Choosing a Caterer

By Debra Guglielmi

Brides should start looking for a caterer from six months to a year before the big day, especially if the wedding is in prime months – May, June, September and October.

When you meet with a caterer, the first thing you discuss is your budget. And any good caterer will do a tasting free of charge and this is where you tweak your menu – add something here, take something away there. Brides should meet with at least two caterers to get different options. A reliable caterer with a good reputation will ensure that the food you have at your tasting is the same quality as will be served at your reception.

Today, most brides do food stations usually set up in the four corners of the room. It gives a much better flow rather than having your guests stand in a long line.

Dessert bars are a lot of fun. One of the more popular is a s‘mores bar. We pack sterno cans in rocks set in galvanized steel containers for the flame. Then, we put marshmallows on skewers in a container filled with sand. Then top it off with white chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate and peanut butter cups – and don’t forget the graham crackers!

Another popular dessert is a candy station. A lot of brides are using these as wedding favors. We display a large variety of candy in glass decanters – and it’s fun candy like you ate as a child, like bazooka, old fashioned licorice, etc. Brides will have either boxes or pretty plastic bags for guests to fill and take home.

In the fall we do a lot of hot apple cider bars with fresh sliced apples and cinnamon sticks. Or, for winter weddings, many brides are doing cocoa bars. The cocoa is served with all the toppings – our fresh whipped cream, chocolate shavings, marshmallows, cherries and sometimes Bailey’s Irish Cream for the adults. We also always recommend some type of flavored water. A popular one for fall is spring water infused with fresh oranges, mint and cranberry.

Brides in the Lowcountry typically choose foods popular here – shrimp and grits is always a big hit. Pulled pork and prime rib are always good choices. Another delicious option is a mashed potato bar with both sweet and white potatoes and all the toppings, and we do a great salad bar.

Once a bride chooses her food and does her tasting, that’s half the battle. If they’re working with a wedding planner, we will stay in contact with them through the event.

About this writer

  • Debra Guglielmi

    Debra Guglielmi

    Debra Guglielmi has been catering since 1982, when she worked with her parents in Northeast Pennsylvania. She opened Bagel Café in Litchfield six years ago and Debra Gs Café Catering three years ago. Her professional staff, from servers to bartenders, is highly trained to make your day go smoothly. To learn more, call 843-314-0371 or visit

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