February 24, 2020

Guest writer Tonya Hoopes gives tips on catering for your big day.


With engagement season upon us, we reached out to the best event and wedding planners in Utah to see what tips they had to make the catering at your big day the best it can be! Follow our 9 week series and see what they all had to say!


Tonya Hoopes from Hoopes Events On any given day you will find Tonya looking through Wedding or Fashion Magazines from places such as Paris, New York, and Milan. Tonya has a passion for traveling the world, fine chocolate, amazing food, shoes, and handbags as well as planning and creating beautiful weddings and events that allow her clients to enjoy their event while she makes sure every detail is taken care of. Tonya has planned and executed well over 500 weddings and 100 corporate events for parties as small as 12 and as large as 2500.   

Share your whole vision.

It is important to communicate your vision to your caterer. The colors, theme, flow, and ambiance you are trying to create. Your caterer can help enhance your design. From customizing your menu to the platters they bring and rentals for your tables. It can cause dissonance in the ambiance you are creating if any of your vendors are left out of your vision.  

Ask questions about the service and presentation.

There are no wrong questions to ask your vendors. As your caterers are responsible for the bulk of your servers at your wedding here are some great questions to ask. 
  • How does service go, what are the steps throughout the evening?
  • How do you manage your servers?
  • What is the price of servers, and how many do you bring for each style of service?
  • How does your staff dress? Do you have presentation/grooming standards?
  • How will clean up go? What are you responsible for and how late do you stay? It is important to know if the caterer does or does not clean all the dishes and stemware from the tables throughout the event.

The authenticity of the food is important.

Many caterers are willing to make custom menus. However, don’t overlook the details of how those custom items are prepared. Make sure your caterer has the expertise and education to create any custom food items. Also, check-in about where their food is grown. Local food is the key to great food! Make sure your caterer is taking great care of your menu and the environment. During this conversation is also a great time to ask how items will be prepared onsite.

If you are going to cut for budget ask the experts where to cut.

Budget concerns are real stress while planning a wedding. When it comes down to cutting though make sure you ask your planner and caterer first where the cuts would be best as to not throw a wrench into the flow and ambiance of your wedding. Take their advice to heart.   

Trust your vendors.

Your vendors are your main support system as you create your wedding. All your vendors are looking to create your unique and unforgettable wedding.  Your vendors will have a plethora of experience and expertise. When they make suggestions, take them and trust what they have to say. Don’t let your expectations get in the way of your perfect day. Don't forget to check in next week to see more tips!

27x winner Utah’s Best of State

24x Best of State Caterer

3x Best of the Best / Hospitality

1x Entrepreneur of the Year