I still operate a small catering business which I am slowly withdrawing from – carrying food all the equipment and BBQ’s around the Island is getting the better off me!!! Consequently I still receive a number of enquiries for catering of weddings. I would like to make a little list here regarding ‘a simple BBQ’ at the villa for the wedding day, yes it is a lovely idea but the logistics make it more expensive than hiring a restaurant with all the facilities on hand.
1. The caterers have to ‘vet’ the venue to see if it is suitable to deliver and cook for large numbers on the premises.
2. The caterers have to prepare the majority of the foods in their own catering kitchens before arrival.
3. Many have mobile catering kitchens – which need space somewhere in the grounds of the villa (preferably out of view).
4. If the ceremony is to be held in the gardens of the villa then you will need sufficient chairs – a front table some shade and decoration. If it is 60 people – then 60 chairs need to be hired!
5. After the ceremony you will need somewhere for the guests to eat – again although it may be an informal BBQ – being the wedding day people invariably like to have a seating arrangement – with nicely decorated tables and chairs again a delivery of hire tables and chairs is called for, along with sufficient lighting and decoration.
6. Glasses, plates, knives, forks, etc – all to make your wedding feast memorable. For 40/50/60 people – is a lot of hire!!!
7. Bar – wine, beers, cava, soft drinks, ice – plus decent glasses to drink from and normally a bar person to serve.
8. This process will and can take more than a day to set up with a team of people.
9. The villa’s are normally out in the countryside so the logistics of your guests ‘finding’ the venue is also something to be worked out and often it is necessary to organise a coach to bring your guests (assuming the coach can get reasonable access along the narrow roads/dirt tracks) and again for returning your guests to their chosen holiday home.
The catering companies on the Island do this work very well and many include the event planning in the price, so they will (for a fee) organise transport, flowers, hire, etc.
This is not to put anyone off from having the lovely villa wedding. I delivered a wedding cake to a villa at the end of last season the setting was stunning, there were at least 12 workers at the venue ‘setting up’ including the wedding planner making sure everything was organised and totally correct. (Serena Cook of: deliciouslysorted.com – highly recommended!) wedding planners do work very hard for their money! The bride was in another part of the villa and when all was ready she stepped out into the gardens for the ceremony. It was beautiful!!!!! So wonderful if you have that sort of money, but many who are just starting out on a life together do not have such ‘free monies’ available. So looking at other options:
If you do want an informal ceremony without the church, then lots of restaurants can cater to this, many have beautiful gardens and some even have made a ‘special place’ for this to happen. Some restaurants are on the beach – so a beach ceremony is easily possible – but if it is to be July August – expect other people around and the restaurant prices will be more expensive! Best time is very late afternoon when sunbathers have left. The restaurant will give you a price per person and many will negotiate a price to include drinks and most will help with the logistics and planning with you. I always recommend visiting and negotiating direct with the owner of your chosen restaurant. It is well worth coming for a few days to look at venues. It is relatively cheap with the Ryan Air flight which is direct all year.
When choosing a restaurant ‘venue’ be sure you go for a restaurant that has previous experience catering weddings or very least large events.
Many couples say they just want something simple, unfortunately the idea of ‘simplicity’ often turns out to be expensive.
Yes you can send out for a nice big amount of meat/salads, some plastic plates and some alcohol, and definitely have a great party in celebration! But invariably the bride and groom mean something – stylishly simple
There is a great debate about the word wedding meaning more expensive here on this Island, but please remember how hard everyone works in the heat with the added stress of knowing it has to be perfect they know they are working for someone’s ‘special day’. Every little detail needs to be totally correct, there’s no coming back tomorrow to ‘do it again’!!!
I hope this helps with the maze of the wedding organisation!!!