If you asked me what you need for a great celebration, one of my top responses would immediately be amazing food.
After all, it’s no secret that food plays a powerful role in drawing people to an event and keeping them there! Few aspects of a party can bring people of totally different backgrounds together more quickly than the food. Whether it serves as a conversation starter or simply as a source of energy, one of the best ways to impress your guests and enjoy your first meal together as husband and wife is to choose truly mouthwatering fare. But, where do you start in finding the perfect menu – one that fuses your favorite food selections with who you are as a couple?
That’s where Jade and her husband Ted step in with Murfreesboro catering company Savoy Events Catering. Their focus is to create a meal experience at your wedding reception, and Jade has six surefire steps to making this attainable for any bride! Read on for her advice.
1. Chat with your caterer about adding flair to standard recipes.
You guessed it, brides – this means taking the normal items you see at wedding reception meals and tweaking them to shine in a whole new light.
“You eat with your eyes first!” Jade exclaims. She went on explain how grooms are taking more of an interest in the menu selections at weddings these days too, once they know their input won’t be shot down by preconceived presentation issues. Jade details that your caterer should be able to complement the elegant feel of the reception with the presentation of the food, no matter the cuisine. “We take the couple’s favorite food selections and make them fancy enough to please everyone involved,” she explains. The end result? A perfectly happy couple! “He gets his favorite comfort foods, and she gets the unique, elegant flair that she wants to see.”
If you’re wondering what an example of this “flair” may be, Jade describes one that I absolutely love! “When the groom really wants comfort food – like, say, meatloaf and mashed potatoes – we do something a little special to make it upscale,” she details. “We create a meatloaf ‘cupcake’ with mashed potatoes as the frosting.”
Now, that’s a conversation-starting piece, if I do say so myself.
2. Bring in elements of your wedding theme or locale into the food choices.
Adding a nice southern flair to your dishes instantly can pay homage to your background, even if you get married in a big city. Another option is to provide food selections from where you’re going on your honeymoon!
“Take this opportunity to allow yourself and your guests to experience something out of the norm,” states Jade. Your guests won’t soon forget the day! Plus, Jade describes that the caterer who can provide this for you should be flexible and willing to learn new dishes every day. As for Jade and Ted, researching new, ethnic ways of preparing food is a true joy. “I go to the source to learn,” Jade describes. “Whether it’s a home recipe or an ethnic cuisine, I’m always looking to broaden my skills to provide exactly what the client wants, whether that’s a special family recipe or a multi-cultural menu.” She and Ted have even done color-theme weddings, where all foods needed to be a certain color. Whether French, Italian, Brazilian, Jamaican, down-home country cooking or any other food type, they can make it happen.
3. Decorate the catering tables and incorporate elements into the guest tables.
Part of how the food is presented relies solely on how well the catering tables are decorated, so make sure your caterer has experience with this. This is especially true for buffets.
“The experience is really put over the top by how you present the food,” Jade describes. “Make sure your caterer knows what you want, whether it’s accent colors, cutting-edge equipment, modern or traditional looks, and so on.” Jade and Ted first get an idea for your food theme and wedding colors, and then they enhance the table with upscale chaffing dishes and other design elements. “The table is a blank canvas,” she describes, “and that’s also true for each guest’s plate if the bride opts for a seated dinner.”
Carry design elements you see in the catering table through to each guest table too in order to create a cohesive design. As Jade details, “We work to make this happen for each wedding, and we always strive to serve with the spirit of excellence.”
4. Cover all the bases – from appetizers to the entrée and even dessert options.
Each morsel of food should leave your guests longing for more and guessing at what the next bite will be like. Before every meeting with a client to plan out the food choices for the big day, Jade describes that she first asks the bride and groom what kind of culinary experience they’re looking to provide at their reception.
“This celebration is a reflection of you and who you are as a couple,” Jade elaborates. “I go above and beyond to make sure the bride and groom are as happy as possible, from a full tasting beforehand to ensure they love the way everything tastes and looks together to creating to-go boxes for them to take after they leave the reception.” Clearly, the little details are what both you and your guests will remember long after the meal is over!
5. Utilize your caterer’s ideas for interactive stations, passed hors d’oeuvres, and other serving options.
Besides food selection and presentation, how your caterer serves the food at your reception is yet another huge component to how powerful the overall impact will be. Jade describes that this is one of the big components to “eating with your eyes first!”
“I always ask, ‘How do you want your guests to feel during the event?’” Jade explains. “Will the food be your focal point? It’s important to know what is your first and foremost priority with the reception before telling your caterer what you want.” This not only helps you get exactly what you want, but it also allows you to tweak your budget to make sure your dream is achieved without going overboard or having to cut corners.
Having a caterer who understands your vision, who is only happy with the best quality food possible, is what you need for this! Trays should never look scanty and should always be fresh at the temperature that guests want. The better the food quality is, the better the overall impression will be!
6. Be interactive with your caterer.
Don’t ever be afraid to ask questions! Your caterer represents you and your hospitality at your event, so it’s a big deal. “They are your servant,” Jade details, “so don’t be afraid to voice your opinions and ask questions when you’re uncertain about something! They should be more than willing to work with you to personalize your event.”
With Savoy Events Catering, your guests become their guests. The best part? The focus is on the importance of your day – not your budget. Jade describes that everyone and everything should be connected and working together to ensure that your day is as smooth and unforgettable as you dream, whether you have a $1,000 budget or a $10,000 budget. Each wedding is of the same importance and deserves the same care, regardless of budget. In fact, Jade details that she and Ted started by working with budget brides, and that makes up a large quantity of their experience! They can make your dreams come true within the budget you have without pressuring you into expensive decisions.
Jade and Ted source local meats, fruits, and vegetables to give you the highest quality and best tasting food available in a sustainable, eco-friendly way, and they have a goal to give to organizations that give back too, like Habitat for Humanity and others in the future.
Images courtesy of Jade Graves via email.