6 Catering Mistakes to Avoid
— By Brieonie Jenkins
18 May 2016
We’re sure your guests will agree, your caterer is your most important vendor. Responsible for keeping your guests satisfied, they have a huge job on their hands. Given this, it’s surprising how little time couples spend getting their menu right. By avoiding these common mistakes, you’ll save money and keep your guests happy!
1/ Straying from the Budget
The budget should be the first thing you and your sweetheart think about. It sucks to have to make a last minute compromise on something important to you because you’ve overspent elsewhere. A budget isn’t a restriction, it’s a tool to take away stress and make things easier. Sticking to your catering budget will mean finding a caterer who will work with you, not the other way around.
2/ Forgetting Extra Charges
As always, be sure to ask about additional charges. Hire charges for glass wear, bartenders or wait staff are not always included in an initial quote. These charges are less ‘hidden extras’ and more ‘add-ons’ to be included if required. Open up those communication lines and be upfront, simply ask your caterer if there’s anything else they think you’ll need that you haven’t considered. They are, after all, the experts.
3/ Serving the Wrong Style
Contrary to popular opinion it’s not the style of wedding that determines the menu, it’s the number of guests! For an intimate wedding it’s absolutely possible to serve your guests a five course meal. If your guest list starts to creep up towards the hundred mark this becomes a lot harder. It’s difficult for your caterer to serve this many meals within a reasonable time frame, and it can really blow your budget! For larger weddings the best options are buffet style for a sit down meal or a canapés and cocktails affair.
4/ Getting Carried Away
Browsing menu options is fun, it’s exciting to think about all the yummy food you’ll get to enjoy on your wedding day! Don’t get carried away and sign up for a meal with too many options. The more variety you provide, the higher the price and often the more waste. For buffet style dining, offer two meats (one should be chicken or fish) and a variety of sides. If you’re serving plated mains, offer two meat options and a vegetarian.
5/ Not Providing Enough Food
There’s no easier way to keep your guests happy than providing plenty of food! There’s nothing worse than hungry guests, particularly if alcohol is being served. If there is a gap between the ceremony and main meal (perhaps while you’re out for photos) it’s a good idea to provide snacks. If you’re having a lot of speeches, don’t leave your guests waiting until after dinner! Space them out between courses to keep people satisfied.
6/ Trying to Satisfy Everyone!
Allergies and dietary restrictions are a fact of life; it’s polite to consider your guests, but unrealistic to cater for everything. Ask your guests to make you aware of allergies when they RSVP so you can share this information with your caterer. Specific diets such as vegetarian or paleo can usually be easily catered for without having to provide special meals. Caterers LittleWolfe have a great detailed guide here!