I once heard that it is customary in France to eat before you go to a party… just incase. That’s such a foreign concept for us and the countless couples we meet who prioritize delicious food and beverage offerings for their big day. What kind of party would it be without a gorgeous feast? And who wants their guests to go home hungry?
Selecting catering options should be fun, but making sure everyone is happy is not – ask any mother with picky eaters! Perhaps this is more of a Californian thing, but do your friends and family have a lot of dietary restrictions? Would your reception dinner be better served on a buffet, plated, or family style? What are some questions to ask your coordinator? What about alternative catering packages? Here are some tips, tricks, and strategies to making sure your guests will have happy memories of your banquet for a long time!
5. Don’t be afraid to ask
A no brainer, but ask your guests to RSVP with dietary restrictions. If you have one guest with a mild nut allergy, usually your catering chef can leave a dish to the side without the allergen. If you notice a recurring theme, however, work with your wedding coordinator on what menu option would be tasty and accommodating for everyone. There are big differences between food preferences and allergies, and the more information you can give your caterers, the better. People who have severe or life-threatening allergies (latex, for example) are used to forewarning hosts; others may just be ‘trying out’ a new diet, and will be happy to throw it out the window for a special event. Do not be afraid to ask for clarification if you are unsure.
4. Write it down
A great way to increase the speed of service and make sure everyone gets what they requested is the use of table cards. Table cards with specific dietary requests should be discreet, but clearly marked with the guest’s name, table number, and dietary restrictions (or meal choice). Using these, Coordinators can better communicate to the banquet team to give certain guests extra attention. For example, if a guest is vegetarian/vegan, put an image of a carrot on their table card. If there are tray passed hors d’oeuvres, offer those with special requests a color coded flower to wear so servers know not to offer them anything that might offend or harm!
How to serve food is a big question when it comes to catering for a large group. What are the benefits of a buffet? Would you be happier with the elegance of plated meal, or communal family style? Be sure to ask your wedding coordinator to explain the pros and cons of each serving method so that you can make an informed decision.
2. What’s the alternative?
The main reason we love stations as a catering style is that your guests have a greater variety of options. Stir fry stations or macaroni and cheese bars are becoming popular on the wedding circuit as they give guests a canvas on which to make their own entree. Mini pizzas with perhaps some toppings guests can add sound like fun! Taco and nacho stations have been popping up all over the place. What Californian doesn’t love a good taco? Sushi stations and oyster bars are becoming popular in the wedding industry as well.
1. Love is all you need
This is your big day to celebrate love, and nothing brings people together more than breaking bread. As with everything wedding-related, planning is perfect, but there really should be no reason to stress on the day. As the bride, you’ve made every effort to make sure your guests are well catered for, so that on your big day you can sit back and enjoy. If you are happy, you can be sure that your loved ones are happy, too!
Offering two unique and breathtaking venues in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Kennolyn is a leader in the world of weddings, corporate retreats, and special events.
Kennolyn caterers have many years of experience working with all dietary restrictions and alternative catering options, and our professional wedding coordinators are there to make sure everything is top notch!
If you are interested in finding out more about Kennolyn for your special event, or to book a tour, feel free to contact us