When starting the process to hire a wedding caterer, it’s common to feel pretty overwhelmed. After all, it combines your guest count information, your vision for the venue and overall mood, the menu, and, last but definitely not least, your budget. And with something as important as feeding your guests and keeping the hangries at bay, it’s critical to find a great Columbus caterer who you can trust to truly understand how important your wedding day is and who can deliver on the memorable culinary experience you desire.
To make this process as smooth and stress-free as possible, here are five pro tips you can use to make your Columbus catering search efficient, fruitful, and maybe even a little fun. Why learn the hard way when you can save time and money and, on the big day, celebrate at the reception of your dreams?
Our first pro tip is to determine a budget for catering. Knowing what you’re able to spend is a good place to start because it can help your prospective caterers develop and propose menus that are realistic options for your wedding day. It will also go far to buffer the temptation of coming across and of falling in love with that fifth late-night snack option, if two options is what is allowable in your established budget.
Sticking to your wedding budget doesn’t need to feel limiting though - many of the wedding reception food offerings that leave the most memorable impressions are simply out-of-the-box takes on classic, maybe even non-wedding fair, just dressed up a bit! Take, for example, our french fry bar at a recent wedding in July - everyone, especially the bride and groom, loved it, and it didn’t break the bank! There are so many menu options for weddings these days, from the tried-and-true to the more contemporary or creative, and finding a fit that appeals to your budget and appetite is a must.
Our second pro tip is to use your resources. If you have hired a wedding planner, check in with them about their experiences with caterers in the area. Have you chosen a venue for your reception? Some venues offer special rates when they work onsite with certain vendors, such as caterers and florists. We always welcome questions about venues, and even designed a page on our website to showcase some of our favorites in the Columbus catering Ohio area.
Be sure to visit your venue (with your wedding planner, if possible!) and get a feel for how you envision your setup. Are you saying your “I do’s” in a barn or in a ballroom? This can direct whether you’d prefer a station or family-style setup, or a seated, plated and coursed menu. Additionally, it can ensure that your reception concept, from the food to the centerpieces, works together in that space and leaves your guests feeling welcome and provided for.
Before you get too far ahead in planning the details around your wedding menu, it’s a good idea to step back and consider those who are attending your wedding who may have dietary concerns. Does a certain allergy run in your family, or are most of your friends vegan? We recommend checking with potential vendors for wedding catering Columbus Ohio about their ability to accommodate dietary restrictions. Common allergies or intolerances include dairy, nut, and gluten, and reputable caterers often pride themselves on being able to modify their dishes to suit vegans and vegetarians as well.
Along these lines, is eating local or organic important to you? Considering the season and sourcing of items on the menu can, in locations such as the Midwest, result in higher-quality, farm-sourced fruit, vegetables, honey, eggs, and other products. We at Hudson’s Edge appreciate that the trend in weddings, as well as corporate caterers Columbus, is to move to featuring more farm to table items, as these are fresh, local, and simple - never frozen. Consider what is important to you, and be sure to inquire with any potential catering services about these requests!
While some wedding caterers offer full-service catering and more, including table, chair, linen, decor, outdoor ceremony sites, and lighting, other caterers may be limited to “drop and go” services. Take the time to consider your needs, and check with your planner to make sure your bases, as far as set-up, tear-down, and services, are covered, and if you plan to DIY any of these aspects, be sure to consult your venue for any restrictions or permits that may be required.
Do you plan to seek a wedding cake or dessert vendor or bundle all your culinary and drink needs from one source? While there are pros and cons to both of these options, we think there’s value in coordinating with just one provider, as it minimizes the chance for error, streamlines communications and ensures a cohesive vision. At Hudson’s Edge, we offer multiple package options with a range of onsite staffing options, and we maintain a varied inventory of high-quality linens, flatware, and more.
Remember that french fry bar we mentioned above? Let’s revisit some of those creative ideas that are popping up at weddings! From late-night snacks to food offerings that honor the couple’s backgrounds or heritage, considering what you wish your guests to remember - as far as food is concerned - can help you as you prepare to hire a wedding caterer. Whether it’s serving buttery baklava as a nod to your Greek roots or offering sliders as a midnight snack to those guests who are still dancing the night away, if you have an idea that you’d like to incorporate into your reception, bring it up! This is YOUR big day, and your vendors want to make your dreams happen. Having fun and bringing out your personality so that this event is a reflection of you and allows guests to celebrate together is a driving factor for most wedding caterers, and at Hudson’s Edge, we are no different.
As you investigate your options for catering your wedding in Columbus, Ohio, we hope you consider these five pro tips we’ve laid out just for you. Set yourself up for success by utilizing your budget and resources, considering any special requests or services you require, and having a good time in the process.
And whether you’re looking to make an impression without breaking the bank, hoping for an exquisite tiered wedding cake or gorgeous dessert table from experienced pastry chefs, or hoping to hire one catering company that you can trust for a fully-managed reception experience, Hudson’s Edge catering Columbus Ohio can help make your dreams come true. We offer complimentary tastings monthly all over central Ohio, at our partnered wedding and event venues. Complete our questionnaire to get in touch with a consultant today and hear more about upcoming events.
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