Wedding Catering Planning Timeline

Use this timeline to set targets for planning your Wedding Catering. The timeline is here to keep things stress-free and breaks the process down into simple targets. It will help you to have everything ticked off ahead of the Big Day!

Keep us posted whenever you have updates about your plans. We track all the information discussed with you on a Wedding Detail Document – this is the document that our kitchen and coordination teams use to deliver your wedding catering services.

If you have any queries along the way, check out the FAQ section on our Wedding Food Menu, peruse our Wedding Blog for helpful posts, or get in touch with our team to ask questions.

Upon booking, aim to get these jobs ticked off straight away

Peruse our Wedding Food Menus, website blog posts and our colourful Instagram feed and story highlights, to begin narrowing down your favourite dishes if you would like to tweak any dishes, just let us know and we can discuss ideas with you

Arrange your Personal Tasting if required – this is something that we advise all couples to discuss an appointment for as early on in your planning journey as possible, so that you won’t miss out (appointments are limited) please note that due to the impact of Covid-19 there may be a short delay before tasting appointments can be confirmed, we do still encourage you to begin discussions with your coordinator, who will be able to note your interest in a Personal Tasting and come back to you in due course to make arrangements

Confirm your bar service requirements does your venue supply the bar for you, are you sourcing bar services externally or will you require our Dry Hire Bar Services?

Confirm your evening food catering take a look at our Wedding Food Menu to see our range of evening food and let us know if you would like us to provide yours if you are sourcing your evening food elsewhere, please let Pickle Shack and your venue know as it helps us plan your day

Consider an initial timeline for your wedding day your venue and Pickle Shack will both need information regarding timings in due course and it can be helpful to make a rough draft early on, even if these timings are adjusted as the Big Day approaches

No later than 3 months ahead of the Big Day

Confirm your table linen requirements this may involve researching colour and size options if you’re booking linen yourself, or talk to us about the linen options we can supply – check your quote to see what we may have included already

Confirm your glassware requirements this may involve researching style and size options if you’re booking glassware yourself, or talk to us about the glassware options we can supply – check your quote to see what we may have included already

No later than 2 months ahead of the Big Day

Collate your RSVP’s spreadsheets, or an online guest and table planner are ideal tools for this

Begin to create your table plan, allocating your guests to tables and chairs we highly recommend using this free tool

Finalise the timeline of events on the Big Day if you require help with this, check out our blog post

4-6 weeks ahead of the Big Day

Pickle Shack will be in touch to arrange a time for your Final Meeting. This can take place in person at our office in the Exeter area, but is equally as helpful over the phone if you do not live locally.

Your Final Meeting will take between 1 to 2 hours to complete, depending on how much information we have already gathered from you.

It is important that you gather all the information that we require ahead of our Final Meeting. You are very welcome to submit such information in emails ahead of our appointment if you like, which can be helpful to make our Final Meeting most efficient.

The information we will require is as follows:

final adult numbers, children numbers, additional evening guest numbers, daytime supplier numbers and evening supplier numbers

final menu choices for throughout the day, from canapés, to wedding breakfast, to evening food and any other provisions Pickle Shack may be supplying

all guest food allergies and dietary requirements – please include any food allergy and/or dietary requirement reported to you by your guests, even if you don’t think it is relevant to your menu choices, as our chefs do prep for multiple events at once in our kitchens. For more information about how we handle dietary requirements and food allergies, check out this post on our Wedding Blog

your guests pre-order dish choices, if relevant to your wedding breakfast

your final table plan, annotated with dietary information for those guests who have reported food allergies or dietary requirements

final timings for the Big Day – we will ask for all timings from your ceremony to evening food services, including details like when you plan to have speeches and cut your wedding cake

final linen and glassware requirements – remember to think about non-dining tables, such as your cake table, tea and coffee station, and gift/card tables when submitting your linen requirements

final bar and drink service requirements and plans, including details of what daytime drinks you plan serve alongside Pickle Shack food. If Pickle Shack are providing our Dry Hire bar services to you, we will also discuss the drink selection you plan to offer from your evening bar, in detail, and we will run through your refrigeration arrangements too

any other information that you think we should be aware of in relation to your wedding plans, wedding venue, wedding suppliers etc.

After your Final Meeting your final invoice will be issued. From the issue of your final invoice, we understand that your guest numbers may fluctuate slightly. Where possible we may be able to add additional guests, providing we have enough notice of their attendance to secure further provisions such as ingredients, glassware, linen etc. However, reductions to the invoice will not be possible should any guests cancel their attendance, as from this point onward Pickle Shack will begin to incur unrecoverable costs.

No later than 2 weeks head of the Big Day

Ensure your Pickle Shack final invoice has been paid

Update Pickle Shack with any last-minute changes to timings, table plans, guest food allergies or dietary requirements etc.

Submit your final table plan if you have not already done this, or have made changes we will require an absolutely accurate version of this to plan an efficient service

No later than 1 week ahead of the Big Day

You should have ticked off the jobs above, so relax!

The day prior to your wedding we will meet you at the venue, if access is possible we will lay your tables with any items provided by ourselves or agreed in advance by ourselves, set up our catering areas and chat through your timings and requirements briefly to ensure any final last minute changes are accounted for

If we are not able to meet you at your venue the day prior, don’t fret! We will simply carry out any catering set up on the Big Day instead, ahead of the festivities. If you would like to update us about any final wedding catering changes or general details the day prior, please do give us a call.

That’s it! Time for a good night sleep before the Big Day.

By Rose Harvey