5 tips for your catering budget!

  1. Be realistic when compiling your catering budget. This is often the only part of the wedding that guests remember, so impress them! Having said that remember that there is life after the wedding do so don’t “live beyond your means”!
  2. If working on a “shoestring” budget be honest with your Caterer and see what they can do for you. Remember what you pay for your wedding is between you and the Caterer.
  3. No doubt the biggest slice of your wedding budget will be allocated to the Catering Budget so careful consideration needs to be taken when choosing your Caterer and remember when making your choice that you have made the right choice by comparing “apples with apples”.
  4. Check whether your quoted price includes or excludes Vat.
  5. Make sure the Caterer is paid in full the day prior to the wedding. The Caterer cannot “hold anything back” if payment is not forthcoming after the wedding!

Host your wedding with us, at Calderwood Hall for only R30000, venue included!

Calderwood Hall Guest House is one of our favourite wedding venues and we have been privileged to cater weddings there for more than ten years.

For 2019, we have created a wedding package that allows you to have a 2-course menu at this unique, historic and beautiful venue. We’ve called it the Heritage Package, in honour of Calderwood being more than 100 years old! A minimum of 80 guests is required to qualify and the package includes:

• your Calderwood venue hire
• a two-course buffet menu (outlined below)
• a signature mocktail (one glass per guest)

So, for a wedding for 80 guests, your wedding venue and catering
will cost you only R30 000.00!

If you choose to host more than 80 guests, it’s still only R375.00 per person!

The Two-Course Menu for The Heritage Package

Hot Snack Platters:
Crumbed Chicken Nuggets, Battered Fish Nuggets, Assorted Cocktail Pies,
Mince and Potato Samoosas, Vegetable Spring Rolls
With Assorted Dips and Sauces
Cream of Butternut Soup with Coriander and Coconut Milk,
Bakers Basket and Butter

Main Course Buffet
Rare Roast Beef with Savoury Gravy
Chicken El Greco with Three Cheese Sauce
Traditional Lamb Curry with Trimmings
Starch and Seasonal Vegetables
French Salad With Dressing
A Vegetarian Option Is Available On Request

Dessert Buffet
The Wedding Cake (Supplied By The Client)
Vanilla Ice Cream With Assorted Sauces

You should know that you can approach us to customise a menu for your wedding in consultation with Calderwood, but to qualify for this offer we will not consider a menu for less than R250 per person.

So, why not make a 2019 resolution now? Take this chance to dream, imagine, celebrate. From concept to compliments we’re there for you! We will ensure that you, along with your guests, get to relax and enjoy great food and the perfect atmosphere.

If you’d like to discuss this offer, or our catering for your wedding, we’d love to hear from you! Just give us a call, or drop us a mail on

5 more top catering tips for your wedding

1. We recommend serving a punch or juice after the ceremony together with some light canapes as wedding guests often arrive hungry!

2. If you are having a cocktail hour, consider serving your starter with the drinks, it will give you more time to party at the reception! A harvest table starter is a great idea.

3. Cutting your wedding cake straight after the ceremony and serving it with tea and coffee is both popular and a great cost-saving idea. It also makes your wedding cake an important part of the day. Alternatively, you can serve your wedding cake as your dessert, which will also help with the wedding budget.

4. Remember to make allowance for a simple meal to be served to the service staff on the day, eg: waitrons, bar staff, car guards and security personnel. A simple, reasonably priced meal, such as a lasagne and rolls, will make for happy staff who will then go the extra mile to make your wedding a huge success!

5. Most caterers will not allow you to supplement their catering with your own food, apart from the wedding cake, sweets, and candies. You shouldn’t feel offended by this. Most caterers (and your guests) will be covered by some sort of public liability insurance and your supplying part of the meal will just complicate matters.

5 top catering tips for your wedding

1. When comparing one caterer with another, make sure you are comparing “apples with apples”. We recommend that you ask the caterer to stipulate on the quote exactly what is included in the price per head. Many caterers will not include waitrons, crockery and cutlery, linen and transport in the per head price so although the food price will look impressive, when you add on all these extras you may be in for a surprise. You will want to factor these costs in right from the beginning.

2. Always remember when compiling your menu to choose foods to which your guests are accustomed. Just because you love sushi doesn’t mean everybody else does as well. Simple “rustic” foods and dishes are all the rage now so remember to keep your menu uncomplicated.

3. We recommend that you check whether any of your guests have specific dietary requirements such as diabetics, vegans, lactose intolerant, gluten-free etc. so that you can make sure your caterer is aware and can plan with you accordingly. You want them to feel as important as all the other guests so don’t be afraid to ask your guests beforehand.

4. When compiling your menu, consider adding a vegetarian option as part of your menu. There are inevitably those who will forget to advise you of their dietary requirements and this option gives your caterer some flexibility.

5. Finally, when choosing your wedding caterer, we recommend you find out as much information as you can about them (testimonials should be available as well) and that you make sure that whatever you discuss is noted. Time passes, memories can become fuzzy but clear notes act as a reference point for all. In this way, caterer and client will be on the same page and the wedding will run smoothly, to everyone’s delight! Isn’t that what we all want?

Please tell me more about the gourmet burger trend

Gourmet Burger Buffets are really a fun way to entertain! Fun foods and ultra casual for that wedding that wants to break with tradition. There is a selection of Beef, Chicken and Veggie Patties with an abundance of trimmings and hot and cold sauces to smother the burger with! Add to that some yummy potato wedges and good old “slap chips” and you have a meal fit for a King!

PS: Please remember though to label all your accompaniments to make it easier when guests are building their burgers. Also, I recommend lots and lots of paper serviettes be on hand ‘cause there is just no better way to tuck into a burger than eating it with your hands!! YUM!

Should I have a served or a buffet-style menu?

I recommend the Served Meal when the style of the wedding is more formal, where you are wanting a more sophisticated feel. There is a lot more control, the menu options are usually a lot more limited but the arrival of each course at the table makes quite the impression and everyone at the table eats together. There is no movement around the venue. In our experience, it is more popular to have Served Starter and Main Courses and then allowing guest to help themselves to the Buffet Dessert where there can be a larger variety to choose from, and guests can have dessert at their leisure.

Serving Mains to the Table with the meal served on platters aka “family style” is becoming very popular. This gives your Wedding a real “Sunday Lunch with the Family” feel which is a lot of fun, very interactive and “warm and fuzzy” to boot !!

A served meal does require more food service staff than a buffet, which is an additional expense at the end of the day.

A Buffet-style Menu, on the other hand, is a good old tried and tested favourite. Buffet meals are informal, you can opt to have a bigger selection of meals on offer. I would not go overboard as you may also end up with a lot of leftover food making it expensive with you paying for food that is not eaten at the wedding. A Buffet-style also takes up a lot of space in the reception venue, so if space is a problem then a served meal may be the better choice.

I’d recommend that you don’t serve more than 60 guests from a buffet, so if for example, you have 120 guests at your reception, I’d create a double buffet (serving the same food but at two points!)

Another thing I love about Buffets is that they can also be dressed up beautifully with fresh flowers and fruit with candles and décor to match the style of your wedding.

PS: To avoid queues at your buffet I’d encourage you to ask the MC to call guests up table by table. This allows conversation at tables while other guests are helping themselves at the buffet and keeps the atmosphere relaxed.

Do I choose canapés or a harvest table?

Harvest Tables (aka Farmers Tables or a Charcuterie Board) are fashionable and all the rage but then comes the questions, eg: “Do I then need a Starter Course?”, “My mum says canapés are the way to go.” So here are my thoughts!

If you choose a Harvest Table, no starter is required. If you choose a Canapé Selection, then I’d stick with a Starter as well. A Harvest Table looks very impressive and is best suited to weddings wanting that informal rustic sort of look and feel! It is served during Cocktail Hour, groaning with an assortment of Cold Continental Meats, Cheeses and Breads and is very filling, so once your guests have helped themselves to all their favourite items, they are likely to be as full as the proverbial “tick.” So they will be quite happy to move onto Mains and Dessert.

If you are wanting to serve a Starter then it is a far better option to serve a small selection of Hot Canapés during Cocktail Hour, the portion sizes and presentation add a touch of formality. By keeping the selection simple (three or four Canapes per person if serving as a snack), the guests will have their hunger pangs appeased but will enjoy that Starter at the beginning of the reception.

PS: Don’t forget to ask your Caterer to pack a small selection from the Harvest Table or from the Canapés selection into a basket for you to enjoy during the Creative Photo Shoot otherwise you’ll all go hungry whilst your guest enjoy your hospitality!