caterer setting out appetizers and hors d'oeuvreswedding dessert table

Weddings - What Every Caterer Needs to Host the Perfect Reception

Weddings are among the most important life events anyone will experience. Months are spent planning every detail, from flowers to the reception hall to catering. In fact, quality food is one of the most memorable parts of a wedding. Caterers need to be properly prepared. The bride and groom need to know what questions to ask. Luckily, we’ve provided below a quick guide that covers what both parties need to know to enjoy the perfect wedding reception.

Questions the Couple Should Ask

A lot of trust is placed with a caterer, as he or she is responsible for preparing the food that all guests will enjoy. Of course, the menu selection is only one part of the catering process. The couple first needs to know if the chosen venue is all-inclusive, meaning on-site caterers are provided, or if outside caterers are allowed. If outside food is allowed, the couple needs to understand the capabilities of the venue. Smaller reception halls might not have the equipment on-site to prepare fresh lobster for one hundred guests, for example.  

Speaking of capabilities, the couple needs to know their budget in order to set realistic expectations for themselves and for the caterer. Good caterers will explain what’s doable within their given budget to create memorable dishes. Couples should also understand the kind of food their chosen caterer specializes in. This includes the style of food, such as Italian or French, as well as working with dietary restrictions. If vegetarian dishes are required, it’s best to tell the caterer right away.

Finally, couples need to understand the caterer’s services and schedule. If meals come full service, then the caterer will handle everything from setup and cleanup. If not, the couple needs to discuss these needs with the reception hall and possibly hire staff. Caterers might also have other events the same weekend or even same day as the couple. While this isn’t necessarily an issue, the couple needs to know if their wedding will still receive the level of service and quality they paid for.


Essential Supplies for the Caterer

Once the needs of the couple are met, the caterer can make necessary preparations for the reception. If you offer full service, preparation is even more important, as everything falls into your hands.  

Cocktail hour is the time where guest mingle and snack on bite-sized food before moving to the reception hall. Picks and skewers are necessary for guest to pick up meats, cheeses and other food as waiters walk by. You can choose from our line of bamboo picks, available in a variety of sizes and colors. Standard wood picks are also available to hold small sandwiches together.

Today’s weddings are moving away from sit-down dinners and toward self-serve buffets. For caterers, this shift requires a new set of supplies. Chafing fuel is absolutely necessary to keep food warm throughout the reception (especially if people go for seconds). Our chafing fuel wicks are available to last two, four and six hours. 

For all courses, proper food presentation is key. Though traditional options like china are available, bamboo and palm leaf tableware is a stylish alternative that is also good for the environment. For sit-down meals, caterers can use bowls and plates made from these plants. These same items are great for buffet-style receptions, along with bamboo tongs and cocktail plates for sides. For both options, serving boats and tasting cones are great options to serve wedding cake slices or other fancy desserts.


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