How To Avoid Wedding Catering Disasters

wedding food

It goes without saying that you want every part of your wedding reception to be perfect. From the centrepieces to the speeches, everything forms an important part of your big day so it needs be just as you imagined it. This means also making sure that the food you serve fits the bill and is remembered for all the right reasons. 

Whether you’re having a sit down meal or are opting for a buffet, there is a lot to consider when catering a wedding. As well as ensuring the food tastes great, you need to ensure that dietary requirements are met and that the food looks great, all while service is smooth and no one goes hungry. 

You want to make sure that you can enjoy your day and not be running around checking on everything though, which is why planning to avoid issues is key. To help you do just that, here are some of the common wedding catering disasters people experience and exactly how to avoid them.

veggie options

Too Much Drink, Not Enough Food

Weddings are long days and there is often a substantial gap between the ceremony and the meal. While you and your new spouse are having photos taken, it’s likely that the guests are going to be enjoying a drink or two, which can get out of hand on empty stomachs. 

It’s a good idea to bridge the gap between ceremony and reception meal by serving appetisers during your cocktail hour. This will ensure that guests get a chance to eat something before filling up on Champagne and cocktails.

guest numbers

Over-Complicated Menu

Because you want everyone to enjoy themselves at your wedding, it can be tempting to try and create a menu that caters to everyone. However, this can make life incredibly difficult and your menu far too complicated. 

The best way to plan your menu is to base it on food that you and your partner enjoy – after all, the day is all about the two of you. You can then ask guests if they have any dietary requirements and alter the dishes depending on these. This will allow you to cater to everyone for a sit-down meal and/or a buffet. 

It’s worth remembering that guests will find something they like so it’s unlikely that they’ll go hungry for the whole day if they aren’t a fan of one dish.

wedding venue

Guests Forgetting Their Meal Choices

If you are offering menu choices, it’s worth keeping track of who ordered what rather than just making a note of how many of each dish you need. The chances are that there will be a few months between guests sending RSVPs and your big day and in that time, some people will forget what they ordered. 

Not only can this slow down service, but it can also mean that people get the wrong meal, which can impact other guests. This is why it is a good idea to make a list by table of each person’s menu choices for catering staff to work from. This will help to avoid confusion while also ensuring that dietary requirements are met.

service type

Venues Unable To Accommodate Caterer’s Needs

When choosing your menu, you need to make sure that the reception venue can accommodate everything your caterer needs to be able to deliver that menu. After all, service ice cream for dessert isn’t going to be possible if your reception venue doesn’t have a large freezer. 

Discussing what your venue has available for use by your caterer and what your caterer is able to bring to the venue will help you plan your menu and avoid disasters like cold food or melted desserts.

evening wedding food

The Food Doesn’t Taste Right

One of the most important parts of planning the food for your big day is to taste it. You want to make sure that everything on the menu looks and tastes right before you finalise your menu. This is why you should prepare a taste test to ensure you’re happy with the food and that no tweaks or changes need to be made. 

If you don’t taste your food beforehand, you could risk food not being well presented, not being to your liking or including ingredients you aren’t a fan of. The last thing you want to remember about your big day is that you didn’t like the food so taste everything and be honest with your caterer.

speak to your caterer

Food And Service Don’t Match The Size Of Your Wedding

The amount of food you serve and the way you serve it need to match the size of your wedding. Serving too much food can mean that you’re paying for food that won’t get eaten, as well as too many serving staff. On the other hand, not serving enough food can mean people can go hungry and having too few serving staff will mean that service is slowed down. 

You should plan with your caterer exactly how many people you need to provide food for and how many of these have dietary requirements. It’s also key that you give your caterer a final confirmed number, as this will affect how much food they need to serve and their staff numbers for the big day.

About Arabella Reeve Catering

Arabella Reeve are trusted and experienced wedding caterers offering tailored menus for any style of wedding. With a 5* hygiene rating and the ability to deliver delicious vegetarian and vegan menus, we can help you plan a day for you and your guests to remember. Contact us to find out more.