Following on from our Back to Basics: Booking Your Wedding Catering post, this post gives you extra guidance to help you create a ‘Catering Timeline’ for your Wedmin schedule!
We aim to confirm the Event Coordinator who will be your Maître D around 5 to 9 months ahead of your Big Day. Generally in January of the year you are getting married. Where possible, this will be the Event Coordinator who you have mostly frequently been in contact with. If the Event Coordinator you’ve been dealing with isn’t available, you will be assigned another member of our wonderfully wise team.
From the point that we assign your Event Coordinator, this person will become your main point of contact with Pickle Shack! Your Event Coordinator will send you an introductory message and draw your attention to the catering timeline outlined below.
Any information you discuss with your Event Coordinator will be recorded on what we refer to as your ‘Wedding Detail Sheet’. This is a comprehensive document that we use to ensure the smooth running of your catering. It helps us to keep track of all your relevant plans for the Big Day. It also means that if your Event Coordinator isn’t available to answer a question at anytime, another member of our team can check your wedding detail sheet to lend a hand in their absence. Fool proof!
There are a few elements of catering Wedmin that are worth turning your attention to sooner rather than later. So, this handy catering timeline will help you to tackle the finer points of organising your catering in plenty of time before the Big Day.
The first two things to consider are arranging tastings and your bar services, if required.
Wedding Food Tasting Events and Personal Tastings
Our Wedding Food Tasting Events run between October and April each year. These are complimentary group tasting events. At these events we serve canapés and three courses, showcasing a variety of dishes per course, to help inspire your own menus and to give you a solid understanding of our food presentation and flavour depth.
For some couples, attending one of these events and working with their Event Coordinator on their own menus is all it takes to confidently finalise dishes for the Big Day. However, if you feel that you would like to book a personal tasting to finalise your exact dishes, this can be arranged. We recommend adding a note to your catering timeline to book this as far in advance as possible.
We are a small and busy team, so personal tastings are strictly limited to Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, between October and April. These tastings are generally scheduled between 5pm and 6pm. Some 2pm afternoon slots may be available on request. After April each year, we will not have capacity for any personal tastings. Costs do apply to personal tastings.
We cannot accommodate weekend personal tastings at any time of the year. Simply because, at weekends, we are out working at weddings and events. We appreciate that for those of you who don’t live locally, weekday personal tastings may mean taking time to travel to and from Devon, but we hope you understand that at weekends we must focus on the weddings and events taking place.
This is why we advise that you book your personal tasting slot as early in the process as possible, so that you can arrange leave from work if required and make travel arrangements. Personal tasting bookings will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis meaning that availability quickly becomes limited. Your Event Coordinator will be able to assist you in arranging a personal tasting if you would like one.
Pickle Shack Bar Bookings
Pickle Shack offer several bar packages for you to choose from. If your venue doesn’t have an existing bar service, this is something you should research and book at around the same as you select and book your catering. Although we competently cater multiple weddings per week, we have more limited capacity for how many bars we are able to run each week. So, if you know you would like a Pickle Shack Bar Service, make this a top priority on your catering timeline as we may not be able to guarantee availability of our bar services to every wedding that we cater!
You can use this timeline to set yourself targets for your catering planning. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact your Event Coordinator.
Things to do now
Firm up your menu. This may involve initial menu development, idea tweaking, booking in for group or personal tastings – leave yourself plenty of time for this
Confirm your bar services requirements
Confirm your evening food catering. This may be from Pickle Shack or from an external vendor
Consider an initial timeline for your wedding day. Your venue and Pickle Shack will both need information regarding timings in due course, so it’s a good idea to have a rough set of timings to refer to early on, even if these go on to change
3+ months before
Confirm your table linen requirements. This may involve researching colour and size options if you’re booking linen yourself, or talk to us!
Confirm your glassware requirements. This may involve researching style and size options if you’re booking glassware yourself, or talk to us!
2+ months before
Collate your RSVP’s. Excel spreadsheets, or an online guest and table planner tool are ideal for this
Begin to create your table plan, allocating your guests to tables and chairs
Finalise the timeline of events on the Big Day. If you require help with this, check out our blog post Back to Basics: Wedding Timings
4-6+ weeks before
Pickle Shack will be in touch to arrange a time for your Final Meeting. This can take place in person at our office just outside Exeter, or over the phone. The Final Meeting will take between 1 – 2 hours to complete
Gather all of the information that we require from you for your Final Meeting. Final guest numbers, guest dietary requirements, guest dish choices if relevant, your table plan annotated with dietary information, final timings for the Big Day, final linen and glassware requirements, final bar and drink services etc.
After your Final Meeting your final invoice will be issued. From the issue of your invoice your guest numbers may fluctuate. However reductions to the invoice will not be possible should any guests cancel their attendance
2+ weeks before
Ensure your final invoice has been paid
Update Pickle Shack with any last-minute changes
Submit your final table plan if you have not already done this. Your Event Coordinator will require this to plan an efficient service
1+ week before
You should have ticked off the jobs above, so, relax!
The day prior to your wedding we will meet you at the venue, if access is possible. We will lay your tables with any items provided by ourselves, set up our catering areas and chat through your timings and requirements briefly to ensure no changes
That’s it! Time for a good night sleep before the Big Day