Wondering how to plan a wedding menu that’ll keep everyone happy, including you and your new hubby or wife? Bespoke Catering & Events are here to help!
After their recent success at the VOWS Award 2018, where they won both Wedding Caterer of the year and the Judges Choice for Outstanding Achievement award, they sat down to share their expert top tips on making sure the food at your big day is perfect.
Check it out and start planning your dream wedding menu…
IMAGES | Daniela Flores Photography
Work out your priorities
Schedule a get together with everyone who has a stake in your big day and work out what your top priorities are.
Is a large guest list a must have for you, or would you rather have a smaller wedding with more wiggle room in the budget for luxurious food and styling?
Maybe you’d like a formal wedding with an impressive 4-course plated menu, or maybe you’re more of a relaxed BBQ type of couple?
Only you know what matters most to you, so take the time to figure it out.
Create a brief
Once you have a clear picture of your wants and needs, put together a brief that you can use to explain your vision to your suppliers.
It will make your planning process a lot easier to navigate and will also help you understand how to best allocate your budget.
Set a realistic budget
When working out a budget for your wedding catering it can be difficult to have an idea of what you’ll need to spend. A good starting point is to think about what you would pay for a similar style of three course meal at a restaurant and then double it.
This will account for additional costs such as staffing, travel, crockery hire and kitchen equipment.
At Bespoke Catering & Events, we try to make the process as easy as possible by detailing all of these additional costs in our initial guide, so you can work out a rough budget from the outset.
Be honest about your budget
We also advise being upfront with your budget during initial communications, so we can give you the best option right from the start.
This also means we’ll be able to suggest smart ways to achieve your dream menu while still keeping your finances on track!
For example, if you have your heart set on beef but can’t stretch to sirloin, you could consider using a cheaper cut which has been slow cooked until it is really delicious and tender.
We can also advise what’s in season and available locally, as this will help keep costs down.
Don’t be afraid to break with tradition
Your wedding day should be all about you as a couple, and you should feel happy, relaxed and comfortable throughout the whole experience.
If the thought of a super formal, sit down dinner makes you sweat, then don’t have one!
Instead, we suggest considering an assortment of food stations serving your favourite go-to dishes or a relaxed family style service with sharing dishes in the centre of the table.
Equally, if you absolutely love fine dining, then you could always splurge your budget on a decadent tasting menu and create a meal you’ll remember for a lifetime.
Consider your guests
While we advocate that you pick something you personally love for your wedding meal, you should also bear in mind that you are acting as host to your loved ones and want them to have an enjoyable time at your wedding.
Make sure you request any dietary requirements with your invites so that your caterer can be prepared for any allergies or specialist diets, and try to include something for all tastes in your menu too.
If you love super spicy and flavourful dishes then by all means include them in your day, but perhaps consider a choice menu to allow you to offer a suitable alternative for those with plainer tastes.
At Bespoke Catering & Events, we love to rise to a challenge and have so far catered for everything, from a fully gluten-free tasting menu to an entirely vegan wedding and a 7-course tasting menu featuring recipes gathered by a couple on their travels around the world.
It’s so important to us that every one of your guests leaves your wedding raving about the food and feeling like they have been taken care of from start to finish!
Do your homework
As with booking any supplier for your wedding, we really advise doing your homework and thoroughly researching someone before you book. Don’t be tempted just to go for the cheapest deal you see.
Ask your caterer to provide you with a menu tasting so you can make sure you’re happy with your menu selection ahead of your big day. We include a menu tasting free of charge with every booking, and family members are also welcome to attend so that you can have a second opinion.
Don’t be afraid to ask your caterer important questions such as how many staff will be provided for your wedding and whether or not they rely on agencies for their staffing. At Bespoke Catering we not only employ all our own rigorously trained staff, but we’re also very proud to be a living wage employer. Everyone working with us, regardless of their age, is paid at least the living wage.
And don’t forget to check what’s included from the caterer; do they provide crockery, cutlery, linen and glassware or will you need source this yourself? All of these additional items can have a big impact on your budget.
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