When you book your wedding with outside catering, at a venue, the amenities and what the venue provides vs. what your caterer is responsible for varies.
What You Need and Who Usually Provides It:
- chafing dishes and sternos (venue)
- serving utensils (venue)
- dish name cards (caterer)
- tables and linens for the buffet (venue)
- china and silverware (venue)
- servers (venue)
Caterers are typically not allowed to use the venue’s kitchen for any cooking and heating/cooling. Sometimes caterers may use the kitchen for staging. Every venue is different and has differing policies. However, most caterers of South Asian cuisines have this down to a science and know how to pre-prep and transport the dishes without violating the venue’s policies. You can find Kitchen Access info on every venue profile on ShaadiShop.
The venue’s serving staff will help with food replenishment. However the downside is that the venue’s staff doesn’t know anything about the food, so if guests ask a question they tell you to ask the caterer.
That happened to me last year at a wedding. I was at a large Persian wedding and I didn’t know which dishes were vegetarian. The server told me ask the caterer – how would I know who the caterer is?
ProTip: I got a taste of what it’s like to be an ‘outsider’ at an ethnic wedding and realized how helpful it is to have dish namecards, describing each item and including a “v” or “ve” for vegetarian and vegan.