Tips and Advice

Full Service Catering

Why to Choose a Full –Service Caterer

Written by  VT GROUP

When choosing a caterer for your wedding, consider one that offers full service catering: staffing, event design, event planning as well as one that has venue connections. Your mind and wallet will thank you.


Some couples make the assumption that their service needs will be met when booking a caterer. Caterers provide varying levels of service in conjunction with your venue staff.  Be sure to consider these questions and beyond before you book.

Set up – will your caterer be setting the tables, pouring waters, setting up drink and dessert stations? Will they reset room between ceremony and reception –( flip the room)?

Clean up and Breakdown—Will your caterer be clearing during your cocktail reception or dinner. Will they be available for guests’ needs during the wedding? Will they be staying after guests have left to remove linens, compile décor, box leftover food and desserts?

Often, celebrations for friends, family and even the happy couple come to an abrupt halt as soon as the reception is over. The last thing you want is to spend an hour or two after the wedding, cleaning and gathering. Communicate with your caterer as to what services they offer and how they can make your transition from reception to departure pleasant for you and your guests.


How many staff is your caterer able to provide?  What is their ratio of staff to guests?

Some catering companies run a small operation and that’s great! But do consider what level of service you want for your wedding. If you expect a high level of attention and event support, keep this in mind when you book.

Does your catering company offer a trained, licensed bar staff?

A catering company that also provides bar service can make service and logistics easier.

Our catering companies, Food in Bloom Catering and Vibrant Table Catering & Events have a large event management team dedicated to taking care of event logistics. Our staff is trained in bartending, fine dining service, set up and breakdown. Our event coordinators can guide you through the entire event process.

Event Planning and Design

A well-planned event means less stress for you and your friends and family. A catering company that offers event planning and design understands the whole picture of your special day – from soup to nuts (so to speak).  

Benefits of full service catering/planning company:

-Event Manager works closely with Event Coordinator to efficiently set up and breakdown events in accordance with style, timeline and floor plan

-Ensures locations are properly equipped so you aren’t dealing with unexpected needs from kitchen staff and equipment needed to fulfill your vision for the space is realized (i.e. work with the venue equipment and handle renting additional equipment as needed).

-Works hand-in-hand with kitchen and manages staff to ensure timelines are met

-Creates floor plans per the couple and venue specifications so you don’t have to think about fire marshal regulations and ensure  everything you have planned for actually fit in the space!


At Food in Bloom Catering and Vibrant Table Catering & Events, our planners are skilled at offering suggestions for layout, lighting and event flow and love to collaborate with other vendors to create your perfect day.  We recommend how to bring your vision to life within your desired budget.

We will help plan your wedding reception and take care of details behind the scenes, but when it comes to the nuptials, we stand back and let the professional wedding planners, like Your Perfect Bridesmaid, take charge of day-of coordination.  

Venue Connections

There is a valid reason that many venues have exclusive and preferred caterers. Choosing a caterer with exclusive or preferred access to a venue means they are intimately familiar with the idiosyncrasies of a venue. They know what works and what doesn’t. They understand the flow of the space and how the kitchen should be set up.

In addition to being a preferred caterer at many venues in Portland, VT Group also manages some of the city’s most beautiful and diverse spaces including four event venues:

Exchange Ballroom

Treasury Ballroom

The Loft at 8th Avenue

Lan Su Chinese Gardens

As one of Oregon’s premier hospitality purveyors, VT Group provides casual to high-end, full-service catering, event production and facility management. VT Group’s flagship brands include Vibrant Table Catering & Events, Food in Bloom Catering, f&b cafe and catering, and Vibrant Flowers.

Our mission is to foster exemplary relationships within our community, developing and maintaining quality connections with partners who share our same ambition, drive and values.

We are happy to answer your catering and event questions. Please contact us at: 971.808.5260 or [email protected]

Images for this post are from a real wedding:
Venue: Exchange Ballroom and Cascade Rooftop
Catering/Bar Service: Vibrant Table Catering
Photographer: Shelley Marie
Floral: Vibrant Flowers

This is a expert guest post written by the VT Group.