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Aside from a stunning venue – and, of course, a happy couple – food is perhaps the most important element of a memorable wedding. As you plan for your big day, it’s natural to have questions about catering.
This article rounds up a few frequently asked catering questions and attempts to answer each in an open-minded, instructive way. Here’s some food for thought!
Buffet or Plated: Which Should You Choose?
You’ll notice a trend in this article. These questions are never cut-and-dry, black and white – the answers ultimately depend on your unique preferences and event. Still, here are some things to consider as you decide between buffet and plated services.
Buffet-style service is communal, convivial and customizable. Guests can take what they like, passing over the food they don’t want. And people can mingle together as they dish themselves food. By contrast, plated services are elegant, formal and focused. They communicate a singular vision to guests and lend an air of sophistication to the evening.
As you can see, there’s no wrong answer. If you want to cultivate a warm, agreeable, flexible atmosphere, choose buffet-style. And if you want a formal, direct dinner service, choose plated.
In-House Venue Catering or Offsite?
Should you choose an off-site caterer or capitalize on the in-house catering at your wedding venue? This is a tricky question. Some venues pour their heart and soul into décor, but their in-house catering leaves a little to be desired. On the other hand, off-site caterers won’t know the venue very well, so you might experience logistical hiccups with service.
The “Goldilocks” choice is to find an experienced, modern venue that offers top-notch in-house catering. They do exist! For instance, if you’re looking for wedding venues in Mississauga, check out Le Tréport, a modern, experienced event space with flexible, high-quality in-house catering. They serve excellent food, and they intimately understand their space – so service will be effortless and smooth.
What Cuisine Should You Serve?
This question crops up frequently as soon-to-be-married couples start planning their big day. Do you opt for standard, continental cuisine (think roasts and vegetable platters) or venture toward something with more pizazz: Indian, Latin American, Italian, etc.?
The answer is ultimately personal. Ask yourself: who are you as a couple? Are you adventurous travel lovers who like to sample new cuisines? Are you bonded together by a love of food? Was your first date at an Italian restaurant? If so, make your menu an extension of your personal tastes and history. Go for that full Indian platter or that big Italian feast. Your wedding day should tell a personal story of your time as a couple.
Likewise, if one (or both) of you has a strong connection to your cultural heritage, allow that connection to dictate the menu. For instance, if the groom is proudly Portuguese, consider serving churrasqueira, grilled seafood and pastel de nata.
How Should You Budget for Catering?
How much can you expect to spend on catering? What’s the price-per-head? And what percentage of your overall wedding budget should be earmarked for food?
These are tricky questions to answer since every wedding is different. In general, couples tend to spend around $75 a head for catering (around $7,500 for a 100-person reception). But the best advice is to work with an in-house catering team that can accommodate a range of budgets. Work with your venue to arrive at a cost that makes sense. The best in-house catering teams are flexible, and have your best interests at heart.
Hopefully, this article inspires you to create your own perfectly catered wedding. Just remember to be yourself, have fun with the process, and partner with an experienced in-house catering team for best results.