How To Budget For Your Wedding Catering

BUDGETING

Understanding the many components that make up your catering cost is the first step in building an effective event budget.

We understand this can be an overwhelming process, especially when your first event planning experience may be for something as personal as your wedding.

That’s why our team of seasoned Special Event Planners are here to help!

Every event is unique and receives special attention from our team.

Explore our Budget considerations below, and contact us with your questions.


FOOD

The primary considerations for your reception should include:

How many courses you’d like to offer your guests

What are the options available

The style of the meal

Your menu selections, including Canapés, Multi-Course Dinner and Late Night Snacks, often make up the largest piece of the budget pie.

Our team at Fork + Farm offers a wide variety of cuisines that are often recognized as the best in our area. Explore our menu selections to get inspired for your wedding!


BEVERAGES

Determining the type of beverages you would like to serve is the next step in the budgeting process. Common offerings include:

A Full Bar

Beer + Wine

Specialty Cocktail Station

Non-alcoholic selections only

You may also consider Coffee or Tea service, depending on the style of your event.

Naturally, including alcoholic beverages on your menu will increase this portion of your budget.


SERVICE STYLE & STAFF RATIO

Our reputation is built on providing outstanding service to you and your guests, especially on your special day.

Your event is executed by a varied team of event professionals. This includes:

Chefs who prep your menu in our commissary

Operations staff who manage your event logistics and deliver and set-up your event

The event chefs and service team who personally serve your guests during the event and clean up after a successful event.

The type of service style you select will impact your budget due to the staff-to-guest ratio required to successfully produce your event.

The more complex your menu is, the more staff it requires.

For some full-service events, labour costs may comprise up to half of your catering budget.


EVENT LENGTH

Your event duration has a direct impact on your budget.

Wedding receptions are typically 4 to 5 hours in length.

Therefore, choosing to party later into the night will increase your hourly service costs and extend your food and beverage service.


RENTAL EQUIPMENT

At Fork + Farm, many service ware items including china, stainless flatware, bread baskets and chafing dishes are included in your menu price.

In addition to basic service ware, we have a wide selection of tables, chairs and linens available for your event at competitive rental pricing.

Coordinating these items through your Special Event Planner streamlines your experience and saves you hours of planning and set-up on your event day.


OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

The kitchen facilities at your event location may limit the food selections or service styles we can offer. The set-up of a mobile kitchen space may be required for some venues.

Fork + Farm Catered Events is well-equipped to cater from any location, however rental fees may apply depending on the type of set-up you desire.

Planning the Perfect Wedding Menu

It’s November! The season for hot chocolate, crackling fireplaces, and (our personal favourite) engagements! If you recently gained a little extra sparkle on your left hand you’re probably starting to dream about your big day and begin planning out what you want it to look like. A crucial piece of how your wedding will feel for you and your guests comes from your menu! But before you begin reaching out to caterers (and when you do, give us a call!), take a look at our tips on planning the perfect wedding menu.
 

Pick (and stick to) a budget

 

Wedding planners will warn you away from trying on wedding dresses that are out of your budget, lest you end up pining for a gown that’s more than what you can afford. The same goes when planning your menu- be upfront about how much you’re able to spend on your dining experience; a great caterer will work with you to find a menu and service style that will meet your needs while still delighting your friends and family. We offer a variety of service styles, from a formal, multi-course plated dinner to a lively passed canapé reception with chef and action stations, and everything in between!

#Protip: If you can’t afford an open bar but still want to create a hosted feel, talk with your caterer about having a few bottles of wine on the table for guests, coupled with a toonie or cash bar.
 

Make it Personal

 

We believe food is a great way to tell a story, and your wedding day should be all about telling the story of you and your partner. Did you go out for oysters on your first date? A pop-up oyster bar could be a sweet nod to the beginning of your love story. Was there a specific bottle of champagne you purchased to celebrate your engagement? Why not have that be the bubbly in your guests’ glasses for your first toast? Our chefs love working with couples to find out how we can create a story out of your menu that is as unique as you!

#Protip: Go the extra mile with personalization and ask your caterers about using a food printer to add your initials or wedding hashtag to cookies or other treats!

 

Think Seasonal

 

There’s nothing quite like a rhubarb lemonade in March, or a roasted Brussels sprouts salad in September! That’s because you’re getting these items when they’re in season, which means you get your produce when it’s at its best. At Fork+Farm, we handcraft everything from scratch, so our chefs use only the finest, seasonal ingredients to make dishes filled with the most flavour. Talk with your caterer about what’s in season and how you can get the most out of your produce!

#Protip: Keep in mind that seasonality varies by region! If you’re planning a destination wedding, what’s in season there may be different there from what’s in season here.