Archive for November, 2013
Ok we all have budgets to work too but a drinks reception will plug that gap between guests arriving and being seated for dinner, serving canapés will offer a taster of what’s to come, again talk to your caterer to establish costs.
Canapés are designed to stimulate the taste buds not satisfy the hunger, we can often discount our canapé menu if providing the main wedding meal as we are already on site and some of the costs (staff) to provide canapés have already been met.
Canapés aren’t cheap, by their very nature they are hand crafted tiny morsels of several foods, constructed to appease the eye first and taste buds second, and well that’s my opinion. Canapés on a budget can be done as long as you select the right caterer; there are cheaper alternatives that won’t break the bank.
* cook a lasagne the day into a 3-4cm deep tray, the next day square pastry cut small 2cm square portions, heat gently and serve as mini lasagne, cheap, cheerful fed your guests….
* trim Asparagus tips to about 8-10 long, serve blanched next to a small glass of warm hollandaise but guests to dip into…………that will cost you about 15p a portion
Alternatively try a bowl food menu, bowl food offers an alternative to canapés where something a little more substantial is required with limited or no seating. Ideal if eating late with a few hours before the reception meal, bowl food is by its very name small quantities of fine food served in small rice bowls, it will cost more per unit but will offer more in terms of quantity.
More to follow……………….
Think though your timings for the day; the Wedding ceremony is at 1pm and you plan to eat at 5pm, what are you going to do for those 4 hours in between? Your ceremony may take an hour, yes your photographer will take maybe another hour to get the numerous shots they want to create the best ones for your album but even the most conscientious photographers will do well to stay over 2 hrs. They may have another wedding that day and will need to go but I do know the good photographers will expect to be hired for the whole day and capture the whole wedding day right up the first dance.
Consider adding a drinks and canapé reception to your plans, when your guests arrive at the venue they will expect to be greeted with a welcome drink and something to nibble on. Drinks can range from Summer fruit pimms to more traditional champagne, TIP 1-if saving the pennies for the honeymoon then consider Cava or Prosecco as a cheaper alternative as I’m sure your guests wouldn’t notice or even care.
Canapés served with the welcome drinks will eat into the budget; they are expensive for caterers to produce and can often range from £4-£10 per person dependent on the final choice as well as the number of canapés you serve.
TIP 2-Consider simple nuts, nibbles, pretzels as a cost saving option or ask your caterer to make rounds of sandwiches and cut them into fingers, you can now call it an “afternoon tea” style reception.
The time between arriving at the venue and being seated for dinner will determine how many canapés and drinks per guest you need to allow. Some guests may have travelled far and wide and will need topping up if there is a while before dinner.
TIP 3- open the bar early and allow guests to buy themselves a second or third drink if they prefer.
More to follow……………………
Selecting the right menu for your wedding or event, but first decide the style of the #catering you require, formal or informal? A three course Wedding breakfast serving your guests at their table or a meal served as a buffet ?
If you’re working to a budget a buffet style service will save you some money versus the plated meal option, less waiting staff will be required but the buffet will also offer you more choice on the menu without eating into your honeymoon fund!
Don’t think of a “buffet” as a selection of curled up sandwiches with lifeless fillings (well that does depend on the caterer you choose!), many dishes you see from various menus can be adapted and served as a buffet. Cooking a barbecue menu as seen an increase in popularity over the last few years, again if done properly it can offer some very exciting combinations not normally seen at a traditional wedding.
On a hot summer’s day, why keep your guests cooped up in a warm marquee open up the marquee and allow the smells of freshly cooked barbecue food to fill the tent, cooking outdoors will inspire the party mood feel to any wedding.
Some caterers publish set menus whereas others allow you the flexibility to create your own, think about the menu choice and discuss the options available. Multiple choice courses or menus will cost more than one set menu as usually more equipment and staff may be required. All caterers should offer a vegetarian option and also take the dietary requirements of your guests seriously.
If you establish the menu before you send out your invitations you could firstly, advise your guests of the intended menu and secondly invite your guests with any dietary needs to make you aware, in my experience any guests with any special dietary requirements will be the first to point it out.
More to follow……………. OR firstname.lastname@example.org if you simply can’t wait
I just wanted to drop you an email before we go on our honeymoon to say how thrilled we were with your services on Saturday. We had so many comments from our guests of how excellent the quality of the food was, and the flavours of the dishes were great. The service we received from the waiting on and bar staff was great as well, they were really helpful and the speed of which they turned out the food was impressive.
On behalf of me and Charles we just wanted to say thank you, we have been told by many of our guests it was the best wedding they have ever been to which is a lovely compliment, and we feel some of that credit goes to you and your team.
The service before the day was also excellent, It really helped put our minds at ease having it all so well organised and the communication we received gave us added confidence that you would deliver well on the day.
I will be sure to recommend you to anyone in the future, as im sure Alex Griffiths will be too!
All the best, Annika & Charlie
Sorry we have been so slow in getting this to you. I thought we might be able to write in straight to the website but couldn’t find a way to do this, so we’ve just written it below instead.
” We are so glad we picked ‘Catered-Events‘ for our country wedding, they went above and beyond what we had asked, in order to help our day run smoothly. Many people have commented that the food was excellent and we couldn’t have asked for more on taste, quality and value for money. They were very efficient, friendly and helpful before and during the big day, and we would recommend them to anyone wanting great food and good service.”
Thanks once again and good luck in the future.
Simon & Meex
Some established caterers have relationships with marquee companies as well as mobile bar hire companies, it’s an incestuous business and these organisations often cross paths and work together on a regular basis.
When discussing your plans with either party ask the question regarding the other, its easy for a caterer to work with a marquee company who they know and are happy to recommend.
A quick story about a particular marquee company (not fair to mention names) who forgot to put a power supply in the kitchen! Needless to say it caused a delay while extension leads were sourced and installed, it could have been a lot worse for the bride n groom’s big day but fortunately the marquee company had left their number advertising their business.
Think about your preferred date, the busy caterers take bookings a year or so in advance some even longer, some wedding caterers are limited to one or two bookings each weekend with May, June, July and August being the most popular months. So book early to avoid disappointment, although we have seen an increase in winter weddings over the past couple of years, put a few extra heaters in the marquee and as it is a quiet time for wedding caterers, ask for a better price!
more to follow………………..or contact us for more info
When talking with your potential caterer and seeking testimonials, ask if they have clients who would be prepared to discuss their experience via telephone or email. Its harder than you may think to get the client to write that testimonial, all the best well wishes are made after the event or wedding (I know I’ve been there many times) but actually getting that small letter proves the client is prepared to take the time out and express there actual feelings surrounding the service they received.
I not suggesting certain websites publish fabricated testimonials! but ask to see the originals.
“well despite my original concerns everything went fantastic on the night. Now I understand your concerns about sourcing a suitable chef as I understand that you only use chefs who you have used before – I did not appreciate that Richard would be making such a long journey.
A big thank you for the organisation of the party catering it couldn’t have gone better, if this is the standard of the chefs you employ they are all a credit to you. Richard was fantastic not only was the meal superb (every single guest was very impressed) but his professional manner, organisation and tidiness were fantastic and I can’t speak more highly of him. If ever we need any catering in future I will definitely be in touch with you again and request his services.
Again a very big thank you from a very satisfied client, Ron & Val
A great way to determine the caterers credentials is ask if you can have a sneak preview of their next wedding by joining them back of house. While they are preparing their next wedding meal, you can see the set-up for yourself, the presentation of the food and even get a chance to taste it. Be warned though, don’t stand still too long as the Chef may well have you running a plate out!
More to follow……………………….
Firstly start at home and ask friends, family or anyone you know who recently married of anyone they would recommend. We have all been to or know of someone who has been to a wedding, word of mouth is the most proven way of determining any suppliers credentials.
Don’t get dragged into the “buy local” scenario, there is no real need to use a local caterer when the best caterer available within your budget may be based 50 miles away but is prepared to travel to further enhance their own reputation. By the very nature of event catering referrals are given to the caterers who exceed their clients’ expectations. Ask to see testimonials, and more importantly ask to see the originals! We’ve all seen snippets of testimonials on various sites that lead you to believe they are real, I’m not saying they are not but it begs the question……………more to follow.