You’ve got the wedding dress – what about the food?
Celebrity wedding planner Georgie Duddy, Founder of After The Rock Weddings gives the low-down on how to choose a wedding caterer
If you’re in the middle of planning a wedding, you hardly need us to tell you there are a million things to think about, including what to give your guests to eat. We had a chat with the lovely Georgie Duddy from After The Rock Weddings about some of the things to ask your caterer, plus food trends she’s come across recently. Bespoke wedding planner Georgia has organised celebrations for the likes of Nicole Warne and Luke Shadbolt, and Anna Heinrich and Tim Robards, and had loads of thoughts to share.
1. It seems obvious, but choose the right caterer in the first place. ‘Some people think all caterers can do anything, but that’s not the case. Think about the type of food you want, and look for a caterer that suits that style.’ Do plenty of research – just relying on Google or your wedding venue’s preferred caterers is probably not enough. ‘And make sure you find one you feel comfortable to throw your ideas around with, however farfetched they may be.’
2. Once you’ve found your caterer, ask lots of questions, and listen to their advice. ‘For instance, wedding dinners are notorious for running late because the speeches are a bit too long –the caterer should be able to tell you what food can hold well in those circumstances. Or they may say that something you want is impractical – mozzarella making on a hot summer’s day in the outback might not be a great idea.’
3. ‘Understand the staff to guest ratio – you might want to cut costs by cutting staffing, but then on the day discover it would have been worth spending the extra because the guests would have been looked after better.’
4. ‘Ask what your caterers actually provide – it may just be the food, and not crockery, cutlery and glassware, staff and so on.’
5. ‘Find out what the staff will be wearing, and what the options are – you want to make sure whatever they wear ties in with the theme of your wedding.’
6. ‘When it comes to the food, it’s important ask if they’ve done a certain thing before.’ If you have dreams of a charcuterie station, for example, the last thing you want to be is their guinea pig on the day.
7. ‘Talk to them about the different styles of food and how they serve it – do they do sharing style or alternate serves, for instance. Ask what works best in their opinion.’ Also find out what percentage they allow for food allergies or dietary requirements.
8. ‘Obviously it’s important to do a tasting – find out if that’s included, or if it’s something you pay extra for, and how it’s done – whether it’s in a restaurant or at your house, or do they have a set area in their kitchen.’ Ask how far out from the wedding that happens, and when you need to finalise the menu.
9. ‘As far as trends go, people are really loving the charcuterie stations and mozzarella making – the theatre of it all – but they’re also loving drama of another kind in really simple and comfortable food, with beautiful produce. They’re definitely into sustainability and are big on where the food actually comes from.’
10. ‘There’s been a bit of a move away from shared platters, into maybe a shared entrée with everyone having the same main dish – no alternate serves – with really fun and interesting sides, so guests can make the dish their own.’
Photography by Petrina Tinslay and Sephory Photography
Georgie Duddy @aftertherockweddings