A Complete Guide To Perfect Wedding Catering

We know that planning a wedding is an exciting yet challenging journey. At Sadlergates Catering, we understand the importance of reliable and high-quality catering services for your special day. Here, we're going to provide you with insights and advice on various aspects of wedding catering, from understanding your catering contract to exploring alternative catering options.

Whether you’re planning a small intimate wedding or a grand celebration, our resource will help you make informed decisions and ensure your wedding feast is memorable and enjoyable for you and your guests.

Tying The Knot: A Complete Guide To Perfect Wedding Catering

If you are engaged and planning your wedding then first things first, we would like to wish you congratulations from all of us at Sadlergates Catering! We know that your wedding day is one of the most special and exciting days of your life. But we also know that planning your perfect day takes a lot of effort, consideration, care, attention to detail and also involves making a number of big decisions.

Perhaps one of the biggest is what food and drink to serve your guests during the reception and at various other points throughout the day. Food is one of the key elements of celebrating your wedding – and one of the main memories that many of the guests will take away with them - so it’s important to get right.

As Napoleon once said, an army marches on its stomach and so does a great wedding party. The food choices you make will contribute to the atmosphere of your big day, put people in a good mood and create an event that will live long in the memory of all your guests. And an unforgettable day is surely every couple’s dream for their wedding.


Of course, catering for that many people is a specialist skill and requires experience, equipment and staffing that only a professional organisation can bring. Which means one of the big decisions you need to make is which caterers to choose. Reliable caterers are paramount to ensuring you have a stress-free celebration on your big day. But the decisions don’t stop there. Below you can find everything you need to know about choosing caterers, picking menu options, incorporating themes, catering for every guest and more.

Planning A Wedding? Taste Before You Commit!

Experience a taste sensation before committing to our culinary creations for your special day.

Planning Your Wedding Catering?

Choosing wedding catering services is not as simple as doing a quick Google search in your area. Picking your caterer involves careful consideration involving multiple factors.

In order to help you choose, you might want to begin by going through the following process:


Set A Budget

Set a budget for your event and work out the cost for each element of your special day. Knowing how much you have to spend per head and the guest count is key to understanding before engaging with a wedding caterer. Caterers can have minimum order requirements or flexible pricing options depending on the size of your event.


Be Selective

Rule out the caterers who cannot cater for the volume of guests you have, or are too expensive for your budget. Ask for recommendations from friends or think about weddings you have been to and enjoyed the food. And have a list of key requirements you need to have met and establish whether any prospective caterer can meet them before engaging further.


Assess The Venue

Venue restrictions can influence your catering options. Some venues have preferred suppliers, others only allow you to use their caterers. The kitchen space your caterers will have access to at the venue may also impose some restrictions on what can be done on the day or at the venue.


Consider Guest Requirements

These days dietary requirements are more specific and individual than ever before. Think about what kind of dietary options you may need to include, such as vegetarian or vegan preferences, as well as any more serious health considerations such as allergies.


Dining Style

There is a huge choice of food or dining options to choose from (see more below) but as well as the stylistic and culinary factors you also need to consider how each style of dining can impact the timing and flow of your reception.

The next big decision is what style of food you are going to provide to your guests...

Exploring Food Styles And Menu Inspiration

The choice of food will often have a big impact on how it is served, as you can see from the following breakdown of popular dining styles.


Plated Dinner

Individual portions served by waiters usually creates the most formal and elegant setting. This style of dining also makes for easier portion control, reducing food waste and increasing cost efficiency. It also makes it easier to accommodate dietary restrictions by pre-arranging meals. However, it can be costly owing to the larger number of waiting and serving staff you require.


Family-Style Dining

Straddling the buffet and plated dining is the family style option. This is when large platters of food are placed on seated tables for guests to share and pass around the table, creating a more communal atmosphere and encouraging conversation. It is less formal than plated dinners but more organised than a buffet, and allows you to provide a variety of different dishes. It is also a more cost-effective option.



There are two main types of buffets, both providing a more casual and relaxed atmosphere. The first is when guests serve themselves from a communal table. The other is when guests go up to the serving staff to get their food. The main advantages of a buffet are that it allows you to include a wider variety of food options and cater to different preferences more efficiently. Buffets generally require less service staff and are therefore more cost-effective in most cases.


Or For Something Different…

BBQs, pizza vans or hog roasts are great ideas for spring/summer weddings and provide a more fun and relaxed eating option. But they can be subject to the vagaries of the Great British weather. When planning your menu, try to balance crowd-pleasers with personal touches, incorporating menu items that reflect your personality or cultural background. This injects a special touch without alienating guests. 

You should also consider the time of year your wedding is taking place. Can you incorporate any seasonal produce? In summer, you may want to have fresher ingredients, whereas in winter, you may want more comforting options. It might also be a nice touch to try and include interactive elements such as a doughnut wall or chocolate fountain. This can really add a playful touch to your day.

Wedding Mockup

Discover The Secret To Unforgettable Wedding Catering 

In this free guide, you'll discover:

Diverse culinary styles and find inspiration for your wedding menu.

How to integrate your wedding theme into your catering for a cohesive experience.

How to select the right caterer to bring your vision to life.

The impact of great food on your wedding atmosphere and guest experience.

Incorporating Your Theme

One of the best ways to make your day special and unforgettable is to create a wedding theme. This can run through every aspect of the wedding, from invitations to venues, to decorations and even the food. Design a menu that reflects your theme the best by choosing ingredients or country-specific dishes. For example, a fairytale-style wedding could include a lot of finger foods, miniature desserts and dishes with whimsical names.

The presentation should also aesthetically match your overall theme. For example, if you have a rustic-themed wedding style, you could have the food served on wooden platters or have mason jars as drinking glasses. Think about the little details or areas where you could utilise ingredients that tie into your theme. For example, you could create a signature cocktail or name dishes relating to your theme.

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How To Choose A Wedding Caterer

Once you have your ideas all in place it’s time to choose wedding catering that is going to deliver your vision. There are various categories to look out for that can help you settle on the right choice. These include:

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Experience And Reputation

Look to see if a caterer has a successful track record in wedding catering and if they have been trading for a long time. This can include looking for positive reviews on food quality, customer service, professionalism and responsiveness. You want to know you are in good hands. Ask them if they are capable of catering for the size and style of your desired wedding food and number of guests? Do they have the staff required to handle the specifics of an event like yours? You may also want to ask if they have any awards or accreditations? Or are they recognised within the industry? Social media is a good place to look more closely at what they offer and what people are saying about them.

Cuisine And Style

Can your caterers provide custom menus tailored to your specific cuisine, theme, dietary requirements or preference? It’s always a good idea to book a taster session to ensure the quality of their offering is as good as they suggest. Ask if the presentation and service style can be adapted effectively to your theme.

Flexibility And Customisation

Will your caterer tailor menus to your needs, and provide different service styles that will best suit your wedding theme? Are they open to last-minute amendments such as guest numbers or dietary requirements nearer the date? Skilled professionals will be able to offer signature dishes for your day based on your theme and requirements. Likewise, they will be able to customise the presentation of the dishes to match themes too?

Communication And Service

How quickly and effectively do they respond to your emails, phone calls, and general enquiries? This can be a real indicator of how they operate. Are they transparent about their services, pricing options and contract terms? Have they made you aware of any limitations and provided clarity where required? It is also generally a good idea to check if you will have a dedicated account manager/point of contact throughout the planning process and during your day.

Why Food Matters

Why Food Matters?
Food is a huge part of any party, especially a wedding when you want your guests to be celebrating with you all day and ideally long into the night. Your choice of food and caterer can also hugely contribute to your theme.

Your choice of wedding catering is incredibly important to get right as it will be a big part of your day. That’s why it always pays to hire professional wedding caterers with the skills and experience to deliver your dream day. Book a taster session with our team here at Sadlergates to find out how we can help you create the wedding of your dreams.