Catering Your Reception

If your reception venue does not have a caterer, you will probably want to hire a professional catering service – preferably one that offers a range of menu choices. Invariably, food that is elegant and tasty will be successful.

However, the type of food you serve is influenced by the formality and time of your wedding. A breakfast or brunch is ideal for a morning wedding, and a sit-down lunch is appropriate for a mid-day event. Or, for a more informal wedding, consider a BBQ or picnic with a selection of gourmet delights and sweet treats. A stand-up reception with finger food is ideal for a mid-afternoon celebration, while a formal evening wedding calls for a traditional three course sit-down meal.

Dessert receptions are a relatively inexpensive option and allow you to spoil your guests with decadent delicacies served with dessert wines or cocktails. However, remember that no matter which alternative you choose, be sure to cater for guests who have special dietary needs.

Once you have settled on a menu, you can select the accompanying wines. White wines are generally served with the entrée and the first course. A heavier main course may call for a red. However, if you’ve chosen seafood it’s appropriate to serve white wine with just a few bottles of red for those who prefer it. You may also want champagne or a sparkling wine for toasts, and a selection of soft drinks and mineral water for younger guests and non-drinkers.

As a general rule, you should allow two glasses of champagne, three glasses of wine, and two glasses of beer per guest. Then add 30 per cent to cover a heavier-than-expected demand. One bottle of champagne yields approximately eight glasses, while wine serves six to eight glasses per bottle. Ideally, you should find a beverage supplier who accepts returns, and remember that bottles with damaged or missing labels are not returnable.

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