Casual food a hot trend at wedding receptions

Lindsay Perout is weddings catering manager for Hilltop Restaurant & Catering and for Windows on the Bay Events.

Question: How far in advance should a couple start planning the food for their wedding?

Answer: The menu planning doesn’t actually have to be very far in advance. We can do things rather quickly. It’s booking the venue and vendors that you want to get the early jump on. Secure your date and then we can work out all the details.

Q: What should a couple consider when choosing a caterer?

A: Budget is No. 1, but you also want to make sure you can do a tasting with your caterer. One of the biggest piece of advice I can give is to plan a consultation and ask questions. I often see people who ask to see the menu and decide based on that. Just remember that the menu for catered events is often a compilation of popular choices, but if there is something different you are looking for, just ask

Q: What are the current trends in wedding catering?

A: I’ve been seeing more people move away from a formal meal and do somewhat casual food. Things like slider bars, ice cream sundae stations and lot of fun finger food.

Q: What are some of unique requests you get for wedding meals?

A: Asking for us to recreate an old family recipe. However I once had a couple that wanted a station with every kind of Gummy available. Bears, worms, frogs you name it. It’s always fun when there is an inside joke amongst the family that comes out in the food.

Q: What if members of the wedding party and or some guests have food allergies or intolerances?

A: As long as we are informed ahead of time, we can make any exception for guests who have specific dietary needs.

Q: What about tableware and table decorations?

A: At Windows on the Bay, tableware and linens are included in the rental. You can choose whatever color you like. You are also welcome to bring in any decorations you desire to help create the look and feel you want for your wedding.

Q: Describe a favorite wedding catering moment.

A: There are so many great moments! At the end of the day, I always get to witness a very special moment in the lives of two people.

There was one time, however, we were making a dish that was “Grandma’s special recipe.” Sadly she had passed before the wedding. Afterward, the bride and grandpa came up to me with big hugs. Grandpa had tears in his eyes and said, “It was like my darling wife blew kisses in the food.” That was pretty incredible.

Q: What kind of food was served at your wedding?

A: Jon and I got married when we were living in North Dakota. We had a very “western country” wedding. We served buffalo roast, chicken, corn on the cob, and a smoked pheasant dip. For our rehearsal dinner we had “pitchfork fondue.” A bunch of cowboys put big steaks on pitchforks and dropped them in a vat of oil for three minutes and tossed them on a metal tray with baked beans, a potato and corn. So much fun!