Wedding Catering 101

“What should we feed our wedding guests?”  

This is easily one of the most expensive questions you’ll ask while planning your wedding.  To get you started, I created an easy three-part guide.  Read on for the details!

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Wedding Catering Step One

You must, must, must have your venue, date & time set in stone.  Like, you paid a deposit and you know without a doubt when & where your wedding is taking place.

Wedding Catering Step Two

Don’t you dare skip down here without finishing step one – I don’t want you dreaming of a food truck wedding and DIY ice cream sundae dessert bar when your venue has no parking or freezers!

IF you’ve got your venue, date & time set in stone, then step two is to brainstorm some reception styles with your fiance, and decide together which suits you.  Some popular options include:

brunch, a luncheon, cocktails & hors d’ouvres, buffet style, family style, or full-blown unique.  Think bento boxes, gourmet picnic bags, food trucks, fondue.  You name it, the sky is the limit when it comes to creative ways to take care of your wedding guests’ cravings!

Wedding Catering Step Three

Research your local area for catering options & make some phone calls.  Availability & pricing will vary greatly based on your location, time of year, etc. 

Wedding Catering Variables

Your catering vision must be compatible with your venue.  Back to our earlier example – you can’t have food trucks if your venue is located smack in the middle of downtown and has ZERO parking.  You can’t have a DIY ice cream sundae bar if you have no access to freezers.  You can’t DIY a fondue meat dinner without access to a refrigerator.  Makes sense, right?

Also keep in mind the time of day & season of your wedding.  No one wants to eat hot chili in Pheonix in July.  No one wants to eat ice cream in Buffalo in January.  And no one wants to eat steak & potatoes and martinis for brunch (well, maybe some people do?)

Listen to today’s show for two bonus listener Q&A’s!  We discussed the logistics of creative catering with 160+ guests, and also some affordable options for appetizers.  You can download & play today’s show here:

And I’ll leave you with my NUMBER ONE tip for controlling your catering budget …


You can hear much more about this in the episode linked below:


And also as promised, a link to the full length show on Food Trucks that aired this past July:


Questions for me about today’s episode?  You can always find me at

Talk soon!  xoxo Kara

wedding planning podcast

Kara Lamerato, Producer & Host of the Wedding Planning Podcast

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