Chicago has many nicknames - The Windy City, Chi-Town, Second City, and The City of Big Shoulders - but perhaps the most interesting is "The Most American Big City". Chicago is clearly a modern metropolitan melting pot, but it has somehow managed to hang on to its reputation as a friendly All-American city.
When it comes to Chicago brides and what they expect for their big day we talked to Ginger Matovich from Fresh Appetizers by Chef Paul Catering to get the inside scoop.
Chicago Wedding Catering - The Unusual is the Usual
The buzz word for Chicago brides who are interested in wedding catering is "options", and they seem intent on exploring all of them. Matovich tells us that the wide range of creative catering companies in the Chicago area means that brides start their research early and tend to push for unique catering combinations. "They are no traditional weddings in the Chicagoland area," she points out.
One of the more interesting trends she has seen over the last few years is the rise in vegan and vegetarian brides who want to provide food that suits their needs and provides the meat and potatoes that their guests crave. "Over the years we have created many new menu options as well as learned new techniques for making wedding fare that is hearty enough for carnivores but falls within vegetarian or vegan guidelines."
Following the theme of the unusual being usual the weather plays a huge part in establishing how a wedding caterer is going to do their job. "It has been said that you can experience all four seasons in one day in Chicago and it's not far from true." Every outdoor wedding must have a solid plan B that can be executed on at a moment's notice. "It could be 100 degrees in August or 40 degrees. If it doesn't rain, you could have 60 mile an hour winds. We've had weddings where we had to assign a staff person to each flower arrangement during the ceremony just in case the wind gusted hard enough to knock them over," Matovich shares.
Chicago Wedding Catering - Interesting Bridal Choices
We asked Ginger to share some trends that she feels defines Chicagoland Weddings.
1. It is not unusual to see deep dish pizza served in the midnight hours of a wedding as a late night snack and a tribute to the area. Famous local foods are often given as favors as well.
2. There is always a TV somewhere, even if it's on someone's phone, that's tracking whatever football, baseball, basketball game. We've lost 50% of the wedding guests to wherever that TV may be on some occasions.
3. Even though Chicagoland weddings are exciting and unique, there is always some slight infusion of tradition.
4. This Chicagoland area is busy and fast paced. Weddings in this area seem to reflect that as well. The guests are never sitting still for very long. It's one activity after another with different entertainment for each portion of the event to satisfy our short attention spans.
Chicago Wedding Catering - Best Advice
Ginger has offered the following advice for Chicago Brides
1. In the city of Chicago, consider parking with any venue you choose. You can have the most beautiful ceremony site but if you're guests can't get close to it or have to pay $30 a car for parking, you may want to reconsider. Suburban locations can sometimes be a better choice because of the easy access to parking and loading areas.
2. Don't forget the seasons when planning your menu. The Midwest is loaded with local farms. You can completely design your menu around what is locally and seasonally available and have some of the best food you ever tasted at a reasonable price.