Photography by AL Gawlik Photography
For many brides-to-be, the first time they’ve worked with a caterer is during the wedding planning process! To make things a little less daunting we sat down with Austin wedding caterer Verde’s Catering to get their expert advice on all things wedding food – yum! Read on for their expertise including a sneak peek into the delicious cuisine featured at Austin couple Claire + Andrew’s sweet soiree. Cheers!
What are some of the most important things for couples to keep in mind when choosing a caterer?
I would say key points when choosing your caterer is knowing what is important to them. Whether that be value for the food or quality of food and service. Sometimes it is too good to be true; but not all the time. Also, a very important part is knowing what the catering company is offering or bidding you. So making sure you are reading over the complete bids from top to bottom and being aware of their policies and knowing exactly what they are providing to you. Catering is a broad spectrum term. So not looking just at the bottom line price, look through and notice if it includes your labor, bar tenders, dishes/rentals, full set up and clean up. Catering can extend much further than just bringing in the food. It is good to know what style of meal you are seeking as well. Some are buffets, plated seated, family style, or stations. Or possibly a mixture of any of those. The caterer can usually lead you in the right direction especially if they know a budget ahead of time. But know your budget; when you talk about budget figure out if you are wanting just a food number or are you looking at the whole package. Not having to clean up at the end of your wedding is a nice touch. So knowing these key points is helpful.
Talk about the process of choosing and finalizing a wedding menu:
Keep an open mind, your caterer will have a good idea of what flows and what works but will keep your ideas in mind as well to make sure you are getting the experience and visions you are seeking. The know their food best usually and can lead you to what may work best. We offer complimentary tastings for our couples or clients that are a one on one experience. I believe this is important so both parties have a chance to ask questions and enjoy their first experience with us. Most companies have a “style” type menu. I know Verde’s will take your ideas and put their flair on it. If you have ideas ahead of time before your tasting I always ask so that our chef can be prepared for your tasting. But our tasting menu is extensive enough that some times ideas come after the tasting, or just love our ideas and food with no changes!
How did you work with Brides of Austin featured couple Claire and Andrew to make their dream wedding food a reality?
For this beautiful couple and family we blended our ideas and food to fit their visions. Everyone brought something to the table essentially and we pulled it together. They wanted a carving station no matter what when they came in, and since we offer some many nice grilled proteins it was a great fit for us and we could do it effortlessly. We offered a pork loin that looked the best being carved and filled the plate nicely. They liked both the sauces we offered and they could not decide between the two so they chose both for each guest to choose which sauce they would prefer. They loved the idea of their guests being able to make that decision. Our buffet lines are always served by our staff. This is to help with flow, portions control, and ultimately is a nice blend of having your guests served without paying the for table side service. We like doing buffet lines so that the wedding evening can move along to the remaining festivities for the event without making dinner be too long like with other styles. People always love that they have someone serving them and being informed about what they are eating. Another important aspect for this couple was they were getting married at a vineyard and wanted items that had the vineyard feel. So we offered some traditional (with the Verde’s flair) hors devoures. So items like heavy and light cheese and fruit display and prosciutto wrapped dates. Additionally, we did a guacamole action station personalized for each guest, and a few passed appetizers. Their bar was another important highlight was their bars. We provided all their mixers, garnishes, glassware, sodas, and ice needed; and they provided me with their alcohol and the drink recipes they preferred.
What catering trends are you loving at the moment?
I think I always enjoy to see what each couple chooses to do with their dessert options. It is so diverse across the board. Whether it is a traditional cakes option or dessert station with many options, or just doing an individual item that they both just love to represent themselves. All are fun. I enjoy it when couples choose to incorporate Verde’s items in with their special presentations.