Everything from the cutlery and crockery, to the number of guests in attendance, to the canapès at the pre-dinner drinks- every small detail needs to be factored in. All these things can impact the cost and creating a budget early on in the planning will definitely help you stay on track.
Picking the perfect caterer is where your delicious menu starts but don't forget to book in advance! And when we say in advance, we mean around 12 months before your wedding, round about the same time you are hunting for venues. You might find that some venues require you to use their own caterers or they will have preferred service providers for you to select from. If you are allowed to bring in your own chef, you will probably find yourself being charged an extra fee. Make sure to source chefs and caterers that are flexible and suit you as a couple.
To help determine your menu, you will look at your guest list and budget. If you are desperate to serve an award winning meal, consider limiting your guest list. But if you are the bride with 100 close friends, you will need to cut costs in creative ways like having food stations (a tasty pasta bar or food trucks relish to us!)
We all have those friends who are food-fussy: gluten-free, vegetarians, vegans and the sufferers of peanut allergies. So hash it out with your caterer, discover the challenges well in advance. You don't want to be stressing about a gluten-free guest in the middle of serving your starters.
All great chefs will plan their menus around what is local and seasonal in your wedding month. Your mouth-watering summer tomato salad might be a bit difficult to create in mid July and your rich creamy pasta won't be as appreciated in the heat of February. Have a sit-down meeting with your caterer and discuss what ingredients will be available in the month of your wedding and remember to plan your menu around this factor.
A personal touch is always a beautiful feature during a wedding. Think about maybe having a craft beer or cocktail bar set up in remembrance of where you first met? Or maybe re-create the meals you had on your first date.
We know that your wedding is supposed to be all about you but you do have to think about what the majority of your guests will enjoy too- so factor in where they are from, their age and the time of the year your celebration falls in. Make sure you cover the basics in your menu planning- beef, seafood, poultry and veggies. Highlight the fact you need to include foods with salty, sweet, bitter and savoury tastes with some added texture as well as different colours in your dish selection, to help the overall success of your wedding menu.
You want your guests to remember the moment their meal was placed in front of them, so pick a caterer that cares as much about presentation as they do about the cooking process and the taste, of course!
A special thanks to The Travelling Chef, Cavalli Estate and Secret Diary for the lovely images!