Wedding Catering 101

Today we’re reviewing the basics of selecting a wedding caterer, and I have THREE important tips to share!

Listen now:

wedding catering

Wedding Catering Tip No. 1

You MUST have your wedding venue, date & time set in stone.  Like, you paid a deposit and you know without a doubt when & where your wedding is taking place.

Wedding Catering Tip No. 2

Don’t you dare skip down here without finishing step one – I don’t want you dreaming of a food truck wedding and DIY ice cream sundae dessert bar when your venue has no parking or freezers!

IF you’ve got your venue, date & time set in stone, then step two is to brainstorm some reception styles with your fiance, and decide together which suits you.  Some popular options include:

brunch, a luncheon, cocktails & hors d’ouvres, buffet style, family style, or full-blown unique.  Think bento boxes, gourmet picnic bags, food trucks, fondue.  You name it, the sky is the limit when it comes to creative ways to take care of your wedding guests’ cravings!

Wedding Catering Tip No. 3

Research your local area for catering options & make some phone calls.  Availability & pricing will vary greatly based on your location, time of year, etc. 

And finally, some wedding catering variables to consider …

Your catering vision must be compatible with your venue.  Back to our earlier example – you can’t have food trucks if your venue is located smack in the middle of downtown and has ZERO parking.  You can’t have a DIY ice cream sundae bar if you have no access to freezers.  You can’t DIY a fondue meat dinner without access to a refrigerator.  Makes sense, right?

Also keep in mind the time of day & season of your wedding.  No one wants to eat hot chili in Pheonix in July.  No one wants to eat ice cream in Buffalo in January.  And no one wants to eat steak & potatoes and martinis for brunch (well, maybe some people do?)

And I’ll leave you with my NUMBER ONE tip for controlling your catering budget …


Browse creative wedding catering ideas on our Pinterest Food & Drink board!

Browse creative wedding catering ideas on Pinterest!  Follow us while you’re there for lots more wedding inspiration!

Questions for me about today’s episode?  You can always find me at

Talk soon!  Cheers, Kara

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6 thoughts on “Wedding Catering 101”

  1. My best friend is getting married, and I am excited to help her plan her wedding! I appreciate your advice that we should have the reception venue set in stone before thinking about catering. I never thought about access to a fridge or a freezer! I just always assumed that every venue would allow us access to something like that, but we’ll have to double check.

  2. Thanks for your note, Moira! I’m so happy you’re enjoying the podcast – your referrals to friends & family mean the world to me, and please let me know if there’s anything else I can do as you and your best friend continue to plan! xo Kara

  3. My daughter is getting married this summer and I think it would be so fun to have a food truck there. It would allow people to get as much as they’d like. Plus food trucks have some of the best food I’ve had.

  4. Thanks for pointing out that you should brainstorm reception styles like family style or buffet style with your fiance. I’m going to be getting married in about two months, and I want to make sure that we’ve got good food for the dinner and reception. Your tips should help me find a catering service that would be perfect for my wedding.

  5. Kenneth, I totally agree! LOVE food trucks as a creative wedding catering solution – delicious food, and such a fun, unique impression on the guests. Thanks for listening!

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