Wedding planning was already stressful enough, but now with Covid in the mix, many wedding couples are experiencing many changes to their wedding plans. Whether you are already planning your wedding or just beginning, there are certain aspects you need to consider, such as how does COVID-19 affect my catering plans?
Nashville Catering Changes During Covid
For the most part, weddings have made a vast amount of safety and sanitization adjustments to their catering portion. Let’s talk about a few.
Adjusting to state and local guidelines
Many Nashville caterers have to adjust to how they run their catering practices as state and local guidelines are always changing. As we all know, changes are pretty standard during this pandemic. And this is likely to continue until we have a vaccine readily available for everyone. Because of this, Nashville caterers have to make adjustments continually.
In some states, you can have gatherings of 100 or more people. But recently, in Nashville, the mayor limited it to eight. Of course, A Catered Affair will adhere to whatever local regulations and guidelines apply, whether having your wedding at Legacy Farms or another local Nashville wedding venue. We promise to make sure your guests are as safe as possible.
Plated meals are growing in popularity.
Buffet means are mostly out. Due to Covid restrictions, plated entrees are on the rise. Although buffets are becoming less popular, there are still a few safe ways to make it happen for your wedding.
Plated meals are growing in popularity because it is the “least contaminated way” to dine together. In other words, the food is directly served to the guests from the kitchen rather than sharing spoons, plates, or other dishes and utensils.
After plated meals, family-style catering is the next safest option. Family style is a perfect option if you have tables where people sitting together are in the same family or live together. If you have multiple families sharing different tables, you may want to avoid a family-style meal because it is potentially unsafe for guests as they are sharing utensils.
So back to buffets – they are still doable, but they are heavily restricted. Some caterers won’t even do buffet meals right now, so check with your Nashville caterers before making any definite plans. To make a buffet line safer, the Nashville catering company will need more staff to monitor your guests. They’ll want to make sure everyone is wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart in a line, and keeping it socially distanced. Keep in mind that it can be potentially awkward to have the “mask police” enforcing these rules at your wedding. There will also need to be more staff to serve the buffet – a self-serve buffet isn’t an option right now unless you have a very intimate wedding where all guests are comfortable sharing. Then at the buffet, guests will have to be called up table-by-table. This is pretty common, but it’d need to be more strictly enforced now. So, we vote to oust a buffet meal altogether until it becomes safer to do so.
How A Catered Affair is Handling Buffets
We are currently offering served buffets – your wedding guests will come through the line and only touch their plates. The servers are masked and gloved, serving you with a covered chafing dish and clear roll-top cover so your guests don’t accidentally touch the serving utensil or breathing on the food.
Our food stations are also similar in service capability – your guests won’t touch anything except their food and plate.
Individual catering options for your Nashville wedding
Another catering option to think about is serving individual meals – AKA pre-packaged meals for each guest. You could even get creative with it, such as during cocktail hour. Think of how fun it would be to serve a mini charcuterie board to each guest!
Bartenders and Bar Service
Guidelines for how the bar is run will vary by location in Tennessee. But it’s common now to see a plexiglass screen in front of the bartender for your safety and their safety. Of course, guests are expected to wear a mask when ordering a drink at the bar.
A safer option may be to take people’s drink orders while seated and serve them butler style during cocktail hour. This makes for a safer, more intimate experience. You can even get inventive with a choice between two specialty drinks – made just for your wedding!
How we take safety measures before, during, and after your event
Our Nashville catering team works diligently to stay consistent with all of the required safety measures during COVID-19. Our health and safety and your health and safety are of utmost importance to us. Some of our safety measures include:
- Sanitary face masks and disposable gloves.
- Temperatures checks for all staff members
- Creating safe menus that limit exposure
- Proper handwashing and hand sanitizer usage
- Screening forms for all staff members
When you are interviewing Nashville catering companies, be sure to ask them about their safety measures – that is, what they will be doing on-site at your event and inside their facility (if they are off-site).
Appetizers and cocktails hours are changing because of Covid-19.
As you may have guessed, appetizers and cocktail hours are also considered for safety concerns and measures. Typically, appetizers are on shared dishes, and cocktail hour also involves lots of physical contacts.
The most significant change to wedding cocktail hours is that catering staff will serve appetizers and drinks while wedding guests are seated at their tables.
Back to individual catering options – how fun would it be to create unique appetizers for each guest? If you’re limiting your guest count at your wedding or event, you may have more budget room to play around with, so catering your guests with something unique is one way to make your event unforgettable. But shared dishes, communal plates, and large dipping sauce containers are out because of contamination issues. We’re sure you’ll be able to get imaginative with your wedding catering – or you can let us do all the brainstorming for you!
Making sure your plans get turned into actions.
Hopefully, you have a lot of tasty ideas spinning around in your head right now, but you may be wondering, “how do I move forward with my plans and ideas?” For starters, you’ll want to hire the best Nashville catering company to do the job. We’re a little biased, but with 25 years of experience in catering Nashville, we feel that we’ve seen it all (almost) and have created hundreds of different catering styles and options for each unique couple. If you’ve hired another caterer, be sure that they are committed to keeping your wedding safe for you and your guests by checking in with them. Of course, if you have a wedding planner, you may ask her to take care of this for you to ensure that all of your vendors are following state and local guidelines, as well as any personal safety plans you want your guests to partake in during your wedding.
If doing this sounds like a daunting task to you, please reach out to our Nashville catering team. We promise to go above and beyond your expectations.