Bonnie Plans a Wedding + Questions for My Caterer

A huge congratulations to all who got engaged over the holiday season! December is a popular month for proposals, and as a newly engaged girl myself, I’m starting to see the reasoning behind the ensuing influx of booked caterings and reserved venues. For those of us who are embarking upon our quest to plan the perfect wedding, where do we even start? As one who has never planned a wedding before, I’m finding myself with several important questions that need to be answered before I can move forward.

Your wedding day should be a celebration honoring your new marriage to your beloved, one that is shared by your dear friends and family. In an effort to create an intimate atmosphere that enables a community of our closest friends and family to share in our joy, my fiance and I have perused several wedding venues in search of the right one that aptly reflects our personalities. But even the perfect venue isn’t complete without a delicious meal for our guests to enjoy, in my opinion! After all, some of our best memories with friends and family have been over a tasty meal and a good bottle of wine, so how do I best recreate that atmosphere for our wedding?

In an attempt to better conceptualize what needs to happen for this community-oriented reception, Leah has so graciously agreed to answer my catering questions on Wednesday! I’m hoping that our combination of questions and wedding-related expertise will be helpful to you ladies planning your special day.

  • Practically speaking, I need to determine an appropriate allotment for my budget. What percentage of my funds should I expect to go toward the food and beverages for my reception?
  • I much prefer the idea of a full dinner for my guests, but would heavy appetizers be more cost effective?
  • Will I need to inquire about per person costs versus per items costs with most caterers?
  • Are there any hidden costs I should be aware of that some caterers may try to sneak by me?
  • I’m aware that most caterers are able to bring the appropriate number of plates and flatware – will they be open to listening to my personal preferences and style ideas for place settings?
  • What are some budget friendly, yet tasty, entrees you would recommend for a reception?
  • Which is more cost efficient: a buffet-style dinner or a seated dinner?
  • If there’s a specific dish that I simply cannot envision my reception without, like my grandmother’s chicken and dumplings, would most caterers be open to an outside recipe?
  • I’ve fallen in love with this charming wedding venue but the catering facilities are abysmal – does that really make a difference to my caterer?
  • How in the world can you decorate a buffet table besides slapping a pretty table cloth on it?!
  • I’m dying to have a dessert bar! What are some cute, tasty, AND budget-friendly desserts that you’d recommend?

For my own wedding, I’m pulling inspiration from Southern charm, crisp whites, old burlap and vintage touches. This translates into the food as upscale BBQ like brisket sliders with sourdough buns, ancho chile and BBQ chicken, homemade pies in lieu of a groom’s cake (my fiance hates cake!), and a sweet tea bar with mason jars and vintage striped straws.

Sweets are my biggest weakness, so I want lots of treats available for my guests to munch on. I think a dessert bar provides plenty of options for those who aren’t crazy about cake, as well as giving the guests an opportunity to try many different treats without overloading on decadence. Plus, aren’t they so darling?

With so many options around, I don’t want the decor to be too busy or overwhelming. I believe classic whites, neutrals and touches of burlap will keep the decor light, open and sweetly Southern.

I don’t know how brides planned anything without Pinterest! I found all these lovely images and much more on this wonderful site. If you’d like to see more of my wedding inspiration, feel free to check out my board on Pinterest, too!

What does your dream wedding look like? If you’re in the middle of planning your big day and you have a question you’d like to ask Leah or have some great inspirations you’d love to share, leave us a comment! Be sure to check out Leah’s responses on Wednesday!

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