There’s a reason couples start planning a wedding a year out – there are so many details to attend to that you really do need time to pull it all together. If you’ve never planned an event bigger than a dinner party, you may even need a wedding planner to keep you on track and ensure you’re able to craft an event that involves multiple venues and 100 or more guests.
Once you’ve nailed down the major concerns, like booking a venue, choosing your wedding colors, securing a wedding party, and finding THE dress, it’s time to move on to phase two, which includes narrowing down your list of potential vendors. You’re probably going to want a photographer, a florist, and entertainment (a band or DJ), and of course, an upscale caterer like Dining Innovations to provide delicious food and drinks for your wedding guests.
When it comes to planning the menu, you’ll have to delve even further into details, and there are several conundrums you may encounter along the way. Here are just a few key considerations that will help you to plan a menu that makes everyone happy, including you.
Sample wedding catering services. The place to begin is by comparison shopping. When it comes to choosing the perfect Asheville catering service, this means making appointments with the vendors you prefer so that you can see sample menus and try some of the food. There are two reasons you don’t want to forego this important experience.
First, you really need to sample food to ensure that you find a caterer that meets your collective wants and needs. You’ll have the opportunity to ask questions and choose suitable menu items. However, it’s also some of the most fun you and your soon-to-be spouse will have together during the wedding planning process. In some cases, you’re getting free food from trained chefs that are trying to earn your business.
A couple of notes on tastings – find out the caterers’ policies ahead of time. Some offer free tastings but with only a limited menu or only for the couple, not guests, just for example. With some, the tasting fee is credited toward your wedding if you end up booking with the caterer. Others simply charge – after all, they put a lot of time and expense into creating a full menu for you to taste. If you’re getting food for free, do not abuse the caterer by bringing your entire family and wedding party and expecting everyone to get a meal.
Set a reasonable budget. You might have a budget in mind for wedding catering services going into your event, but realize once you start shopping around that it’s really not reasonable for your area, your guest list, or the level of service you’re seeking. If you’re on a tight budget, this could mean adjusting your expectations. If you have some wiggle room in your budget and the quality of food and service isn’t negotiable, you’re simply going to have to resign yourself to allocating a bit more money to catering, even if that means skimping somewhere else.
Compare full versus partial service. If you find that serving a full meal (i.e. dinner service) is simply outside what your budget will allow, or even if you’re looking for something a bit off the beaten path, you might want to discuss alternatives with wedding catering services. Many couples these days elect to do food bars to cut costs or to increase engagement.
Popular choices include taco bars, tapas bars, dessert bars, or even mobile bar service paired with hors d’oeuvres. You might try something a bit more inventive like a mac & cheese bar, a biscuit bar, or several different food stations for guests to choose from. Keep in mind, however, the length and hour of your event. If you’re hosting an evening wedding or your event is lengthy, guests are going to expect a full meal.
Consider dietary restrictions. If you offer a variety of foods, chances are nearly everyone attending your wedding will be able to find something to eat. However, if you happen to know that a large number of guests prescribe to certain diets (vegetarian or vegan, for example) or suffer specific dietary intolerances (gluten, dairy, soy, etc.), you can work with your Asheville catering service to create a menu that takes these restrictions into account.
Seek reputable service from Dining Innovations. Planning a wedding can entail a lot of decisions and stress, and you can easily get bogged down in the minutiae. When you choose an established, reputable, and reliable catering service like Dining Innovations, you’ll get the expert advice, delectable menu, and myriad options you need to create the perfect menu for your once-in-a-lifetime event. Call today at 828-210-2220 to learn more.