Today I’m answering a question sent in from a bride-to-be. Camille writes:
Any tips for finding a good wedding caterer? I’m getting married next spring and starting to do some planning, and for some reason we’re having a really hard time finding the caterer. Any advice about where to look, and opinions on sit down vs. buffet?
For Travis and I, food was super high on our wedding priority list. (I like to eat, what can I say?)
We considered doing a big family style, sit down dinner with overflowing plates of food at the tables so people could serve themselves (reminiscent of the holidays), but we were told that doing a buffet would flow better. And I’m really glad we did it that way. Here’s what I love about a buffet:
1) We had the catering coordinator load up two plates for us and put them on the head table as we were announced into the reception. That way, when the first table was called to serve themselves, we could take a few minutes to shove some food into our mouths before we made the rounds and said hi to each table. This was a GREAT time-saver and we got enough food to keep us going through the reception.
2) Since tables were getting food at different times, we let that dictate the timing of our “table visits”. Once we saw everyone from a table sit down with their food, we moved on to say hi to them. This helped the evening flow and made it possible for us to acknowledge all of our guests. (Don’t worry about people waiting in long lines for the buffet— a good catering staff knows how to move things along quickly.)
3) Everyone got to enjoy the exact food they wanted at a nice warm temperature, rather than waiting to be served a pre-chosen meal or fighting over “family style” food. (This is a huge help when you have guests with dietary restrictions!)
So there’s my plug for buffets :)
As far as choosing a caterer, we went with a great local restaurant. We knew their food was awesome from years of eating there and we had heard great things about their catering staff. I think it’s worth going on Yelp or talking to other brides in your area when looking for good food because it’s about more than how everything tastes. Our catering staff went above and beyond in SO many ways— our entire wedding went more smoothly because of them.
Hope this helps, Camille! Let us know how it turns out!
As a wedding guest, what type of meal do you prefer: buffet, sit down, or family style? Brides: how did you choose your caterer? Got any advice for Camille? Agree or disagree with my thoughts? Share your own in the comments!