Here in Devon and Cornwall evening food for wedding receptions and parties can pose many dilemmas… How can we keep everyone happy- Mum and Dad want a real spread! My husband to be wants a pig on a spit but we only have 50 guests, I want some desserts items, we have over spent on the wedding what shall we do for evening food, do we have to cater for all the guests that attend?
These are some questions that can haunt even the most organised couples, and often causes much more angst than the main wedding catering decision making.
We thought we would guide you through the minefield of catering for your evening guests and give you our top hints, tips and advice.
What month are you getting married or having your party?
We are starting with a random question and we know that the good old British weather always have other ideas, but if you are partying in the winter you may prefer to have something hot to keep your guests warm such as bowl food, a chilli con carne or a curry. If your event is in the midst of summer then pizza, pasties, hot dogs, finger buffet will all work and we would stay away from a heavier meal.
Think about where you are and do you want to spend out on additional equipment hire in the evening?
If you are in a venue or marquee that requires caterers to bring cookers with them, it is highly likely that you will have paid a hire charge for this. Using the same caterer in the evening maximises the use of this equipment saving you money on hiring additional equipment for the evening. A hog roast for example if going to charge you somewhere for bringing a machine to cook on, if you have cookers from the day then use these, saving yourself money.
Don’t “go large”
Hot Dogs, Beef Burgers and Bacon Baps are not to be dismissed, we serve our local butchers sausages which are legendary, in a smaller roll, and serve them in pretty wicker baskets, cooked in batches, and served on a rolling basis, we can make sure all of these options are kept fresh, hot and still look appealing, and after a few beers…they really go down well! Ladies will always prefer a smaller item to eat in their smart dress rather then a extra large one! Don’t be tempted to have lots of different choices though, hot dogs with cheese and biscuits, with dietary requirements catered for are really all you need.
How many people should we cater for?
Are you having 200 plus guests to party and need to cater for them all? So there are a few things to consider here, if you are having cocktail pasties then YES you probably do need to cater for all that have said they are coming. WHY? the men well may have 2 to combat the beer munchies where as the girls may not have any so this will level out. If you offer a finger buffet then you would not need to cater for all and could drop by 10% as not everyone will have a piece of all dishes offered.
Budget is often a major consideration in the wedding planning process. We are big advocates of not wasting huge amounts of money on evening food. Keep it simple! A selection of Pasties, Meat and Vegetarian, Gluten Free and Vegan are also easily available.
If you are looking for caterers or food vans to still be serving at midnight this is a rarity, no one is going to stay to serve food from 9pm till after midnight, unless you arrange late nibbles. So why not have a cheese board and you can buy this yourselves and put out later on. We are surrounded by wonderful cheese producers here with a varied selection of cheese biscuits this is a great option, low cost for a large number and also keeps it traditional to Devon and Cornwall. Cheese and biscuits are great alongside any evening food and as midnight munchies. It is safe for your caterers to leave this out for your guests to nibble when they want to refuel after all the dancing.
The Sweet Spot!
Finally, as we say time and time again, the sweet element comes from your Wedding Cake, cut in the evening for your evening guests to feel part of the day, we place this around on tables for your guests to pick up and nibble at their leisure. Another tip have different flavours, the fantastic cake makers are used to doing this, so your caterers can cut half a tier of chocolate, quarter of a tier of Victoria sponge and some lemon cake to suit all tastes! If you do not want to go to the expense of three tiers have a cutting cake for the kitchen. Wedding cakes do not always get eaten so by doing this and asking your caterers to place cake platters around your venue on tables you will see that much more is eaten!
To conclude, if you do have lots of guests coming to your Devon event that you need to cater for then do take a moment to think about how the food will be served and your type of guests. If you are going to have lots of hungry guests that need to be served quickly think about asking your caterers as they will be used to serving in volume and can fill their ovens that you have already hired with pizza, rather then a pizza oven cooking two or three at one go. It may not look as funky as queuing at a van but your guests will be a lot happier!
We are here to help guide you through the range of options available to you, to ensure that your evening food is enjoyed by everyone and not wasted.
Dates are filling up fast for 2023, so if you would like us to cater for your Devon wedding, please contact us