When You Hire a Catering Service

Monday, December 24, 2012
Beef, chicken or fish?
This is likely the most pressing question anyone who has attended, but never planned, a wedding has ever had to face regarding the post-nuptial catering menu. But for a bride- and groom-to-be, many more details must be considered.

Many venues today offer their own, usually limited, food services. The engaged couple may have the option to customize the menu a bit, but the venue will likely have them adhere to a preset menu.
A lot of couples book a reception in a venue or private space that does not provide its own food service. Some couples simply want to have a menu tailored to their specific story that they know their family and friends will enjoy as well. For these situations, a catering company must be selected.
Choosing the right caterer involves searching for a company with a good reputation, reasonable pricing and the kind of menu offerings you and your fiancé desire. Most wedding experts advise that the couple spend roughly 50 percent of their total budget on venue and catering.
The next big decision is the style of dining you would prefer for your guests: a sit-down dinner, buffet or various food stations. One must also consider precursors for the meal, such as hors d'oeuvres and cocktails.
A sit-down dinner can be a pricier option but is considered by many to be the nicer, more sophisticated style. A sit-down dinner requires the planner to arrange a seating chart so each guest can receive his choice of meal served at the table. Typically, part of the R.S.V.P. card will include a short questionnaire asking if the guest would prefer something like "Meat? Fish? or Vegetable?" to determine which dish that person will be served.
The advantages of a buffet spread include more freedom for the guests to choose what specific foods and how much of them he or she would like to eat. The guests are free to sit wherever they may like and to get up and mingle all throughout the reception, which provides for a more easygoing, fun atmosphere.
A popular trend in modern weddings is for the bride and groom to add their own personal touches throughout the celebration. A flexible, caring catering company will allow your personalities to shine through in the details. For example, if the groom is a faithful Jameson drinker and the bride is partial to the gin fizz, the caterers could set up cocktail bars that feature his and her favorite drinks.
But catering goes beyond just food. When trying to maintain a certain theme or tone for the wedding, details such as the silverware, linens, dishes and glasses should be considered. A couple trying to impress their guests with an elegant, sophisticated wedding would be mortified to find their dinner being served alongside a bin of plastic forks and knives. On the other hand, someone trying to plan a more casual, kid-friendly reception might find their guests are uncomfortable drinking out of crystal champagne flutes. The devil is in the details, and the right caterers will be willing to offer an array of styles and colors to suit each celebration perfectly.


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