We loved the advice we received from RSVP Catering a few weeks back about how to start looking for a caterer, but still felt a bit overwhelmed about how to approach the process of actually deciding what food to serve at a wedding. With so many choices and trends out there these days, how does a couple start to really narrow things down and make solid decisions?
Well, lucky for us, the folks at RSVP Catering are back today with some more tips & tricks to handle those oh-so-important catering decisions. After all, if your guests are full of delicious food and drinks, they're sure to be happy and bursting with energy to celebrate all night long!
RSVP Catering Tricks of the Trade [Part II]
Meet with the caterer: You’ve narrowed your list down after calling a few caterers, and now you’re ready to meet with one or two. A quality catering company prides itself on working closely with you to understand your expectations. From your end, you should communicate clearly your style, food preferences and other services you would like the caterer to provide. You may also ask for a tasting. Some caterers hold regularly scheduled tastings; others may offer private tastings for prospective clients.
Attend a tasting: This is the best way to sample a caterer’s specialties and to meet the staff. RSVP Catering holds quarterly group tastings so prospective brides can sample a wide array of foods, see the food presented and to meet the professionals who staff the events. For larger events, including weddings, the caterer may also offer a private tasting so that couples can sample the specific dishes they plan to serve.
Approaching a private tasting: Your top choice caterer will arrange a private tasting based on your input and conversations. The proposed menu will include several hors d'oeuvres, a few first course and entree options and a selection of cakes or mini-desserts. If the reception will be buffet style rather than plated and served, the tasting will also include side dish options. At this tasting, the bride and groom will also preview what a table setting might look like, including linens, charger plates, candle votives and other accessories. This also a chance to talk to the caterer about trends. Right now, we see couples moving away from wedding cakes and offering mini desserts or a dessert bar or candy station, with a small cake to be cut only for photos. If you're having an evening wedding, we see couples sending guests off with a late night treat.
Working with your caterer: Once you have met with the caterer and tasted the food, ask your caterer to draw up a proposed menu based on your discussions and preferences. Know that this menu is a starting point and can be tweaked. Hot hors d’oeuvres can replace cold ones; shrimp can replace crab. This is your chance to develop a menu exactly to your tastes. If a strict budget is an issue, work with the caterer to find selections that work: serve a hearty tenderloin tip stew instead of a whole roast tenderloin or roasted root vegetables instead of out-of-season heirloom tomatoes. A savvy caterer
can also help create theme menus, from Asian and Cajun to anything you can imagine. In addition, creative caterers are able to develop multi-national themes, so if you are an Indian-American bride marrying an Irish-American man, cuisines of both cultures can be represented at the wedding.
Make it personal: Every event is unique. Choose a caterer that offers not only “packages,” but one who is willing to create a menu and a look that reflects your vision. Finally, hire a caterer with whom you are comfortable. You should feel that the caterer you choose cares about your event and understands your needs. When you are confident in your choice, you can relax and enjoy your special day.
Thanks so much again to our friends at RSVP Catering for stopping by today. And as always, if you have a question or topic you'd like us to have tackled by an industry expert here on the blog, please leave a comment!
[Photos courtesy of RSVP Catering]