Food and Drink – Your Pre-Wedding Checklist
As you might have noticed, it’s food and drink month here on the blog and we’re rounding off our look at delicious wedding treats with another of our must-read checklists. Just like our wedding venue checklist, this is a feature to save and refer back to before the big day so that you can be sure everything has been taken care of. So, read on and bon apetit!
There’s no doubting the fact that your wedding breakfast and the food and drink that you serve throughout your day plays a big part in your wedding. Feasting goes hand in hand with celebrating and making sure everyone feels well looked after is essential. We know that deciding on menus, quantities and timings for wedding day drinks and nibbles can be tricky but as long as you think everything through in advance, it needn’t be.
Here’s a guide to all the areas to consider before your wedding. Remember that you don’t need to make all these decisions on your own – your caterer or your venue should be able to give you all the help and advice that you need so if there’s anything you’re not sure about, just ask!
Food and Drink Timings
Timing the service of your food and drink is really important. You don’t want people waiting too long and similarly, you don’t want to be forever feeding them either. Here are a few things to think about:
- Celebratory drinks – these should be available as soon as your ceremony finishes or when you arrive at your venue.
- Canapés – these should start to be served once everyone has got a drink in their hand.
- Dinner – talk to your venue or caterer here. They’ll be able to advise how long your meal will take to serve, how long to allow for everyone to get seated.
- Evening food – if your evening reception starts around 8pm, serving this around 9pm works well but again, talk to your caterer for their expert advice.
Whether you’re providing a free bar or not, drinks are always important. Points to remember here include:
- The bar – where is it in relation to your dining area and/or dance floor? Ideally it needs to be relatively close so you don’t ‘lose’ guests during the event.
- If your wedding package includes a specific amount of wine on the tables during dinner, find out what happens to anything left over. Most drinks packages include half a bottle per person so could any leftovers be put behind the bar for the evening reception?
- Jugs of tap water are a great alternative to expensive bottled waters for tables. You can make them look prettier with fruit and ice cubes that include frozen flowers.
- If your pay bar is open during your meal, will guests have to go and order themselves or will waiting staff take orders/payments at the tables?
- If you’re providing your own drinks for your bar, check that the waiting staff will open and pour drinks and provide/collect glasses. Some might charge for this so it’s best to be clear before the big day
Great food makes everyone smile and slick service is absolutely what you want on your wedding day. Check these questions from your list to be sure everything is on track:
- Confirm dietary requirements with guests and caterers well in advance. Provide a table plan showing where guests with allergies or intolerances are sitting to keep the service smooth.
- Do any of your suppliers need to be fed? Some might ask for food in their contracts, others might just appreciate a snack. Ask your venue/caterer if they serve cheaper meals for suppliers.
- Some venues serve children’s’ meals with adult starters – this can be helpful so younger guests aren’t kept waiting so find out if this is possible.
- If you’re cutting your cake to be served for dessert, check with your venue or caterer when they want you to do this so there’s time for them to prepare it.
Being prepared for all eventualities is always a good idea when you’re planning your wedding. Think through the following in advance so you’re all set, whatever happens:
- Warm weather – can your caterer/venue increase your drinks allowance or provide more waters/soft drinks if the weather is hot? Is the dining area cool enough?
- Cold weather – could there be a tea/coffee station set up for guests when they arrive at the venue?
- Last minute changes – when is the absolute latest your can confirm numbers for meals/drinks?
- Menu tastings – does your venue/caterer hold private or group menu tastings? Is there a charge for this?
- Food and drink packages – is there a way to swap elements from different packages to create something that really works for you? How much flexibility is there in menus/drinks lists that they provide?
As with all things, you know what you want and what you like so make a list of all the areas that are important to you and make sure that they’re covered when you meet with your venue or caterer. Always remember that you’re working with experts so don’t feel that any question is too silly or any request too crazy – it’s important to everyone that your wedding day food and drink is memorable for all the right reasons.
Until next time,