Shot of a young woman decorating a table with place card holders in preparation for a wedding reception

Wedding Catering Questions and Answers: What You Need To Know

New Orleans, Weddings

Don’t get overwhelmed with wedding planning; we’ve got the answers to common catering questions and answers so you’re ready to navigate your big day. As experienced wedding caterers, we understand the importance of selecting the right menu, accommodating dietary needs, and ensuring superior service. Embark on a culinary journey and uncover everything you need to know to make your wedding day memorable.

How close to my wedding should I book an appointment with a caterer?

Booking an appointment with a caterer for your wedding should be done well in advance, typically around a year before your big day. The larger the event, the sooner you should book the initial meeting. This timeframe allows you to explore different menu options, discuss any special dietary requirements or preferences, select the catering package that suits your needs, and determine if you need to add any rentals. It also allows you to schedule tastings to ensure the quality and presentation of the food meet your expectations. Booking your catering services in advance will leave you ample time to discuss any remaining catering questions and answers, finalize the reception details, and make any necessary adjustments as your wedding day approaches.

How much does wedding catering cost?

The cost of wedding catering in New Orleans varies depending on the size of the guest list and your menu choices. Caterers often offer customizable packages to accommodate dietary restrictions and guests’ preferences. For example, you can choose one of our pre-priced buffet-style wedding packages, or contact us to learn about the cost of other styles, such as family style or stations. You can also choose to go beyond a standard package meal by adding stations or even an oyster bar for an additional charge. Ultimately, the cost of your wedding catering will depend on what is important to you.

Should I choose a venue or a caterer first?

While prioritizing selecting a venue or caterer first depends on various factors, including your personal preferences and budget, there are several benefits to choosing a caterer first. If food is a top priority or if you have specific dietary requirements, selecting a caterer early ensures you can find one that aligns with your tastes, preferences, and budget. That caterer can then recommend wedding venues that allow outside catering and can often provide a list of their favorite locations where they have worked previously, so you can have more confidence that things will go smoothly at your venue.

How Much Food Should I Order?

Determining how much food to cater for a wedding is a critical aspect of ensuring the satisfaction of guests while also managing costs effectively. This can be a difficult balance, as several factors come into play when estimating the quantity of food required, including the number of guests, the duration of the event, the style of service, and dietary preferences.

Guest Count 

First and foremost, knowing the guest count is fundamental. A rough estimate of the number of attendees provides a baseline for calculating food quantities. However, it’s essential to consider potential fluctuations in attendance. To accommodate for variations, we often recommend preparing a slight surplus of food to ensure that no one goes hungry. You can always take home or donate the leftovers, if there are any.

Event Duration 

The duration of the event also influences the amount of food needed. For a shorter ceremony or reception, lighter refreshments or appetizers may suffice. Conversely, a longer event may require more substantial meal options, and possibly snacks later on.

Service Style 

The style of service plays a significant role in determining food quantities. Buffet-style service allows guests to serve themselves, compared to plated meals where portions are pre-determined. Offering a variety of food stations with different cuisines can also impact how much of each dish is consumed.

Dietary Needs and Restrictions 

Taking into account dietary preferences and restrictions is also very important. Providing a diverse range of options, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and allergy-friendly dishes, ensures that all guests can enjoy the meal. Depending on the dietary restrictions of your guests, you may need to order additional food options.

Your caterer will want to ensure that no guest leaves hungry. By carefully considering these factors about your event, caterers can confidently recommend the appropriate quantity of food, ensuring a delightful dining experience for all.

Can I request bar catering in addition to food catering?

Good question! Some caterers do not have liquor licenses, and therefore are unable to provide bar catering. However, other caterers do offer bar catering, so this is a question to ask the specific caterers you are interviewing.

Bar Catering in New Orleans with Elysian Events Catering

At Elysian Events Catering, we understand that creating a memorable event involves more than just exceptional cuisine—it also requires outstanding beverage service. That’s why we’re delighted to offer bar catering as an add-on to our food catering services to ensure your event is truly extraordinary!

Unlike many catering companies, Elysian Events Catering holds a liquor license, allowing us to provide a comprehensive bar catering experience alongside our renowned culinary offerings. Our expert caterers will craft exquisite cocktails and mocktails, pour fine wines, and serve premium spirits with the same attention to detail and professionalism that defines our food service.

Our bar catering options can be customized to suit your preferences. From signature NOLA cocktails to local craft beer, we ensure you have a beverage menu that complements our culinary creations seamlessly.

Whether you choose to indulge in our exceptional bar catering, exquisite food catering, or both, Elysian Events Catering is committed to providing unparalleled service and culinary excellence to make your event an unforgettable success.

What amenities come with bar catering?

At Elysian Events Catering, all bar catering packages come inclusive of essential amenities to meet your guests’ needs. Each bar catering service includes disposable cups and cocktail napkins, ensuring convenience and cleanliness for your guests. Our beverage selection encompasses a variety of popular soft drinks and mixers, including Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, ginger ale, club soda, tonic water, orange juice, cranberry juice, and more. For those looking for unique cocktail garnishes, we provide fresh herbs, dehydrated citrus, and even edible glitter. 

To keep your beverages perfectly chilled throughout your event, we provide ice, coolers, and chilling tubs. Our table, dressed in black linen, serves as a stylish station for your bar setup, ensuring an aesthetic that complements any wedding decor. A water station is also included to keep your guests hydrated.

Each event is unique, which is why we offer the possibility of custom additions and substitutions to tailor our bar catering amenities to your specific preferences. Our team is dedicated to ensuring that choosing our bar catering enhances your experience.

For Catering Questions and Answers, Trust Elysian Events Catering

Planning the catering for your wedding involves careful consideration of various factors to ensure a delightful dining experience for you and your guests. From booking an appointment with your caterer well in advance to customizing your menu, every step plays a crucial role in shaping your wedding day. At Elysian Events Catering, we aim to alleviate the stress of wedding planning by offering our expert guidance. Check out more of our insights here.

As experienced New Orleans wedding caterers, we are committed to unparalleled service and culinary excellence. We will walk you through the process and bring your wedding vision to life! Reach out to us today by calling (504)-541-0091, emailing hello@elysianeventscatering, or filling out our contact form. For more catering questions and answers, check out our other blogs.

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