FAQs and expert advice about catering

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Hampshire and Dorset Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to editor@yourhampshiredorset.wedding


Food for thought

Food for thought

Q. We're having a relaxed and informal wedding and, as we're both real foodies, we would love to wow our guests with a tasty menu. What do you suggest?

A. Sally Pickles says: Even if you're having a relaxed and informal wedding, you can still wow your guest with a tasty menu. For a relaxing start to the day, opt for canapés as a roving grazing starter and skip the traditional plated options – just make sure to have extra choices for guests. Mini-charcuterie cones are the way to go, just add olives plus bocconcini and you're good to go!

Sharing-style food makes for a very relaxed main course. So, something like a rump of lamb with a kale salsa verde complemented with bowls of vibrant salads on each table for all to share will always be a winner. Add a few dips and handmade bread – you can't go wrong.

For the dessert, a selection of cute colourful mini pots means your guest can mix and match anything from a lemon posset to a lime and ginger cheesecake. Either set up a dessert station or place them on boards on the tables.

Sally Pickles, Vanilla Catering & Events


What's cooking?

What's cooking?

Q. We're having a relaxed and informal wedding and we would love to wow our guests with a tasty barbecue. What advice can you share with us?

A. Sayed Soliman says: I believe choice, variety and quality are the key points to consider when creating a tasty menu.

Include an additional barbecue if you're having a hog roast with stuffing, pork crackling, chipolatas, chicken, bacon, veggie platters and halloumi sticks. It's worth paying a bit extra to upgrade to Angus steak burgers, butcher quality sausages and filo king prawns.

Give vegetarians a good variety and incorporate an adjoining accompanying buffet serving a variety of salads, cheese boards, breads, and carrot sticks to give your guests options. All sauces, condiments and disposables should offer a variety and be easily accessible.

Sayed Soliman, Mobile BBQ & Catering


Food, glorious food

Food, glorious food

Q. We're getting married in the autumn and would love to offer guests a delicious seasonal menu. What would you recommend?

A. Matt Doe says: Matt says: Autumn is a great time of year for food with lots of possibilities for some fabulous flavour combinations. Locally caught mackerel is available early in the season before they head out to warmer waters for the winter. I like to cure and oak-smoke the fillets and simply serve them with a celeriac and fresh apple remoulade sauce, apple gel and dill.

One of my favourite dishes for this time of year is locally reared, roasted Hampshire pork fillet with an apple cider jus, topped with a crackling crumb and served with apple and sage compote, sautéed New Forest wild mushrooms and savoy cabbage and olive oil mash. Another great combination is sea bass, crab and fennel. This dish is a taste sensation featuring pan-fried, line-caught Lymington sea bass with a Dorset crab and chervil mayonnaise, roasted fennel, orange and a crab and white-wine sauce.

Dessert wise, I love the classic pairing of chocolate and orange – think dark chocolate delice with chocolate soil, chocolate tuille, fresh orange, orange jelly and vanilla cream. The freshness of the orange cuts through the richness of the chocolate beautifully!

Matt Doe, SO41 Catering


Simply delicious

Simply delicious

Q. We're great foodie fans but want to avoid getting too carried away when it comes to the catering for our wedding. How can we have great food, that looks and tastes great, without breaking the bank?

A. Matthew Doe says: Matt says: I believe the key to getting the food right is simplicity, so look for a caterer who doesn't over complicate things. You can have exceptional food on a budget by keeping things simple and without compromising on style or taste. If you use high quality produce you can let the flavour shine through and present the food in an innovative way. 

The current trend is still for more informal dining, rather than a formal sit-down meal, which is where street food and sharing platters have done exceptionally well. Not only cost effective they're a great way to feed a crowd and help guests relax and mingle. Whatever you choose, to avoid over-spending, let your caterer know your budget right from the start so you can work together to create what's right for your wedding and your pocket. Look for versatile, money-saving options too. For example, we've recently added to our offering with a mobile bar as well as our food truck which allows us to reduce some of the hire costs when booked together, saving some of the big-day budget.

Matthew Doe, SO41 Catering

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