Thursday, May 9, 2013

Leave The Cooking To The Caterer (and other advice from a professional)

I was on Facebook yesterday, and I saw a sponsored post. Usually I ignore them, but this one had a delicious photo attached.

s'mores bites

Would you be able to ignore that?

Me either.

Turns out, the sponsored post was from BRIDES magazine, saying Peter Callahan of Peter Callahan Catering (who is also the author of the small plates cookbook Bite by Bite), would be on hand to answer questions. If you couldn't make the live chat (which I wasn't able to attend), you could leave a question on the magazine's Facebook page and he would reply.

Of course, I had to post. And I had to tell my friend Erika, who is also getting married next year, to ask a question as well.

Since these answers might help your wedding planning, I wanted to post them here.

My question: We are planning a faux-destination wedding. All our guests will be traveling (we will not). Since the rehearsal dinner does traditionally include out of town guests, we want to invite almost everyone invited to the wedding. With that in mind, we've decided to have a BBQ rather than a rehearsal dinner at a restaurant. Since we don't have friends in the area, we aren't planning on making it a pot luck. We do want to have the majority of it catered, but I was thinking we could do a few items ourselves, preferably desserts or things that I can make before the rehearsal at the church. Any suggestions on what we could make and store and take to the rehearsal dinner. We're thinking that maybe 100 people might show up. Or, should I just leave it all to the caterer? And, in that case, would I order food for 100 people or order for less than 100 because I won't be able to store leftovers.

Peter's answer: always have enough food for maximum number of guests, ad i would make things only that can be made way ahead and frozen like some small brownies that can look chic in 1'x1" size, but really if you have ability for the caterr to amke all, i would have them do it, as you will have so much going on the days up to the wedding, especially with everyone coming in from out of town...

Erika's question: I'm having an outdoor wedding, buffet style. do you do apps buffet style as well or hire a caterer to do passed hors d'oeurves?

Peter's answer: i think small hors d'oeuvres are preferable passed, especially outside with sunlight and bugs, but if its more the feel you want stationary, they can be done that way as well

I am really happy that I was able to ask a professional for advice. See, I found these adorable strawberry shortcake kabobs that I really really wanted to make for the rehearsal dinner. The whole reason I was okay with doing a BBQ is because I wanted to make those for dessert.

But with a professional suggesting that I leave it all to the caterer, I'm going to listen. If it was anyone else who said no, I would have done it out of spite. But a professional, okay, I will concede this battle.

I have a feeling that just made things a lot easier.

If you are planning and you have a chance to do something like this, to ask a professional a question -- free of charge -- do it. It will definitely give you peace of mind and/or point you in the right direction (or show you that you are on the right track with your decision making). Professionals might not know everything, but the have certainly planned more weddings that I have, so I'm definitely heeding their advice.

BRIDAL BABBLE: What answer would you give my question above?

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