When planning your wedding, it’s hard not to notice that a large chunk of your big day will be occupied by food and drink. From pre-ceremony drinks to canapés, dinner, dessert and the all-important cake, food is one of the most important elements of your wedding celebration. Here, Tristan Lott speaks with Zac Wilkinson, chef patron of A Moveable Feast Catering, to learn more about what it takes to cater a wedding and the many ways you and your partner can tell your story through your menu.
Image Credit: Victoria Priessnitz.
Food is ever-present in our lives, reflecting different tastes and personalities, and this is the same of your wedding menu – whether you’re after an intimate, three-course meal or a buffet-style extravagant affair. Western Australia Wedding & Bride delves into what you should consider when hiring a catering company for your wedding day.
Every Dollar Counts
Weddings come with what can seem like countless expenses, and catering is often believed to come with dozens of extra, hidden costs. Wilkinson busts the myth of the ‘wedding tax’ referred to by brides- and grooms-to-be when looking at wedding catering, advising that it is entirely invented; “while there’s no ‘tax’, there are a number of things that affect budgets and running times”.
Formalities such as speeches and the first dance often interrupt the traditional spacing of service, resulting in staff needing to be paid longer hours to accommodate this. The half an hour before sunset is often favoured as an opportune moment to get the perfect photo, but this means the bridal party can be absent from the main reception, causing service to run late. In addition, it can be expensive to source crockery and stemware that suits the couple’s needs if they are wanting to stick to a strict theme or style. There are many ways to keep costs down when searching for the perfect caterer; A Moveable Feast Catering is able to provide a range of equipment ready at your disposal. However, if you have a specific vision in mind, it may be best to consider providing your own crockery, glassware or silverware to minimise costs. “The team at A Moveable Feast Catering collaborate with the couple to help them achieve their ideal wedding and reception,” Wilkinson says.
Similarly, multi-tiered skirts, cathedral trains and full-length veils – iconic styles of the 1980s – are set to make a comeback, as will sleeves in all sorts of styles and lengths.
Whether you opt for long, fitted or gigot sleeves, they’re a practical yet elegant addiction to a spring or early summer wedding.
Cater To The Masses
The budget and process differs greatly depending on what style of wedding you are after – cocktail weddings vary greatly to seated gatherings, which are again different depending on whether you’d like a banquet or buffet, or if a three-course meal is more to your taste. Cocktail weddings tend to be a less involved endeavour, according to Wilkinson, with far less equipment and set up time involved. A seated affair will take longer between meals to allow for formalities, and it is also important to consider leaving enough time for dancing at the end of the night. Wilkinson advises that sit down meals can often be as much as ten dollars more per person than their cocktail counterparts. “We generally advise that bridal couples need to budget [more]… for a seated affair.” A great alternative to the traditional á la carte reception is a buffet or banquet meal. This shared, family-style wedding has grown in popularity recently as it allows for greater interaction between guests and more contemporary wedding themes to emerge. “It’s a great alternative to a cocktail-style event and is really on-tend in Western Australia at present,” Wilkinson says. “It gives guests a choice of food, gets people up and dancing much earlier, and is less formal.”
A Moveable Feast Catering is able to provide table raisers to accommodate platters in the middle of the table, and enough service crockery for up to 1000 guests! This is a great way to enjoy a sit-down meal with your loved ones, without spending the majority of your catering budget on hiring plates and silverware – plus, it looks great in photos and leaves plenty of time for partying at the tail end of the evening!
Food For Thought
Every menu is different, and you want your wedding day to reflect the personalities of you and your partner while remaining on a budget.
Instead of traditional dishes, consider alternative options that you know your guests will love. “Fish and chips as a canapé is always a crowd pleaser,” Wilkinson explains.
Speak with your caterer about your food options and think about experimenting with your food to keep things fresh and interesting. “We love creating and adapting dishes [by using] dusts, oils, caviars, drizzles and papers.” Alternatively, look to your favourite childhood dishes to inject some personality into your menu. Your wedding day is a memorable affair, and your wedding food should be, too – for all the right reasons!
Everything (Even The Kitchen Sink)
Every caterer will have their own unique process from the initial consultation right through to the final invoice. When your catering is included at your venue, the discussions will usually occur with your event co-ordinator, but when you book a catering company, it’s highly likely you’ll be talking with the chefs themselves. Allowances must be made when choosing a caterer to take into account the extra travel and set-up time – depending on where you’re getting married, a caterer may be bringing everything with them, which can sometimes include generators, mobile kitchens, and even fully stocked bar carts. With most catering companies, you and your partner can choose the package that you like best. Most caterers will have a range of dishes to choose from, but A Moveable Feast Catering creates a custom menu for every couple that they cater for. To create your bespoke menu, you and your partner will be given a detailed questionnaire, so Wilkinson and his team can tailor make the perfect menu for you and your guests. “We give couples costs based on their requirements, rather than building packages to cover the challenges of a particular venue, running order or any other ‘moveable feast’.”
Food is such a vital part of our everyday lives, and your wedding day is no exception. When considering what you and your guests would like to eat on your special day, there are dozens of options to consider to have a memorable wedding feast.