To arrange a wedding reception is a tough task, and a wedding party of 300 is a demanding challenge for the bride and the groom. Hiring professional caterers is common for planning a large-scale wedding. Caterers not only provide food and drinks for the wedding party, but also arrange such aspects as designing innovative menus, creating concepts or themes for the venue, and delegating staff to make sure that the wedding reception is a success.
Always finalize your guest list. Caterers request a copy of the invitees’ list in order to begin their arrangements. Detail the background of the guests, and their food habits. The number of people attending is a crucial aspect for caterers. Any cancellation or last-minute inclusion of invitees must be reported to the caterers. However minute the details are, they have to be specified by the clients. With this information in hand it becomes easier to decide on the menu.
Professional caterers offer a variety of menus. A general wedding menu includes salads with dressing, pasta dishes, chicken or other types of meat, bite-sized sandwiches, rolls, and croissant, a dip sauce with chips or crackers, drinks like punch, iced tea, and alcoholic beverages, and the wedding cake. Caterers also design special menus, which include food trends and fads, community-based food preferences, and any allergies. In theme-based weddings, there are chances of going overboard. Limit the number of unusual dishes, so that everyone can enjoy the meal. Also decide on how much food should be allocated per head. With exact figures in mind, caterers can begin their work.
With 300 people attending a wedding reception, the venue has to be spacious and adequately ventilated. Big hotels have banquet halls and convention centers, which can accommodate and provide the desired amount of food for a crowd as large as 300. Outdoor caterers need to have the exact count in order to plan and design the space for seating and organize catering equipment. Specify the names of special people on the guest list, who are very close to you. This will allow the caterers to seat the special guests on the table closest to the stage.
Catering takes up a chunk of the budget allocated for a wedding reception. Compare prices and tally the per-head cost of different caterers. If you don’t find the services that fit your budget, be ready to spend a bit more. Professional caterers ask for a budget so that they can specify what services will be provided for that amount. This clarity in communication will enable both the parties to function effectively.
Finding a Caterer
To pick the right caterer, it is advisable to visit well-known wedding caterers for food-tasting sessions. Visiting the place where the food is prepared is another way to judge the quality of the food. Caterers prepare large quantities of food at least a few days before the wedding reception. Understanding details like how the food is stored and transported to the venue, and the handling of replenishment food, the condition of the cutlery, napkins and silverware, will give you a better knowledge of food safety standards followed by the caterers, helping brides-to-be in selecting caterers for the occasion.
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Based in Winnipeg, Aruna Murthy Anaparti began writing in June 2002. Her work appears on eHow and Answerbag, primarily focusing on topics related to environment, medical issues, health, fitness and careers. She is also a gold medalist. She holds a postgraduate degree in environmental sciences from the Bharati Vidyapeeth Institute of Environmental Education and Research.