North Indian food on a plate

What Meal Equipment Does the Venue Provide vs. Your Caterer for an Indian Wedding?

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.

chafing dishes setup for a wedding reception
Photo: Lin and Jirsa

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.


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