If you’re planning the entire event yourself then you’re about to be thrown into the world of wedding equipment hire. It’s a big topic as you can see from the below, but the good news is that with SafeHire Certified companies like ours, you’ll be in good hands.
We’ve also included a section on choosing a wedding caterer and that’s where we’ll start. Many caterers will hire in or bring their own kitchen equipment but we’ve included them all below, so you have a good idea of what’s required for a successful wedding breakfast.
We’ve chatted about the caterers a lot so far, so let’s bring them in (officially) now. If you’re planning your own wedding breakfast and celebration outside of a hotel or wedding venue then you’ll need to source a caterer and then work with them to create the perfect event.
The food and catering are a core part of this, and you’ll need to find a caterer that you gel with and one that’s on board with your plans. They’ll be at the event for most of it and will no doubt be on-site before and afterwards, too. Choosing one you can work with is important.
Reviews, word of mouth and social media are the best way to go here. And of course, you must meet them and see how you feel about them. Many of the caterers we work with get business from guests at previous weddings as they’ve already tried them out at a friend’s or family member’s wedding.
How does wedding catering work?
A wedding caterer will probably cover most of the food and drink planning for you. They don’t just arrange the food and drink, but all that they need to make it, serve it and clear it. Most of our customers are caterers because they order everything they need to make a wedding breakfast and the following party catering a success.
That said, there are always occasions when you need to get involved and it makes sense to have a good understanding of what goes into the organising, especially if your caterer just cooks and serves and doesn’t order in the kitchen equipment.
Some key parts to working with your caterer:
- Choosing the date – book it in as soon as you know or have chosen your caterer.
- Decide on your budget – guest numbers are important at this stage.
- Know your theme – this can guide your menu.
- What will they cover? – many caterers book the kitchen equipment, tables, and more.
- Check reviews – are they as good as they say they are?
- Do they offer a tasting session – this can be important for deciding on the food and how you like it cooked.
- Do they serve the food and bring waiting staff?
- Will they serve the drink? (If you’re buying it in)
Above all else, you need the caterers to work with you and add to your event. It’s a big part of the day you need to feel happy that they’re going to be an asset to your wedding and not cause stress or problems.
Many are highly experienced and capable of more than you need, but it pays to check first.
What wedding equipment do I need to hire?
Most caterers we know hire the weding equipment from us, obviously. Obviously, because otherwise, we wouldn’t know them! And of course, when they’ve used our services they won’t be going anywhere else!
But that said, it’s normal for caterers to arrange their own equipment for the kitchen and even the rest of the marquee in some instances. It’s still really useful to have in mind (and in your plan) what you’ll need for your wedding, especially if you’re organising a marquee wedding where you’ll have a blank canvas to fill.
What do you need? Well… quite a lot actually.
Here’s a comprehensive list to help you work out what you need. You might not need all of this if you’re renting a barn or using a village hall or similar as you’ll most likely have a kitchen and tables and chairs.
We often hire out better, more capable equipment to venues when the organiser realises that the kits isn’t up-to-scratch, so it’s worth a site visit to make sure before you convince yourself you’ve saved a few pounds.
Let’s take a look at your wedding equipment hire list (in no particular order)
Table layouts. Before you hire the tables for your wedding, what you need to consider is the style of dinner that you’re having. Have you opted for a three-course meal? Canape reception? Bowl food? Evening buffet? Cake? Tea and coffee? Reception drinks?
You’ll need to cater for all this with furniture so get that arranged and the numbers firmed up before you build this list.
Plates and side plates – Remember to work on the two/three-course needs and also think about cheese boards, dessert, cake and any evening catering you’re planning.
Cutlery – If you’re having three courses, plan for this with the cutlery. Tea and coffee needs spoons. A cake will need a knife to cut and then forks to eat.
Glasses – The key areas here are: Reception drinks (don’t forget soft drinks), dinner, toast, port(?) bar glasses. On a hot day you’ll get through more soft drinks than you think.
Fridge - For chilling cold foods and liquids. It’s often easier to chill drink in large ice containers and it’s faster, too.
Water supply – For the kitchen but you might want a drinking water supply, too.
Ovens – Ask the caterers what they need. Two ovens? Three?
Hot plates – Needed for plating up and serving.
Gas – Ovens don’t run on thin air!
Tables for the kitchen – Trestle tables for laying up starters, mains, desserts, coffee and more. They’ll need work tops.
Tables for the venue – Of course you’ll need tables for dinner, the top table, the present table, reception drinks, the bar, the cake, the evening buffet, the chocolate fountain, the ice sculpture? Keep thinking…
Linen for the tables – You’ll need to dress the tables. Table clothes and chair covers all need factoring in.
Napkins – One for each place setting will be needed, plus some spares.
Chairs for the venue – You’ll need one chair for each guest, plus any needed for the bar, kitchen, band, string quartet(?).
Bar stools – For that late-night chatting.
Outside tables and seating – Many weddings are in the summer and outside seating makes for a great alfresco scene. Prepare for different weather eventualities including wind and rain though.
Highchairs – Got babies or toddlers coming? Children up to the age of three will need a special throne to contain them! Will you include any extra bits to keep them amused?
The best way to work on this is to start with your number of guests and then plan the kitchen and the room. Then go through each separate section of the event and consider what will be needed to make it work.
When you speak to a catering hire company like us, we’ll ask you all the right questions and help you as much as we can. After all, we’ve been doing this for 20 years!
Other areas you’ll need to sort out before the big day are:
Furniture hire – tables, chairs, coat racks, bar stools and more.
The look and feel of your tables – Here’s a simple tablecloth size guide that explains how to create a great looking room.
Planning an outdoor wedding? Here’s a guide on what you need to consider in your budget.
You’re now fully equipped!
We’ve been hiring wedding catering equipment in Birmingham, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, The Cotswolds and West Midlands for over 20 years.
We’ve seen our fair share of weddings and this gives us the insight and expertise to ask the right questions to give you exactly what you need for your big day.
Contact us now or get a quote by clicking on the button below and we’ll get working on it together.