Sussex Chef work with you from initial contact to the last clean plate ensuring your wedding day is exactly what you have envisioned. We work hard behind the scenes to make your wedding day a happy one filled with special memories for both you and all your guests.
How to Plan Your Wedding Catering
All weddings are unique to each couple. You decide how you want your special day and making the right decision on your food and drink is vital in ensuring that your day runs perfectly. The right caterer will set the tone, creating excitement and a talking point for your guests;
Good food and drink leads to good conversation and happy guests, great food and drink will guarantee great happiness and exhilaration.
Food and drink when hiring an outside caterer can be one of the largest expenses so never leave the catering plans till last as you will need to ensure you have made the right allowances when setting your budget for the style of catering you want. There are lots of different catering options to choose suitable for a variety of budget starting with the traditional sit down meal to maybe a barbecue to even simply an afternoon tea or picnic.
Average Spend on Outside Catering for a Traditional Wedding – £6500
with Sussex Chef, based on 100 guests including canape and drinks reception, 3 course formal sit down wedding breakfast and drinks, evening food and drinks plus equipment hire.
Average Spend on Outside Catering for a Non-Traditional Wedding – £3500
with Sussex Chef, based on 100 guests and the clients providing their own alcohol and Sussex Chefs drinks service. Including drinks reception, barbecue with table service for seated guests, wedding cake dessert, evening snacks plus equipment hire.
What Do YOU Want & What Do YOU Like
Unsurprisingly a lot of couple get caught up in the wedding whirlwind of trying to please every single guest., which where food is concerned normally ends up with the typical menu with smoked salmon blinis (made with rice flour for the gluten free), chicken liver parfait and vegetable skewers for the canapés followed by a 3 course meal with tomato soup starter, a chicken or mushroom risotto for main and an eton mess for dessert (bowls of fresh fruit for dairy free).
Let YOUR Favourite Food Take Pride and Place on Your Menu
Now there is nothing wrong with this menu, in fact it almost guarantees all your guests will be happily fed and you want all your guests to enjoy their food. BUT isn’t it YOUR wedding day, and shouldn’t YOU, the bride and groom, be able to please yourselves above everyone else and treat yourselves to your favourite food that gets you excited?
If your vegetarian or vegan treat your guests to a culinary experience full of flavoursome delights, some of which they have never tasted without a slab of meat in-sight.
If you are a lover of all things from the sea, don’t be afraid of having a fish dish or serving a fish platter. We do after all live in the South East where there is an abundance of tasty, freshly caught fish all year round.
If you love duck but think great Aunt Doris won’t approve then make a decision whether you are going to have a normal wedding menu just like everyone else or stick to your guns and have a wedding with a culinary experience for all that is ultimately just what you want.
However do remember to ask your guests if they have any allergies or specific food requirements beforehand when you send out your invitations. Slight variations can always be made to your menu and if you offer a vegetarian alternative this dish can also appease any those guests with specific food requirements whilst still allowing you to have the menu you want.
Get Your Figures Right & Work Out How Many People You Can Afford to Invite
Always ask yourself this; do you really need to invite everyone you have ever met in your life or your long lost relatives to your special day? Its a good idea to set yourself a catering budget and divide it by the number of guests you want to invite, get quotes from catering companies you like to see if your budget is realistic for the services you want and work out how many people you can actually invite (before inviting everyone). Also always ensure you know exactly what your caterer is quoting for e.g. food costs, waiting staff, site kitchen, glassware, crockery, linen, VAT etc.
One of the easiest options available to you is hiring a cash bar. It takes away all the work and a large expense from you with regards to staff charges, glassware hire and the cost of the alcohol itself. If you still want to be generous and pay for your guests drinks you can always put money behind the bar.
You could choose to provide all your own alcohol but be aware that you will still need to get the alcohol to your venue, chill it, serve it, hire glassware, set-up a bar, clean and then dispose of the waste. All of which comes at an additional cost be it money or time.
You can ask your caterer to offer a price per head for providing alcohol for all or part of the day, or have a mix of all these options.
Site Kitchen Hire
When you choose your venue keep in mind that you may need to find space to facilitate the set-up of an internal or external site kitchen. Even if the venue has its own kitchen with ovens the equipment may not be suitable for large scale catering and therefore there will be an additional hire cost if you are wanting hot food served. Your caterer will need to have access to water, electricity, a preparation area with space for tables to plate up and a space to cook in.
Don’t Forget Your Wedding Cake
It is not necessary to go with the traditional tiered fruit or sponge cake but if you do plan when you want to cut the cake and when you want it to be served. If you want it to be served as your dessert after your wedding breakfast you will need to cut it before your meal, if you want it served later in the evening you can cut it after the speeches or why not cut it just before the first dance so your evening guests don’t miss out.
Non-traditional Wedding Cake Ideas: Chocolate brownie stack, three tiered cheesecake, cheese stack, profiterole tower, naked cake, cupcake cake, sweetie tower …
Above All Enjoy Planning Your Wedding
At Sussex Chef our ultimate aim is to make the whole planning process for your wedding as easy as possible. Ben and Clare will come and talk through your menus, your wedding day plans and offer you a tasting in your own home. They will visit your venue, liaise with suppliers and guarantee that both you and your guests are happy on your wedding day providing fabulous food, a professional service and a day to remember.