Holding a reception has been a celebratory tradition of weddings down through the centuries, with caterers being integral to making it worry-free for the couple and their families as caterer and staff take over the preparation and serving of the food and refreshments.
Because of their key role they're widely sought-after, which means bookings need to be made well in advance.
Catering needs careful planning whether it is for an outdoor barbecue around a pool for 30 or a formal evening dinner for 130.
The first details caterers require are: the date, the time, the place and the budget. Once these are in hand they can work out a menu suitable for the style of the occasion, and also provide staff, dishes and all necessary utensils.
In the case of a reception to be held at a vineyard, hotel, restaurant, conference centre or private club, catering will be discussed with and attended to by the food and beverage manager.
However, if the choice is a local hall, sports club or a marquee on the lawn of the family home, this is when an independent caterer is called on.
Most caterers in Otago have a few standard menus at fixed prices but are only too happy to discuss specialties which may be able to be worked into the menu, with perhaps some economies elsewhere. Most have a range of prices per head, depending on the type of food to be served and whether it is to be a buffet or a sit-down meal, finger food, a set menu or a-la-carte dishes.