When it comes to weddings, food is central! Truly, the reception really wouldn't be the same without at least some kind of food. So how do you map your way around all the options that are out there? First off, you need to see if your venue has an in-house caterer or not.
Often times, when a venue does have in-house catering, they will require that you use them. The trouble with this is when you have a specific food in mind or favourite caterer. The great thing about using in-house caterer's, there's less of a chance of caterers running behind, having difficulties finding items within the space...basically odds are they will know the site well and the day will run smooth!
If your venue does not have on-site catering or preferred caterers (which venues occasionally make you pay extra for not having used their preferred caterer...ouch!), you then must go on the quest of finding your own! This is an awesome opportunity to personalize your event whether you're a die-hard barbecue food truck lover or enjoy taking your time with a multiple course tasting menu! Before settling with your favourite restaurant, it's a great idea to check how much extra it will cost for dinnerware, or if they'd have to close down the restaurant for the day! These added costs may not fit within your budget.
After you've decided on your caterer, you must choose how you'd like the food served:
This is the more costly option, as they will require more staff on hand to serve each guest they're meal. (About 1 server for every 10 guests!) This gives a formal feel to the evening and really does provide nice structure to the reception.
This is a great money saving alternative to a plated meal, and it means guests can pick their favourite dishes out of an array of options! The downfall of a buffet is that there can be a lot of food waste, and last guests to get their food might end up with food that is not piping hot.
Lastly, there are many more options in how your food is served such as family style, or a cocktail party, to name a few. It's important to do your research or have your wedding coordinator go through your options with you so you get what you want while staying within budget. Your best bet when it comes to finding your perfect caterer is to use a reputable company that your friends/family have had good experiences with, or your hired wedding coordinator recommends to you. Remember that not only is the food and drink one of the most expensive costs in your wedding, it's also a very important aspect of your guests overall experience!