It’s easy to get caught up in all the essential details when planning your wedding. From finding a wedding venue that suits your style and budget to sourcing an officiant that shares your views on marriage, and obviously, what about the food? Read on to get the best catering tips for your big day. 

Planning the Perfect Cocktail Hour

Cocktail hours started becoming popular to keep guests entertained while the bride, groom, and family take photos. Try to be thoughtful about the hor d’oeuvres during this time. If dinner is going to be later, then heavy appetizers might prevent someone from drinking too much on an empty stomach. This is also a place where you should take some liberties with getting creative. While the dinner should realistically be crowd-friendly, you can have a little fun with your appetizers to show off your tastes. Another fun idea for the cocktail hour is to have a passed signature drink along with appetizers.

Buffet, Plated, Family Style, or Stations? 


While plated traditionally has been known as the upscale choice, you need to have the proper budget and the right caterer to really pull it off. Raise your hand if you’ve been to a beautiful, expensive wedding with a plated dinner that comes out way later than planned or with a way overcooked steak. Yep. Us too. If you want to spend the money on this pricier option, ensure your caterer specializes in large-scale plated meals and has the staff to do it correctly. 


Buffet Style Dining sometimes gets a bad rap, but generally turns out better than expected. Caterers have done an exceedingly better job at providing a buffet-style dinner with truly fantastic food. Buffet Style Dining has a slew of other benefits as well. You can get a little more creative with your sides since the guests will have the option to pass on what they don’t like. Buffets are often better timed and easier to pull off than a plated meal. 


If you want something that’s not too adventurous or tightly choreographed, a family-style meal may be perfect for you. Family-style catering can combine the best of both worlds. Guests don’t have to wait in line for their food, and caterers don’t have to spend endless time plating and delivering each choice to each guest. Typically pasta or Italian-style dishes are designed well for this type of wedding catering option. The caterers will bring the salad and a couple of main dishes to each table, and the guests serve themselves. The only downside is in this catering style, and your options are limited to foods that can be served family-style tastefully. 


Finally, an interactive station menu offers even more freedom for guests and, of course, it is trendier and can set your wedding apart while giving your guests freedom to graze instead of sitting down to one heavy meal. Some popular stations include taco bars, pasta bars, and obviously dessert bars as well. 

Alternative Options for Wedding Catering

At Everhart Gathering Place, we love traditional weddings as much as the next person, but we love, love couples who do something fun or unique. That’s why we designed our venue with the capability for food trucks if that’s the route you want to take. Food trucks are typically not considered an upscale option, but they are really cool and provide guests with a unique choice for their dinner. People can get food as they please or get hungry. 

If this is a little too edgy for your Great Aunt Mary or even yourself, consider bringing in a food truck a little later in the night for a late-night snack or a fun dessert option. 

Catering the Cake

Cake tasting is probably one of the best parts of wedding planning. While a multi-tiered big cake is definitely a show stopper, it can also eat up a lot of your budget that might be better used on the dress or wedding venue. Be very thoughtful in your budget and what you hope to accomplish with your cake. 

If you’re not into the traditional multi-tiered cakes, you may want just to consider serving sheet cake and cutting a smaller cake for the photos. You can save a lot of money and your guests won’t know or care. Many couples are also taking less traditional routes by having a dessert bar, serving cupcakes, donut walls, or candy bars that can also serve as the wedding favor. If you’ve always dreamed of that white 6-tier cake, then make those dreams come true! But don’t assume that’s the only option.

Everhart Gathering Place is a stunning wedding venue in Northwest, Ohio. Visit our gallery to see the spaces, and contact us today to learn how we can bring your dream wedding to life.

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