Selecting Your Wedding Reception Site - Main Meals and Wedding Caterers
In addition to selecting wedding invitations and flower arrangements, choosing your wedding meal menu is a decision that will require some time and energy. Unless you regularly organize large social events, your wedding reception may be the first time you have ever coordinated a meal for such an extensive gathering. Ultimately, the choices are yours, but good wedding caterers can help guide you in planning a delicious and appropriate reception meal depending on your guest list and reception location. To further facilitate your planning, we have compiled some key wedding reception ideas to keep at the top of your wedding reception planning list.
MAIN MEAL / CATERER
If your reception is going to be in a hotel, restaurant or other facility that provides food, you will need to select a meal to serve your guests. Most of these facilities will have a predetermined menu from which to select your meal. If your reception is going to be in a facility that does not provide food, you will need to hire an outside caterer. The caterer will be responsible for preparing, cooking, decorating and serving the food.
The caterer will also be responsible for beverages and for cleaning up after the event. Before signing a contract, make sure you understand all the services the caterer will provide. Your contract should state the amount and type of food and beverages that will be served, the way in which they will be served, the number of servers who will be available, the cost per item or person,
Options: Food can be served either buffet style or as a sit-down meal. It should be chosen according to the time of day, year, and formality of the wedding. Although there are many main dishes to choose from, chicken and beef are the most popular selections for a large event. Ask your facility manager or caterer for their specialty. If you have a special type of food you would like to serve at your reception, select a facility or caterer who specializes in preparing it.
Things To Consider: When hiring a caterer, check to see if the location for your reception provides refrigeration and cooking equipment. If not, make sure your caterer is fully self supported with portable refrigeration and heating equipment. A competent caterer will prepare much of the food in his/her own kitchen and should provide an adequate staff of cooks, servers, and bartenders. Ask for references and look at photos from previous parties so you know how the food will be presented; or better yet, visit an event they are catering.
Beware: Avoid mayonnaise, cream sauces, or custard fillings if food must go unrefrigerated for any length of time.