Everything You Need to Know About Wedding Reception Catering

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Image: Akshayapatra Catering

Organising a wedding reception can take up a lot of time, attention – and wedding budget! But you can put on an excellent spread at an affordable cost with a bit of forward planning. You’ll want guests to eat well and to cover all of their requirements, whether that’s vegetarian food or catering for allergies. With careful consideration and some knowledge about what your options are, you’ll be able to get great catering without breaking the bank – no need to worry about how to clean a gas stove after cooking yourself for 200 guests!

Wedding reception: Choosing the catering service

There are positives and negatives to different types of catering. Depending of your type of wedding, here are three options to think about when it comes to choosing the catering:

Sit-down meal

how to select your reception caterers

Image: Heera Caterers

This is the classic option, and one that allows you to control costs well. Take your overall budget and work out a cost per head, not forgetting to factor in any additional expenditure for dietary needs. One potential extra cost to consider is waiting staff. The more guests you have, the more staff you will need to pay for.


One of the financial advantages of a buffet is there’s not much need for waiting staff. Whereas a sit-down meal will give guests limited options, a buffet gives you the chance to cater for everyone and offer plenty of choice. However, you may have to pay extra for serving dishes, and you’ll have to pay for a large amount of food, so be careful when planning how much you think you will need. 

Small plates/cocktail party

 If you want a more free-flowing reception, a cocktail party style may be the one for you. As you won’t be paying for a main course or desserts, you can potentially keep costs down. Instead, you’ll present a selection of canapés and small plates. There will be less per plate, but you’ll give guests more choice. However, with a more relaxed eating set-up, guests can be inclined to drink a little more, so pay close attention to your drinks budget. 

Wedding reception: Choosing the caterers

The supplier is a key decision too when it comes to wedding reception catering. You’ll not only want to ensure that the food is what you want, but that you can afford it too!

Caterers for hire

reception catering

Image: Akanksha Caterers

 You might want to go down this route if you have a recommendation or if the venue doesn’t offer their own catering. Make sure you get a detailed quote so that there is no possibility of additional charges down the line.

In-house caterers

The big positive of using in-house caterers is that they will take care of everything. Also, you’ll have their price factored into the overall cost, which will give you an easier overview of your costs. It’ll probably be easier to alter plans as you go with in-house caterers at no extra cost as well. For example, if you’ve got guests with special requirements, talk to your caterer and they’ll be able to come up with suggestions.


This is definitely the cheapest option. You’ll save money by not employing caterers, but do you really want to add to the stress by doing your own food and having to think about how to clean a gas stove before you go on your honeymoon? If this is the option for you, rope in as many friends and family members as possible to help.

Now that you’ve got a good idea about what your options are, and the budget considerations you need to factor in, you can make a plan. Then you can start looking forward to that tasty part of your big day!

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