What Does a Wedding Caterer Provide?

If you’ve recently gotten engaged, you’re probably already thinking about the wedding ceremony, reception, guest list, and budget. One important question at the top of your mind may involve working with a wedding caterer and what to expect when you hire a professional. The short answer is that a Manhattan wedding caterer can provide anything and everything you need for your big day – or will work with the right partners to ensure the event is everything you envisioned. However, you may want additional details to fully understand what catering companies do and the types of personalized service they deliver.

The Basics

The definition of “catering” is to provide food and/or beverages, with associated services, at a special event or occasion. Of course, there’s much more to catering a wedding, depending on what you have planned for the event. Some of the basics that you can expect from your caterer include:

Food: Every couple needs to serve refreshments as part of the occasion, and your options may vary according to your style, vision, and budget. However, beyond these factors, your wedding caterer can work with just about any concept or idea you can imagine. Traditionally, many weddings were sit-down, formal dinners with full service by uniformed staff. Your catering company can certainly make that happen, but a professional can also explore such options as:

  • A wedding brunch;
  • Cocktail hour with passed hors d’oeuvres;
  • A food truck experience;
  • Heavy appetizers;
  • A buffet-style service;
  • Midnight toast and small, shareable plates;
  • A dessert or candy bar;
  • A variety of carving stations and separate food tables;
  • A picnic lunch; and,
  • Any other food service options you can dream up.

Beverages: Another essential at a wedding is drinks, which may or may not involve alcohol. You might want your caterer to handle all aspects of beverage service, from the beer and wine to the juice, tea, and coffee. Some couples opt for a fully stocked bar, while others choose a service station for the guests to pour their own drinks.

Your wedding caterer will take your preferences for beverages into account. Plus, always remember that catering companies specialize not just in beverage service – but in responsible service. When you’re celebrating your nuptials, you don’t want to be in the position of controlling an unruly, intoxicated guest.

Special Requests and Custom-Tailored Wedding Catering Services

Beyond the basics, you may have additional needs or desires to make your wedding day perfect. Wedding caterers are flexible and dedicated to providing top quality services, so you may have personalized requests for the event. A professional catering company can also work with you on:

  • Furniture, including the head table, guest tables, and chairs;
  • Décor, flowers, centerpieces, and other style details;
  • Service equipment, such as chafing dishes, hot plates, chocolate fountains, refrigeration, and other gear;
  • Table cloths, plates, glasses, utensils, and napkins;
  • Entertainment, whether you’re having a live band, DJ, karaoke, or other fun activities.


Once you make important decisions on food, drinks, and details, you must consider how the event will unfold and by whom. Many couples take a hands-off approach, understanding that a caterer is in the best position to tackle details with staffing. Catering companies work with partners and placement agencies, so you know the group coming in will be experienced and professional to make your event memorable.

Your catering professional will know what’s best based upon your budget, your preferences, and the venue. Some staffing requirements may include:

  • Servers to pass out salads and entrees at a sit-down dinner;
  • Employees to handle service and replenishment at stations;
  • Professional bartenders that know how to whip up the classics and newest mixology trends;
  • Servers to work the room for passed appetizers;
  • Interior designers and staging professionals to create the perfect setting for your wedding;
  • An emcee or host to guide guests through different stages of the event;
  • A photographer or videographer to capture special moments; and,
  • Many more.

Trust a Professional Manhattan Wedding Caterer to Deliver on Your Big Day

From the big picture down to the minute details, your wedding caterer is capable of meeting your needs. The key to success is getting started early on the process, so you can sort out the basics, address any special requests, and discuss any extraordinary arrangements.

To learn more about what a catering company provides, please contact Thomas Oliver’s Catering NYC to schedule a consultation. You can reach our office by calling (212) 239-0090 or visiting our website. We can explain our Manhattan wedding catering services and answer any questions you may have.