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What to Look for When Hiring a Wedding Caterer in Toronto

What to Look for When Hiring a Wedding Caterer in Toronto

Food and drinks play a significant role in ensuring that your guests leave your wedding with a memorable experience. They will also account for one of the most considerable portions of your budget. According to a wedding planner, the rule of thumb is the venue, food, bar, and staffing costs are about 50 percent of your overall budget when planning a wedding in Canada. 

Whether you prefer a sit-down dinner, cocktail hour with passed appetizers, or a hot buffet, finding the perfect caterer is the first step. It’s essential to prioritize the process of selecting a wedding caterer, as your choice of caterer can set the tone for your event. 

Hiring a wedding caterer might seem challenging, especially in a city like Toronto, where you can access many catering services. Fortunately, we can simplify the process by breaking down all the essential aspects you must consider when hiring a wedding caterer in Toronto, like McEwan Catering, for a successful event.

Let’s get started!

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11 Must-Haves For A Classic Reception Your Guests Will Always Remember

Must-Haves For A Classic Reception Your Guests Will Always Remember

Planning a wedding reception is exciting and daunting at the same time. This is the event that your guests look forward to, which demands you plan it well. When done right, wedding receptions are very memorable, and you do want your guests to remember yours fondly.

If you are a creative person, there is plenty you can do at your wedding reception. People remember unique wedding reception themes best. However, the cost climbs quickly with each idea you implement. Nonetheless, there are certain essentials for a reception that you shouldn’t overlook. Let us look at these wedding reception essentials that you must have to guarantee a good day.

Outdoor wedding reception

An Original Theme

There are plenty of original ideas you can adopt for your wedding day. Nonetheless, as a couple, you should be able to identify with the theme you choose. If you think of it, specific pieces are more trendy than others in each season. Every year, from the Great Gatsby theme in 2015 to vintage glamour in 2017, it introduces us to new and exciting pieces. While there is no harm in picking one of these for your wedding, ensure you do something special with it. In other ways, you should ensure you make it your own. Although you will find inspiration in magazines, on the internet or even at other weddings, try to add your unique touches to the theme you choose.

Avoid a cookie-cutter wedding by adding a personal flavour to the theme, whether with the colour palette, patterns or details. Or better still, stay away from the trends and find a theme that reflects who you are as a couple. It could be based on your hobbies, what you like to do together or even on your love story.

The Perfect Venue

The term “perfect” is subjective, for different factors appeal to other couples. However, let us concern ourselves with the wedding guests for now. In their eyes, the perfect venue will be easy to find, comfortable to settle into and welcoming with its ambiance and décor. This venue should also have enough space to accommodate your entire guest list. It shouldn’t be too cramped but should have enough room for lounging, dancing and relaxing.

Apart from these factors, the venue must match the theme of your wedding. Only then will it become the perfect backdrop for your event. Since the choicest media tend to get booked quickly, this should be one of your priority wedding planning tasks. Therefore, start looking at potential venues as soon as you decide on your wedding theme. For more tips on choosing the right platform for your reception, visit this post on the Brides website. 

Garden Themed Wedding

Delicious Appetizers

A few signature appetizers are all it takes to nail that first impression. After all, the entrees give your guests a heads-up of what to expect in the food and drink department. Even while the rest of the meal is standard fare, interesting appetizers can pep up the menu. Small, bite-sized food items make a strong impression. It is also the best way to serve your favourite dishes if they aren’t suitable as the main course.

Don’t forget to make the presentation of your entrees impressive. This will add to its appeal, and your guests will be amazed by the attention to detail. Make the entire set-up festive and fun by adding a few unique drinks to the mix. If you want some inspiration to get the ball rolling, here are some ideas on the Brides website. 

Impressive Décor

Your wedding reception décor creates the first impression of the event that follows. So, don’t hesitate to pull all stops to make it striking. Of course, depending on your budget, there are different ways to bring your theme alive. The good news is that you will come across numerous options with unique personalities and flavours with a bit of research and planning.

wedding decor

While there is no harm in DIY-ing most details, it can tax your time and effort. In all-inclusive wedding packages, the décor is usually taken care of. However, you can always add small signature touches to this and ensure your wedding has its elements. If you have hired a wedding planner, you have the right person on board to guide you with the right décor that works within your budget and has the impact you desire. One important thing to remember is that it is easy to go overboard or become overwhelmed with the many different options available. Stop when you find the right balance, and don’t add too many details that will end up being lost in the clutter.

Beautiful Centerpieces

Centrepieces are an essential element in wedding décor. However, these are also more important than most of the other items in your décor. This is because your guests will be seeing the centrepieces up close for a significant part of the evening. So, the better you execute it, the more impressive it will be. While your centrepieces should follow the theme, you can add unique touches to give it a signature effect.

Exercise your creativity and vary the designs across the tables for more appeal. Whether you choose towering centrepieces or ones that spread out, make sure the arrangement is neat and give each item its space. The centrepieces should also be high up or below eye level, not obstruct the view. Finally, don’t overdo the details. Since your guests will sit close to it, it can look cluttered if there are too many details.

A Great Menu

Just as with signature appetizers, a good menu will make the wedding memorable. Food is one of the things that your guests will look forward to most. So, don’t disappoint. Find a caterer who consistently delivers and has the equipment, resources, and knowledge to perfect your chosen menu. Don’t forget to match the food to the theme in terms of colours, flavour or choice of dishes. This will tie it to the wedding beautifully. Also, pay attention to the presentation. It doesn’t matter how tasty an item is; if it doesn’t look good, it will fail to create the right impression.

Don’t forget to find the right mix of drinks for the meal you plan. Since drinks complement the meal, choose them carefully. Remember that your guests will have different palates and varying preferences. Keep this in mind and choose a variety of dishes and drinks so there is something to please everyone.

food catering

Great Music

The entertainment for the evening can make or break your wedding reception. So, don’t skimp on this part. Whether you hire a band or a DJ, make sure you check reviews and watch a CD or attend one of their actual performances. It would be best if you were confident that they would keep the group entertained all evening long.

When hiring entertainment, remember that your guests will be from different age groups with varying likes and dislikes. So, plan your playlist in such a way that there is something for everyone. For example, mix new and fast numbers with classics so that everyone can join in the fun. Also, remember that the bandleader or DJ will primarily handle the announcements of the different events like cutting the cake and the first dance. So, coordinate with this person to make sure your reception progresses as per schedule. Also, discuss your specific do’s and don’ts and ensure that the guests have a good time with no unexpected issues.

Exciting Entertainment

Games are a great way to break the ice and to help your guests enjoy the evening. It is also a way to get bored guests involved keep themselves busy between events. Please make a list of games that will appeal to all, whether they are young or old. Consider space constraints when making your choice. While certain games like musical chairs can be played indoors and outdoors, it requires plenty of space.

guest happy at wedding

You will also have to coordinate with the wedding party in advance to make sure the games progress smoothly. Brief them on what to arrange, where to be and what to do, so they know their roles. This will help the event to proceed without hitches and your guests to have fun.

Good Service

You may have good food and a beautiful presentation, but the service matters too. Unless catering arrangements at your wedding progress smoothly and on time, your guests may end up dissatisfied. Make sure you discuss this factor with the team in action.

If your guests pick their food from a pre-defined menu, ensure everything is recorded and done correctly. There may be guests with specific dietary requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure their needs are adhered to. So, cross-check this with the catering manager. Prompt and cordial service and pleasant staff will ensure your event progresses smoothly and your guests are happy with how the day turns out to be.

Exciting Photography

After your wedding day is long gone, the photos will remind you of the fun day that it was. Have your special day documented in full style by hiring the services of an efficient and talented wedding photographer. He should make it a point to cover all the guests at the event. This will serve as a reminder of all those who attended this momentous occasion in your life.

While the photography should be fun, it shouldn’t compete for time with the rest of the events. No guest will like to attend an event where they barely get to chat with the couple. Discuss this with your photographer in advance. Set up specific slots of time during the day that you can dedicate to taking photographs. Also, discuss how you want your photos to look, and your photographer can plan his shots to reflect your taste. For more ideas on what to look for in a wedding photographer, look at this article on The Knot

wedding photographer

Interaction With The Guests

Although it is your special day, you must acknowledge all those who participate in it. Irrespective of whether a guest flew in from a distant location for your wedding or just stepped in from next door, what matters is that they made it to your wedding. It is only suitable that you spare a few minutes to chat with each of them and thank them for their time and effort.

You and your spouse can pop by at each reception table and engage in small talk with the guests. Say your thanks, give a few compliments and be courteous. Keep it brief and move on to the following table after few minutes. You can then cover the entire lot in a minimum time. Your guests will appreciate this small dose of attention.

Planning a wedding is a detail-oriented, time-consuming and laborious task. Several details can make or break an entire wedding planning event. Nevertheless, with proper planning and execution, a wedding can progress smoothly from start to end.

At Best for Bride, we try to relieve the bride’s stress to a great extent by giving her all she needs for her wedding under one roof. From bridal dress collections to bridesmaids’ dresses, mother of the bride dresses, bridal accessories, emergency kits and more, we have all you need for your special day. So take a look at our website and see what we have to offer.

FAQ – Wedding Reception

What is the difference between a wedding ceremony and a wedding reception?

The objective of each function is the most significant distinction between the wedding ceremony and the wedding reception. The objective of the wedding ceremony is to legally and officially marry the couple. The wedding reception, on the other hand, is a gathering to commemorate the couple’s union.

When it comes to wedding receptions, what is the standard order?

The best man usually speaks first, followed by the maid of honour and parents of either spouse (traditionally, the father of the bride speaks first, although any parent/host can speak).

Is a wedding reception lasting 4 hours long enough?

Cocktails, food, toasts, and, of course, dancing are all part of a normal wedding reception, which lasts around 4-5 hours.

Is it a party at the reception?

A wedding reception is a gathering conducted after a wedding ceremony as hospitality for people who have attended the wedding, thus the term reception: the couple receives society for the first time as a married couple in the form of family and friends.

What exactly is a reception gown?

A reception dress is a separate gown worn by the bride for the reception. This is a great wedding trend since it allows you to wear a comfy, beautiful outfit while yet maintaining a more formal appearance for the ceremony (and your photos).

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6 helpful things to know before you start wedding planning

Now that you are newly engaged and finished celebrating your engagement party with your dear folks, are you all set to dive into wedding planning? Just wait a second! There are certain things that you should be aware of, before you start wedding planning. These will help you save a lot of money, as well as make your planning process a lot easier.

Today, let us take a look at a handful of helpful tips to use when planning your wedding. Trust us, it will save you a lot of confusion and regrets later. And, here they are!

1.Booking the venue—what to remember

castle venue

While factors like matching your wedding theme, the ease of reaching the location and number of people it can accommodate are all relevant factors, there are some things to remember, if you are on a budget. They are:

Peak wedding months are expensive: June to August is peak wedding season, and everything is at a premium cost during this time. Consider getting married earlier in the year, when winter is no longer as severe, and spring is just about to arrive. Or, you can consider early fall for your wedding, as venues often slash their prices this time of the year.

Don’t hesitate to ask for a discount: Don’t assume that the price you receive on your venue is final! Even if it is just falls within your budget, don’t quickly jump at the quote and book the venue right away. Negotiate with the venue manager and find out if there is any possibility of getting it at a lower price. If you are lucky, you may get yourself a better bargain.

Look at alternatives, before visiting your preferred location: This helps in two ways. First, you will know which option you will consider, should your first choice not work out. Secondly, it allows you to know what else is on offer, and make a wise decision based on it. As with anything wedding related, it is a good idea to research and explore your choices before you settle down with what you actually choose for the wedding.

2.Wedding planner—what are the options

shopping

Booking a wedding planner will make your wedding planning a lot easier. However, you should know that there are different options, and depending on what you choose, the service you receive and the price you pay will be different. So, let us take a look at what are your options.

Event planners: This is the whole package, where the planner will be involved in every aspect of planning your wedding. They will literally do your job for you, and will be responsible for executing everything at your wedding and making sure there are no hassles on the day. Event planners are quite expensive, as they will be working on your wedding for several months and you have to compensate them for their time and effort.

Part-time planners: This is where you do not outsource the entire wedding planning process, but only selected aspects that you aren’t able to handle yourself. This is more budget-friendly, as you can delegate the tasks that you do not have the time for, and pay only for it. Since you will be doing the greater share of the work, you will find it much cheaper than booking an event planner. If you are naturally organized and want to personally oversee your wedding details, this may be the right option for you.

Day-of coordinator: Even if you are handling everything about your wedding yourself, a day-of coordinator should definitely be considered. This is because you do not want to worry yourself with last-minute details on your wedding day. If you want a stress-free wedding day, a day-of coordinator can take charge of managing the various factors on that day. They will see that everything progresses smoothly and as per plan, leaving you to enjoy your wedding as you should.

Once you choose which of these services meets your needs best, again discuss the charges with the people you consider for the job. Compare the rates for an all-inclusive package with one for customized services, and choose the one that is best for your budget and needs.

3.Before paying for Wedding Entertainment

Choosing between a DJ and a band can be really confusing. You may be under the general impression that a DJ costs much lesser than a band. However, it can be quite expensive to book a good DJ who can actually make your party come alive. There are ways in which you can get a reasonable quote for a band too, and here are some tips for that.

Look for experienced student groups: If there is a music school in your area, you may be in luck. Student groups are usually energetic, exciting and just as efficient as a trained band in creating a lively party atmosphere. The bonus is that they cost much less. So, if you are up for the risk, look around for such a band.

Ask for the breakup charges: Instead of just being shocked by the overall quote from a band, ask them for the breakup costs. If it includes transportation, see if you can arrange a cheaper alternative and save some cash that way. Also, look at the list of musicians and ask if you can downsize to just those who you actually need.

4.Before you go wedding shopping

Cool wedding accessories for the winter bride

Wedding dresses are crucial to transforming you into a splendid bride, however they can be quite pricey. Before you step into the shop, do your research and know your options. Here are some ways to make the most of your wedding dress budget.

Consider more than one style: If you keep your options open, it is easier to find a dress that falls within budget. Do your research ahead of time, and identify which styles will look good on you. Then look at dresses in these styles and choose the one that you are satisfied with, both in look and in price.

Look at the clearance and sale section: Many bridal shops like Best for Bride, will always have dresses on discounts and on sale. Before you look at the latest collection, it may be a good idea to see what is available in the sale section. You may find a dress that is quite similar to what you love in the current collection, at a fraction of a price.

Wait for trunk shows: Trunk shows are a bride’s dream-come-true, especially if you are in a standard 8-12 size group. These shows allow you to find the dress of your dreams at a reduced cost. If you are engaged for a year or more, it is likely that you will come across at least one trunk show during this time. So, call up the boutiques in the area and find out whether they have one scheduled in the near future. Put off your wedding shopping session till after wards, so you can take a chance and hope to find your wedding dress at the trunk show.

Save on alterations: When you fix your wedding dress budget, you also have to account for the alteration charges for the dress. It is highly unlikely that you will perfectly fit into a dress you find off-the-rack. So, you will have to pay extra to alter it to fit you. However, you will have to pay less on alterations if you take care of the following factors

  • find a dress that is closest to your actual size, neither too big nor too small
  • not make expensive custom changes, like altering the neckline or design feature as any amount of rework will cost more money

Rent your dress: If you really want to make the most of your wedding dress budget, consider renting the dress instead of buying it. At shops like Best for Bride, the rental section has ample choices in different sizes. You can rent the dress along with the accessories for a fraction of the original cost, and not worry about boxing or caring for the dress afterwards and put the money to some other use. Alternately, you can also scour the internet for unused dresses on sales, that usually are a great bargain as they are brand new, but not as expensive as a fresh piece in a shop.

5.Before you take any pictures

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Wedding photography is an essential for every wedding, and you can choose from different types and packages based on your preferences and budget. Before you even set out to look for a photographer, consider how you want your wedding photographs to be captured. The different types of wedding photography include:

Traditional: The classic portrait style photographs with group pictures in specified poses.

Casual: Candid photography, where the photographer captures casual and original moments of the day, and shoots from unconventional angles. The photographer aims to recreate the memories of the day, by capturing the wedding with the most relevant and unique pictures that characterize the wedding.

A mix of the two: Here, the photographer uses both casual and posed portraits to completely cover the wedding.

Art-style: Here the focus is on creating one-of-a-kind photographs that transcend into the realm of art. It is anything but traditional.

Depending on your personal taste, you can decide upon the type of photography to have at your wedding, and then find photographers who work with the style you choose. Some tips to help you, before you start shortlisting photographers are as follows.

Compare packages and custom deals: You may not always require all that is included in a photographer’s package. If this is the case, ask if you can have a custom quote based on what you require. This is also useful if you need an extra service from what is included in a package deal.

Discuss how many hours you will need the photographer to cover your wedding: Before you meet with a photographer, be clear on how much time you will need his services for. You must make sure that he will be available for the important events both at the start and the end of the day. If he charges overtime rates for staying beyond certain number of hours, and in case your wedding goes on for longer than anticipated, make sure you know in advance.

6.The food factor

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There are many factors that decide the food expenses you will have to incur. Factors to consider when choosing your caterer are as follows.

Choice of menu: Remember that gourmet meals will cost more than standard meals. So, let the choice of cuisine be one of the guiding factors in determining your food budget. The overall presentation and whether the dishes have to be created fresh on-site or can be prepared in advance will also decide the catering cost.

Buffet or plated-style: Buffets and plated meals, both have their own pros and cons. The sensible and budget-friendly option is to have a mix of both styles. This means you can use shared platters for the main meal, while individual portions are served as starters. This will minimize wastage and maximize the value for money.

This brings us to the end of the various factors that will prevent a headache for you, later. Do your research and plan the possible workable options for each of these choices, and you will be able to work it out very easily.

Best for Bride is a wedding shop that brings you the latest and trendiest in wedding gowns, bridesmaids dresses and attire for the wedding party. We also have invitations, wedding favors and services like wedding cakes, décor arrangements and florists. Visit our online bridal shop to learn more about all our services, and also find out about the latest offers, discounts and sales we have. Experience the best of bridal shopping with our seasoned bridal consultants who will assist you in finding the dream gown for your big day. For a fun-filled and enjoyable experience, contact us today and book your appointment.

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Wedding Tasting Etiquette: 10 Insanely Useful Things That You May Not Know and Should Be Aware Of

Wedding Tasting Etiquette 10 Insanely Useful Things That You May Not Know and Should Be Aware Of

The food that is served at your wedding has an important role in determining the overall wedding experienceMost of the guests, if not all, will look forward to the food that is provided on your wedding day. So, you do not want them to be unhappy with the meal offered, while everything else was done to perfection.

Most wedding vendors offer a wedding tasting session before you book your order. With this option, you can actually see, taste, and experience the food that will be served on your wedding day. We suggest that you take your caterer up on this offer of wedding food tasting and make sure everything is just right, so there are no regrets later.

Outdoor wedding reception

As with anything wedding-related – from the bridal shower gifts to choosing the perfect ring, there is a catering tasting etiquette that you should adhere to. We will be looking at the do’s and don’ts of wedding food tasting etiquette. But before we move to this list, let us first try to understand what you can expect at your tasting session.

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