In Catering Tips, Catering Trends, Wedding Catering

You’re getting married, the venue is decided, you and your significant other’s outfits are ready, your guest list is made, and all that’s left now is the food!

Catering is a major aspect of any wedding; it energizes your guests and makes your happiest of days memorable for everyone!

Now, while the main course is super important, you shouldn’t forget about the appetizers. Appetizers are a great way to get your guests excited for the main course, and they also give them something to enjoy while mingling with each other.

If you have a large guest list, wedding appetizer catering can be a little tough. Luckily, you can always get help from a reliable catering company! So let’s look at what you need to consider when planning appetizers for your wedding and how catering companies can help.

1. Plan Your Appetizer Spread

The first step is to figure out how much food you need for your wedding appetizer catering menu. When you’re expecting a large number of guests, you will naturally need a good amount of food. As a general rule of thumb, decide on 6-8 food items per guest if you plan a one-hour-long reception. If the reception is about two hours, you should consider having 8-10 menu items per guest.

In addition, here are a few other things that you need to consider:

  • The time of day: If you’re having your wedding in the evening, chances are that your guests are going to be hungrier and you’ll need more food.
  • The meal layout: If you plan on hosting a sit-down dinner, you can serve fewer appetizers. But for a more casual reception with just hors d’oeuvres, offer more appetizer options.
  • The flow of events: Consider the length of the ceremony. If there’s going to be a big gap between the ceremony and reception, your guest may arrive a lot hungrier so you may need to have more appetizers on the table.

Make sure to speak with your caterer about the amount of food needed for the wedding. They will know exactly how much food will be needed, ensuring that you won’t order more or less food than needed.

2. Think About Variety

With a long list of guests, it’s always nice to offer a good range of appetizers to satisfy different tastes. Here are some things to consider:

  • Dietary restrictions: Don’t forget to tell your caterer to include some vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. For example, you could ask them to include vegetarian spring rolls, stuffed mushrooms, and vegetable pot stickers, along with some nice dips.
  • Food allergies: If you have any guests who suffer from food allergies, don’t forget to inform your caterer! This way, they can either avoid those ingredients entirely when preparing the food or at the very least, mark the dishes that will contain common allergens.
  • Hot and cold appetizers: This is a great way to keep your guests invested in the appetizers. Add some interesting hot and cold menu options such as sushi rolls, shrimp cocktails, and charcuterie boards with cold cuts, cheese, and fruit to your menu.
  • Sweet and savory options: A perfect combination of sweet and savory is always a hit at weddings! This way, you’ll have some savory dishes such as chicken tenders and pork sliders and some nice desserts such as cupcakes and cookies for your guests to enjoy.

3. Decide on How to Serve a Big Crowd

Here are some tips on how to serve appetizers to a large number of wedding guests:

  • Station power: Set up several appetizer stations around the venue to reduce crowding. Also, this will get guests to interact with each other while they try different appetizers. Make sure to give your caterer details about the venue layout so that they can decide on the best places to put the appetizer stations.
  • Small plate strategy: Use small plates or napkins to stop things from getting messy. This way, the guests will be encouraged to eat just a few bites at a time and, therefore, the food will last longer and there will be no wastage.
  • Platter presentation: Make sure you have all your appetizers arranged on platters or trays that are convenient and easy for servers to use while carrying around. Speak to your caterer about bringing platters with lids as this can help keep the appetizers fresh for longer.
  • Refill regularly: Make sure that your appetizer stations are always full and are replenished regularly. This will ensure that your guests always have food available during your wedding. Inform your caterer about this and remember that they will charge you for food refills.

4. Consider the Presentation

Last but not the least is the presentation. The way your appetizers are arranged can play a crucial role in how your guests view them. Here are some detailed tips to elevate your wedding appetizer spread:

Table Settings and Levels

  • Tiered displays: Placing cake stands, risers, and different-sized platters in the same display will give it a multi-tiered look. This also creates more space and allows for all the appetizers to be placed within easy reach for your guests.
  • Themed tablescapes: Create themed tablescapes for each kind of appetizer and add a fanciful dimension appetizer buffet. For instance, you can use table runners, small decorative boxes, or greenery to set up particular sections for vegetarian, gluten-free, or sweet treats.
  • Mixing materials: Don’t be afraid to play with different kinds of materials for your serving trays. Wooden cutting boards bring a rustic atmosphere, whereas slate platters provide a modernistic look. Also, a glass bowl will make for an ideal vessel to showcase a colorful mix of fruits and vegetables.

Garnishes and Creativity

  • Edible touches: Adding fresh herbs, such as rosemary or thyme, can bring some color and fragrance to the display. Also, placed carefully, the edible blossoms will contribute to the sophisticated look of the dish.
  • Napkin presentation: Fold napkins into fascinating shapes like fans or cones and put them next to the appetizers for guests to pick up. This adds a little touch of style to your wedding appetizer catering spread.
  • Ice sculptures: Although artistically cut ice sculptures are quite expensive, they make an excellent base for seafood presentations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find some commonly asked questions about our wedding appetizer catering menus:

1. Will my caterer let me sample the appetizers before finalizing the menu?

Depending on the caterer, they may allow a taste test. Make sure to ask them about this before finalizing your order.

2. What happens if there are any leftover appetizers?

Talk to your caterer about their leftover policy. Some caterers may offer to wrap the leftovers up for you or your guests.

3. Can I personalize the wedding appetizer catering menu?

In most cases, your caterer will have a set menu for appetizers. The items in these menus are made in a certain way so the caterer may not allow any modifications to be made to their recipe.

Speak to the pros about wedding appetizer catering menus

Your wedding is going to be one of the happiest days of your life, so although planning a good appetizer catering menu can feel overwhelming, that’s where a reliable catering company comes in. They have the experience and know-how to make your wedding buffet one to remember!

So get in touch with a good catering company in Pittsburgh – like Cooked Goose Catering – today!

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Cooked Goose Catering Company 7851 Steubenville Pike
Oakdale, PA 15071

Event Catering: 412-258-5944
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