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Planning a Successful Wedding

Part 2

What’s hot? Don’t worry too much about trends… Focus on what you like!

When working with your caterer to come up with a menu, apply a theme that you both enjoy. Do you love Texas BBQ? Then plan an “upscale BBQ event” (not the typical aluminum pan disposable set up). Serve the meats and traditional BBQ sides in fashionable chafing dishes and bowls. You can event tie in “mini-BBQ items” for the appetizers! A wedding is a great way to showcase your favorite dishes from home.  If you’re from Philly, offer mini philly cheese steaks, or jambalaya if you’re from the South.  These types of menu items may not be on your caterer’s menu, but they can certainly customize a package just for you.

Offer a drink that compliments the menu such as pitchers of margaritas or long-neck bottled beers wrapped in bandanas.  Instead of offering a full bar, choose one mixed drink to be your “signature cocktail” and offer beer and wine as the other options.

 Instead of only serving a traditional bridal and groom cake, treat your guests to a dessert and candy Bar or dessert shots and chocolate dipped strawberries. There are so many options and since the offering are typically small in size, this allows your guests to taste more of a variety. 

Presentation is so important to a successful wedding event. A talented caterer will be able to take simple, seemingly every day items such as mashed potatoes and chicken salad and make them very special.

Use a vase of candy (jelly beans) as the centerpiece.  Not only will it brighten up the room, it will be a great treat for your guests and half the cost of a floral arrangement.

Have a lot of kids in your extended family?  Offer a kids only buffet with spaghetti, chicken nuggets, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and cupcakes.
Offer a midnight snack at the close of the reception.

When selecting a caterer, inquire into their experience with successfully catering weddings. This is important as every wedding is unique with special requests and needs. A caterer who handles primarily other types of events is not only likely to be thrown off by the special requests and demands of a wedding, but will not be prepared to ensure that all of the little things are covered, such as,

  • Keeping guests occupied and serviced prior to the bride and groom arriving (having appetizers “butler passed” to guests before the buffet is opened)
  • Maintaining a service flow that keeps the agenda on track (toasts, cake cutting, etc.)
  • Assisting with the cake cutting (do not assume that the catering staff is experienced with this)
  • Often times, the bride and groom are so busy visiting with their guests that they do not get to enjoy the food (the caterer should put together plates for the bride and groom and send them off at the end of the event with a “goodie box”)

Every wedding should be special. Don’t be shy about sharing your vision for your perfect wedding with your caterer. 

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