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Catering Tips for the Perfect Wedding

Are you in the beginning stages of planning your Adelaide wedding reception? Not sure if you want to have the grand ballroom and sit down dinner or a cocktail party in a beautiful garden? Gone are the days of strict reception guidelines. Brides and Grooms are spoilt for choice when it comes to catering, styling and venue choice.

Recently we spent some time with Julia who owns and operates Not Your Average Catering Co with the help of her husband Chris. During our chat with Julia we learnt lots of new trends for wedding receptions and how to feed your guests - we also learnt that Julia and Chris are very passionate about catering.

Enjoy our conversation with Julia….

We don’t have a specific niche, but rather embrace anything that’s outside the conventional catering mold – think grazing tables, food stations such as build-your-own nachos and build-your-own slider bars, dessert buffets, alternative ‘cakes’, deluxe picnics, and menus for people with specific dietary needs. We love bringing peoples’ visions to life and challenging the norm for event catering.

We cater for all kinds of events including engagements, weddings and bridal showers; my current favourite thing to be part of is a surprise picnic – perfect for proposals and anniversaries! We set up rugs, cushions, candles, champagne, a platter and a few other bits and pieces at a pre-determined location so that all the guests have to do is arrive and relax.

Helping someone plan that moment and being a part of something so special is an absolute joy.

There’s been a definite shift in wedding food trends in the last few years, with less and less people choosing the traditional sit down dinner and more couples embracing a celebration and food style that really fits with their personality (which we love!). Some of the current trends we’re super into:

  1. Grazing tables
  2. Food stations
  3. Food trucks
  4. Picnics
  5. Wood-fired pizza

There’s a reason grazing tables are so popular right now – not only are they visually striking but there’s so many options that even the fussiest eater is bound to find something they like. They’re perfect as a replacement for a traditional entrée, or for your guests to nibble on between ceremony and reception.

grazing table10.jpg

Think of food stations as a new-age buffet – trays of food giving people the freedom to pick and choose what they like. They can be savoury, so guests can build their own sliders, nachos or bruschetta to name just a few, or sweet, like a sundae bar.

Food trucks add a really fun party vibe to any wedding. Adelaide has a huge range of fantastic food trucks representing most cultures and cooking styles, and there’s even coffee and cocktail carts around now to make sure couples (and guests) don’t miss out on their favourite drink.

Couples looking for a really relaxed reception are embracing the picnic reception, particularly if their ceremony is earlier in the day and they’re not looking to provide a full on dinner. Guests can be served individual picnic boxes, share packed picnic baskets or graze from platters set up on scattered picnic rugs. Throw in some lawn games for the ultimate picnic party!


Because who doesn’t love pizza? Freshly made-to-order and piping hot, portable wood-oven pizza is relatively budget friendly option that’s a definite crowd pleaser.

Wedding cakes are also being modernised to suit people’s changing tastes. The current favourites are:

  1. Metallics (particularly rose gold)
  2. Marble
  3. Drip cakes
  4. Alternative wedding cakes
  5. Dessert buffets

From splatters to drips to sails to foils – metallics are very on trend. Their association with the precious metals they’re based on add a little opulence to your cake.

Another trend bringing a high-end finish to en edible masterpiece. Marbled fondant can be done in a variety of colours and used on cakes, cupcakes and biscuits (a great wedding favour to match your cake).

Drip cakes are everywhere at the moment, with drips in a variety of colours and finishes to suit your colour scheme (bonus points for a metallic drip). They’re a little bit quirky and very striking.

drip cake.jpg

Not a huge fan of baked cakes? No hassles, replace the traditional tiered wedding cake with anything from cheesecakes, to brownies, to donuts, to wheels of cheese.

Why limit yourself to one type of dessert when you can have as many as your heart desires! Order a series of miniature desserts for people to pick from, or go for a more rustic vibe with lots of full size pies, tarts and cakes and let people cut a slice of whatever takes their fancy.

Our top tips for couples planning their wedding food:

Have fun with it

Don’t feel like you have to give your guests “traditional” wedding food. If you and your partner love pizza then get a food truck! If you love a burger then try a build-your-own-burger bar. Want something super low-key? Throw a picnic party in the park. It’s YOUR wedding, make sure you’re eating what you want to eat.

Don’t be scared to ask for exactly what you want

Seen something you like the idea of but not sure if it’s exactly what you want? Any good caterer can tweak their options to suit your needs and tastes so if you’ve got an idea then ask for it! We love making custom options for our customers, so find someone who is willing to give you exactly what you want.

Make sure you order enough

There’s nothing worse than people going hungry at your wedding, even more so if they’re getting into the free booze. Make sure that you’ve got enough to food to replace the meals people would have been eating if they were at home, and try to space them so that people are never ravenous (your caterer can help you plan this). If you’re having a ceremony and reception in the same place ALWAYS provide food for people to eat between the two.

Take into account prep requirements if you’re going to DIY

If you’re a keen cook and feel so inclined to cater your own wedding (or part of) then go for it! With a solid prep plan there’s no reason it can’t work. Just remember to take into account the extra time you’ll spend shopping, prepping, cooking and reheating, the extra stress it adds to an already busy time and the additional fridge/freezer/oven space you’ll require. Make sure you’re up to date on food safety requirements so that nothing poses a potential hazard to your guests.

If you would like to know more about Not Your Average Catering Co you can follow them on their website and social media channels.

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