When you first get engaged, the initial days and weeks are a whirlwind of exhilaration as you share the news with your family and friends. You bask in the excitement, show off the ring, and discuss potential dates for the big event.
Then the reality of the mammoth work to do in preparation for your wedding day begins to set in. Many decisions have to be made between the ceremony and the reception — the dress, the guest list, the flowers, the DJ, the photographer. The overwhelming list goes on. Where do you begin?
When planning your wedding, one of the first and most essential variables to pin down is to select a reliable caterer to help create your menu, cook your food, and serve up your drinks.
When should you reserve your wedding catering services? Your caterer will have to work closely with your chosen venue to coordinate and create your reception-day vision. Therefore, it is crucial to book your caterer and lock in your location early on.
The Wooden Paddle generally books on a first-come-first-served basis a year in advance for weekend reservations, so the sooner you can reserve your date, the better! Call our event coordinator at (630) 326-8150 or give us your contact information on our online form.
Let’s take a closer look at the relationship between the venue and the caterer when reserving your dates and other factors that go into your reservations’ timing.
Coordinate Your Wedding Venue and Catering Services
Your wedding venue is the location where your blissful event takes place. You may have one location for your wedding ceremony and another for your reception, or you may book the same spot for both.
When researching your wedding reception venue, there are two types you may encounter:
● All-inclusive — Some hotels, country clubs, and banquet halls operate as all-inclusive venues, meaning they provide all of the amenities you’ll need on your wedding day. They have food service vendors and may prohibit you from bringing in an outside caterer.
● Space only — Other locations are simply renting space to you, charging you a flat fee depending on how long you will be there. With these venues, your third-party vendors, including caterers, are hired separately.
Because of these restrictions, it is crucial to ensure your venue and your caterer can work together from the start.
Reserving your venue and caterer in tandem can also help guarantee they both have concurrent dates available for your reservation. You might wisely book your caterer a year in advance, only to be left scrambling when you can’t find a venue to accommodate your plans.
Reserve Your Wedding Catering Services with Wooden Paddle
By choosing Wooden Paddle as your wedding caterer, we will coordinate with your venue ahead of time to confirm every detail prior to setting up on the big day.
We will tow our wood-fired oven to your wedding venue and can navigate it onto any flat, dry area you select. The space available should be at least 12 feet long and eight feet wide and with a 10-foot by 10-foot area in front of it to accommodate our mobile kitchen.
If your wedding event is being held in a venue smaller than our required specs, or is at a facility above ground level, we will gladly set up outside. We will utilize the nearest elevator or closest stairway to ensure your guests get their wood-fired food piping hot.
Wooden Paddle is a preferred vendor with or has catered at many premier wedding venues throughout the Chicagoland area, including:
● The BRIX on the Fox
● Ellis House
● Firehouse Chicago
● Row 24
● Storybook Gardens
Because of our established relationships, reserving, and planning your wedding reception dinner at these locations will be a breeze! And if you’ve already booked with a venue that’s not on our list, we can still make it happen.
Other Catering Factors to Consider
You should aim to reserve your wedding catering services at least four to 12 months before the date of your wedding, but the amount of lead time you need will depend on the popularity of the date or time of year you choose for your big day.
It will always be easier to find a caterer for a Thursday wedding than one held on a Saturday, for example, and June dates are going to book up faster than those in January.
One added benefit to reserving your caterer at least a year in advance is that you can have your tasting in the same season as the wedding.
The tasting is your big opportunity to try out your caterer’s food and drink selections and create an exclusive menu for your guests. Food availability may shift based on in-season produce; therefore, when you plan at least a year in advance, you will get an accurate preview of your wedding meal.
Wait to send out your save-the-date cards until you’ve made your venue and catering reservations. If your preferred date is unavailable for your must-have caterer or venue, you may have to reschedule your event to make it work.
Check Wooden Paddle’s online event calendar today to see if your preferred date is available, and then call us at (630) 326-8150 to make it yours!
Booking Your Wooden Paddle Wedding Caterer Reservation
Reserving your wedding catering services at least a year in advance allows you to ensure your preferred venue is available and gives your caterer time to prepare for contingencies and help you create your menu.
The quality of the catering service you hire can make your break your big day. Choose an experienced wedding catering service like Wooden Paddle. Our onsite wood-fired pizza and handcrafted cocktails will leave your guests talking about your perfect reception for years to come.
When you call or fill out our online form, our event coordinator will work with you to ensure we get all the details exactly right. We will set up a full-menu tasting and then provide you with an easy-to-modify, completely transparent quote. Once the deposit is made and contracts are signed, the date is yours and yours alone! Call (630) 326-8150 to get started today!