Expert advice about catering

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Yorkshire Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to


Food for thought

Food for thought

Q. What should we consider when looking at caterers?

A. David Swade says: The wedding feast plays an important part in the day and you want it to be memorable. Here are our top tips for getting it right:

- Budget. A good caterer will work to your budget, whether modest or blowout, but you do need to know a figure before you discuss menu options. Simply divide your budget by the number of guests so you have a price per head to discuss with prospective suppliers.

- Format. Consider your preferred style and timetable for the day. Are you planning a seated meal or a buffet? Will you have two courses or three? Or something quirky like a hog roast?

- Quotes. It's a good idea to get quotes from three different companies. Make sure you have them in writing or by email, not just over the phone.

- Experience. Assuming you've already decided where you're tying the knot, make sure your chosen provider is familiar with it. Find out if they've worked there before and if they know how to get the best from the setting.

- Reviews. Your venue or friends may have recommendations for a caterer. You can also check online for testimonials and feedback. Consider the firm's credentials and the experience of the chef(s).

- Licences and certificates. Check the company has the appropriate legal requirements such as Food Hygiene from the Food Standards Agency and a licence to sell alcohol.

- Staff. When comparing quotes, find out how many staff the company is planning to provide. The higher the number, the better looked after your loved ones will be. Ask how many are employees and how many are drafted in for events. Remember, a professional team that works together all the time is likely to be slicker.

- Sampling. Good caterers will give you the opportunity to try selected dishes to help you make your choice.

- Instinct. If you find a firm to be responsive, friendly, willing to help and keen to make suggestions, then it's likely their passion and service will shine through on the day.

David Swade


Delicious dishes

Delicious dishes

Q. What catering will suit my August marquee wedding?

A. Alice Falkingham says: When planning an outdoor event, your catering options are so exciting and varied. As a bespoke caterer, my first question to couples is always, “What do you like to eat?” Sociability is at the heart of each of our menus, and in summer you want your friends and family to be full of energy for dancing!

I'd suggest a series of tapas-style sharing plates so you can get adventurous with each course. Start with something light such as Italian meats and pickles before diving into a tasty fish course with crowd-pleasing options such as fishcakes or roast salmon. After that, indulge in steak sliders with blue cheese and rocket followed by a pork platter with sticky chorizo sausages, Asian pork shoulder confit and fresh raw mango salad on the side. Finish it all off with a selection of mini desserts.

You'll find that after this, your loved ones will have experienced a fabulous array of flavours, which flow seamlessly between courses. It's so relaxed and sociable – the perfect al fresco dining style.

Alice Falkingham


To dine for

To dine for

Q. What menu would work well for an April wedding?

A. Paul Robinson says: This season has an abundance of delicious, seasonal ingredients. The key trends I'm seeing are foraging, pickling and fermenting. Vegetables prepared in this way have all sorts of benefits to your wellbeing as well as ticking the trendy box. Couples are very focused on what's local, sustainable and healthy.

A spring menu should celebrate the end of the long, cold days by being light, colourful, and most of all, fresh! This is what we'd suggest to wow your loved ones:

- Starter. Seafood is a great way to start a meal as it's light and delicate. We'd suggest a tian of blackened cod, fresh crab, peeled prawns with watercress and sorrel mousse garnished with sour pickled vegetables.

- Main. It has to be lamb served with foraged and seasonal ingredients. We love wild garlic and herb roast spring lamb, nettle-mashed potato, purple sprouting broccoli and mint-pea purée with a rich red-wine glaze.

- Dessert. Finish off with a caramelised apple tarte tatin with clotted vanilla ice cream and hazelnut praline for a delicious showstopper.

Paul Robinson


The food of love

The food of love

Q. We're having an outdoor marquee wedding. What do we need to consider when booking our catering?

A. Lesley Mercer says: Tastes have expanded over recent years and we're seeing more and more al fresco nuptials.

For this style of wedding the perfect catering options would be sharing boards or bowl food – as chosen by Harry and Meghan at the recent royal wedding. Social dishes offer more variety and can be themed to suit every taste. Another option is a cheese-grazing table for the evening – think an array of cheeses, chutneys, breads, fruit and crispbreads – just help yourself and indulge!

To enhance a rustic setting, we like to go back to nature with our natural props such as tree trunks, wheelbarrows, barrels, crates and even a tin bath. Just because you're in a field doesn't mean you can't have a spectacular gastronomical display.

Limited access to water or electricity shouldn't be an issue for an experienced caterer who will always have a solution. After all, who wants a noisy generator humming in the background of their big day?

Lesley Mercer

When it's time for you look for local businesses to help you with your wedding, take a look at our advertisements below. Most will have links to their own websites. These advertisements are updated regularly so please revisit often and mention Your Yorkshire Wedding when making any enquiries.

Forever To Hold Ltd
The Pretty Little Treat Company
Ray Wade Catering
Forever To Hold Ltd