EXPERT ADVICE

FAQs and expert advice about catering

Here is a selection of Q&As from Your Sussex Wedding magazine whether it be about flowers, hair and makeup, fashion, wedding themes, health & beauty, cakes, stationery, legal advice. If you would like your question answered by our experts, please email it to editor@your-sussex.wedding

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Q What is your advice on planning a sustainable wedding?
A Jacquie Keeley says: Sussex boasts a range of excellent food and floral arrangement services, so shopping locally not only means we help one another, but also means less travel miles or reliance on shipping. We also have great views and landmarks nearby, making Sussex a popular location for tying the knot and avoiding further air traffic from destination weddings. Make your enquiries sustainable – can your caterer source organic and Fairtrade ingredients? Can your stationer ensure your invitations are made with recycled paper?

Disposable plates, cutlery and plastics can be a game changer, but only if they're compostable or recyclable. This also relates to kitchen waste where vegetable, fruits and more can be composted. Traditional rituals such as confetti-throwing and decorating with glitter don't need to be harmful any more as biodegradable options are available too.

Another key component is fair conditions. Clothing such as wedding dresses and suits make the day beautiful, and can be sourced from collections that promote fair working conditions, ethics, and use organic silks to make our world greener.

Jacquie Keeley, Fab Food For You

The A-Team

The A-Team

Q What is your advice on taking the first steps in wedding planning?
A Jacquie Keeley says: Once you've chosen a date and place, you'll have the foundation to start with the all-important details. This will take many people to deliver to perfection within a seamless, flowing process on the day, so you'll need a timetable and a collective co-operation of your suppliers. But who are they and how do you find them?

Enlist the help of local businesses. Weddings are their livelihood, they understand the processes and problems like no one else. They know how to get licences, can arrange safe delivery for such things as flowers and untold other issues. This is their job and they're passionate about the detail and the timing knowing just how important this very special day is. Using a local business means you're getting a local expert.

A recent piece of research showed that 95 per cent of couples planning a wedding found it stressful and the majority related experiencing real stress-related symptoms. You have to remember that you're not just planning a wedding, you're also planning for your life together and blending two families. You don't need to spend your engagement in a stressful manner. But with a curated team of local professionals in your corner you'll have time to relax and enjoy the nicer things in the planning process (food tasting, trial days with hair and make-up artists, dress fittings). Enjoy and treasure the good memories of this entire period.

There are many suppliers out there to choose from, whether you decide on one firm to handle it all or talk to several providers, it's your choice and you call the shots. The aim is to find people you can trust and work well with, there's no right or wrong approach. Find out what works for you.

Jacquie Keeley, Fab Food For You

Relaxed, informal vibes

Relaxed, informal vibes

Q What are you top 2023 trend predictions?
A Jacquie Keeley says: "I can see 2023 couples looking for venues with plenty of characterful features and outdoor space, especially since the change in the law means they can marry anywhere within the grounds of a licensed venue.

"Many will look for places offering the added bonus of accommodation, allowing for a full weekend of celebrations. In a similar vein, locations with plenty of on-site interest to keep guests and couples alike entertained during their stay such as a pool, jacuzzi, spa, and/or tennis courts will be the go tos.

"Since Covid, many families haven't been able to get together fully for what seems like an age and from my experience of working with couples recently, they're feeling the need for more freedom without too much structure. Consequently, big-day dining styles will be leaning more away from the traditional sit-down meal. So, informal sharing platters placed at the centre of the table offering a real sense of community, are my top tip for 2023 wedding catering.

"The rustic vibe will also continue to shine, lending itself very well to the desire for a more chilled atmosphere, so semi-naked wedding cakes decked in homegrown edible flowers, homemade pork pie stacks, and large cheese stacks will be huge."

Jacquie Keeley, Fab Food For You

Winter warmers

Winter warmers

Q What are your suggestions for a warming winter wedding feast?
A Kieron Robathan says: A warming winter wedding feast should be all about comfort and simplicity but most of all sharing. Think bold flavours, and something that's filling, delicious and moreish. For me, a slow-cooked pulled shoulder of lamb in a rich Moroccan-style sauce with smoked paprika, caramelised onions, chickpeas and wilted spinach, topped off with a minted yoghurt and pomegranate dressing really hits the spot. I love the melt-in-themouth, well-seasoned lamb served alongside a warm chilli spiced cous cous, and chargrilled garlic buttered flatbreads to tear with your guests around the table.

Dessert is easy! A white chocolate, caramelised orange and rosemary bread and butter pudding screams winter flavours and scents, served with cream Anglaise and dairy ice cream.

Serve everything around the table in large bowls for sharing, take as much or as little as you want surrounded by friends and family. Feast... the clue is in the title!

Kieron Robathan, Kieron's Kitchen Bespoke Catering

Sharing is caring

Sharing is caring

Q A three-course seated wedding breakfast isn't really us. Can you suggest any alternatives?
A Jacquie Keeley says: We do offer the traditional wedding breakfasts, but out of choice I prefer big bold sharing platters that take centre stage on the tables. For these, I love to use home-grown herbs and edible flowers from my own cottage garden as well as locally-grown produce and meat direct from the farmer. As you can imagine, as a farmer's daughter I have many contacts in the field!

A less formal wedding breakfast featuring sharing platters is a much more naturally relaxed style of dining. They allow your guests to be interactive, sociable and offer plenty of choice to suit all tastes. Stunning rustic platters offer the wow factor and are sure to be a conversation starter too when they arrive at the tables, something that a three-course meal being served one plate at a time doesn't have the ability to do. By the very act of sharing family-style you're bringing people together across the table, unifying loved ones from both sides. After all, sharing is caring!

Jacquie Keeley, Fab Food For You

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