Austin Wedding Caterer Advice: Direct From The Pros

It’s your BIG DAY! Don’t leave anything to chance. We at Austin Party Ride asked some of Austin’s top wedding caterers their advice to ensuring your reception is one to remember!


“The food at the reception is one of the most memorable parts of a wedding.

What are some tips you give your couples to ensure this part of their big day goes off without a hitch?”



Typically, the bride & groom is focused on pictures and talking with guests, so we always recommend having food and bar available for guests as soon as the ceremony concludes.  Guests are hungry and dinner won’t be served immediately so small bites/appetizers and a cold beverage is something that will help keep the crowd engaged and energized until dinner.

Maudie’s Tex-Mex


Give your caterers solid examples of your preferences! Some couples have a hard time expressing what they want when it comes to the food at their wedding. We always ask our couples “What are your favorite restaurants in Austin?” Once they start naming all these places that they love, and we can recognize and figure out why they like certain menus or presentations and find a direction to use in catering.

I compare it to when you get your hair done, you have to show the stylist a photo for the best results; good photos and examples provide a helpful comparison. When couples take the time to let us know their favorite restaurants, dishes, even food accounts they follow on Instagram – we can draw from that. And of course, hiring Contigo Catering to help with your big day will always ensure that your event is a memorable one! 😉

 –Contigo Catering



Planning and scheduling a wedding is stressful enough.  Keeping the food simple is something we’ve found couples appreciate.

Weddings are our favorite events to cater.  Couples who want P. Terry’s burgers and fries for their wedding dinner, rehearsal dinner, or late night snacks are looking for a casual experience and fresh, good food. Most couples and their families who book our catering truck already enjoy meals at one of our burger stands in the Austin area.  We think it’s comforting for them to have their favorite burger meal for their special day as well.   Our catering truck allows us to bring our store kitchen to them — for a reasonable price.

We cook our hamburgers and cheeseburgers, chicken burgers and veggie burgers on site along with our popular french fries.  Guests come to the window to order their food. Sometimes couples want to use their own special antique plates or favorite-color burger boats for serving.  Or they want to jazz up burgers by adding bacon.  Accommodating couples’ special requests is what we want to do.  To show our appreciation, we give them our P. Terry’s t-shirts and free milkshake cards.

Celebrating a memorable day with a casual meal is what we offer.

P. Terry’s Catering



Everyone, including the caterer, wants their wedding food to be perfect! As a large catering company, we can offer a few tips and advice to make sure that happens.  First, have a budget and let your caterer know what that is!  Any caterer can design a menu to fit your budget and keep it tailored to your likes and dislikes.  Second, have a pretty good idea as to how many people are attending.  In the early stages it will be next to impossible to know an exact number, so all we ask for is a general number.  This gives us insight as to service style (buffet vs family style vs plated) and just how creative we can get with designing your menu.  Finally, a caterer can supply more than just food!  Specifically we at The Peached Tortilla can do all bar services, have in house rentals such as linens, china, flatware etc., and our coordinators will walk you through the menu planning process. The more your caterer can do for you, the more you can check off your to-do list!

The Peached Tortilla



Choose the style of service that best suits your vision for the entire reception.  Do you want something more formal like a seated dinner or more of a cocktail feel with heavy hors d’oeuvres offered throughout the evening?  The menu and style of service should reflect the atmosphere you want to set for your guests.  Also, take into account the layout of the venue and timing of the evening and how these aspects will affect the catering.  It’s always fun to add some personal touches to the menu as well!  Do what speaks to you as a couple, and you know would be crowd-pleasers.

Austin Catering


Once you agree on the style of service and the menu, you should follow up with a tasting of the food. Make it a fun and relaxing experience and let us know of any changes you would like. It will give our customers great confidence that the food served will be one of the best parts of their day and they can rest assure we will handle every aspect of providing them with the very best. Crossing the dinner off of the “to-do” list and letting professionals handle the rest surely makes for a happier bride and groom and allows them to focus on what’s most important.. the rest of their lives together! 

J. Leonardi’s Barbeque


Be sure your caterer brings enough staff to feed everyone in a short amount of time.

With regard to BBQ, don’t serve ribs or bone-in chicken. Both are messy to eat and you don’t want to get BBQ sauce on your face, hands, or your nice clothes.

Branch Bar-B-Que & Catering


My advice to couples when selecting their menu is to select food they would like to eat.  You will never make everyone happy so just make sure you are happy.  Fritz’s Catering has been making amazing food for weddings and other events for over 35 years.  The only thing that limits what we can do is your imagination and your budget.

Fritz’s Catering


The food at the reception is definitely one of the most memorable parts of a wedding and you’ll want that memory to be a good one for both you and your guests! There are a lot of ways to make the food a memorable experience that your family and friends will enjoy and talk about for years to come. And it doesn’t have to be expensive either! One easy way to make the food memorable is to choose menu items that are meaningful to both the bride and groom. Your family is there for you and will enjoy eating bites they know are special for you. If you aren’t sure, our Event Specialists can work directly with you and our chefs to make customized menu items specifically for you. Adding these items will help your guests get to know both you and your new life-partner all while enjoying good food.

Next, you’ll want to make sure you choose a caterer that prepares the food fresh on-site. This may seem obvious but a lot of caterers heat food at their kitchen and then deliver to the event in an attempt to keep costs low. Don’t cut that corner! Give your caterer enough budget and more importantly, enough time, to make the food fresh on-site. At Vanilla Orchid, we bring on-site chefs and equipment to prepare food right at your venue and serve your guests. This ensures everyone leaves happy and full.

The Vanilla Orchid Catering



Know your guests. You may be vegan but it doesn’t mean your guests will be. As the host of event it is important to think of your guests needs.

Understand your budget and what is realistic in that budget.

Understand the time of day that you are feeding your guests. If it is an afternoon reception, you can get away with appetizers only. If it’s at 6pm, feed them dinner. Guests have traveled, paid for a hotel room, and bought you a gift, make sure they have food and drink!

Dagar’s Catering



The food at the reception is one of the most memorable parts of the wedding because that is the time that everyone is starving, and ready to eat heartily.  They have been at the wedding and all of the festivities leading up to the wedding all day.  They all ate very little to fit into their nice clothes, and this is the perfect time to put out some of Texas Best Bar-B-Que.  Not only is it filling and delicious, but we cook “Cowboy Style,” which means that we do not overly smoke our meat.  We cook hot and faster than most other BBQ out there.  You will not be burping up smoke flavor, and will not be uncomfortable eating it.  The guests will still be able to dance, move around, and have a great evening, or afternoon.  We do lots of rehearsals inside the restaurant, and have had nothing but excellent reviews.

Cooper’s Pit Bar-B-Que



The food is a big part of your wedding. People love going to weddings to be a part of something special and always look forward to the food.

Plan on having a cocktail hour for when guests arrive and are waiting for your arrival while your pictures are being taken after the ceremony. They will mostly all arrive hungry and love Hors D’ouevres. It’s not often folks get to enjoy something like that and it really makes it memorable. A tapas station and cheese board is always a good option to have out as well.

Family Style dinner is all the rage now. It’s interactive, fun and intimate. It keeps your tables together, talking and enjoying a great meal.

One of the most important tips we can give is to make sure you hire a planner for your day of to help all your vendors stay on track as well as the timing of all the moving parts of your day. Some couples think they can handle everything on their own, but as time gets closer, they realize how much needs to get done and it leaves room for something to go wrong and causes unnecessary stress.

Choosing a reputable caterer whom is insured, rated online and experienced is always important. Remember, you get what you pay for!

Urban Cowboy Southern Fusion



Food is always such a personal thing. It can be stressful to plan a meal for 200 of your closest friends and family. My advice is to stay true to yourself and pick food items that reflect on you as a couple. If you two love staying and eating mac and cheese while watching movies, why not have a mac and cheese bar? Anything that will make your guests say “This is so like them,” will be well received! Also, make sure you actually eat on your day! We always have a server assigned to taking care of the bride and groom specifically. We also sometimes recommend to have a private dinner to themselves during cocktail hour. That way they can enjoy their first meal as a married couple and just take it all in. Other than that, just have a great time and the professionals will make sure everything is perfect!

Rosemary’s Catering



Compiled by Austin Party Ride

Before planning for your big day, be sure to check out these valuable Austin resources. 

 Professional Wedding Planner Advice
Professional Wedding Photographer Advice
Professional Wedding DJ Advice
Austin Wedding Planner Advice