Food glorious food
One idea, if the Bride’s parents have a sufficiently large house and garden, is to hire an attractive marquee. Under these circumstances, or if you are using a local hall, don’t be tempted to take on the catering yourself. Everyone in the immediate bridal party will be too involved with other arrangements to want to worry about preparing food and, if finance is the motivating factor, remember that there may be a variety of hidden costs involved in doing it yourself that you had not anticipated. You must consider using the services of a professional caterer who will also provide tables, chairs and a marquee, if required.
• Recommendations: In common with all our advertisers, the caterers featured in this Wedding Guide all come highly recommended. When choosing your caterer it is always best to select one who comes recommended or whose catering you have personally experienced.
• Check out the crockery: In any event, call and see them at their premises, as this will give you the opportunity to see the kind of operation they run and to discuss your requirements in detail. In addition to discussing your menu, the professional caterer will be able to advise you on the number of guests you can comfortably cater for at your chosen venue – there is nothing worse than a sit down meal which is overcrowded. Ask to see their kitchens and check out their crockery, cutlery and table linen. It is equally important to ensure that they are a Registered Caterer with the local Environmental Health Department. A good caterer will offer you a variety of hot and cold menus or buffets and yet be flexible enough to incorporate your own ideas.
Remember to inform them well in advance of any special requirements and the number of vegetarian guests who will be attending. They will supply all of the necessary crockery, cutlery, table linen, glassware, waiting staff and drink requirements, although many allow you to supply your own drinks and make a small corkage charge to cover the service.
Menu prices may include rolls or French bread and butter and after dinner mints with coffee, but there may be “extras” – check that you know exactly what is to be included in your agreed “per cover” price. Remember that good caterers get booked up well in advance, so early arrangements are essential. Some caterers do not ask for a deposit but payment in full is usually required before the day of the reception.