In the first part of a three-part series, we get the inside scoop from some of the country’s best wedding caterers, food trucks and drink specialists. Hungry? You soon will be…
Andrew Newell, founder, 1806 Hospitality and Events
How would you describe the food/drinks you make? We can offer a bespoke range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, custom cocktails, hot drinks and much more. Our food offering ranges from classic stone-baked pizza and canapés to cone-sharing platters (our favourite!) and special requests such as candy floss and ice cream. We work with couples to generate service and a theme that fits them and their day perfectly, so if you want to recreate your tropical holiday with a range of exotic cocktails or an Oktoberfest beer bar, we can make that happen.
Tell us about your packages and prices We appreciate that the cost is essential in today’s climate so that we can promise you affordable sophistication from the outset. We offer a range of packages that suit your needs and budgets. Our packages are simple and transparent, with no hidden costs or surprises, meaning that you know exactly what we will do for you on the day.
Why should a couple pick you to cater their wedding? Several reasons spring to mind: firstly, you are in very safe hands. Despite 1806 being new to the market, the team has years of experience they bring to bear. It is also said variety is the spice of life and we have many offerings under one banner – all delivered to exceed expectations. This flexibility gives couples a choice to mix and match how 1806 fits into their day.
Louise Olivarius, wedding director, Shotgun Weddings & Events
How was Shotgun Weddings and Events born? I studied hospitality management at university, then worked in hotels and events before running restaurants with my husband and another partner. We catered lots of friends’ weddings, invested in a mobile pizza oven and started doing other events. Eventually, our events business was proving more profitable and also gave us all a better work-life balance. So in 2018 we decided to walk away from bricks-and-mortar restaurants and go completely mobile. Since then, the business has gone from strength to strength and we now have 40 years’ combined experience in the team.
Do you have any favourite anecdotes from catering a wedding? We have catered an Irish-Egyptian wedding as well as an Icelandic-Scottish wedding this year. Our chefs love a challenge and every wedding is unique, so we are more than happy to oblige.
Tell us about your food We mostly serve sharing platters, which are really on trend just now and are a lovely and sociable way to dine with your friends and family on such a special day. We’re experts in a variety of cuisines including Middle Eastern, Asian, Scottish, Italian, Spanish and more. We can take care of everything, from canapés, to cake tables, to street food for the evening buffet (we have a cool street-food business as well).
Kerry Grant, owner, Romeo’s Bar
How did you get started in wedding catering? My husband and I were planning our own festival-themed wedding and couldn’t find a bar that suited, so we asked my father-in-law to build one for us using an old horsebox. We stocked the bar ourselves and our caterers served drinks on the day. Afterwards, I thought it would be good to hire it out for others to enjoy, and last year I decided to go for it. I loved the experience of planning my own wedding, and helping other couples plan their big day makes me so happy.
Any advice you’d like to share? Before the wedding, discuss exactly what the caterers and vendors will be doing on your day. You want to ensure everything is covered, from pouring reception drinks to topping up glasses for the speeches. Tell your caterer all that you have planned for the day so that they can take care of everything for you. Then you can relax and really enjoy the day.
Do you take an eco-friendly approach? We always take steps to leave the venue the way we found it, clearing up all of our waste and recycling as much as possible. We only offer paper straws and either hard plastic or glass rather than disposable cups.
Tell us one thing a couple should know about you before they book? We’re a small business so the success of your day is as important to us as it is to you. We work hard to make sure your day goes perfectly and always add a personal touch where we can.