After months of dreaming and planning, you've finally exchanged your vows and said "I do". Now it's time to unwind and enjoy your reception. And what better way to celebrate than to indulge in all the delicious offerings your caterer has prepared especially for your special day?
As a reception is usually considered the closing act of a wedding day, your catering company can set the tone for how you and your guests will look back on your wedding. In addition to the quality of the food, your catering company's level of professionalism, dedication, and willingness to work with your wants and needs can determine how relaxed you'll be at your reception. And trust us, the last thing you want is to feel is too stressed to enjoy your own wedding feast!
So the question remains—how do you choose a catering company that sets the cherry on top of your picture perfect wedding cake?
Here are 5 things we suggest you consider:
Buffet or sit-down? That is the question...
To break it down into two main categories, you can choose between a self-service buffet or a full-service sit-down meal. The former means that you and your guests can pick and choose from your catering company's various offerings while the latter means that you'll be served at the table from a pre-determined menu.
An experienced catering company like Goode Catering provides both options, along with servers to refill drinks, take away finished plates, and basically ensure that the reception's dining aspect is running seamlessly. This means that your guests won't have to worry about clearing their own plates or silverware, and that you won't have to worry about who will take care of the cleanup after the reception.
Homey or Upscale?
You probably have an overall theme or ambiance in mind for your wedding, and that same theme will carry over to your reception. For small, intimate weddings you may want a cozy family-style menu featuring your favorite comfort foods while formal weddings usually finish off with an elegant, multi-course meal.
But regardless of whether you choose fancy or cozy, or something in between, the most important thing is that it all tastes delicious.
So when you're considering wedding catering companies, choose one with a reputation for food that tastes as good as (if not better than) it looks. Established companies have a solid reputation in the local community thanks to years of experience under their belt.
What types of beverages will you serve?
Once you have selected your menu, the next question is what sort of drinks you will be serving. It's always a good idea to keep plenty of cold, refreshing drinks on hand along with adult beverages, if you wish. Ice cold water, lemonade and iced tea are crowd pleasers that help those avid dancers keep their energy up and their bodies hydrated.
Which brings us to the question of whether or not you'll serve alcoholic beverages. If you do decide to serve adult drinks, you basically have three choices—you can choose to offer your guests an open bar, a cash bar, or a limited selection of adult beverages. An open bar allows people to order anything their heart desires without paying for the drinks, since the host covers the tab. A cash bar requires guests to open their own wallets for the alcohol they consume. If you offer a limited selection of adult beverages, this usually means you will provide a specified number of drinks (such as a glass of wine with dinner and a flute of champagne to go with the toast) for each adult guest. Another option would be to designate one or more bottles of wine per table.
If you're not sure which choice will work best for you, add it into your discussion with your catering company. You may find that they can provide bartending services and procure alcoholic beverages from wholesale distributors at reasonable prices.
What is the scope of service you can expect from your wedding catering company?
Be sure to ask your caterer exactly what sort of services will be provided and what you'll need to take care of on your own.
Before signing on with a company, reach an agreement regarding details like the pre-reception set up, such as setting up tables and place setting. You also need to determine who will be taking care of the post-reception cleanup when the party is over. Determining the exact scope of your caterer's services can prevent any mishaps or miscommunication. If your caterer states that the company only covers some of the services you want, you may need to hire additional service providers, or choose a different caterer altogether.
The most professional and experienced wedding catering companies, like Goode Catering, go above and beyond to ensure that your special day finishes on a high note. They provide their own servers, take charge of the setup and cleanup, and bring their own equipment. You don't have to worry about a thing but enjoying the festivities while their professional team can work its magic.
What is your vision and how will it translate into reality?
Yes, we understand that you may have your heart set on a wedding menu you saw online or in a magazine, but the truth is that there's no telling if it really tasted as good as it looks in the pictures. While any catering company worth its salt will listen to and respect your ideas, the most experienced provide helpful input to help you determine what works and doesn't work well for a wedding reception. Keep an open mind to suggestions—you may look back and thank your lucky stars you did.