Planning an event can be a hectic experience. Below are guidelines that detail the most important information your caterer will need when planning any event. By having this information at the ready, yours can be a more pleasurable and confident journey towards your big day, be it a wedding, private party, corporate event or social affair.
Date, Time, Location
Having the exact date, time and venue of your event decided on before speaking with your caterer helps expedite the process, allowing them to focus on the more important details key to realizing your event vision.
It is impossible to predict exactly how many guests will attend your event. However, having an estimate of how many you expect will attend allows your caterer to plan appropriately, ensuring that no matter the attendance, yours will be a success
Whatever your budget, your caterer should be able to accommodate. Having an idea of your budget , even an estimate such as your desired price per person, aids your caterer in delivering the best experience possible, as efficiently as possible.
Will your event be a casual affair or will it be formal, black-tie event? Would you like a plated dinner be served or would you prefer buffet style? Be prepared to answer questions such as these so that your caterer can orchestrate an event whose theme and setting perfectly compliment your desired tone.
If there are any other parties integral to your event, an outside bakery providing dessert, another vendor supplying alcohol, be sure to let your caterer know. By doing so, your caterer can develop the necessary relationships with all parties involved so that, as a unified event team, each piece can successfully come together to form your ideal affair.
Whether you would prefer a full bar, glasses of wine with dinner, or anything in between, your caterer should be able to deliver. Do not forget to ask about any specialty cocktails!. Thyme to Party, the Bees Knee’s, Smell the Roses, festive and unique options such as these will prove to be a hit at any affair.
Beyond alcohol, your caterer should have many beverage options available. Whether you would like sodas for the children, water to stymie the heat, or coffee for a morning pick-me-up, simply let your caterer know and they will be more than happy to provide.
The highlight of any meal, dessert is often your guests final impression of your event. Cake, sweet treats, passed popsicles, a cronut station: whatever it may be, convey your wishes so that their impression may be a lasting and favorable one.
By being mindful and aware of any attendees who have food allergies/sensitivities or who ascribe to a particular dietary lifestyle: vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, etc., you and your caterer can work together to ensure that these guests have just as welcoming and pleasurable of an experience as any other.
Tables & Seating, Plating & Cutlery
Many caterers, such as RSVP, are able to provide tables and chairs if requested, with options regarding the size and style of each. Additionally, your caterer should have similar options for plating and cutlery, most having anything from disposable plating to fine china.
Reference Pictures, Design Ideas
Aesthetics are essential to a successful celebration. By providing your caterer with imagery that resembles your unique wedding vision, you aid them in the creation of an idyllic backdrop to your big day. Websites such as Pinterest and Instagram are a great way to find imagery that conveys your envisioned theme.
Cocktail Hour & Reception
Following the end of the ceremony, the newly married whisked off to be photographed, your guests will be delighted to have cocktails served. These either can handed to them directly by your caterer’s adept staff, what is often referred to as “passed”, or available to them at stations around the venue. Similar options exist for any food that will be served during the cocktail hour or the subsequent reception. Hors d’oeuvres may be passed, plated entrees may be served, a buffet may be prepared, whatever your desire, express it and it will come to fruition.
Everyone’s story is unique. How did you two meet? Where did you both grow up? What are your favorite restaurants? Personal details such as these provide your caterer a window into your life, into your unique story. This level of intimacy allows your caterer craft a celebration with the real you in mind, resulting in a wedding that is yours and yours alone.
While a cake is the quintessential wedding dessert, a monument to love and commitment, it need not be the only sweet served. Cupcakes around the dancefloor to refuel your most mobile guests, a late night snack to cap the busy day, a station of freshly made crepes, these are simply a few examples of sweets that your guests would be sure to love, further emphasizing the theme of the day.
Attention to detail is the foundation of success. The greater the detail you provide, the more your caterer understands and the better they are able to deliver. By using this guide as a springboard, be it your wedding day, an award ceremony, or a backyard barbecue, your event will be one to remember.