Our Catering Sales Manager Eric was recently on a live chat session with several brides-to-be answering all sorts of wedding-related questions, and we decided to post some of the highlights of that discussion.
Quick background on OBXBrides.com, from their homepage
“Brides converse with other brides, like yourself, in forums and chat rooms that are 100% dedicated to OBX weddings. We also provide scheduled live chats with OBX wedding professionals on a variety of Outer Banks wedding topics and the best local resources…” – Check them out: obxbrides.com.
Let’s go to the chat:
On What to serve Vegetarians at Weddings?
Question: Tiffany says Hi Eric, I have a lot of vegetarians but i’m not so I don’t want it to dominate my reception. what can i have for them?
Eric K. says Tiffany, you can make a menu that includes many items, both vegetarian and not, that will suffice the vegetarian needs. If you can identify the vegetarian individuals, have your caterer make up a veggie entree to give to them.
Question: tiffany says you mean like a plated dinner instead of them going to the buffet?
Eric K. says Tiffany-you could have a buffet dinner and offer the vegetarian a plated meal. The kitchen should be more than happy to be attentive to your guest’s needs. Have vegetarian offerings like a lot of veggies, portabello mushrooms are always good, maybe a vegetarian paella that all guests would like.
On charging for catering tastings:
Question: karly says are tastings something that every caterer does, and do we give them a heads-up on what we like before we set that tasting up?
Eric K. says Karly-tastings vary by caterer. Some charge, some don’t. Find out before you go in so there is no awkward moment at the end of the tasting. Some like to make a menu out of the ingredients they normally have on hand in the restaurant, some caterers will make whatever you want. It’s important to communicate with your point of contact before you arrive for your tasting.
Question: karly says is it too much to ask if my parents want to attend the tasting as well?
Eric K. says Parents are definitely an integral part of the wedding and the planning process. A lot of them are paying, after all. Parents should be invited to the tasting. Expect them to be charged a nominal amount to cover food cost and labor. Additionally, if one of the restaurant servers is taking care of you during the tasting, don’t forget to give them a gratuity for their efforts.
(The Red Sky Cafe is currently offering free tastings for brides-to-be)
On bar packages for weddings:
Question: Mollie says i am new at this chat stuff but i’ll give it a try. we want to provide our own alcohol to save money but i think it could be a huge hassle and so i want to know what you think and have seen at events?
Eric K. says a lot of people are providing their own beer, wine, and or liquor. You can save $$$, but remember that you have to buy it, transport it to the wedding venue and be responsible for it at the end of the night. It’s a matter of how much work you want to do on your wedding day, and accept the responsibility. I would suggest, at a aminimum, that you hire your caterer to provide the non alcohol beverages, fruit, juices, water, etc. Do you really want to get all this stuff at the store, cut fruit, etc etc?
Question: Mollie says no i don’t want to do all of that and it seems like it would take a lot of ice and coolers and stuff like that too. so maybe we could just have it on hand for the rehearsal dinner night and then let the caterer bring it for the reception? Or we could bring the liquor and caterer bring all the bulky stuff like wine, and beer?
Eric K. says mollie-a bar package would normally include ice and coolers, etc. -if your caterer offers this type of package. If it’s me, I would buy my own beer and wine for the rehearsal and hire the caterer to serve it and the other non alcohols. For the reception, get a price for beer and wine per person, including bar set-ups and provide the liquor yourself. Remember, not all caterers will allow you to provide your own beer, wine and liquor, and usually facilities that sell beer, wine and liquor will not allow you to bring your own.
Question: Julia Roberts says I am only going to have 1 day to interview caterers in person, and meet with them.I am planning on meeting with 4 or 5 prospects, and I’m looking at websites, menues, etc . What are the “must ask” questions, and what should I look for as I have so little time to spend w/them in person.
Eric K. says julia-make sure you like the food, make sure you get along with the point of contact person. Have phone conversations, make appointments (phone and in person) and make sure they are present for them. You don’t need to make your decision on the first impression. Take the time to make sure you get to know who you are dealing with, that they’ll respond to your needs, adapt with your changes and not sell you a “billl of goods”
Eric Kallestad is the most knowledgeable person when it comes to organizing beautiful Outer Banks weddings. His connections with the top local vendors are priceless, and brides continue to contact him years after their wedding whenever they need any Obx info.
You’ll always be in safe hands with the Red Sky!