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Wedding Catering

It seems that no matter what time of day you are planning your wedding; your guests will need to be fed.You may have found the absolutely perfect venue for your reception only to discover that they do not offer wedding catering. You may have planned your rural wedding and no kitchen is available.You may have decided to have a low key wedding on a small budget and just want something basic and not too much fuss.Whatever your story, to find the perfect caterer for your perfect day “click here” to start obtaining a short list of wedding caterers who meet all your needs.If you are having your reception at a venue that does not supply catering, or you decide you want to organise your own, then here are a few things to consider.The first thing to consider is what type of food you want to serve.


There are 3 main serving styles

  • Set menu
  • Buffet
  • Canapés

Set Menu – Pros and Cons



  • You can organise easily with menu options on the RSVP’s
  • Can add structure to the reception
  • Ensures everyone is fed so less complications on the day
  • Can easily have a child friendly option

Buffet – Pros and Cons



  • Can be much cheaper option
  • People can generally find something they will war
  • Can get away with less/no servers

Canapés – Pros and cons



  • Can be much cheaper on servers if mum/mother-in-law/aunts/uncles/dads carry a plate to mingle
  • More food options for the fussy eaters
  • A more relaxed/casual feel


  • With a small menu you can have limitations with people who have allergies
  • Requires planned seating generally
  • There is always a fussy one that can’t eat any option
  • Can make the last minute changes that occur at weddings an issue


  • Always run out of the food one which can cause complaints
  • Seating is required which is an expense – but it doesn’t have to be placed
  • Depending on the venue, can be hard to organise the bain-marie


  • Can be more expensive on servers
  • Generally less food is eaten so alcohol may have more of an effect of the guests
  • Can be a less structured reception

A few questions to also ask yourselves are;

What time of day are you having your wedding & reception?

This, quite often, will determine whether a main meal is needed or if smaller serves would suit better

What kind of feel do you want for your wedding reception?

Formal – set menu would be more suitable
Structured but still casual – buffet may suit better
Casual/free flowing – Canapés are ideal for this style of reception

What is your budget?

All weddings have a budget but you need to consider this for I you want multiple courses, how long you want servers, how many servers, how much per head etc.

What time of year/climate will the wedding be taking place?

A sit down meal of roast spring lamb and seasonal vegetables might be fantastic in Victoria in winter but maybe light canapés would be best in Cairns in November. Try and remember your menu selection should suit your location also.

Do you need any special requirements?

Do you need a kid-friendly/vegan/vegetarian/gluten free/lactose free/egg free/nut free option? In this day and age it is hard to have a gathering of people without at least one person having an intolerance to at least one of the above. Is this something that you need to consider?

Can the specific location of your reception cater to the caterers needs?

Most caterers will be able to work around most venues but when considering the type of food you want to serve, it is best to be considerate of any limitation of your venue. If you are planning an outdoor reception with limited power and you want a hot buffet style reception, it may be difficult. Consider your receptions venue when considering you menu style.


Questions to ask the Caterer

    Food Style
    Can they meet any special requirements
    Do they supply servers
    Do they have their own set menus
    Are they capable of doing what is required at the venue
    Do their servers serve alcohol (RSA may be required)
    Do they do alterations to their menu
    Ask them what they require to ensure they are on the same page as you and there are no hiccups on the day

Putting together your ad

When you are putting you ad together it is important to be specific without going overboard. Remember that the ad is to filter out those wedding caterers who cannot meet your requirements so you can get a shortlist who can do what you need. After you have our short list you can add more details. Try and bullet point/short sentence as much as possible.

Ad Example:
Wedding Date: May 5th
Time of Wedding: 10:00
Time of Reception: 12:00
Guests: 150
Location: 150 Farm Road, Middle of nowhere


Food Style: Buffet
Servers Required: 4

Special Requirements: We need a child friendly option, a gluten free option and all nut free

We are only looking to serve a main lunch meal. We were hoping for 4 options, a child friendly, a vegetarian, a chicken & a beef.
Can you please supply any menu options you have when you place your quote?