Catering for a Marquee Wedding

20 Jul 2011

Catering for a Marquee Wedding

Catering for a marquee wedding may take a little more organisation but the results are well worth it says Emma Mayoh. Here are some hints and tips to help make sure your wedding breakfast is dish of the day

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THE popularity of marquee weddings has dramatically risen in recent years. This boom is hardly surprising with the lure of being able to choose your perfect location and create a personal wedding day with just your friends and family.

The catering, although a little more difficult to arrange, can be a doddle with the right help and planning. Anything you want can be delivered, from a lavish budget busting seven course banquet or a simple and sophisticated three course option.

Throw in the options of canapés with predinner drinks, huge chocolate or champagne fountains and a wine list as long as the M6 and your only difficulty will be narrowing down the choices.

‘The sky’s the limit,’ explains Andrew Southcott, managing director of Andrew Southcott Catering. ‘That’s the beauty of a marquee wedding; everything can be tailored to exactly how you want it.’

Andrew, whose company was appointed royal caterers for the day during The Queen’s recent visit to Lancaster, says there is one key ingredient to making sure the food has the taste of success – getting on with your caterer:

‘If they are good they will organise everything for you from the food of course, to the MC and even the toilets. ‘This is your special day and you need to be able to trust that everything is going to come together for it.

You should meet with them both at the location and at their offices. That way you get to see how they operate.

‘Taste testing is very important to the process. It sounds obvious but by doing this you know exactly the kind of food you’re getting. Choose your own menus and you can discuss any dietary requirements for yourself or your guests.

‘It is also worth double checking things like do they have refrigerated containers and vans and do they have their own crockery and tableware. Then you know exactly what’s included in the price and there are no hidden extras.’

Wedding trends and fashions change and this is no less true with marquees and catering for them. Pink has been a popular colour scheme this year and Andrew says tender lamb and fillet steaks have been the dish of the day with his customers. More and more couples are also choosing caterers that source their produce locally in favour of those who do not.

But there is, of course, always room for something a little bit different. He explains: ‘People love the freedom of a marquee wedding. We have done more of these types of wedding in the past year than we have in the last eight.

‘Hog roasts are being chosen more and more for the evening as an alternative to a traditional buffet. It’s always a real talking point and the smell of the meat cooking throughout the day is fantastic.

‘Barbecues are also a good idea. You don’t have to worry too much about the weather. If it rains we’ll bring the food in to you. It’s the chef that gets wet.

‘My son, Michael, is our award-winning chef and the dish that earned him the title of Cumbrian Junior chef of the Year 2007 title is now served up on our wedding banquets. It’s touches like this that make the food that little bit extra special.

‘The main thing to remember is that catering for this type of wedding will not be a cheap option but you can create a personal, intimate and truly magical day for you and your guests.

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