Wedding catering – frequently asked questions

As wedding caterers, we get asked lots of questions – here are some answers that might help you:

Wedding caterer Bristol

How far in advance should I contact a wedding caterer?

As you can imagine, there are periods of the year that are extremely busy for weddings, and most good caterers will be busy all year round with events, so our advice is to get in touch with a caterer as soon as you have a date for your wedding.  The more notice, the better, as then you’ll be sure to get the caterer you really want.

Which comes first in the chain of events?

It depends how big your wedding is going to be and how formal / traditional you want to make it. If it’s a church wedding, you’ll need to get in touch with the vicar / priest as soon as is possible to book a date – some churches book up a long time in advance.  Many churches now will book in Friday weddings (and possibly other days too). Registry offices will also need plenty of notice, as will licensed venues. Many couples will have let their parents and close family / friends know the good news before well before a date is announced. If you’d like to get some venue inspiration in Bristol and the South West , have a look here.

What about wedding photographers, florists etc

A great photographer or florist will again be popular, so as soon as you know your date, book one in.  Many have websites for you to get a taste of their work, or you may want to meet up to discuss how they might work to make sure you like what they do and will get on well (this is quite important as they play a big part in your wedding run up and on the day!).  If you’d like recommendations, we’d be happy to give you a few.

Let’s talk wedding food – how does this work?

Many traditional venues (hotels etc) will do the food for you.  If you’re looking for an independent wedding venue, such as church halls, galleries (e.g the Royal Academy of the West of England), music halls e.g St. George’s) or are lucky enough to have or know someone with a big enough house or garden, then you can choose your own caterer.  Some may have recommended caterers who are used to working at the venue, which is often an advantage as you don’t want any hiccups on the big day.

How do we book Papadeli? 

Usually, couples email us to start with to check the date is ok.  Then we ask for a brief outline of the sort of food they’re looking for.  We specialise in generous, sharing feasts, full of flavour and colour and creative, beautiful canapés – and many of those who contact us have already tasted our food at other weddings or events, or have had a look through the pictures and menus on our website. If the couple want to book us as their caterer, we ask for a deposit of £100, just so that we can book the date for you so you can be sure we will be available.

What about the details – timings, hiring furniture etc?

We like to meet up to go through the exact choices and pricing, and to run through the timings of the day, whether plates, cutlery, glasses, tables, chairs etc need to be hired, depending on the venue, and what sort of drinks are needed and when (e.g. cocktail or glass of fizz on arrival with canapés, wine with the meal, champagne for the toasts, tea, coffee, soft drinks, etc).  Any theme will be discussed – we like to keep things seasonal, and can often incorporate flowers or special ingredients to fit in with your chosen theme.

If we haven’t been to the venue before (it might be your home, for example), then we will arrange a site visit, just to make sure we know what cooking facilities there are and how the flow of guests will work.

And what about payment?

You will have had a good idea of costs from looking at our menus and from our emails and meeting. We are pretty flexible and always make sure there are no hidden costs.

We ask for 50% deposit to confirm the booking – this needs to be paid at least 2 weeks before the wedding date.

The rest of the amount (25%) is payable on the day or within a week.

All deposits are non refundable.

Anything else?

I think we’ve covered it all – do email us: if you have any other questions.

We look forward to helping you with planning your big day.