Marriage and Beyond >> Wedding Planner

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Wedding Planner

WHAT TO ASK YOUR CATERER?
Most catering agencies have fixed menus to offer. Find out if they fulfil your requirements. You can 'mix & match' dishes to suit your liking. However, it would not be a bad idea to adhere to their format and select your preferred dishes from there. Find out about any extra charges so that you are not caught unawares at the time of payment. Seek their opinion since they have more experience than you do. It would be a good idea to put things down on paper as you will be able to compare notes of the various caterers you would have met,before making the final selection. Find out if there are any legal obligations that you may be required to fulfil, especially if you are planning to serve alcohol. The caterer might be able to guide you. Make it a point to have only one staff member of the catering agency attend to your enquiries Ask the person if he/she will be there at the function to ensure that all details are being taken care of. If no, then insist on discussing your plans with the person who will be in charge on the day of your function.

MENU PLANING
It would help to have somebody who is well versed in the culinary arts to guide you while finalising the menu. It could be somebody in the family. Make it a point to discuss the final menu with the chef. It will make you feel all that more confident and the chef more involved in abiding by your suggestions. Select items from your menu and ask your caterer for a food trial. This is especially so if you intend to serve either special dishes or a very traditional cuisine. Invite your core group to give their opinion of the food and to suggest any modifications. Take this opportunity to inspect the crockery, glassware, waiters and such like.

Winters & Summers

  • Chilly winter weddinG evening bring to mind hot steaming cups of coffee and piping hot soups. lndulge your guests with a rich traditional cuisine. Ask your organiser to light a big cheery bonfire and make sure that there are enough coal braziers to light up the night! Hire a specialist bartender to do dustice to all those lovely bottles of Cointreau, Triple Sec. Creme de Mentheet al.
  • A summer wedding? Avoid heavy, rich Indian curries. Opt for a variety of salads and fresh fruit delicacies. Serve light pasta dishes, fresh juices, mocktails, chaat-papri etc. Avoid milk and cream based preparations as they tend to go rancid in the heat have different flavours of ice-cream instead! Go ahead and hire the ice lolly vendor(chuskiwallah) it's a perennial hit with the young and old alike! For the bar, avoid heavy spirits; instead go in for beer, wines, nimbu-pani, spritzers and coolers! A cool refreshing fruit punch will have people raiding your bar counter and yes! do not run out of ice. Make sure that the venue is air-conditioned or has several pedestal fans and desert coolers.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK
Tell the caterer that you would like to attend a function organised by him, prior to your own visit the premises on that day to get a first hand idea of the decor, the waiters' attire etc. Observe whether there are enough of them to ensure a smooth service. Note the food display, cleanliness, hygiene, bins for collecting used plates etc. Check whether the food tastes as fresh as it looks. Take this opportunity to watch how well the car parking is being managed?Are there a sufficient number of attendants? Check tghe bathrooms for cleanliness. Are they manned? A word of caution, however. Since you are attending somebody else's function to do your survey, you should have your caterer accompany you. You could also try asking a few guests whether they are happy with the catering, are well attended to etc. Some catering agencies also take care of light arrangements and decor. If your agency does not, then you will find yourself handling the tent house-wallah, florists, musicians et al. In such a situation, you should have a joint meeting, wherein you discuss your various areas of responsibility. This way, you will know who's doing what exactly, and leave no scope for grey areas. Your catering agency could also be called in to cater to the large number of outstation relatives and friends who would have arrived some days prior to the function. You may do a package deal with the caterer. Remember, higher volumes ensure better rates.

ORDER FOOD IN THE RIGHT QUANTITY
This depends on a lot of factors such as: is the day of your function a very busy date? If yes, you can expect a reduction in the number of guests you have to cater to. A lot of people arrive on the occasion, wish the bridal couple, have a drink or two but do not stay for dinner. Usually, catering agencies work on a guaranteed figure. Check with the caterer as to how much of a margin can he cater to should the number of your guests increase, and the amount of time he would take to make fresh preparations should the need arise. It is better to overstimate than understimate your numbers and save yourself undue embarrassment.

BUFFETS
There are different types of service but the most popular is the buffet system, being the most convenient. The wide variety of snacks are arranged attractively on platter, appear fresh, and are easily accessible to all. Having a 'live' counter where snacks are prepared in front of the guests, adds a lively charm to the event. Salads, main course and dessert are laid out on the buffet so that everyone can have exactly what they want and in quantities to their liking. An important aspect to be mentioned here is that most caterers charge clients on the basis of plates consumed, that is, a certain number of plates are laid out on the buffet counter and the host is charged according to the number of plates. A good tip- have somebody from the family stand at the counter where the plates are bding handed over to guests. It is a wonderful welcome feeling when a guest is handed his plate with a lovely smile from a member of the family. In fact, certain communities do adhere to a charming time tested tradition wherein members of the host's family serve the guests themselves. An advantage of 'plate control' is that the host does not get billed for what the musical band, florist and tent personnel ate.


Marriage and Beyond >> Wedding Planner

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