The first thing you do after getting engaged is book your wedding venue and date. Without a venue and date, most vendors will not entertain meetings or proposals for you.
After all, what is one of the wedding things everyone remembers most about a party? That’s right, the food! The food for your wedding is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make for the day, and there’s a lot more involved than most people think.
There are several questions you’ll want to answer before you start thinking about what will be on your wedding reception menu. What kind of food service do you plan to have: buffet or plated? Is this a daytime or evening reception? How many people are you planning to invite?
Fortunately, we’ve put together some tips and tricks for finding your perfect wedding caterer, as well as things every engaged couple should know.
Your wedding budget is one of the most important aspects of wedding planning, and because food is one of the bigger ticket items on the wedding planning list, you’ll want to set this budget early.
Think about how many people you’ll be inviting, how many you think will attend, how many courses you’d like to serve, and what types of food. After that, it’s important to consider what kind of table service you’re planning to have. Because buffet service requires fewer wait staff and fewer dishes, it’s generally less expensive than a plated meal (which is a few extra dollars you could spend on fancier dessert options if you’d like).
Catering costs can easily fluctuate based on the food and drink you’re serving, the number of guests, and the type of service, so it’s good to set your budget early but allow for some wiggle room for unforeseen costs or extras you might want to add.
And don’t forget to budget for feeding and tipping the wedding staff!
First things first, when choosing your wedding venue, you should find out what caterers they work with.
All-inclusive wedding venues have in-house catering, while many other venues have at least a list of preferred caterers for you to choose from. At Kendall Point, we offer a list of professional, experienced caterers whom we have personally vetted.
This cuts out some of the research time for you, but you still want to be sure you’re a fan of the in-house or preferred catering options before committing to the venue.
Just like when selecting a venue or trying on wedding dresses, it’s important to shop around so you know what you’re getting (and whether it’s a good match).
Don’t be afraid to ask question after question when interviewing caterers. As we’ve discussed, this is going to be a large expense, and you want to be sure you’re spending that money getting what you want.
If you know even before sending out your save the dates that you have special dietary requirements for your wedding menu, discuss that with the caterers you’re interviewing and make sure they can accommodate your requests. Most caterers are happy to accommodate dietary restrictions with plenty of notice.
A wedding planner or coordinator and even a wedding venue with a list of preferred caterers can help a lot in finding the right match for you. Read all the reviews you can, and make sure all your questions are answered before you sign a contract.
This is the fun part—setting and tasting your wedding menu.
Your wedding reception menu is your chance to enjoy and share your favorite dishes with all your friends and family and maybe show off the foodie in you as well.
You can choose a menu that matches your wedding theme, create specialty cocktails for you and your beloved, forgo the traditional cake for a tower of mini bundt cakes, and whatever other food dreams you and your caterer can bring to life.
Once you’ve signed a contract with your venue and your caterer, you can get to the fun part of a wedding tasting menu. Sure, you’ll sample all the caterers’ foods before choosing the right one, but the tasting menu is when you’re sampling the actual dishes you will be having at your wedding.
Your tasting will normally take place several months before your wedding to give you an idea of all your food options—from hors d’oeuvres to side dishes and, in particular, their presentation. You’ll discuss the best way to serve these dishes on the big day, how many servers you’ll need, and more.
Make sure the proposed menu is in line with your vision and your budget, and it’s important to remember all your guests’ dietary needs as well. From vegan to gluten-free, kosher and halal, and serious allergies, there’s a lot to consider.
It’s your big day, but making sure everyone has a great time is the ultimate goal.
You and your guests will remember three main things about your wedding: the venue, the dress, and the food. So don’t make any rash decisions when it comes to any of them.
If you’re looking for a San Antonio wedding venue that checks off all the right boxes, Kendall Point is the idyllic spot where you and your guests will feel right at home for the entire day. Check our list of preferred caterers who have been vetted by their years of exemplary experience to find the perfect menu for your wedding.