The caterer is the vendor bringing the largest number of staff members on your wedding day. The caterer will need space to set up, serve, and clean up all of the food and drinks. It is important to place the caterer in a logistically smart location, both for your budget and for your guests’ experience. You will want the caterer’s space to be close to the reception area so that your food arrives at the correct temperature and so that you don’t incur additional costs by having to hire extra staff to keep the meal service properly paced. A garage or basement very near the wedding activities is a great option. If a garage or basement is not available, consider setting up a catering tent, usually 20 feet by 20 feet, with lighting. It will also need fans in warm weather or a heater in cool weather.
Your tent provider will likely set up a small prep tent for themselves, at no cost to you, as a place to run the wires for the lighting, heaters/fans and generator. Sort of like that unsightly mess of cords we all have behind our tvs, you’ll definitely want this space out of your guests’ view.
If you decide to hire a band for your reception, they will likely require a dressing or “green” room per their contract. It is appropriate to make sure this area is private, has a full-length mirror, and a table and chairs so band members can eat their dinner there. It’s also helpful to have a designated space for the remainder of the vendor team (photographer, videographer, etc.) to store bags and equipment and to eat in. If you are comfortable with it, a space inside your home will work well for these two needs. Alternatively a trailer could be rented or another small staging tent could be set up.
Photo made by Katie Stoops.