Contact Us • 815/895-4797 • pinesinfo@gmail.com

Choosing Your Food Vendor

By Emily Capdevielle

 Depending on where you have your reception, you may not have a choice but to use the in-house caterer. In any event, you do need to consider what kind of food options you will be providing to your guests. If you do not have an option to use an outside caterer, make sure you go over those details before you book the place. You wouldn’t want to reserve a venue that only serves meat when you along with your family might be vegetarians. Follow these guidelines to make you and your guests do not go hungry on your wedding day!

 Food allergies: If you know of many people having food allergies, it may be wise to ensure that your venue or outside caterer has options to accommodate for those people. According to the Health Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), eight types of foods account for 90 percent of all food-allergy reactions including cow’s milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soybeans and wheat. While it may be hard to figure out alternatives that exclude these foods, having a caterer that has a larger menu may be better than one that is more selective. That way those who have food allergies have options to choose from. As food allergies are becoming more prevalent, some caterers may also have the option to provide special dishes for those guests.  Simply ask! According to Food Allergy Research & Education, Inc., researchers estimate that up to 15 million Americans have food allergies so this guideline isn’t one to be overlooked!

Non-Meaters: Having a vegetarian option for the guests who do not eat meat is pretty much a standard these days. If you know that more of your guests would opt for a vegetarian dish, have creative options that may satisfy your guests more so than just a boring salad. The vegetarian option is usually less costly than a huge steak entrée so you might as well make it sound more appetizing! A vegetarian lasagna, stuffed eggplant or stuffed Portobello mushrooms with grilled vegetables are options you may want to explore for your guests. It is always proper etiquette to provide some sort of vegetarian option whether it be for those who choose not to eat meat for moral or health reasons.

 Kid-Friendly: There is usually a kid-friendly food option with most caterers, although it’s not something you should assume without checking first. If kids are invited at all to the wedding, you may want to go with simple options such as chicken fingers or macaroni and cheese that would cost half the price of a normal adult meal. If you have a lot of guests with kids, also think of special dessert items or beverages. For the most part, food caterers tend to have an age limit for the children’s menu that is typically 12 and under. Even if you only have a few kids attending the wedding, offering a kid-friendly option has many benefits including saving money and keeping the little ones happy by providing simple and familiar foods.

 By keeping an open mind and giving your guests more food options, they will thank you later and will have even more energy to show off their moves on the dance floor! Check out our wedding vendors!