Catering for all Tastes
Ideas and advice for your wedding feast
With hedges, fields and gardens bursting with local home-grown produce, the North West makes a wonderful location for your wedding reception. Having this ready-made larder on their doorstep means rich pickings for any wedding caterer, so it is not really a question of the quality of the region’s food, rather what to choose.
Many couples these days choose to hold their reception in a marquee or some sort of community building, in which case the best option is to call in the caterers. It will give the bride and groom and their immediate entourage one less thing to worry about because the wedding food and drink is, after all, one of the most important parts of the whole day. Hire a professional caterer with a good reputation – not only will it be one of the most expensive items in your wedding budget but it will also be one of the highlights for the guests.
Professional and experienced caterers will be able to advise you on seasonal produce, what dishes and ingredients to choose (according to your budget), crockery hire, as well as the service and the presentation of the dishes. They should quote a flat fee depending on the number of invited guests and the menu, and this may include service, clearing up, crockery, glasses, etc.
Before putting your money where your mouth is, a good idea is to go along and taste the food if possible. First things first – decide what time you want the meal. Will you have canapés and drinks after arriving at the reception from the ceremony but before the main feast? Or will you invite guests to sit down on arrival at the reception? One thing is for certain; the guests will be hungry and thirsty. Canapés and drinks on arrival give the newlyweds the chance to unofficially welcome their family and friends and have photographs taken, and for guests to mingle before the main food and celebrations start.
Any type of finger food is a relatively inexpensive choice of appetiser as there is not much crockery to hire.
Another option is a buffet, which is safe option as guests are then free to pick and choose and this will eliminate the worry at the invitation stage of asking guests to indicate if they have any food intolerances, for example. The different dishes can also be made a feature and part of the decoration at the reception. The traditional three-course dinner is always a winner and can be adjusted to use seasonal produce at a particular time of year. In the cooler weather, roasts and hot food are a popular main course choice at traditional English wedding services, while salads and fish are lighter choices for the summer months.
Remember to cater for everyone though (children too) and provide vegetarian options as well as meat, poultry or game. Having a more formal dinner requires more waiters and waitresses adding to the expense but, arguably, also to the sense of occasion.
An alternative is a themed meal. For the more daring what about Indian or Asian food or perhaps a traditional English wedding breakfast? Bangers, burgers and even fish and chips have all been served up at receptions. The choice is endless and any reputable caterer will try to fulfil the bride and groom’s wish – even if the choice of food is not available directly from the North West’s hedgerows!