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Top tips for choosing a wedding caterer

12 July, 2019

Your wedding is one of the biggest days of your life and you want everything to be perfect and one of the most important things to get right is your catering, after all, your guests need to be fed and watered right!?

There are so many things to consider, do you want a sit-down meal or a buffet. Will you have an open bar or a paid one…the list of questions can go on and on. With caterers it really does depend on what sort of package you want. Sometimes your caterer can end up being more like a wedding planner as they will sort tables, chairs, glasses, the bar, the staff, so a lot of responsibility can be put on them. Other times it might just be a case of they supply the food – simple!

It all depends on what you want and what works with your venue.  If your struggling to find a caterer or don’t even know where to start a good place to begin is with your venue, they will always have recommendations of caterers and most importantly they’ll be able to vouch for them as they certainly won’t recommend anyone that isn’t any good. Then you’ve got all of your other suppliers, the DJ, the photographer, etc. they will no doubt have been involved in lots of weddings before and have lots of recommendations too, so just ask everyone…although saying that, catering & venue tend to be the first things you want to get ticked off, so you might not even have a photographer or DJ at this stage, unless your super organised.

If you have a certain type of food/catering in mind then its always best to consider this when picking your venue, because if you pick the venue, then realise that actually your catering dreams can’t happen there this can be a real disappointment. Venue and catering work hand in hand and are probably the two most important things you have to think about when planning your wedding.

Having an idea of your budget before you start talking to caterers is good, although make sure you set your expectations at a realistic level, sometimes it can be easy to forget about all the extra costs involved. It’s also important to think about how many people you will be having at your wedding as generally with catering it is a cost per head…once brides and grooms realise this its not surprising how the guest list tends to shrink slightly overnight!

When reaching out to caterers it good to think of some key questions to ask them initially:

  • Do you have our wedding date available? (this is super important and if they don’t it saves you any wasted time asking more questions).
  • Have you ever catered at our venue before?
  • Do you have a minimum/maximum thresholds that we need to consider?
  • How do your costings work?
  • Do you have standard menus or can menus be customised?

Now, these questions might not all be relevant. If you’re contacting a hog roast company, then the likelihood is you know that’s what they do & there is no deviation from the set menu, but generally these questions will give you the initial information you need and maybe you help whittle down to a few key contenders. Then it’s time for the tasting…

…ultimately this, along with the service and professionalism of the company is the most important thing, go with your gut, these people are going to be a big part of your day, so they need to fit with you and your vision.

Oh and one more thing, firstly make sure you have food that you like, don’t try and please everyone, it won’t work. Don’t get me wrong, don’t pick something that only you will like, that will just leave you with lots of hungry guests, but do make sure you go with something you would love to eat AND make sure you actually EAT and enjoy it! So many brides and grooms spend so much time picking the right caterers and menu and then hardly eat a thing. You’ll regret it afterwards, so EAT LOTS and enjoy!

We believe the sharing of food is an important part of any celebration. Here at Dode we have a superb team of in-house caterers who offer a selection of three very differing menus (vegetarian options available) although specific requirements in terms of your banquet can of course be catered for.

As part of our package, we encourage couples to attend a free tasting day with our caterers so that their precise requirements can be met.

Given the age of the building and the setting, hog roasts prove a very popular choice although the choice is of course yours. Drinks packages are available although couples are free to provide their own drinks which is served by our caterers free of corkage charge, alternatively and now proving very popular vintage drinks vans provide a talking point which can be tailored to your specific requirements.

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