Read what guest bloggers, Renzo & Sherree Hamblin from Hamblin’s Catering, have to say about creating a fabulous wedding food experience.

The recipe to success for any great party is delicious food and your wedding day is no different.  Today’s culture is very food-focused. We photograph our food and post pictures of beautifully plated dishes on Instagram. Food – and how it is presented – has become a fully integrated part of the whole wedding experience.

Your wedding day is an opportunity to get creative with your menus, serving styles, cocktails and drink offerings. Just like all the other aspects of your day, your menu should be personal and reflect things you love. A close working relationship with your caterer is essential for an inspired wedding food experience.

These tips will help you make the right catering decisions for your big day:

(1)  Research your wedding venue 

Some venues only offer inhouse catering, which is not a problem if you love their menu and style of cooking. If you have your heart set on a particular dish, or caterer, make sure to ask your venue if they will permit outside catering.

Waitress serving canapes in bamboo cone

(2)  Decide on a food service style that suits your overall wedding theme


Option 1: Buffet



  • This option offers the greatest variety of dishes to your guests
  • It is often more economical
  • Encourages mingling
  • Beautifully presented food is very appealing
  • Food stays hot



  • Guests may have to stand in a long queue for food
  • It generally takes longer for everyone to dish up and eat
  • What looked beautiful at the start of the buffet looks less lovely by the time the fourth wave of guests has passed through the buffet station
  • A self-service buffet is not seen as covid-friendly


Option 2: Plated



  • Being waited on adds sophistication to your event, which makes this the best option for a more formal dinner
  • There is no (or less) wasted food
  • The timing and flow of your wedding can be better managed
  • Being served by a professional wait team is a more covid-friendly option
  • Beautifully plated meals add a WOW factor to your day – everyone remembers the food!



  • Limited menu
  • RSVPs and dietary restrictions need to be requested from guests and communicated to your caterer well ahead of the day. This is a lot more admin for you.
  • This can be a more expensive option

Formal plated dinner at Netherwood Wedding Venue

Option 3: Family style / table boards



  • This is more formal than a buffet but less formal than a plated meal
  • Great for casual and light-hearted events
  • Encourages interaction
  • Guests can control their own portions
  • Allows a selection of food choices and beautiful presentation can enhance table decor



  • If sitting at a table with strangers, this may prove uncomfortable
  • Similarly to a buffet option, this is not covid-friendly, unless seating is well planned in family groups
  • Décor may be restricted to allow space for food items
Option 4: Food stations / Cocktail bowl food



  • Fun, casual and adventurous
  • Allows guests the opportunity to sample a variety of diverse taste flavours
  • Eliminates long, drawn-out seated dinners and encourages mingling
  • Offers an alternative to one big meal
  • Themed presentation adds some fun



  • Guests may expect larger portions
  • Stations will need to be replenished by service staff and if you are wanting to keep it covid-friendly, you will need your food areas to be manned by staff too
  • Higher proportion of staff required for excellent service

Canapes served individually in glasses

(3) Discuss your budget with your caterer upfront

To avoid disappointment, share your budget with your caterer. Being open about what you can afford allows your caterer to manage your expectations. A professional caterer will have the necessary experience to tell you if they can’t meet your expectations within your budget. If you are promised the moon on a silver platter, for a ridiculously inexpensive rate, you may be in for a nasty surprise when either the food, or the bill, arrives.

10 Questions to ask your catering company


(4) If your food is an important part of your day, tell your photographer

Often beautiful food is not properly photographed. If your meticulously planned menu is a key part of your day, share this with your photographer to ensure that they schedule this on their shots timelines and capture the culinary greatness.

Here’s wishing you and your guests a fabulous wedding food experience… Bon appetit!

Guest blog by Renzo & Sherree from Hamblin's Catering