Everything You Need to Know About Wedding Catering

Catering for weddings is one of the main parts of our jobs here at Social Pantry, from the initial planning to the final execution and everything in between, so we like to think of ourselves as quite the experts when it comes to giving wedding reception tips! There’s a lot to think about when considering your wedding reception foods so we’ve rounded up everything we know about catered weddings to take the stress out of planning your menu.

How much does catering for a wedding cost?

The price of your wedding reception caterer can hugely vary depending on many factors of your big day and various decisions do need to be made before you begin to think about your wedding meals. Wedding catering services can often be provided as part of the venue hire, for which you may be offered exclusive discounts. However, this can also mean you are limited with choices in your wedding reception foods. Think about what is important to you when it comes to your wedding meals, and the food you want to serve. An outside wedding reception caterer can feel like it may be more of an expensive option compared to the deal the venue can offer. Any good company with experience of catering weddings will be able to work to your budget and will be happy to share their expertise and advice to make your money go further.


How much food do I need for my wedding reception?

It’s always better to plan for more wedding reception foods than too little, no one wants their guest to go hungry. However, without accurately estimating the number of guests for both the wedding breakfast and evenings, there’s a risk of over-ordering the food which can be costly and wasteful. Catered weddings can often be long days and hungry guests can become restless and tired and what’s worse, extremely drunk! Your wedding reception caterer will work with you to plan your wedding meals down to the last canape to make sure you have the perfect amount of food for you and your guests on your big day.

What does a wedding caterer provide?

What a company can provide will depend from one business to the next when it comes to catering for weddings. From the food alone to the transport, table settings and service staff. Decide what’s important and what you need before you begin your search and discuss all of the options with your wedding reception caterer. A good company will be able to offer you options to suit your requirements as well as invaluable wedding reception tips to make sure everything goes perfectly on your big day.

How early should I plan my wedding catering?

Wedding catering planning should come soon after you’ve decided a venue. You will need to allow for numbers and any dietary preferences, too. By finding a wedding caterer early on, you’ll be able to scope out all your options well in advance. It can be helpful to speak to someone about your initial ideas who has experience of catering weddings, to offer you a realistic idea of your budget depending on your preferences. A good wedding reception caterer can be booked up on key dates years in advance, so make this a priority if you can. This will prevent the need to look for other businesses that provide the services and knowledge you require of catering weddings.

How important is catering in wedding planning?

Catered weddings can be a much easier and safer option for any bride or groom when planning their big day, but it doesn’t have to be essential. DIY wedding meals can be a cheaper option. What’s more, providing your own wedding reception foods can also give you a lot more freedom with what you serve and how it fits in with your big day. It is however a big task to take on for those without any experience of catering for weddings and no amount of wedding reception tips can help prepare you if things go pear shaped when serving your wedding reception foods. Consider if the potential
stress and added time it takes to plan and prepare the perfect DIY wedding reception foods is worth it when deciding the importance of wedding catering services on your big day.

Ways to serve food at your wedding

From trends to tradition, there are so many wonderfully creative ways to serve food at your wedding, and there are some great wedding catering tips which can be learnt from a quick search online. Graze tables, self-serve stations and food trucks are all popular trends that can be provided by a wedding reception caterer and make for great Instagrammable moments of your big day. Table service may work best for you, but be mindful of the time your guests are seated depending on the courses you serve. Traditionally catered weddings can be broken up with speeches and toasts between courses, which can work well. Whatever you decide, speak to your wedding reception
caterers who will be able to provide you with guidance to bring your dream day to life.

Catering for dietary requirements

From vegan wedding guests to dairy-free menus, catering for weddings can throw up so many types of dietary requirements it can be hard to know where to begin. It’s important for every bride and groom that their guests love their wedding meals, regardless of what they can and can’t eat.


Top Tip: Read our guide on catering for dietary requirements to help you know what to consider when planning for every palate on your big day here.


Our dedicated wedding team have many years’ experience of catering weddings, and are always on hand to offer a helping hand. You can find out more about the wedding reception foods we specialise in by making an enquiry or please give us a call on 020 8871 1949 to discuss in more detail.