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Wedding Catering Archives - New Orleans Weddings - Reception, Venue & Planning

BRIDES Chicago: Quintessential Late-Night Snacks for a Chicago Wedding

 Chicago, Food & Drink, Illinois, Local, Wedding Catering  Comments Off on BRIDES Chicago: Quintessential Late-Night Snacks for a Chicago Wedding
Nov 082016
 

Not into serving Windy City favorites like deep-dish pizza and Chicago-style hot dogs at your reception? The late-night snack serves as your chance to show off your — and your city's — foodie side. Trust us: No matter how delicious dinner was, guests will pounce on the snacks after they've been tearing up the dance floor. Here are five of our favorite options that capture the city's most famous fare.

Garrett Popcorn Shops
If you're like us, Garrett's delicious popcorn fumes are tough to resist, hence why tourists routinely swing by the airport's Garrett Popcorn Shop on their way home. Save your out-of-town guests a trip and treat everyone to the classic Chicago treat by setting up a popcorn bar just off the dance floor. Garrett's will provide an old-fashioned popcorn tin, scoopers, and to-go bags. Sweet tooths will love the CarmelCrisp, while savory fans will dive into CheeseCorn. But for the ultimate snack, go for The Chicago Mix, a genius combination of the two. Read real brides' reviews here!

Lou Malnati's
Once the smell of pizza fills the air, the dance floor will clear. (Don't worry — guests will be back and ready to keep dancing once they refuel.) The legendary Chicago pizza joint serves mini slices of their famous deep dish so guests can enjoy them in two bites rather than a fork-and-knife ordeal. Everyone's dressed to the nines, after all. Read real brides' reviews here!

Big Star
On sunny weekends, Chicagoans flock to the Wicker Park taco mecca just as wedding guests will flock to Big Star's 'Little Mule' food truck when it rolls into your reception. Might we suggest serving a mix of tacos — pastor, pescado, and hongas — to satisfy carnivores, fish lovers, and vegetarians alike. Read real brides' reviews here!

Stan's Donuts & Coffee
Stan's may trace its roots back to Los Angeles, but since the donut shop opened in Chicago two years ago, we've adopted it as our own. Now with four locations around the city, chances are you and your fiancé have fallen for Stan's as well. Though your traditional great aunt might be confused by the idea of eating donuts at 10 p.m. rather than 10 a.m., one bite of a mini pistachio-glazed donut is all it'll take to win her over.

See More: Dance Off All That Food to the Music of These Top Chicago Wedding Bands

Buddy's Special Events
If there's one delicacy Chicago's most famous for, it's the Chicago-style hot dog. And the Windy City staple makes a light-hearted and playful addition to your big day, putting your hometown pride front and center. Buddy's Special Events serves authentic Vienna beef hot dogs straight from a hot dog cart. All the fixings are available too, but stay true to the Chicago theme and keep ketchup far away. Read real brides' reviews here!

The Slide Ride
When The Slide Ride drives up to your reception, it's pretty much a given that no guest will go home hungry. From brown sugar bacon-topped sliders to a spicy PB&J, out-of-the-ordinary — but no less tasty — combinations are packed into each small sandwich. Not to mention, all the deliciousness is served straight from a cute, retro food truck.

For more Chicago wedding catering options, be sure to browse our local vendors page!

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BRIDES Chicago: Quintessential Late-Night Snacks for a Chicago Wedding

 Chicago, Food & Drink, Illinois, Local, Wedding Catering  Comments Off on BRIDES Chicago: Quintessential Late-Night Snacks for a Chicago Wedding
Nov 082016
 

Not into serving Windy City favorites like deep-dish pizza and Chicago-style hot dogs at your reception? The late-night snack serves as your chance to show off your — and your city's — foodie side. Trust us: No matter how delicious dinner was, guests will pounce on the snacks after they've been tearing up the dance floor. Here are five of our favorite options that capture the city's most famous fare.

Garrett Popcorn Shops
If you're like us, Garrett's delicious popcorn fumes are tough to resist, hence why tourists routinely swing by the airport's Garrett Popcorn Shop on their way home. Save your out-of-town guests a trip and treat everyone to the classic Chicago treat by setting up a popcorn bar just off the dance floor. Garrett's will provide an old-fashioned popcorn tin, scoopers, and to-go bags. Sweet tooths will love the CarmelCrisp, while savory fans will dive into CheeseCorn. But for the ultimate snack, go for The Chicago Mix, a genius combination of the two. Read real brides' reviews here!

Lou Malnati's
Once the smell of pizza fills the air, the dance floor will clear. (Don't worry — guests will be back and ready to keep dancing once they refuel.) The legendary Chicago pizza joint serves mini slices of their famous deep dish so guests can enjoy them in two bites rather than a fork-and-knife ordeal. Everyone's dressed to the nines, after all. Read real brides' reviews here!

Big Star
On sunny weekends, Chicagoans flock to the Wicker Park taco mecca just as wedding guests will flock to Big Star's 'Little Mule' food truck when it rolls into your reception. Might we suggest serving a mix of tacos — pastor, pescado, and hongas — to satisfy carnivores, fish lovers, and vegetarians alike. Read real brides' reviews here!

Stan's Donuts & Coffee
Stan's may trace its roots back to Los Angeles, but since the donut shop opened in Chicago two years ago, we've adopted it as our own. Now with four locations around the city, chances are you and your fiancé have fallen for Stan's as well. Though your traditional great aunt might be confused by the idea of eating donuts at 10 p.m. rather than 10 a.m., one bite of a mini pistachio-glazed donut is all it'll take to win her over.

See More: Dance Off All That Food to the Music of These Top Chicago Wedding Bands

Buddy's Special Events
If there's one delicacy Chicago's most famous for, it's the Chicago-style hot dog. And the Windy City staple makes a light-hearted and playful addition to your big day, putting your hometown pride front and center. Buddy's Special Events serves authentic Vienna beef hot dogs straight from a hot dog cart. All the fixings are available too, but stay true to the Chicago theme and keep ketchup far away. Read real brides' reviews here!

The Slide Ride
When The Slide Ride drives up to your reception, it's pretty much a given that no guest will go home hungry. From brown sugar bacon-topped sliders to a spicy PB&J, out-of-the-ordinary — but no less tasty — combinations are packed into each small sandwich. Not to mention, all the deliciousness is served straight from a cute, retro food truck.

For more Chicago wedding catering options, be sure to browse our local vendors page!

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BRIDES Northern California: Iconic San Francisco Foods to Serve at Your Reception

 California, Food & Drink, Local, San Francisco, Wedding Catering  Comments Off on BRIDES Northern California: Iconic San Francisco Foods to Serve at Your Reception
Nov 072016
 

San Francisco has always been a culinary melting pot. Italian and Chinese immigrants, fisherman, bakers, and chefs have left delicious legacies that tell the story of the city though iconic dishes. To incorporate a little local flavor in your wedding reception, consider serving one — or a few — of these iconic San Francisco foods.

Cioppino
Cioppino was created by Italian immigrants in San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood way back in the late 1800s. Originally a dish thrown together using the day's catch while out at sea, it later became popular in the neighborhood restaurants. Similar to seafood stews served in Italy but with a San Francisco twist, it's typically filled with local Dungeness crab, shrimp, scallops, squid, and mussels tossed together with tomatoes and wine, and served with local sourdough bread. Serve it as a buffet item or as a hearty seafood option.

Sourdough
And speaking of sourdough, the city's famous bread was created thousands of years before the settlement of California, but when Basque immigrants began making sourdough bread during the Gold Rush, it became the unofficial bread of the growing city. Perhaps the most famous purveyor is Boudin Bakery, which has been making sourdough in San Francisco since 1849 and continues to do so using a portion of the original starter. Serve sourdough in each table's bread basket, or go all out with individual bread bowls filled with clam chowder or a seafood bisque.

Irish Coffee
The original Irish Coffee was born in Shannon, Ireland, but it was San Francisco's Buena Vista Café that brought it across the pond to America in 1952. Café owner Jack Koeppler was so determined to recreate the concoction that he even went back to its birthplace at the Shannon Airport and eventually figured out the secret recipe (it involves aging the cream for 48 hours and frothing it to the perfect consistency). More than 60 years later, the café still serves its signature drink, though you can serve your own version with coffee, whisky, and whipped cream to keep guests caffeinated and dancing all night long.

See More: Finish Off the Night with a Wedding Cake From One of These Local Bakeries

Fortune Cookies
Despite their association with Chinese food, fortune cookies were not created in China. Though their origin is disputed by some, a federal judge of the Court of Historical Review has deemed that they were created in the heart of San Francisco's Chinatown, at the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Company. The cookies sell for $5 per bag of traditional or chocolate fortune cookies, so they're an inexpensive — and delicious — way to add some local flavor to your reception meal.

IT's-IT Ice Cream Sandwich
Born in 1928, IT's-IT ice cream sandwiches may be the city's most beloved dessert. The sweet treat is deceptively simple: a scoop of vanilla ice cream between two large old-fashioned oatmeal cookies, which is then dipped into fine dark chocolate. Serve the original — or try flavors like chocolate, mint, strawberry, cappuccino, or pumpkin — for a decadent late-night treat.

For more food ideas and expert wedding caterers, head to our local vendors page here!

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Oct 232016
 

Newsflash, brides-to-be: Gone are the days of just chicken or fish. "A wedding meal should be a narrative of you as a couple and the foods you love," says Hugh Acheson, the James Beard Award winning chef at Atlanta's Empire State South. So get hungry, brides, because no idea is off-limits when it comes to your reception food!

Obsessed with brunch? Surprise guests with breakfast for dinner. Was grilled cheese your favorite childhood snack? Serve a gourmet version as an appetizer. Now is the time to experiment. "The beauty of weddings is that guests are happy but hungry, so they're willing to try something new," says Acheson. "The reaction you want is 'Wow, this isn't typical wedding food.'"

Need a bit(e) of guidance? The first rule in menu planning: It's about you. "Start by choosing two entrees, using the proteins you and your groom love most," suggests Chris Huerta, executive chef at North Carolina's Old Edward's Inn. "If he wants beef, there's no reason you can't choose fish or poultry to accompany it." And don't feel like you have to change your entire menu or offer individual dishes to suit a handful of guests with food allergies (like those with gluten intolerance) or dietary restrictions (vegans and vegetarians). Rather, provide a variety of dishes to choose from, which is much easier to handle than many custom plates.

But what are the ultimate dos and don'ts of personalizing your wedding menu? Read on to find out.

DO Offer simply prepared dishes ideal for large groups, like stewed meats with grains and veggies or cured-meat and cheese boards. They can be total wedding budget savers.

DON'T There's no need to overdo it with labor-intensive (and expensive) entrees like individually temperatured beef tenderloin.

DO Set up interactive stations where dishes are made to order by a chef. Plan on one station for every 50 guests.

DON'T Ditch the fried foods, like french fries, which get soggy quickly. (You can always make a pre-honeymoon pitstop at In-N-Out!)

DO Go for fresh salads chock-full of local, seasonal veggies, like burrata with tomato, corn, and basil in summer.

See More: 3 Things Not to Do at Your Wedding Menu Tasting

DON'T Avoid choosing out-of-season produce. "Research seasonality in your area and ask the caterer to devise a menu using those ingredients," says Stephany Wilder of the Ace Hotel Palm Springs in California. "You'll save money and support local businesses."

DO Consider a vegetable gratin. "They can be pre-assembled, are cooked at the last minute, and are cheesy and beautiful," says Acheson. Don't offer risotto, which is hard to execute and tastes gummy if it sits too long.

Subscribe to BRIDES now for the best wedding dresses, advice, and big-day inspiration.

BRIDES New York: Best NYC Food Trucks For Your Wedding Reception

 Food & Drink, Local, New York, New York City, NY, NJ and CT, Wedding Catering  Comments Off on BRIDES New York: Best NYC Food Trucks For Your Wedding Reception
Oct 232016
 
Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream

Photo: Courtesy of Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream

Nowadays, finding some of New York's most delicious and one-of-a-kind dishes is often found on the rolling wheels of a Manhattan food truck. Whether you're sticking to strictly desserts or looking for a gourmet alternative for NYC catering, these unique food trucks will add a fun way to enjoy some food during your wedding reception.

Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream (Above)
Recognized by its buttery yellow exterior, this artisanal ice cream truck has set out to restore the classic American tradition of ice cream making using only all natural ingredients. Using a handful of elements, the creators behind this sustainable ice cream company credit each flavor as a celebration to some of the worlds best artisan farmers. With over 8 years of experience and 100 vegan and classic flavors, this scooped sensation is the perfect substitute to the classic wedding sweet treat.

Food Truck Catering
This online resource for all things food trucks is the perfect place to compare cuisines, convenience, and variety through the endless selection of some of New York's most popular food truck caterers. Made-to-order dishes created fresh from local ingredients provide the foundation for this extensive selection of unforgettable food experiences. Whether you're looking to satisfy your Asian fusion, fish and chips, falafel, or pie cravings, this mecca of food truck varieties is the perfect one-stop-shop for all of your gourmet needs.

Flavor Please
From Kimchi Taco to Melt Bakery, this extensive variety of one-of-a-kind food trucks is the perfect location to find your next catering venture. Whether your taste buds find interest in Italian cuisine, Mexican delicacies, or authentic desserts, there's no limit to the creativity used to make some of New York's most delectable dishes. The ability to book online makes finding a food truck ensured with a triple threat of quality ingredients, excellent service, and bold flavor accessible to any Manhattan bride.

See More: Still Need a Wedding Cake? Browse NYC Cakeries to Find Your Dream Wedding Cake!

Wafels & Dinges
What started as homage to a Brussels tradition of selling waffles from a horse-drawn carriage has quickly turned into one of New York City's most popular food truck attractions. After being crowned ZAGAT's "Best Food Truck" in NYC, it was no surprise that Manhattan locals started transitioning this kitchen on wheels into a full-blown catering service. Offering guests an immense choice list of delectable toppings such as fresh blueberries, walnut crumble, and Belgian chocolate fudge, it's no doubt that your guests will have a limitless number of creations to enjoy.

Carpe Donut
Credited for making some of the Big Apple's best hot and fresh made-to-order doughnuts, this high quality, organic food truck staple uses only locally-sourced ingredients to produce their sweet treats. Whether it's one of their famous fall "Apple Cider" doughnuts or their latest summer creation, the "FroDo," there's always a uniquely delicious flavor catered for any taste buds.

Looking for a different type of caterer? Find the right bites for your wedding on our New York City catering page!

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Oct 202016
 

What should be one of the first things you do after getting engaged (after taking that picture-perfect engagement ring selfie, of course!)? Choosing your wedding venue should top your to-do list. Before you send out invites and start tasting cakes, you gotta pick your place! After all, your wedding date, your décor, and your guest list all depend on the size, feel, and availability of your chosen space. Another major wedding day detail your wedding venue can influence? The food!

Whether you've been dreaming of saying "I do" in a classic hotel, a trendy restaurant, or a unique event space, the wedding venue you choose will greatly impact just how unconventional your catering can be (although most locations can accommodate some degree of personalization and surprise). Be sure to add these pro and con columns to your list when venue shopping. You do want your guests asking for seconds, don't you?

Restaurants
Great chefs are often found at restaurants, so buying one out for your big day is the ideal way to get the menu you want. You could also save big because food, rentals, and service are included. "But avoid small places that don't have the staff to handle a party of your size," says Hugh Acheson, James Beard Award-winning chef at Empire State South.

Hotels
For a truly stellar meal, find a hotel with an award-winning restaurant where ingredients are locally sourced or made from scratch. But no matter which you choose, meet with the chef to tell him about your wedding style and the foods you like, says Chris Huerta, executive chef at North Carolina's Old Edwards Inn. Work with the in-house team to create a custom menu or, at the very least, tweak the preset options to reflect your own tastes. "Good caterers can adapt, so don't be shy about telling them what you want," Acheson says.

See More: 5 Things All Instagram-Worthy Wedding Venues Have In Common

Event Spaces
Aim for one that lets you bring in any outside vendor (cue food truck for cocktail hour or late-night snacks). "Look for companies that participate in local food festivals or have a background in the restaurant industry," says Lara Ziemba, private-events manager at the Chicago Cultural Center. If the venue insists that you use a "preferred vendor," ask if you can pay a fee to go off the list. If the site's people won't budge, Ziemba says you can hire a chef you love to work with the caterer (the chef will craft the menu, which the staff will execute and serve) or enlist your favorite restaurant to cook the meal for a licensed caterer to simply pick up, transport to the venue, heat in ovens or warming trays, and serve to guests.

Subscribe now for the best wedding dresses, advice, and big-day inspiration.

7 Ways to Come Up With Badass Names for Your Signature Cocktails

 Planning Tips, Wedding Catering, Wedding Ideas  Comments Off on 7 Ways to Come Up With Badass Names for Your Signature Cocktails
Oct 152016
 

Naming your signature cocktail can be a fun highlight in planning your wedding — or, if you put too much pressure on yourselves to be clever and cute, it can be kind of stressful, says Amy Nichols, owner of Amy Nichols Special Events and cofounder of The Poppy Group. "Brides and grooms want their guests to know they've thought of their enjoyment when selecting a signature cocktail," she explains.

But naming your signature cocktail doesn't have to be burdensome. With these tips, it'll be a breeze — and hopefully fun.

1. Start with the bartender.
Who better to help you name your mixed drink than the bartender who'll serve it up to your guests? Ask him or her what the key ingredients are, how it's prepared, and how it's served to spark inspiration, suggests Nichols. "All of that information could give you some ideas for a fun name," she says.

2. Play up the key ingredient.
Rather than picking any ol' cocktail, start your search for the right beverage by brainstorming cocktails with ingredients you love, then use those flavors for your name, says Jaclyn Fisher, owner of Two Little Birds Planning in Philadelphia. "Vodka Rosemary Lemonade could be Vodka Rose-Marry Me Lemonade," she says, "or Spiked Apple Cider could be renamed Apple of My Eye."

3. Pick a drink with a name that already works for you.
You've got enough on your plate to stress over. So rather than spend hours trying to come up with a clever catchphrase, why not let an already delicious drink do the work for you? There's a beverage called the Blushing Bride that is already fitting for a wedding, Fisher points out, made with champagne, fruit nectar, and grenadine.

See More: What Your Signature Cocktail Says About You

4. Take your guests on a trip.
You don't have to throw a destination wedding to take your guests to a new locale. Use your signature drink as a way to celebrate a city you love, or a time period that intrigues you, Nichols suggests. "Use the influences of your dream locale to help you make the selection of your signature cocktails name," she says. Of course, if you are throwing a destination fete, you can use your wedding spot as inspiration, too.

5. Be playful and informative.
While you want to surprise and delight your guests with your cocktail's name, you don't want to make it such a tongue twister that they'll have no clue what they're drinking, warns Fisher. "While drink names should be playful, they should also be descriptive so guests know what they're drinking," she says. In addition to placing a sign with the drink's ingredients at the bar, consider including the main ingredient or alcohol in the cocktail's name for clarity.

6. Get a little online help.
You may have heard of a hashtag generator. Well, it turns out, these awesome online tools can help name more than your big day. By plugging in key words, such as cities or ingredients, a hashtag generator could come up with a cocktail name you'll love. "Plus, this will ensure you create something totally unique," Nichols says.

7. Search the season.
Just as your wedding's season informed the details of your wedding — your 'maids won't be wearing short dresses in the dead of winter — so too can it help you with your signature cocktails. "Signature cocktails and their names should be reflective of the season," says Fisher. So, for example, "in the summer months, stick with something cool and refreshing like a Moscow Mule, named the Marry Me Mule."

Exactly What to Do If You Drink Too Much at Your Own Wedding

 Food & Drink, Wedding Catering, Wellness  Comments Off on Exactly What to Do If You Drink Too Much at Your Own Wedding
Sep 222016
 
tips-to-sober-up-on-wedding-day.jpg

Photo: Getty Images

Can't stop, won't stop! Err, but sometimes you have to, especially when it comes to boozing on your big day. Because too much of a good thing can, in some cases, be a very, very bad thing, trust us. So as much as you know not to overdo it on alcohol the day-of, we understand that accidents happen and sometimes a girl (or groom) just has to sober up. If you find yourself headed for drunksville too soon, try these tips to help you get back on your feet and feeling better stat. (Oh, and we've also included a few precautionary measures to follow so you aren't falling over in the first place.)

Take a cold shower
Okay, this might be a little hard to do once your glammed and gussied up, but for tipsy grooms this is a great way to go. If your man gets too shwasted before the ceremony starts, have his boys tell him to take a cold shower, suggests wedding planner Cate Tenopir of Tenopir Events. At the very least, it'll wake him up, keep him away from the booze for a bit and refresh him so he doesn't look worse for wear during the ceremony starts.

Slow your roll
And if you're well on your way to drunk early on, please stop drinking altogether. Once you begin to feel even slightly tipsy, you want to cut out the alcohol stat, says Greg Jenkins, founder of Bravo Productions. "Depending on your height, weight, how much alcohol has been consumed, etc., that will determine how inebriated one will be." Thus, it's important to know beforehand how much alcohol one can consume without getting too buzzed, and then avoid drinking (other than a glass of champagne) pre-ceremony and moderate one's drinking during the reception. "Think about the big day as performing in a one-act stage play. There's only one chance to make a long-term impression. There are no retakes! To this end, give your best performance on your wedding day."

Pound water (or coconut water!)
We know it sounds like a no brainer, but even if you don't feel good and can't keep it down, keep pounding the water, advises Shafonne Myers, founder of Pretty Pear Bride. "It will for sure help. Pedialyte or Powerade work wonders too, as they both have essential vitamins that will help to hydrate you." And don't forget coconut water! Living in the Caribbean, destination wedding planner Michelle Fage of Paradise Planning has easy access to getting this for brides/bridesmaids and has saved the day more than a few times by providing the hydrating drink during hair and makeup time with the bridal party! And she's definitely forced grooms to drink it too. As a rule of thumb, for every alcoholic beverage you consume, you should also consume a glass of water too.

See More: 5 Creative Ways to Make Your Wedding Bar Stand Out

Eat a bunch of carbs
Literally, stuff your face with them. Something hearty to absorb the alcohol, such as breads, pasta, potatoes, etc. are always good, says Jenkins. And sorry, no salads! "While the idea may not be ideal for someone who is watching their weight, it beats the alternative of appearing intoxicated on one's wedding day."

Sleep it off
San Francisco-based destination wedding planner Ashley Smith, founder of BuzzWorthy Events, says to take a power nap. Granted you have time, that is. Obviously this one only works pre-ceremony, and is another great one for grooms who tend to have less busy schedules the day-of and thus more time on their hands to take a quick snooze.

Just say "no" to shots
Peer pressure is a bitch! But let the bartender and your BFF know that shots are off the table, as they only lead to shenanigans (and not the kind you want on your big day). For grooms, wedding planner Marilisa Schachinger of Martel Event recommends sticking to beer before the ceremony and saving liquor for later. Or heck, just do beer throughout.

Avoid darker alcohols
Wedding planner Kelli Corn of Kelli Corn Weddings & Events best advice? "Remember to avoid darker alcohols like red wine or whiskey that contain substance produced during fermentation and instead try white wine or vodka. This can make the buzz not as buzzy."

3 Unexpected Details You’ll Need to Go Over With Your Caterer

 Food & Drink, Planning Tips, Wedding Catering, Wedding Planning  Comments Off on 3 Unexpected Details You’ll Need to Go Over With Your Caterer
Sep 182016
 
Questions Caterer Will Ask

Photo: Getty Images

Thought the only thing you and your caterer would need to discuss was what's on the menu at your wedding? Well, think again. Caterers cover so much more than just appetizers and entrées, and there are all sorts of little details you'll need to cover during your final meeting before the big day. To make sure you're prepared with answers when your caterer starts asking questions you may not have expected, we asked Tanya Gurrieri, owner and operator of SALTHOUSE Catering in Charleston, to fill us in on the surprising details she likes to review with her clients.

1. The Ceremony Location
It might not seem important, but letting your caterer know where you'll be getting hitched is actually crucial to their timing. "If the ceremony is at the same venue, we need to make sure all food service is set and staff is quiet by the time guests begin to arrive, up to 30 minutes before your ceremony begins," says Gurrieri. This way no one is rushing around finalizing things as your guests walk over for cocktail hour, and there aren't any kitchen noises in the background of your video. "This will impact our arrival time, staffing, and set up. We'll want to get there early enough so we're not running around when it's time for you to say 'I do.'"

2. The Table Décor and Setting
It's not just your rental company that's worried about what you'll be putting on the table. "Couples often don't realize how much goes into food service and place settings, so we'll review the details together based on the style of food service (plated, buffet, food stations, heavy hors d'oeuvres, etc.) they've selected," Gurrieri explains. This includes items your caterer will need to make sure are rented, such as bread plates, chargers, wine glasses, and flatware, as well as how each place setting will look. "Will you have a pre-set water glass, or place cards and menus at each seat? If you're having wine served to the tables, there will also need to be wine glasses at each setting. And will you have a bread basket, pre-set bread on bread plates, or bread service? These items will all impact the look of the table, as well as how many servers we'll need to bring with us."

3. The Length of the Reception Party
"Folks think that once food service is over, the caterers are all finished, while others try to trim costs by cutting our service early. In reality, it's our job to keep the reception space clean throughout the event, picking up bar glassware, cake plates, etc. as guests dance the night away," Gurrieri reveals. "More importantly, we're there at the end of the night for all breakdown and clean up! It's our job to ensure the space is left in a better condition than we found it in, and that means staying until the guests are gone and clean up is complete." So make sure you let your caterer know when everyone is packing up, so they can give you an accurate estimate of how long they'll need to have staff on-hand.

See more: 8 Rules for Finding a Wedding Caterer That's Right for You

5 Ways to Cut Wedding Reception Food Costs Way Down

 Food & Drink, Planning Tips, Wedding Catering, Wedding Planning  Comments Off on 5 Ways to Cut Wedding Reception Food Costs Way Down
Sep 152016
 
charming dinner menu

Photo: Marisa Holmes

Everyone knows weddings are expensive — especially for the couple of honor. And when it comes to the wedding reception, you're probably eager to cut some of the frivolous costs of your big day — so that you can afford to keep everyone on your guest list. One way to do that is to examine your reception menu and see what you can change up or eliminate in order to save a little money. To help you do just that, we've compiled a list of five easy tricks to help cut wedding costs when it comes to your reception dinner menu.

1. Pass on the passed apps.
Many couples don't realize that by going easy on the passed apps, you can save a ton of money. Instead, give guests something nosh on during cocktail hour that is set out at tables rather than passed. Having people walk around and pass out individual bites ends up costing more money for waitstaff. Designated tables throughout the cocktail hour for guests to grab apps themselves is a much more cost-effective approach.

2. Offer a buffet instead of a sit-down dinner.
Instead of doing a traditional sit-down dinner, opt for a buffet dinner instead. As a rule, buffets are usually lesser in price — mainly because you don't have to have such an extensive serving staff serving each individual table.

3. Cut out the big cake.
A wedding cake usually costs between several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars — and may not even be the ideal dessert of your choice. Instead of splurging on a large cake, find a dessert that's less expensive but still fits your style. Your wallet (and tastebuds) will thank you!

4. Skip the fancy entrées for the comfort food.
Instead of doing steak, chicken, and fish for your main course, go for a comfort food meal instead — a huge wedding trend right now. If you have a love for pizza, short ribs, or mac and cheese, you can serve that as your main wedding dish (and your guests will most likely go crazy for it).

5. Think seasonally.
When picking vegetables to serve as side dishes or with the salad, pick ones that are in-season and can be found locally. You'll save some cash this way, and chances are the meal created and served will be fresher thanks to your picks.

See More: 21 Food Bar Ideas For Your Wedding

Jen Glantz is a "Professional Bridesmaid" and the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire. She's the author of All My Friends Are Engaged and frequently wears old bridesmaid dresses to the grocery store and on first dates.

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