Wedding Catering Ideas | Tips & Tricks

November 21, 2018 by Just Marry!

Wedding Catering Ideas | Tips and Tricks

As you may recall, we recently featured a Tips & Tricks post about How to Predict Your Wedding Catering Cost with incredible insights from contributor Jennifer Ball with Knot Your Average Events. We’re delighted to share even more of Jennifer’s helpful wedding catering ideas today! In the last post, Jennifer’s tips focused on things couples should consider when planning their wedding catering budget. Today’s tips focus more on what  couples should keep in mind when hiring a caterer, as well as some aspects of wedding catering you might not have considered.

Here are Jennifer’s top catering Tips and Tricks:

  • Talk to your catering team to decide which type of meal is BEST for your reception.
    • Large crowd? Two double-sided buffets may be best.
    • Do you have a lot of elderly guests, guests with disabilities, or small children? A plated meal would be best for this audience.
    • Ask your catering team to provide “kid friendly” plates for kids to save on money and create a guest experience for the little ones too!
    • Do you have a small guest count? Action stations and/or food trucks may be a great option.
  • Other tips for your catering company:
    • Hire professionals that only focus on one service at a time. If they are doing too many things and offering too many services, I see that as a RED FLAG unless they have an empire behind them taking on each role. One person cannot give 100% of themselves to multiple tasks at one time… It takes a TEAM (a mini army) to bring everything together on the wedding day!
    • Make sure to give your catering team the correct headcount. Yes, they will likely provide a few extra meals, but don’t bank on that!
    • How professional is your catering team?
      • Does your catering team have a written contract? Did you receive a formal invoice?
      • Where do they cook? Is it a commercially-graded kitchen?
      • Have you seen a copy of their insurance and health department inspections?
      • Do they have a website?
      • Do they have reviews online?
      • Are they on preferred vendors/venue lists?
      • Are they a part of any associations, networking groups, and/or the local chamber group?
      • Were you able to do a tasting at their restaurant or did they come to you?
      • Is it just a drop-off catering company or full service?
      • In what will your catering team be arriving? Will they be able to haul off trash & recyclables if your venue requires it?
      • How many staff will your catering team consist of? What will they be wearing?
      • Who will be cleaning up (taking out the trash)?
    • What to ask about the presentation:
      • Does your catering team provide chafing dishes and Sternos?
      • Does your caterer provide all of the display dishes or do they need to be rented?
      • What does their setup look like?
      • Do they provide hot boxes to keep food hot, and coolers to keep food cold (or do they cook everything onsite)?
      • How long prior to your event do they begin cooking?
      • When will they arrive onsite?
      • Will your catering team be providing china or plasticware for appetizers, dinner, salad, and desserts?
      • What about glassware for the bar and nonalcoholic beverages?
      • What about drink dispensers and pitchers (do they walk around and refill beverages)?
      • Does your catering team provide linens, napkins, beverage straws, etc.?
      • Does your caterer provide bar set-ups, mixes, stir straws, beverage napkins, etc.?

Thanks again for taking the time to share such helpful advice, Jennifer! Couples, if you have more questions about wedding catering or other wedding reception elements, check out some of our previous posts for more helpful tips:

Want some more catering tips?
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We’re just full of more tips about wedding catering, so if you’re in need of guidance, reach out to us today at or 407-259-2388 and we’ll be happy to help! Recently-weds and wedding vendors, we’d love to hear from you with your own Tips and Tricks. If you have a topic you’d like to contribute to a future Tips and Tricks post, e-mail us or give us a call today!

Tips and Tricks from the Recently Hitched is a series featuring real advice from real newlyweds. We’ll share their tips and offer a few of our own tricks, sometimes bringing our vendor partners into the mix. Together, we’ll make sure you have the best planning experience—and wedding day—possible! Be sure to stalk us on all of our social media platforms to discover different ways we address every topic in this series.

Wedding Catering Ideas | Tips and Tricks

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