The dining experience you create on your wedding day will be remembered forever. The memory of your wedding day can be flavorful and flawless or poorly timed and inadequate. Since making your wedding unforgettable for all of the right reasons hinges on the presentation and experience you create, catering is quite important. The dining experience is such an important part of the reception that it can make or break the entire event. These tips for wedding catering should help you plan for perfection.
Types of Wedding Catering Services
Before you rush out to secure a wedding catering company, let’s explore the different types of catering services. You need to know what you are searching for before you begin a hunt to find it. You should begin with a vision for the experience you want to create, and know what you need to make it happen. Ask yourself whether you desire a drop-off service or full-service catering with plated meals. To answer this question, you should communicate with your wedding venue and determine which services are included.
The differences between drop-off and full-service catering are about cost and services. Drop-off catering can save you on the expense of extra services. It is designed to deliver your cuisine to banquet staff and food managers within a venue. This hands over the service to a buffet-style event. If you desire drop-off service, it is essential that you are booking at an all-inclusive wedding venue with food managers and banquet staff. Full-service catering is exactly what the name implies, complete service. This involves setting up, breaking down, plated meals, staff services, bartender services, and a much wider range of menu options. If you are booking at a venue with bartenders, staff services and food managers, you should choose a drop-off service. This will provide you with the most savings.
You might not believe that perfection is a reality, and settle on the question of what could possibly go wrong. Perfection is simply perception, and there are a few critical mishaps that can radically change perception. One of the most critical errors would occur if food never finds its way to the venue. Next to that experience would be food arriving late. Beyond timing issues, food can be cold or provided in insufficient quantities, falling short of feeding every guest in attendance. Quality and presentation are extremely important as well. Appearance can affect the way we taste and experience food.
Perfect wedding catering is not impossible. It exits when food arrives on time, is fresh, warm, presentable and portions are in the right quantity and controlled to feed everyone in attendance. Perfection achieved with experience. Always use wedding catering companies that are recommended by your wedding venue. They have cultivated relationships with caterers by working on countless events together.
Choosing the Right Cuisine
You should have an idea about the type of food you want to serve on your wedding day. While the most common dishes are poultry, you can choose seafood, beef, pork and vegetarian dishes. There are no real rules, unless dietary restrictions, religion and allergies come into play.
The type of cuisine can be influenced by the theme of your wedding. If you are considering recreating a first date or the location that you met, your menu might be Italian, Asian, Caribbean or French. Cleary, a Beauty and the Beast theme requires French cuisine. If you met on a vacation in Italy, you might consider brining the elements to your table.
Everyone has a unique palate; therefore, you will never please everyone. However, you should think about the theme and balance it with other decisions based upon what you think the majority of your guests will enjoy. You should not be searching for wedding catering. Instead, you should be searching for diversity, customization, creativity, experience, flavor and presentation.
The Cost of Wedding Catering
It is important that we visit the budget for a moment, since so many couples make decisions based upon cost. Wedding catering is one of those essential elements that deserves a little investment. With that said, you do not want to spend half of your wedding budget on the food. Never choose a caterer based solely upon the price of a plate, but keep in mind that skimping in this area risks disaster on your wedding day. A professional caterer with a reputation will cost between about $25 and $40 per plate on average. Catering can cost less or much more. Avoid skimping on the dining experience. It is important to negotiate and customize packages to receive the most savings. Having a drop-off service that works with the staff at your wedding venue can deliver a superior dining experience, while saving on the expensive full-service options.
Some catering companies have a liquor license and offer bar packages. Beverage packages can be expensive and are a challenge to ever find any savings in the deal. Not that it is impossible, but requires some smart negotiating. Sometimes a catering company can create unique packages to help you save. If you are hosting your wedding at an all-inclusive wedding venue with bar services, it makes more sense to stock your own bar and utilize the bar services at the venue.
Not every bar package involves alcoholic beverages. There are also juice and coffee stations. Get creative with your caterer and build a package that fits your vision for your wedding day. Wedding catering works best when there is a relationship with the venue. This can give you the most services with the least expense. It is recommended that you communicate with your venue about bar services. All-inclusive venues usually have beverage stations and a coffee bar to save you more.
Crystal Ballroom Ocala
Crystal Ballroom Ocala is an all-inclusive wedding venue that bundles the venue, furnishings, décor and services into an affordable luxury wedding package. This saves you thousands on your wedding day, while providing an upfront cost for almost the entire event you are planning. Upgrades can help you customize your wedding to match your budget. Crystal Ballroom Ocala includes an in-house design team to decorate the entire ceremony space and reception ballroom, a bartender service, banquet staff, furnishings, chinaware, all the linens, centerpieces and décor. Crystal Ballroom also has food managers and day of event coordinators to manage your entire experience. Crystal Ballroom makes it easy to plan a fairy tale and build a vendor team all in one place.