How is Catering a Wedding Different from Other Events?

Catering a wedding reception is one of the most frequent jobs that caterers are offered. Weddings are beautiful and emotional events, and the reception after a wedding is intended to give guests the chance to speak to the bride and groom and provide them with well-wishes and blessings. However, it's also a place where guests tend to let loose, consumer great food, and enjoy the company of friends and family members. As such, the bride and groom will expect a lot from their caterer. Understanding the differences between catering a wedding and catering other special events will prepare you for the unexpected.

Organized Chaos

Wedding receptions are best described as organized chaos. Caterers have to provide large quantities of food to a multitude of guests, and they have to do this in a very short period of time. Guests will flood the reception location immediately after the wedding is over, so you need to have food ready to go immediately after the reception has started. From start to finish, you won't have a moment to sit down, so be sure to have a plan of action ready. Write down specific times at which you will introduce new dishes to the reception, refill menu items and beverages, serve the wedding cake, and begin the clearing process.

Wedding Clients are in a Class of their Own

It's also important to prepare yourself for a little panic from your clients. Because weddings are such emotional events, caterers can expect to deal with clients who are on edge and stressed leading up to the date of the wedding. Be patient with the bride, groom, and their family members. You may have to answer questions multiple times or make changes at the last minute. Providing attentive service and flexibility will earn you a recommendation from the satisfied newlyweds after the event.

The Serving Style

One of the biggest differences between catering a wedding and catering another type of themed event is the style in which you will serve the guests at the wedding reception. A wedding reception is a chaotic and fast-paced event. As such, many brides and grooms don't want their guests to have to sit down and wait for a meal to be served to them. Instead, a buffet-style eating arrangement is preferable. Also, the food that you serve at a wedding may need to be eaten while the guests are standing rather than sitting. Fancy finger foods and simple dishes make it easier for guests and wedding party members to mingle with one another during the reception.

As a caterer, wedding receptions will likely be one of your biggest sources of revenue. Wedding receptions, though, can be chaotic and frustrating events for a caterer. The key to handling the chaos effectively is to plan thoroughly and leave nothing up to chance. Your meals may need to be ready at a moment's notice, and the food you prepare should be easy to eat on the go. By treating a wedding reception like an entirely different process, you'll be more likely to remain flexible and on your toes throughout the event.