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Bristol-based Fosters Events Catering give advice on working around wedding restrictions

Mini Yorkshire pudding canapés served by waiting staff at wedding. Credit: Sally T PhotographyAre you trying to work around restrictions and guidelines for weddings? Neil Lodge of Fosters Events Catering offers his top tips on how to make your catering memorable even on a small scale...

- Marry now, wedding later. For those you can't bear to put their marriage on hold, there's the option of an intimate micro-ceremony. We can make this extra-special with a mini wedding cake and couples can splurge on elements like an open bar and a decadent sit-down tasting meal with a carefully selected wine flight. Some couples are choosing to host their guests in shifts over a whole weekend to work around new capacity restrictions. A large screen is great for those who can't attend in person to live-stream or send pre-recorded messages.

- Food service. While serving delicious, memorable food remains at the forefront of couples' minds, there are plenty of ways to serve individual portions, as opposed to sharing platters or buffets. We've notice an increased popularity in street-food fayre such as barbecues, wood-fired pizzas and hog roasts, which can be served by our staff in personal protective equipment.

- Go al fresco. Couples are including more open-air elements to prevent guests from feeling confined. Opt for smaller tables with spaced seating arrangements so you can group guests by family. Al fresco weddings are utterly romantic filled with wild flowers and fairylights, and there are plenty of options to season-proof the venue with a marquee. Scandinavians dine outside all year round, with sheepskins, candlelight and fires protecting against the chill.

- Smaller refreshment stations. Instead of guests queuing at one bar, we suggest smaller satellite bars for guests to quickly grab refreshments. This could include a short cocktail menu with pre-made drinks and individually portioned snacks.

- Weave health and safety plans into the day. Couples are incorporating creative ways of staying sanitised into their day. From personalised bottles of sanitizer, hand wipes and stylish face masks in welcome bags to ushers welcoming guests with a pump of sanitizer on trays. Guests are also being encouraged to revive the formal tradition of wearing gloves as part of their attire. Coordinate face masks to the theme of the day to ensure is remains as elegant as possible.

- Communication is key. For guests' peace of mind, communicate the additional safety measures in advance, so family and friends know the day has been responsibly planned. This can be done with revised invitatioons as well as gentle reminders to socially distance displayed on the day. Wedding websites are a great way to regularly update your loved ones.

Neil Lodge | Fosters Events Catering | www.fostersevents.co.uk

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