When it comes to the biggest investment you make in your wedding day, it’s almost always the food.

And with good reason. Not only does the food anchor a great event, but sitting down to a meal with all your favourite people in the world is a pretty special thing. (Not to mention the fact that hungry guests don’t really make for good company on the dancefloor!)

Planning a reception dinner (or wedding breakfast as it’s known here in the UK, because it’s the first meal a married couple shares together!) can be daunting. Not only are you trying to cater for potentially dozens of different tastes, but this isn’t any old meal, so you want to make it truly special.

Luckily, help is at hand.

10 Expert Tips To Make The Most From Your Wedding Catering | Social Pantry | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 13

 Photo by Cat Mayer Studio via Bridal Musings

Social Pantry is a London-based caterer, who provide fresh, seasonal and delicious food served in stylish ways.

They pride themselves on creating beautiful food for beautiful occasions and know exactly how important it is to ensure everything is just perfect for an event as memorable as your wedding day.

So, who better to guide us through how to make sure all your guests are well-fed, how your caterer can take your edibles up a notch, and the one, often overlooked element, you need to leave room in your budget (and your belly) for.

Over to you Social Pantry…

Social Pantry’s Top 10 Tips To Create The Perfect Wedding Breakfast

10 Expert Tips To Make The Most From Your Wedding Catering | Social Pantry | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 15

Photo via Social Pantry

1. Opt for Seasonal

10 Expert Tips To Make The Most From Your Wedding Catering | Social Pantry | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 21

Photo by Two Bird Studio via Bridal Musings

Everyone wants their wedding food to be absolutely perfect, and what’s more perfect than serving your guests deliciously seasonal food?

Being in season not only means that your food tastes better but also that the ingredients are readily available locally.

Keeping it seasonal will ensure your menu is cost effective and also means you’re getting the ingredients at their best. A seasonal menu will make sure you are off to a good start.

2. Make a Budget

10 Expert Tips To Make The Most From Your Wedding Catering | Social Pantry | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 16  10 Expert Tips To Make The Most From Your Wedding Catering | Social Pantry | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 17

Photos via Social Pantry

Having a food budget is very important for your wedding breakfast, not only for you but also for the caterer.

It’s easier for caterers to bring together a perfect menu for you if they know how much you’d like to spend on the food.

Any caterer can prepare brilliant menus at all budgets, once disclosed you can let the caterer present different, fun and exciting options to choose from. Think of it as another thing off your plate (and then back on it!).

3. Tie in a Theme

10 Expert Tips To Make The Most From Your Wedding Catering | Social Pantry | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 27

Photo by Dmitri & Sandra via Bridal Musings

Adding a slight theme to your wedding is what really makes it special for you as you can stamp some individuality on your day, and having the food and catering match your vision will make your day extraordinary.

Once you have a clear theme in mind, be it a British Brunch or a Californian Dream, share this with your caterer so they can reflect the food to your tastes.

4. Tot Up The Numbers

10 Expert Tips To Make The Most From Your Wedding Catering | Social Pantry | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 4

Photo by James Frost Photographic Services via Bridal Musings

This is undoubtedly one of the most important things to know when planning your catering; how many people are going to be there.

Even if you don’t know exact numbers, it’s really useful for the caterers to know what size wedding you’re having.

Smaller weddings mean you can afford to be a bit more adventurous and extravagant with how much you’re spending per person, whereas a larger wedding often works brilliantly with delicious sharing platters or a buffet.

5. Think About Hiring

Photo by Studio 1208 via Bridal Musings

Something that ties together the theme of your wedding well is the place setting; this includes plates, cutlery, and glasses – anything to do with food that you can’t eat.

Not everyone knows that the caterers are in charge of providing these, so it’s important not to overlook the cost for us to hire these, especially if you want something extra special to fit with your theme.

Rose gold cutlery is a definite theme amongst some of our weddings this summer.

6. Don’t Forget Dietary Requirements

10 Expert Tips To Make The Most From Your Wedding Catering | Social Pantry | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 18

Photo by Sarah Kathleen Photography via Bridal Musings

It’s very important to check on your guests dietary requirements when asking for the RSVP.

We get lots of comments on how brilliant the vegetarian or gluten free options were, and all caterers will know how to spoil these guests as well.

Have a quick check around with your guests what’s required then let your caterers know so they can organise a delicious feast for all your guests.

7. Feed Your Suppliers

10 Expert Tips To Make The Most From Your Wedding Catering | Social Pantry | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 3

Photo by James Frost Photographic Services via Bridal Musings

It’s your wedding, and the people who are supplying the music and taking the photos are there to put the icing on the cake (not literally, leave that to us caterers).

However it’s important not to forget that these lovely people need feeding too.

This is known as “outmess”, and it’s just simply providing meals for those who are a part of the wedding workforce.

8. Sharing is Caring

10 Expert Tips To Make The Most From Your Wedding Catering | Social Pantry | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 22

Photo by Two Bird Studio via Bridal Musings

It’s a well-known saying, and one that is particularly relevant at bigger weddings, “sharing is caring”.

Having large platters or a buffet at your wedding is the perfect solution if you’re struggling to think of how to provide a sit down meal for all of your guests.

Plenty of your favourite meals can be made bigger and into sharing dishes, or you could bring something delicious and different like a meat carving plate; very on trend and always appreciated amongst guests.

9. The Finishing Touches

10 Expert Tips To Make The Most From Your Wedding Catering | Social Pantry | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog 5

Photo by James Frost Photographic Services via Bridal Musings

Adding the finishing touches to your wedding really makes a difference to the overall feel; they’re what people notice and what they remember.

Adding a simple bow to the back of your chairs would grab someone’s eye, and your food shouldn’t be any different.

There’s plenty of little fun extras or final touches you can add to your menu, why not pop on a fresh, seasonal and fun soup shot between the starter and main or provide a refreshing granita before dessert.

Little additions here and there can leave a great lasting impression. 

10. A Midnight Snack

Colorado-Ranch-Wedding-Lauren-Fair-Photography-Bridal-Musings-Wedding-Blog-52

Photo by Lauren Fair Photography via Bridal Musings

We’ve all been there; after a long night of dancing and drinking there’s nothing better than the wafting smell of a bacon and brioche bun or slow roasted pork bun on offer.

Weddings are no different; it’s becoming a common thing (and so it should!) that weddings offer midnight snacks; this could even be something as simple as a mini burger, cheese toastie, cone of salty chips or warm vanilla doughnut.

People love these fun food offerings, so make sure you leave enough in your budget for these night time nibbles. 

Photo by Alyssa Wilcox Photography via Bridal Musings

Such great tips, I love the idea of creating a theme and applying to your food, it adds such a fun twist on a simple meal. And sharing style is so cool too for creating a really familial, social feel!

Thanks so much to the team at Social Pantry for sharing their expert advice. For more inspired ideas for your wedding catering (and to check out their gorgeous food) visit the Social Pantry website, and follow them on Instagram and Facebook.

Check out our Step-by-Step Planning Guide for more Practical Advice.