4 tips on how to cater for a wedding party of 15

02 Nov 2020

Alex Head, wedding catering expert and founder of Social Pantry shares four top tips for catering for 15 guests, for couples embracing the newest Covid-19 guidelines 

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Let’s face it, 2020 didn’t quite go to plan - for the wedding industry in particular - and too many couples had to postpone their weddings until 2021 or beyond. As specialist wedding caterers, Social Pantry has already seeing some interesting and new wedding trends emerge for 2021 from clients’ requests; DIY-style, self-grown flowers, and staycation settings to name a few.  

Here are their four top tips for catering for a wedding party of just 15: 

 1. Bring the taste of everything you’ve missed this year 
Our clients are putting more thought into accommodating their smaller special group of friends and family. We’ve had some really unique requests for tasting menus that draw on inspiration from all of the clients’ favourite restaurants they’d missed eating at this year due to lockdown. 
I would suggest making a list of all your favourite flavours and cuisines as a couple and wider family, and consider how these can translate as dishes on your wedding day. Perhaps you’ve had to postpone your Spanish or Italian honeymoon, so why not honour this in your flavours with your smaller party? 

4-tips-how-to-cater-for-a-wedding-of-15-4Image by Social Pantry

2. Canapés are a win-win for this party size 
Canapés are an excuse to get all your favourite flavours incorporated into your big day, think big, bold and beautifully presented. For Social Pantry’s 2020 brides and grooms, we’ve been designing canapé menus that are served in a socially distanced way without compromising on quality or presentation. Single canapés served under mini glass cloches, and individual bento boxes filled with a serving of each canapé for each guest have been hugely popular. 
I’d always suggest going for different style canapés as you can pack in more flavours, foods and options for your guests. It means you can experiment with flavours and find complementing styles so, if you’ve picked an unctuous jalapeno and cheddar croquettes dish, perhaps a lighter more vibrant tuna tartare, tapioca cracker with an avocado bite would be well paired. Be more daring than you usually would, as the normal headache of pleasing the majority of your group is removed. 
If canapés aren’t your thing, I suggest opting for a plated dinner; perhaps even pushing the boat out and adding in extra courses, like an amazing amuse-bouche or a pre-dessert. 

3. Bring in more flavour varieties and options 
Timing, cost and guest numbers all play a big part on what is possible and realistic to achieve food-wise at a wedding. Spin the Covid rule of 15 guests on its head into a positive opportunity, and you’ll realise that you can actually make this experience much more unique, personalised and special for those joining your celebrations. 
Catering for 15 is less about batch and one size fits all and instead much more about an intimate meal. This smaller figure gives you free rein to introduce spice, vegan options and unusual but exciting flavours, without upsetting too many guests or meeting all their individual dietary requirements. 

4-tips-how-to-cater-for-a-wedding-of-15-5Image by Social Pantry

4. Focus on delivering an extra special experience 
Having a smaller group of guests means that you can really focus on giving your group a special experience through your menu. The budget that would’ve usually gone into catering for larger numbers can be used to focus on great quality ingredients instead, and delivering a more bespoke, enjoyable offering. 
The current climate and smaller wedding catering groups also present an opportunity to think about local suppliers. We tend to source local produce for weddings from areas that are rich with quality produce; canapés are a great place to showcase this for your guests, whilst supporting a local business too. 

Social Pantry has a whole host of wedding recipe ideas for inspiration on its website, but you should consult with your guests, plan with your partner, and talk directly to your catering provider, where possible, to tailor your menu and make your smaller wedding big on flavour.


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