Foods & Drinks → Cooking Tips & Recipes
- Author Sara Allom
- Published November 4, 2011
- Word count 757
A wedding reception – quite possibly the most important party of your life, and certainly one you need to get absolutely right. With all your family, friends and loved ones there, you want to know that every single guest will have the best time possible, not just you and your better half!
Whilst there are a thousand ways to do wedding food at a wedding – from hog roast to Chinese dim sum to ten-course banquet – great food means happy guests, and an even more memorable day. So it’s important to get your wedding food absolutely right.
Paying a wedding caterer is the answer for many couples. And there are a huge number of companies who specialise in wedding catering in the UK – companies who perhaps do office Christmas parties too, but who, overall, make wedding business their business.
Much of your decision making process about your wedding caterer should be dictated by the type of wedding reception you want. Are you looking for a chic urban affair with a minimalist venue and a modern menu? Or will it be a rustic day, with simple spring flowers on the tables, hay bales to sit on and bangers and mash for lunch? Perhaps you are thinking about a theme – if you wanted a seaside venue for example, you could serve local fish and seafood to compliment your beachside background!
Wedding caterers can vary hugely in price and in product. Low key, casual and less formal wedding receptions may benefit from smaller, more relaxed wedding catering companies. But if budget is no issue, then the world is your oyster and you can find catering companies who will provide the most sumptuous wedding banquet menus, featuring ice towers laden with the finest caviar and luges pouring the most superb vodka.
Of course, if you do decide to go with a wedding caterer, then choosing that caterer is absolutely crucial. Do your research – look at bridal magazines and websites, speak to other brides, or to the planning staff at your chosen venue. Ask your photographer, florist and other wedding suppliers whether they can recommend a great caterer. Look for testimonials that might give you a steer on whether a wedding catering company really knows what they are doing. And of course, take a good look at what you get when you attend a wedding as a guest! If you go to a wedding with amazing wedding food and service, make sure you take the number of the wedding caterer. And if you go to one with dreadful food and tired ideas, then make sure you make a good note of how you DON’T want to do things!
Of course there is always the option of using a wedding planner. Companies like Linda Cooper and Absolute Perfection do every single wedding-related job so that you don’t have to – they will send the invites, organize the guest list, decorate the marquee, even plan your honeymoon if you want them too – meaning you can really relax on the big day, safe in the knowledge that a whole team with all the relevant skills and experience will be responsible for getting it right.
At the outset, it is very important to focus on the wedding menu – and you should really talk to your potential wedding caterers about this very early on. Get your event caterer to suggest ideas. Talk about what suits you as a couple, and get advice on what is right for the venue, the overall occasion and for your guests. If the produce is excellently sourced and excellently cooked, even steak and chips can be perfect for a wedding meal (in fact, this main course is a real celebrity favourite!). Ask your caterer about what is seasonal, and what they think of as their signature wedding dishes.
Don’t forget your wedding cake – most wedding caterers will look after that too – ask to see photos of past cakes and you will soon get an idea for what you do or don’t want. Traditional white tiered fruitcake? Or gorgeous fun and frivolous cupcakes with your initials on? How about something truly original? A towering construction of mini victoria sponges or chocolate profiteroles?
Some of the larger more experienced wedding caterers such as “rhubarb”, Urban Caprice, Rocket or Alison Price excel at this kind of wedding creativity, so by using them, you will be on a surefire route to having a wedding that is truly different. And by being different, well it will be truly memorable too.
Sara Allom looks at wedding catering in the UK, and examines how crucial wedding receptions food is when planning the perfect wedding menu.