always ask you a number of questions, if you want your catering to be exactly right and to a high standard make sure you consider the questions carefully and have the answers to hand, this could make the difference between your wedding breakfast being perfect or going disastrously wrong.
At initial enquiry we always ask:
- When is the wedding? – There is no point in quoting if the date is already set and your caterer is not available. Sometimes a couple will tell us it is in May 2015 for example. In which case we can provide a quote but then make it clear to the couple that we only have certain dates in May available , otherwise when menu’s are sent we are giving you the couple the impression we are available for any date you choose.
- Work out a realistic budget. What budget do you have set aside for the food and sundry services such as staff etc? – Again if the budgets are within certain constraints and our menus cannot fit the budgets we would rather not waste your time. You as a couple have a lot to do and reading through menus which you are likely to discount on cost is a waste of your precious time. Speak with the caterer see if the menu you have your heart set on can perhaps be tweaked slightly to accommodate your budgets, Any reputable caterer will know how important this day is to you and if possible will work with you on price.
- What and where is the venue? – Your venue choice will reflect what is possible for your wedding breakfast. For instance, if your reception is in a small village hall with hardly any kitchen facilities, take the advice of the caterer, we know what is practical and what can be achieved with limited facilities. Always offer to meet the caterer at the venue, a reputable caterer will always want to view the venue beforehand, just to make sure they have access to certain facilities. If for instance a ‘Town Hall’ is booked as the venue, we would need to be sure that the kitchen is booked for our use too. Always pass on the contact details of the venue co-ordinator to the caterer and vice versa, make sure your caterer has liaised with the co-ordinator at your venue, this is vital.
- Choose your meal wisely and take on board the advice of your caterer. We know what is achievable what is practical and through experience what people generally do not want. Whilst your wedding breakfast is your choice, like it or not there are always going to be other considerations, for instance if the venue does not have grilling facilities don’t insist on having a ‘grilled’ dish, this will only lead to problems and stress for all parties, and make sure your caterer can accommodate any dietary requirements. Vegetarians, Vegans, Coeliac, are commonplace these days and accommodated easily, but serious nut or fish allergies take very careful consideration and kitchen practices, make sure this can be done.
- If you are booking sundry services from other suppliers, it is always a good idea to introduce your suppliers to each other, we will always liaise well with other suppliers, and we are happy to work with others for the good of your special day, this relieves you the couple from stress. Any professional caterer or other company will do the same. If you do not have knowledge of sundry suppliers, your caterer will always have names and numbers of companies they have worked with in the past. We have links on our web site to Wedding Dress suppliers, cake makers, Gents wear, Venue dressers, all of whom we have worked with before and all of whom work to our own high standards.
- Always ask the advice of your caterer on table plans, you may want 10 people on a 6ft round table for instance, however, if there is to be a lot of table decor, or there are several courses requiring several courses of cutlery, you may only be able to fit 8 on in order for your guests to be comfortable. Your caterer will know what suits the room and what is the most practical and best solution to effect a smooth service of the meal.
- Timings are essential, your caterer will know exactly how long the preparation of service is likely to take so try and plan your day from wedding service to sit down as accurately as possible. If you think your photographs are going to take 1 hour, include another half hour into the schedule, photographers regularly over run, simply because this is not an exact science, ‘herding’ guests and getting the right grouping, taking several photos is never straightforward. However cooking is, and if you schedule the meal to be served at say 4pm and your guests are still arriving from the church at 3.30pm and have yet to take their arrival drink the food is going to overcook. Much better to have your guests mingling and relaxed for a few minutes more with your food served fresh and cooked to perfection.
- ALWAYS ask for testimonials, we have testimonials for weddings, charity balls, VIP events and numerous private functions, we back these up with photographs and we work with local companies who provide associated services such as venue dressing, Wedding Gowns, Menswear, Cakes, all of these companies are linked through our website and feature in the photos. Know who you are dealing with and if the company does not have a web site, check their Facebook.
All of these considerations make for a stress free day enabling you to enjoy your day as it should be enjoyed. If you would like further information about Wedding Catering please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org