From the Professionals...Feeding your guests

06 / 11 / 18

Love to Plan professional wedding planner for your South West wedding day

Each month we delve deeper into subjects to find out more and bring you some useful snippets of advice!

Feeding your guests is probably one of the most expensive parts of your wedding day, and the most expensive meal you'll ever foot the bill for! With so much choice out there how on earth do you decide what to feed them? We've asked three of our fabulous caterers for their views on keeping guests well fed, whatever your budget.

Toby from Crackle & Jam is a chef with over 15 years' experience and provides authentic Hog Roasts for weddings...

How does a hog roast works as a wedding breakfast?
A hog roast as a wedding breakfast suits a couple who are wanting to have a relaxed atmosphere and break away from a formal sit down meal. This catering option works brilliantly for weddings with a rustic, countryside or festival feel about them. As the hog is cooked on the day at the event, it brings a sense of theatre to your wedding. This also allows guests to interact with the chef and to see their food being prepared. We not only care deeply about serving the best quality food but we are conscientious about the presentation of our company and gazebo. The theme of the gazebo is changed to fit seamlessly with your day, including fresh flowers, table clothes, napkins and bunting. I also enjoy being able to talk to the guests and see them being able to mingle and talk rather than being sat down.

A benefit of a hog roast is that it allows guests greater freedom when choosing their portion size and what home made salads and condiments they would like.

Due to my experience of being a chef for the past 15 years I pride myself on creating a tailor made menu to suit each couples individual tastes. Couples can choose salads and desserts from a sample menu, of which are all made by myself. These options can be adapted to suit individual tastes and dietary requirements.

I strongly believe that vegetarians and vegan guests should not be treated as an after thought. Just as much thought goes in to creating their food options within your menu.

Many couples find having a hog roast as a catering option a cost effective way of having excellent food that will cater for all of their guests without having to compromise on the quality. I can provide pulled pork, the pulled pork can also be marinated in hand made marinades of your choice.

I can also provide a BBq option, in which I create a tailor made menu. For a recent wedding I served rotisserie chicken at the wedding breakfast for 120 people, they thoroughly enjoyed the homemade Peri Peri sauce and Jamaican Jerk chicken.

How are they served?
The preferred way to serve guests is for them to come to the serving pass to be served the meat by the team. Guests then help themselves to the selection of salads and condiments. This allows the couple to either have tables with a seating plan or a more informal seating arrangement such as long benches or even straw bales. The beauty of a hog roast is that it can be as formal or informal as you envision.

Top tips:

  • Stick to your vision for your special day. Trust the professionals to go above and beyond what you expect .
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions before and after booking your caterer. It is highly unlikely for a good caterer to say no. If your idea is not possible then they will be able to come up with a suitable and possibly better alternative.
  • Order the food that you both want rather than comprising on what you think will please the majority of your guests.

Our next caterer is Hey Pesto Catering who are a friendly bunch of people passionate about bringing great quality food wherever your wedding may be.

How can your couples make their mark on the traditional three course sit down meal?
We like to think that you can still have a traditional 3 course meal, but spice it up a little! We always try to tell couples that it is there day and to make sure the food is a reflection of them, not what will keep their great granny happy! Some new popular options is having the service a little different, but keeping the food traditional, for example

We make beautiful Garlic Mushrooms which we serve in vintage tea cups or Mezze platters which are served on the table on a big round board (see picture) so that all guests can easily reach, and also looks like a part of the table decoration.

For the main course, nothing beats a roast dinner, but to give the room atmosphere and guests something to talk about, we offer a self-carving option which we call Share the Love! – The bride & groom nominate a guest from each table who will wear the apron and hat, and be in charge of carving the meat (or a couple of different meats). It’s by far THE best way to have your food served to you!

We even had one wedding who gave their guests aprons with Bikinis and boobs!

Do you bring all the equipment needed to the venue to cook and serve the food?
We bring it all! Once a couple have booked with us, we need nothing else from them. We arrive the day before to help lay the room (so we can provide tables, chairs, cloths, glasses, napkins, crockery & cutlery) then all they need to do is add the personal touches. On the day itself you will have a dedicated wedding coordinator who will be your helping hand throughout, from lighting candles to serving the food, everything is done for you, and also included in the costs.

What’s becoming popular in 2019/2020 on the food scene at weddings?
We are getting a lot of interest in more informal affairs – bowl food is all the rage! We have a lot of couples who don’t want a 3 course meal and would rather something a lot more relaxed. We pride ourselves in being able to do it all, from Hog Roasts to BBQs to Thai Street Food and everything in between.

Tapas, pizzas, afternoon tea – everything you can share and pick at is popular!
Also we are now seeing a big trend on having 2 courses, but extra canapes. Canapes are the BEST and a great way to start a fantastic day!

Ideas for evening food.
Buffets are OUT! I don’t think I have sent a quote with a finger buffet on for about 2 years. Sharing and grab and go food are the only way to go! If you can’t eat it whilst dancing and drinking, then don’t bother having it – that’s my opinion anyway! BBQ Pulled pork baps, pizza’s and street food are they best way to keep guests happy and full and ready to go through until the early hours.

We have even bought a new gazebo and pizza oven to keep our couples engaged!

Top tips for catering and what to consider when planning food at your wedding

  • Feed them well and feed them lots – canapes are a must have and always keep your guests happy during your photos!
  • 2 courses is a great way of keeping the price down but still give your guests a traditional feel.
  • Keep the numbers down! – You can have the best value menu in the world, but as soon as you times it by 150 guests, it’s going to get expensive! I would invite close friends and family to the day and invite them all to the evening!

Finally, we have Tom from The Sausage and Mash Company who serves quality low fuss food wherever it's needed...

How can your couples make their mark on the traditional three course sit down meal?
We love to mix the traditional meal setting up a bit. So vegetables instead of being platted are presented either in kilner jars or on sharing platters. Our pies are also presented on stunning platters or individually plated, but the guests have up to three pie choices as well as three sausage choices from our menu. That means we create conversation through food as well as choice! We don't do boring! From canapés to dessert we are always looking at new ways to entice and deliver!

Do you bring all the equipment needed to a venue to cook and serve the food?
One of our USP is being able to deliver a three course meal anywhere! I mean anywhere! We have provided full formal dinner service in the middle of fields! Our biggest event to date was feeding the cast and crew of Star Wars in a car park! 500 people fed in an hour! Our only stipulation is the client has to provide electricity in the form of a generator or we hire one in. All our other events are normally in kitchens at venues or we have a purpose build field kitchen with all our own cookers etc. There is a hire charge but it means we can cook and cater any where!

What’s becoming popular in 2019/2020 on the food scene at weddings?
Package deals is popular...brides and grooms know exactly what they are paying for and get the whole catering in one package deal. Also drama in the evening is popular...drama with food... so we are investing in naked flame cooking with cauldrons and grills, people look flames and excitement whilst enjoying hearty food in the evening. Also hire of our rustic themed bars is taking off.

What’s your most popular dish?
Obviously Pie and Mash or Sausage and Mash, also in desserts its always our chocolate brownies with ice cream!

Whats' your top ideas for Evening food?
Finger buffets are boring! Spice it up with Chilli con carne or Sausage casserole cooked over a flame or our succulent sausages in rolls and chips in cones. Also very popular are cheese platters...brimmed with goodness!

Whats your top tips for catering and what to consider when planning food at your wedding?
Trust the catering company! We won't rip you off with too much food but you need enough. We know what works, let us do the work and trust our advice. Imagination and taste are critical, you need fun and flavour at your wedding!

How can a couple manage their budget when it comes to food?
We introduced last year a budgeted payment system over the year leading up to your wedding, so to stop huge lump sums of money being pulled from clients in one go. Cut the starter course as Canapés then pies and mash with a dessert will fill everyone up! Don't be shy on evening food, your guests are expecting a wow factor and you should too!

So there we have it-loads of ideas for you to think about and different ways to keep your guests topped up wit h food throughout the day. For more information about our brilliant contributors check out their pages- Crackle & Jam, Hey Pesto Catering and The Sausage and Mash Company

Happy planning!

Love Team Whitewed x