It’s probably every bride’s worst nightmare: two weeks before the wedding and the caterer gets cold feet and pulls out. Fortunately, Avala was able to step in.
Normally, wedding catering is planned and organised over a period of months. This particular predicament meant we didn’t have the luxury of time. However, the groom was a chef and had designed the menu himself, so an amount of work had already been done. The menu was a mix of English and Caribbean-style dishes and our head chef spent a lot of time discussing the details with the couple. With a lot of family members travelling to the wedding from the Caribbean, authenticity would be key, and the groom himself provided us with a secret recipe mix of spices to use in the vegetable locri, a Caribbean-style vegetable rice.
There wasn’t enough time to organise a tasting, and we were fully aware that the couple were putting all their faith in Avala to deliver. Not surprisingly, the whole experience had left the bride very worried about her big day. We pulled out all the stops to provide reassurance, with Andrea making herself available at all times of day and night.
An island wedding
We’ve worked at Ravens Ait, an exclusive island venue on the Thames, before and know the venue well, but felt it important to visit and liaise with the staff to ensure nothing had been overlooked.
On the day itself, we arrived early to transport all the food and equipment across the river by boat. The ceremony was to take place outside on the stunning front lawns, where we would also serve drinks and a selection of delicious canapés to 70 guests. The three-course seated wedding breakfast was served in the Britannia Suite, one of the lovely ceremonial rooms at Ravens Ait, which had been stylishly decorated and splashes of vibrant colour in the floral displays elegantly reflected the Caribbean theme. Blessed with beautifully warm and sunny weather, the day could only go well!
As is the bride’s traditional right, she arrived late for the wedding ceremony. Thankfully, because the meat for the main course was prepared sous vide, the delay didn’t have a negative impact on the catering. Everything ran smoothly and we even managed to feed four extra guests that weren’t expected! Dessert was designed around quintessential English theme of High Tea. We served a selection of beautiful mini desserts on vintage tea stands to each table, and vintage dessert plates extended the theme.
Feedback from guests and the couple themselves was excellent, and we were delighted to be able to turn a potential disaster into a dream day.