5 things to consider when planning your wedding menu with your caterer

I have to admit. I’m lacking in skills when it comes to fancy food. Yes I can rustle up a cheeseboard of sorts but beyond that I’m totally useless. So I am the last person you want to ask about Wedding Catering! Which is why today I have asked Hawkes Bay catering guru’s Orton Tailored Cuisine to help us out with the in’s and out’s of wedding catering and how to make it memorable…

It is true what they say that the most talked about thing after a wedding is generally the food. When someone asks how the wedding was, the reply is usually a recount of the outstanding lamb or not so memorable salmon.

We may be biased but we like to think of food as one of the highest priorities of a wedding. The caterer and menu is something that should not be left to the default options put forward.

We have taken the time to compile our top 5 considerations when planning your menu with your caterer. Get out that notebook!

Hawkes Bay New Zealand Wedding Catering

1. Your favourites

Think about if you were hosting at home. What would you cook? How you would you present it? Perhaps you would serve a big-shared feast down the middle of the table or immaculately presented individual plates. You may start with a platter laden with local produce or you may choose to not seat your guests formally at the table at all. What is your favourite cookbook, chef or food blog?

All these favourites can be inspiration with your style of menu and sharing this with your caterer ensure you are on the same page from day dot.

Hawkes Bay New Zealand Wedding Catering

2. Your travels

We love this one! It is always an exciting brief when couples share with us their memorable meals from around the globe and request elements of these. Think about food that evokes memories. We are currently working on an entirely Spanish menu for one couple (yes, there are churros to finish!) and we have a wedding coming up who are serving mini hotdogs as a nod to their New York engagement.

Hawkes Bay New Zealand Wedding Catering

3. The flow of your day

Giving though to the run-sheet and how the menu will flow is something not to be overlooked. Consider from start to finish and remember it does not have to be the default Entrée, Main, Dessert. What about Canapes served standing, a seated main, Dessert Canapes handed around the dance floor and then late night snack? Who doesn’t love a pulled pork slider at 10pm or a bag of homemade sea-salt popcorn for the bus-ride home in the wee hours?

Hawkes Bay New Zealand Wedding Catering

4. The details

The food need not stop at the menu. Give some though to the details. Consider the cutlery, the napkins. plates and even the salt and pepper dishes or bread-baskets. Take it one step further and consider the staff uniforms (bow-ties anyone?) and the presentation of food. We had a bride request all food for the mains include edible flowers as garnishes. Our side of beetroot, kale and pea shoots looked incredible with the addition of some bright orange peppery nasturtiums.

Hawkes Bay New Zealand Wedding Catering

5. The drinks

Apply the 4 points above when considering what to serve for drinks at your wedding (this is assuming you are blessed with the flexibility of byo or a venue that bends the rules). 1. What are your favourites? 2. What gems have you discovered on your travels? We have recently served a Malbec from Mendoza (Argentina) – It had a terribly romantic backstory that we encouraged them to share on the drinks menu. 3. Consider timings and the seasons. Pimms post ceremony in summer, Mulled wine in winter and I am looking at you Espresso martini for later. 4. Consider glassware, waterjugs and of course pretty labels help too.

Always come back to the bottom line of YOU (and the fiancé of course) and having a menu and day that reflects you as a couple. Your day. Your way. Churros and all.

Orton is a private catering and event management company operating in the Hawke’s Bay and surrounding areas. Privately owned, Orton has an unmatched reputation for excellence in everything it does, offering exclusive access to some of the region’s most spectacular venues.

To find out more visit www.orton.net.nz