Moodies appreciates you may have questions regarding catering for the upcoming wedding or event. Please browse our FAQs and contact us if we do not answer your questions below:
Q. We’ve looked through your website and information and we really like the sound of everything – how do we arrange an appointment with you to discuss our wedding or event catering?
A. Call or email us and we will arrange a meeting to suit you – either at our Liphook premises, or we’ll come to you or your venue. We know you’re busy with work as well as wedding planning and are happy to arrange meetings for evenings or weekends if required.
Q. What do we discuss during the meeting and what happens next?
A. We will talk through your plans and menu and event ideas and get the shape of the day, and afterwards, we’ll send you a much more detailed initial plan and quote for your day.
Q. What is included in your per-person price?
A. This includes: assistance with planning and management, set-up costs (minus delivery) all crockery, cutlery and glassware, white luxury table linen, a dedicated event manager on the day, full waitress service for up to eight hours, all kitchen equipment, laying-up of all tables with favours, place-names etc according to your plan, all food delivered in refrigerated transport, locally-sourced and freshly-prepared on-site, all washing-up and clearing away after the event, and disposal of all rubbish including empty bottles. Extras may include coloured linen hire, decorations, chair covers, separate-trip delivery costs, bar staff if required, etc.
Q. Do you charge corkage?
A. We do not charge a corkage fee.
Q. How long can you hold our proposed date?
A. It partly depends on the date! The summer months are always very busy and we do get booked up then – but we keep in communication with you, and let you know what’s happening. We never use “we have other clients interested in your date” as a pressure tactic – we simply don’t need to do that. We are more than capable of catering for multiple events on one day!
Q. Will you be able to work in our kitchen? It’s a bit on the small side!
A. We have worked in many kitchens – if yours isn’t suitable, it’s no problem, we can provide a kitchen tent to the side of a house, for example, and bring in all our own equipment. When we work in your own kitchen, you can rest assured that we will leave everything clean and spotless after we’ve finished.
Q. In these recessionary times what guarantee have we got that you’ll still be trading next year?
A. We started the company in 1977 and have been trading very successfully ever since, going from strength to strength and evolving with the times. Even our bank manager is impressed!
Q. We’re not getting married until next year – will you hold your price?
A. Regardless of how far ahead you book, we guarantee to stick to the quoted price on payment of the deposit. This will not change unless your requirements change.
Q. One caterer I have spoken to has offered a very cheap job ‘for cash’. What is to stop me using him and saving VAT?
A. Absolutely nothing at all – but if a firm has so little regard for the law what else may be sacrificed “for a quick buck?” Peace of mind counts for a lot and taking risks over such a special day is always a false economy.
Q. Where do your staff come from? What training do they have and what do they wear?
A. We have a pool of regular event staff and chefs who have worked for us for years and hold training sessions every year for new staff, as well as providing all our staff with our event training pack. Staff are routinely trained in Food Hygiene practices while working and via the NCASS training programme. Staff are smart and presentable and wear all-black – shirts, bar aprons, skirt or trousers, shoes and even black hair accessories!
Q. We’d like to book with you, but we’d also like to try the food first! Is that possible?
A. Absolutely and you would be very welcome to come to one of our tasting events, where you can try a selection of dishes – usually 8-9 canapés, three starters, three main courses and three desserts, depending on what you are thinking of having on your day. There is a small charge for the tasting of £40 per person + VAT, which is refunded if you then go on to book with us (and we expect you will after trying our lovely food!) You can even bring your parents to try our food too!
Q. We’re convinced! What happens next?
A. If you would like to go with us (yay!) we ask for a deposit of £750 for catering services to confirm the booking. The final balance is invoiced to you 14 days before the big day, when you know final numbers and details. Once the deposit is paid the date is booked and confirmed. We are happy to take payments by bank transfer, credit and debit cards, or cheques.
Q. Once we’ve booked, who do we contact about the planning?
A. Nikki, Jenine, David or any member of our events team can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com – or give us a call on 01428 644310. In the week before your event we will connect you up with your event manager, so any details can also be discussed with them. They will also be happy to meet you before the event to go through everything with you.
Q. Do we have any other meetings between our initial appointment and our big day?
A. We would suggest at least one other meeting, approximately two months before the big day to finalise details. Depending on your venue, we would also like a site visit to check kitchen facilities or go through the day with you, or a site visit to finalise marquee positioning. We are very happy to meet as often as you would like, too, either at our Liphook premises or at your venue.
Q. When do we need to confirm final numbers and menu choices?
A. We will start asking you for these a month before the wedding or party and will need to know finally two weeks before the day. Please note that numbers can go up after this point, but not down – we cannot refund if guests drop out after this point.
Q. What time will your team be at my house/venue on the day?
A. Usually we will have an early kitchen team to set up any equipment needed and set up tables, who will arrive by 9am (depending on the event). Sometimes we will be able to do this on the day before, if we have access. Chefs, again, usually arrive at 9am (depending on the event) and our main staff team and event manager will arrive approximately 3 hours before guests are due to appear, to set up tables, bar etc. However we will discuss your requirements with you prior to the event and are happy to arrange things differently if necessary.
Q. Who dresses the tables on the day?
A. Our team is very happy to do this for you. We put on cloths, lay-up cutlery, crockery and glassware, and dress the tables with your centrepieces, decorations, place-names and favours. We are more than happy to work to a plan or sample table, so you don’t have to be there for the set-up, leaving you free to do all the other things you will be thinking about on the day! Please note, we cannot put on chair covers on the day – you will need a dedicated person for this. We can arrange this for you if required and discussed at an earlier stage.
Q. Can you supply flowers and print menus and place cards?
A. We would usually say these are up to you – flowers and stationery are so personal, and you are the best person to communicate your vision to these suppliers.
Q. Will you be able to cut and serve our cake?
A. Yes, we’d be happy to do this. Traditionally wedding cake was served with coffee, but we’ve found that more and more people prefer to serve their cake as part of their evening food. We will cut and serve your cake free of charge. If you would like to have your cake served as dessert, there is a small charge per person for this as we will serve it plated and garnished with fresh summer fruits and jugs of cream.
Q. Can we tailor the menu? For example, we love the sound of the beef, but we’d like it with dauphinoise potatoes rather than roasties!
A. Absolutely. It is your day – not our day! We’re very happy to tailor our menus to suit you and to discuss ideas with you. We will tell you if anything is not suitable for banqueting catering.
Q. Can you cater for special dietary requirements?
A. Yes, we can. We will ask you about these when we ask for final numbers and details and suggest any menu alternatives or adjustments necessary. Please ask us about allergen information if required – we will be happy to provide it!
Q. Do we have to have a three course formal meal?
A. Nope. We are happy to devise menus for two course meals, family-style services, buffets, bowl food, food stalls, or canapé receptions – it is entirely up to you! We can advise depending on the timings of your day, but again, it is your day.
Q. Can you provide a hog roast or BBQ for our main meal or evening food?
A. We certainly can, but some venues have equipment restrictions, so please check with us if you would like either of these options.
Q. Can we offer options to our guests?
A. Yes – but please note we will need to know exact numbers for each choice in advance, and we will also need a detailed table plan showing where each guest is sitting and what their choices are, so there will be more work for you. It sounds onerous but without this planning, service with different options will be very, very slow. An alternative is to offer two options and serve each one to alternate guests, allowing guests to swap if required – this works well for a more informal feel.
Q. Do you supply wedding cakes?
A. No, but we do have various recommended suppliers on our links page – http://www.moodies.co.uk/links/
Q. Can I supply my own wedding cake and cheeses?
A. Of course and we would be happy to serve them for you. Please note though that we cannot take responsibility for the safety of any food not fully supplied by us.
Q. Can we choose different colours of linen/styles of cutlery and crockery?
A. Our price includes luxury white linen (tablecloths, napkins) and ivory slipcovers, and a choice between high-quality King’s Pattern cutlery or Artis’s beautiful contemporary Eclipse style. All our crockery is plain white. We are happy to show you samples at any of our meetings. If you would like any other colours or styles, please discuss this with us – we’d be happy to hire other equipment on your behalf.
Q. Will you light candles for us?
A. Yes, our team will be happy to do this if permitted by the venue.
Q. We would like a cash bar in the evening. Is that something you could do?
A. We would be happy to provide a simple cash bar and a sample price list is available on request. Please check with your venue that this is possible as some venues prefer to provide bar services themselves. We will happily provide any requested drinks in accordance with venue rules. You may need a Temporary Events Notice depending on your venue. If you would like us to provide bar staff to operate a cash bar with you providing the alcohol, please note that you will also need to provide your own float, till and ice unless otherwise arranged.
Q. We are having some evening guests and would like to feed them – what’s the best option?
A. This really depends on numbers and timings. Sometimes a substantial buffet might be the best way to go; other times, snacks such as bacon butties will work best. We will talk over this with you at first meeting and give you advice that is genuinely tailored to your day.
Q. Will I need a team of people to clear up at the end of the event?
A. No – our team will do all this for you. Some venues require that everything is taken away at the end of the night; in these cases it’s a good idea to nominate one person to collect up any precious bits. Failing that, we take everything back to our Liphook premises, and will let you know if we have anything of yours so that you can drop by at your convenience and pick any bits up.
Q. We need a marquee too. Can you help?
A. Of course. Moodies also offers luxury marquee hire as part of the package. Please visit our dedicated website at Moodies Marquees. You are very welcome to visit our premises at Liphook, just ‘phone on 01428 644310 to arrange a convenient time. Or if you prefer, we can visit you to talk over your plans and look at the site.
Q. How much wine should we provide per person?
A. Please have a look at our blog post on quantities here, which should tell you everything you need to know!
Q. Should I provide spirits in the evening?
A. This is entirely up to you! It’s perfectly OK to focus on wines and beers with a few mixers, or if you think your guests would prefer otherwise, you could even provide shots and cocktails.
Q. Should we have a Toastmaster for our wedding?
A. It’s not strictly necessary as ushers/our team may well be able to fulfill this role for you in a more informal way, but they do add ceremony to the proceedings.
Q. How long should the drinks reception be?
A. This depends a bit on timings, whether or not you are having canapés, and the kind of photographs you are having, but as a general rule, a maximum of two hours is a good length. Longer than that and guests can get a bit tired and fed-up – which is not what you want on your big day!
Q. Will I need to provide meals for my photographer and band?
A. Usually your photographer will need a meal, as they will be working on your wedding all day. The band may or may not need feeding depending on their timings. We are happy to provide supplier meals; please discuss with us.
Q. How long does a three course formal meal take?
A. Approximately two hours, plus speeches if you are having them, but there is an element of play-it-by-ear – every wedding is different, all guests are different. Sharing-style meals can take a little longer than plated meals, for example.
Q. Will a buffet or BBQ be quicker and cheaper?
A. Actually, no. A buffet can take a lot of time as people will inevitably queue for food, and it’s often not cheaper as quantities have to be increased to take into account that most people will have something of everything – whereas plated menus can be much more precise in terms of quantity. Where you will save a little is in numbers of staff.
Q. When is the best time for speeches?
A. Traditionally speeches were held after the meal, but weddings are so much more creative, fluid and individual now that people are playing with this element, and holding speeches before the meal (a good idea if you have nervous speakers!), and between courses as well as after the meal. You should choose what suits you, your guests and your day best.
Q. Are there any resources you’d recommend for wedding planning or party inspiration? We’re feeling a bit lost!
A. Check out our Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter pages, and the Resources section on our Links page, for a wide variety of different resources. They should be a good start! And we are always available to give advice if necessary.