Five things to consider when catering for weddings

Regardless of whether you are a large catering company or have been asked to provide the culinary delights at your cousin’s wedding, it is a great honour to cater for a wedding. This is one of the most important days of someone’s life when they want everything to be perfect, so it is a compliment in itself to just be asked.

The food is often one of the most memorable aspects of a wedding day, so it is important that you get it right, making it with care and attention and making it truly memorable – for the right reasons. If you have been asked to provide the catering for a wedding, there are a few things that you should consider, including:


It is really important that you have a good understanding of what the bride and groom want for the food at their wedding. And that they have a good understanding of what you can provide (and for how much).

Try to spend some time with them talking about what they really want from the food, and then make your proposal(s) to them – it is often a good idea to give them a few different options to choose from.

Some of the things that you should discuss include:

  • Do they want a sit-down meal, buffet, both or something different?
  • How many guests will there be?
  • What is their budget – and does it fit in with what they want?
  • Are you going to serve hot or cold food or a mixture?
  • Are you going to cook or prepare food on the premises?
  • If needed, what are the kitchen facilities like?
  •  What time do they want food to be served?
  •  What about serving staff?
  •  Who is responsible for the drinks?
  • Will you need to provide crockery and cutlery?

Be creative

Although a lot of people think that they want something similar to what others have had, you can offer them other, more creative options. Some people might love to have a hog roast, or people, fairground food, fish n chips, or a vegetarian banquet, for example, instead of a more traditional wedding breakfast.

These options will be somewhat limited by the premises where the reception will be held, a hog roast, for example, might not be an option everywhere.

According to wedding experts, For Better For Worse, “Something seen at weddings more and more frequently [is] a signature cocktail that makes a little statement” about the happy couple. These little creative and highly personal touches are some of the things that make a wedding day really special, so it is nice to try to incorporate something like this into the catering.


Most couples will want to have a tasting of your proposed food to help them to make an informed decision. Don’t be surprised if they ask if they can come for a tasting session and maybe want to change some aspects of the food.

Look at this as the chance for you both to get the food exactly as they want it to be and your chance to work together towards the best outcome.

Cancellation and Deposit

If you’re going to be spending a lot of your time getting the food right and spending out a lot of money on food beforehand, it is important that you secure a deposit just in case the worse happens and it all falls through. Of course, couples invest a lot of time, energy and money into their wedding, but these things do sometimes get cancelled and it is important that you are covered for this.

In addition to a deposit, you should try to have a cancellation policy and have this written into your contract. Not only would this protect you as the caterer, but also them, should anything happen to you – as well as show them that you are responsible and trustworthy.


It is a good idea to have a list of people who are happy for you to give as references to your catering. Check with past clients to ensure that they don’t mind you giving you potential new clients their contact details and that they don’t mind people contacting them to ask about their experience with you.

Organising and carrying out the catering on a couples’ big day is a big responsibility and not something that should be taken on lightly. With good communication, good planning and passion for what you do, however, you can make sure that the food is a success and transforms a special day to a really special one.

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