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February 18, 2020

Guest writer Shellie Ferrer gives tips on catering for your big day.

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With engagement season upon us, we reached out to the best event and wedding planners in Utah to see what tips they had to make the catering at your big day the best it can be! Follow our 9 week series and see what they all had to say!  

Shellie Ferrer From Shellie Ferrer Events

Born and raised in California, Shellie called Italy home for many years before returning to her American roots. Today, she is among the most sought-after coordinators in Utah, crafting events and weddings that draw upon Park City’s culture and setting, tucked in the basin of the Rocky Mountains’ Wasatch Range. With more than two decades of hospitality and event experience—including tenure at The Four Seasons—Shellie takes an approach that is equal parts organization and artistry, balancing high-level planning and day-of logistics with creative direction and multisensory details.    

Guests always eat with their eyes first.

Make sure your caterer can make your food as glamorous as the rest of your design. The caterers manage so much at your wedding all your food, bar service, room/table set up and tear down, rentals and many other things upon request. It is important to clarify with your caterers what the look of each item they manage. 

Create surprises in your menu.

Your caterers can create a custom menu for you! When you are designing your menu, think about what elements you can add that would create new levels of excitement at each turn. My favorite is late-night snacks. I will tease the guests as the dancing continues to “look forward to the late-night snacks” as I travel the room. Guests are enthralled to see what comes out next. 

Take the same care with your bar menu as you do with your food menu.

Often beverage is the first thing your guests are looking for when they arrive. Usually, it is the first thing that will touch their lips, and the first interaction they will have with staff, and your decor. So get creative with your bar decor and menu design. Let guests get excited about cocktails (they will drink with their eyes first too!) Feature local ingredients and local distilleries. Utah has lots of preconceptions about bar and alcohol, let your caterer quell any of those concerns and design something spectacular for you! 

Do a tasting.

Many brides skip this step. I think it is so important. So your expectations and visions are mismatched. It's good to see each dish and how it will be served and how your guests will feel after they have eaten the meal. Make sure it all pairs the way you had hoped. The tasting is a great time to make any detailed changes to a menu and style that you would like to see, not the day of. 

Choose the right caterer.

Your caterer will be the largest team onsite for your wedding. Make sure they are the right fit for you and jive with your vision and the day you are creating. Ask lots of questions to make sure they are who you are looking for. Your planner can be of great assistance here. Ask for example photos of what they are selling. Get a feel for what they are bringing to the table. Don't forget to check in next week to see more tips!

20x winner Utah’s Best of State

16x Best of State Caterer

3x Best of the Best / Hospitality

1x Entrepreneur of the Year