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Wedding Planning, Wedding Vendors

Wedding Catering Tips and Tricks for Your Big Day

The first thing you do after getting engaged is book your wedding venue and date. Without a venue and date, most wedding vendors will not entertain meetings or proposals for you.

So, what’s the second wedding vendor  to book? Well, outside of your wedding planner or wedding coordinator, the caterer should be one of the vendors you look into earlier than later.

After all, what is one of the wedding things everyone remembers most about a party? That’s right, the food! Your wedding food is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make for the day, and there’s a lot more involved than most people think. 

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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? Do you have any fun food ideas in mind?

Fortunately, we’ve put together some wedding catering tips and tricks for having the very best wedding food, as well as things every engaged couple should know.


An elegant buffet of food, which can help you save money on your wedding catering budget

Wedding Catering Tips for Every Couple

Many couples are looking for ways to save money on their wedding catering because it’s one of the biggest expenses in the wedding budget. Don’t go looking for “cheap wedding caterers” because you won’t like the end results, but there are some things you can do to save a few pennies during the process. 

Seasonal and local ingredients tend to be fresher and less expensive for your caterer, so try to plan a menu that fits your wedding location (just like with flowers!). Vegetarian options tend to be less expensive, so try for one maybe two meat options and for the rest, stick to veggies. 

Fewer courses will also help you keep costs down. While you want to feed your guests, you also don’t want them sitting at their table the whole reception either. Finally, maybe don’t add a garnish to every little thing. The most important thing about food is the taste, so keep the focus on that. Save the extravagant food decorations for your cake and desserts where they matter most!


Setting Your Wedding Catering Budget

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.

To set your budget, 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. If you’re wondering how to save on catering for a wedding, buffet service over plated is definitely one way to do it. 

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). Another option in between plated service and buffet is to go with family style service. You won’t need as many waiters but you also won’t have to worry about people standing at the buffet line or over-ordering on food.  

Wedding 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 when it comes to your wedding food for unforeseen costs or extras you might want to add.

And don’t forget to budget for feeding and tipping the wedding staff!


Check What Your Venue’s Catering Options Are

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 and experienced San Antonio wedding caterers whom we have personally vetted.

Having this list cuts out some of the research time for you and makes your wedding planning that much easier, but you still want to be sure you’re a fan of the in-house or preferred catering options before committing to anything.

A caterer pours a smoothie into a gourd, a unique food option for a wedding

Find a Wedding Caterer That Matches Your Style

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 wedding 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.


A bright, fun wedding dessert table

Chose the Wedding Food You Want

This is the fun part—setting and tasting your wedding food.

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. There are plenty of wedding food ideas for you to choose from, and with the right caterer and a bold imagination, the options are limitless.

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.


Delicious Wedding Food and a Dream Wedding at Kendall Point

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 your perfect wedding food.

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