Booking a Caterer Without Losing Your Appetite! |uk wedding blog

 

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Last week I wrote about keeping it real and getting a grip. Being part of SYGM and being engaged has really opened my eyes to a whole new perspective of the wedding industry, the people in it and how to go about booking suppliers. Today I’ll be blogging about our catering experiences.

I was overwhelmed when I started with the planning process and came across a few too many “wedding lovvies” as I call them. By this I mean, the completely lovely but very obsessed people who had very little humour and took my dry humour quite badly. Apparently jokes about not needing wine glasses as the majority of our friends would drink out of the bottle with a straw didn’t go down too well.

Something that became apparent pretty quickly was the connection you instantly do or don’t have with people. I can’t stress enough how important that connection is and how it should play a huge role in dictating who you choose.

Once we booked the venue we held off on booking any of our suppliers until we’d been to the gate street open day (as I’ve mentioned before that was the only venue we saw and the only wedding fair I’ve been to!) where we had the opportunity to meet the local suppliers available to us. It was brilliant and terrifying at the same time. In amongst the tables of incredible floral decorations, tasty treats and goodie bags we found Kalm Kitchen.

Kalm Kitchen were instantly right up our street with a really cool stand and super friendly staff who gave us a menu which actually stated prices. You’d be amazed at how difficult it is to get prices out of people, which can make your planning come to a complete standstill.

Without much hesitation we gave Kalm Kitchen a call and met with the lovely Jen who organised our tasting for us. She was so brilliant and totally got us. She was friendly, witty and blew us away with her professionalism. The next day an email arrived confirming our tasting date and attached was a rota/schedule of how our day would play out. Wow!!! We went along in October after choosing a selection of canapés, two starters, two mains and two deserts. Oh my goodness. Words cannot describe how blown away we were.

For starters Kalm Kitchen have fabulous premises that just fill you with 100% confidence. We were shown into the tasting room which was incredibly set out with full cutlery, beautiful flowers and a huge glass jug of elderflower cordial brimming with fresh berries and mint! The food hadn’t even arrived and we were overwhelmed! That’s without even mentioning the glass wall which looks into the amazing kitchen where our food was being prepped. I won’t go into detail about our food as I’d be here forever and you’d probably want to raid your fridge straight after! Needless to say, it was magnificent and the chef who brought our food out was so great and really made sure we were happy with everything. The service was way beyond our expectations. We signed on the dotted line and cannot wait to have Kalm kitchen do their thing at our wedding.

Kalm kitchen and Jen are pros – they had invaluable tips for us and were really open with us about how our budget would work with them etc. The moment Jen suggested we should “carb our guests up with evening food after a few too many drinks” we knew she was our kind of girl!

 

So here’s some tips on catering that I can pass on:

– Don’t think you’re being unreasonable asking for prices upfront. We were pleasantly surprised that Kalm Kitchen stated prices on their menu whereas a lot didn’t and can be phenomenally expensive. From my point of view a supplier who is upfront and gives clarity about their pricing is very important.

– Ask their advice. We thought we wanted a hog roast for the evening but we were warned that the pig would basically be roasting away throughout the day in the garden. Not the vision we had for our wedding! Posh bacon sandwiches and cones of fish & chips promptly replaced the pig!

– Are the small things included? Some caterers will bill you separately for table linen, crockery and cutlery. Kalm Kitchen include all of that in their pricing, including staff. Make sure you ask!

– Don’t stress about the meat you go for. For some reason we were worried that choosing a chicken dish would seem like we’d cheaped out. Wrong. Yes we could have blown the budget on steaks or lamb but we know the majority of our guests would actually prefer to eat chicken. Plus Kalm Kitchen do the best chicken I’ve ever eaten!

– Make sure they know the venue. Our caterers know our venue like the back of their hand. It seems they’re there most weekends. It means they know the staff, they know the kitchen facilities and they are familiar with how the venue works. Kalm kitchen will be in charge of turning our venue over from ceremony to wedding breakfast and from wedding breakfast to dance floor. The transition will we seamless and they’ve done it a million times!

As with any supplier you meet and consider booking make sure you get each other. It’s so crucial and will totally put your mind at ease. I’ve had no wedding nightmares about catering yet which I’m sure is down to the fact Kalm Kitchen and Jen have made it such an easy and seamless process.

Good luck with booking yours. It’s daunting as it’s up there with the most expensive part of your day so invest some time making sure you choose the right one.

V x

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