Pauline’s Points: Catering Edition

It can be overwhelming selecting a caterer for your big day. How many people, what type of menu and what whether to do buffet or sit down! Pauline Parry, founder of Good Gracious! Events understands how difficult this decision can be and has ten points that will make selecting your caterer a stress-free success!

1. Choose a menu that reflects your taste, but is not too extreme for your guests to eat. This is the first time that you are hosting as a married couple, so make considerations for your guests when planning the menu.
2. Ask whether your caterer does tastings.  Most venues will give you a tasting once a deposit has been secured.  Some will charge for a tasting, but if you secure their services, they will credit the monies for your wedding.
3. Ask your caterer how many bites of food are recommended to serve during cocktail hour.  In my world, I would rather you order more than less, for example, 8-10 bites per guest, as your guests have generally traveled to get to your celebration and are usually quite hungry.
4. Balance food items so you have covered all the food options using fish, meat and vegetarian items.
5. If you establish you would like to serve a plated dinner, you can give guests a choice of choosing fish, beef or chicken in your invitation. Knowing actual guest counts can be more cost effective to your caterer.
6. If you decide to serve meat to all guests, I suggest you have a vegetarian plate for those who do not eat red meat or have allergies. Determine how many vegetarians you want to allow for. Another alternative would be to serve the items on the main plate minus the meat to your vegetarians.
7. Discuss service styles with your caterer, such as if you would like a left right serve, serve ladies first or find a point person at each table, pick up plates as each guest finishes food or wait till the whole table has finished.
8. A plated meal and a buffet dinner usually work out to be the same price point.   For a plated meal you need more servers, but can reduce the number of hours they work and the chef can determine exact quantities of food.
9. At a buffet you have to use more food, you have to set up buffets and break down as well as set guests tables, plus you have the expense of chafers, platters, flowers and linens.
10. Have a menu card at each table or place setting so your guests can see the menu and alert the caterer with any food issues.
Learn more about Good Gracious! Events, HERE
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