When guests attend a wedding, they expect to be wowed by the decor, the overall ambiance of the event, and, most importantly, the food. In order to make sure that your wedding catering is up to par, you need to have the right equipment.
From preparation to presentation, having the proper equipment is key to success. This guide will go over all the essential catering equipment you will need for your wedding to ensure that your big day is perfect in every way.
What Are Some Considerations for Choosing Catering Equipment?
Choosing catering equipment to impress your guests is essential when planning a wedding. At the same time, you don’t want to rush into buying equipment without considering all of your options.
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you shop for catering equipment:
Level Of Quality
When it comes to wedding catering, quality is paramount. Your guests expect a fantastic dining experience, so you must ensure that your equipment can deliver on that promise. Choose equipment that is well-made and durable enough to withstand heavy use.
Ease Of Use
While you may have a team of experienced caterers working on your wedding, not everyone will be familiar with your equipment. That’s why it’s important to choose equipment that is easy to use. Look for equipment that is user-friendly and easy to clean. The last thing you want is for your caterers to struggle with complicated equipment on your big day.
Of course, you’ll also need to consider your budget when choosing catering equipment. Wedding catering can be expensive, so it’s vital to find equipment that fits within your budget.
Renting equipment is often a good option, as it can save you money in the long run.
The equipment you need will depend on the type of food you plan to serve at your wedding. For example, if you’re planning a buffet, you’ll need different equipment than if you’re doing a sit-down meal. It’s best to have your menu ready before you start shopping for equipment so you can be sure to get everything you need.
Front-of-House Catering Equipment
We can split catering equipment into two main categories: front-of-house and back-of-house. Front-of-house catering equipment is used to serve food, while back-of-house equipment is used for food storage and preparation.
Naturally, you’ll want front-of-house gear that looks good to match the high-end feel of your wedding. Here are a few front-of-house catering equipment essentials:
You’ll need various serving utensils to serve all the different dishes at your wedding. Tongs, spatulas, and ladles are a few of the must-haves.
“Utensils are a golden chance to add some shine to your buffet line or table. Opt for utensils with sleek, modern designs that will complement the rest of your catering equipment.”
Salt and pepper shakers are another essential, as you’ll need them to season the food. Choose a matching set that fits in with the rest of your serving utensils.
Of course, you’ll also need something to serve the food on. White plates are always a good bet, creating a clean and elegant look. If you want to get really fancy, you can choose plates with gold or silver trim. Just be sure to pick a design that will match the rest of your serving utensils and equipment.
Bowls are another essential piece of serveware. You’ll need bowls for salads, soups, and other side dishes. Again, white is always a good choice for bowls. If you want to add a pop of color, you can choose bowls in your wedding’s accent colors.
Service trays are a must-have for any wedding catering service. They make it easy to transport food from the kitchen to the buffet line or tables. They can be simple and straightforward or more ornate, depending on your wedding’s style. Copper, gold, and silver trays are always a good choice for a luxurious feel.
Otherwise, stainless steel and wood are decent choices. Pick a material that won’t leave too many food stains, as you don’t want your trays to look dirty. You can also find trays with built-in warming elements to keep food warm during transport.
“For hors d’oeuvres, you’ll need smaller trays known as appetizer trays. These are usually round or oval-shaped and have multiple compartments to hold different types of hors d’oeuvres.”
Stands And Displays
As for the centerpiece of your menu (i.e., the cake), you’ll need a way to display it. Cake trays, food stands, and platters are your best bet. You can also use these to display other foods, like fruits and cheeses. If you want to get creative, you can use stands to create a unique food presentation.
The pyramidal champagne is another classic way to add some luxury to your wedding. You can use this to display champagne, wine, or even non-alcoholic beverages.
If you’re planning a buffet-style meal, you’ll need extra equipment to keep the food warm and fresh. Chafing dishes are a good choice for hot foods, like meats and vegetables. They keep food warm while also allowing it to breathe so it doesn’t get too stuffy. Many stylistic chafing dish options, such as rounded or straight-edged dishes, are available.
For cold foods, like salads and fruits, you’ll want to use chilling trays. These help keep food cool and fresh for more extended periods.
Cold Beverage Service
All the dancing and cheering will undoubtedly make your guests thirsty. Beverage dispensers are a good choice, as they’re easy to use and can hold large quantities of drinks.
Most people prefer glass dispensers, which have a clean and elegant look. You can also find dispensers with infusers so that you can add fruit or herbs to your drinks.
Ice buckets are another essential for any cold beverage service. They’re great for holding bottles of wine, champagne, and beer. You can also use them to keep your beverage dispensers chilled.
Copper wine buckets are in style right now and make for a luxurious addition to any wedding. Alternatively, you can opt for a silver champagne bucket or a more classic glass bucket.
Finally, you’ll need some glasses for your drinks. Wine glasses, champagne flutes, and tumblers are all acceptable.
Quantity is what you need to worry about here. Account for at least two glasses per person since people will lose, break or spill them throughout the night. Your caterer can offer some extremely valuable insight as to quantity.
Hot Beverage Service
Coffee and tea will keep your guests warm and awake into the night. In addition to your cold beverages, you’ll also need to provide some hot options. For coffee, you’ll need a coffee maker and some cups. You can find all sorts of fancy coffee makers, from single-serve machines to multi-cup carafes.
If you want to get really fancy, you can even hire a barista for the night. In most cases, a pretty dispenser and some suitable cups will suffice. Get a creamer and sugar set to go along with your coffee. As for tea, you’ll need a teapot and some tea cups.
Pitchers And Carafes
Pitchers and carafes are great for serving water, juice, and other beverages. They can be left on the tables for guests to help themselves or brought around by servers. Carafes are typically used for wine, while pitchers are better for water and juice. You can also find sets that include both a pitcher and a carafe.
If you want something different from the traditional glass carafe, you can find carafes made of copper, ceramic, or even silver. Look for intricate designs and patterns to add extra artistry to your wedding.
Back-of-House Catering Equipment
While most of the equipment on this list is for guest-facing service, there’s also a lot of equipment that you’ll need in the back-of-house. Depending on your venue, you may need to bring your own kitchen equipment or rent it from the venue.
Here’s a list of essential back-of-house catering equipment:
Your chefs need essential cookware, like pots, pans, and baking sheets. If you’re providing your kitchen equipment, make sure to get high-quality pieces that will last. If renting from the venue, ask about their damaged or missing parts policy.
Depending on the menu, you may need a few specialty pieces of cookware. For example, if you’re serving a lot of seafood, you’ll need a fish poacher. If you’re making crepes or pancakes, you’ll need a crepe pan. And if you’re making sushi, you’ll need a sushi mat.
Most of these things the caterer will provide or rent, and you likely will not have to worry about these elements. If you are preparing the food yourself or bringing in an outside chef, ask your chef about his needs, which might include:
Utensils: Your chefs will also need basic utensils, like cutting knives, measuring cups, and wooden spoons.
Containers: You’ll need some containers for storing and transporting food. Airtight containers are great for keeping food fresh. Larger storage containers can be used to transport large quantities of food.
Ovens And Stoves: Ovens and stoves are essential for any hot food service. Portable options are available if your venue doesn’t have a kitchen.
Refrigeration: Refrigeration keeps food fresh through a fridge, freezer, or ice chest. If you’re keeping food cold with ice, make sure to have a lot on hand and bags for transporting it.
Unique Wedding Catering Trends
As you can see, there’s a lot of essential wedding catering equipment. But that’s not all. There are also a few trendy pieces of equipment that can add some extra luxury to your wedding.
Here are a few trendy wedding catering equipment ideas:
Cocktail carts are all the rage these days. They’re a great way to serve drinks and look impressive. You can find all sorts of different carts, from garden-inspired options to modern designs. You can hire a bartending service to staff your cocktail cart if you want to go all out.
Gourmet Popcorn/Cotton Candy Machines
Gourmet popcorn and cotton candy machines are a fun way to add some flavor to your wedding. They’re also a great way to keep guests entertained.
A newer trend gaining popularity is ordering a food truck at your wedding. This option is worthy of consideration if you want to serve something different from the traditional wedding fare. Food trucks each have their unique menus, from gourmet burger trucks to ice cream trucks.
Find All Your Wedding Catering Equipment At Curated Events
Curated Events has all the catering equipment you need regardless of the type of wedding you’re planning. We have everything from basic cookware to trendy cake stands that are unique and beautiful.
We understand that weddings are a once-in-a-lifetime event, which is why we only carry the best quality products. We also offer a wide range of services to make your wedding planning process as easy as possible.
Browse our website or contact us today to learn more about our wedding catering equipment and services.