The Chattanooga Bridal Guide | Wedding Food

Let’s chat about wedding FOOD! Dee Johnson from Tasteful Gatherings shares her insider’s knowledge on all things related to choosing how and what to serve on your big day!

Most requested wedding food: 

  • Two meats with sides and salad
  • Taco bar with all the toppings, sides and Queso w/chips
  • Italian
  • Breakfast/Brunch
  • Appetizers and Stations

Things to think about:

 Some things to think about when planning your wedding food is that not all food works well for your wedding. Such as fried foods, scrambled eggs and foods that are fragile. Your catering company should be very honest with you as you are developing your menu. The venue’s kitchen makes a difference in this area as well. If they have stoves and ovens some things can be prepared on site and served fresh. A great example is steak and seafood. We sometimes travel with a grill and prepare onsite. We have offered this option on several occasions. 

How to handle RSVP’s:

 When preparing your guest count you should know that people are slow to respond sometimes. If you have 130 RSVP’s then you should go up a few just in case you have a few unexpected guests. We include a small buffer in case you have more guests than RSVPed however we only guarantee the number you give us. Also, include your vendors in your count. Most vendors are at your wedding several hours and they may have started working to prepare for your wedding early in the day. They love what they do but it is a very long day for them. They are welcome to go through the line if it’s a buffet or if it’s plated you can either set up a table for them in the reception area or discuss with the venue if they have a location for them to take a break and grab a bite to eat.

Leftovers? What do you do?

 With leftover food you need to understand that the food was prepared early in the day and held for several hours until it is time to serve. The health department has very strict guidelines on what is supposed to happen to this food. After it has been held for more than four hours it is supposed to be disposed of. If you want to bring any of this food home then you need to check with your caterer to see if you can sign a food waiver. This releases the catering company from legal liability if the food isn’t handled properly and someone becomes ill after eating some of the leftovers. 

 We provide a few to go boxes to pack up food for the bride and groom to take with them that night. Most bride and grooms don’t eat and are starving when they leave their reception.

 As part of your catering package, we will prepare a plate for the bride and groom and have it at the table when they are ready to eat. We also cut the cake at no charge and take very good care of your guests. We bus the tables and take out all food related trash.


Ways to serve your guests:

  • Buffet style is the most utilized style at weddings. It’s the most cost effective and the quickest way to get your guests fed so that the party can begin.
  • Plated is used for a more formal wedding. It’s the most expensive but it really makes a statement and your guests love the attention.
  • Family Style is fairly new and creates intimacy at the guest tables. Your guests will interact while passing platters and bowls of our yummy food.
  • Stations are best for parties. They create movement for your guests as they visit each food station. This option is also fantastic to offer different genres of food such an; Italian Station, Southern Station etc.



Tasteful Gatherings began as a concept when I worked for a local country club.  I was in charge of all aspects of events as well as managing the dining and bar areas. During rare downtime I would dream about starting a catering business and began thinking about what should be offered.

I eventually decided to go for it, and in 2013 our Tasteful Gatherings catering business was born. We started from very humble beginnings, a very small client base and limited finances, but our team had a big dream that would drive us toward success!

We began offering weekly meals and delivering them to local clients and families. Then, we expanded and began catering for business events and weddings. That’s when we knew we had hit our stride and had found what we were most passionate about – creating delicious meals and designing amazing events.

For our family of chefs and staff, building a relationship with our clients helps us to be innovative with the creative process and designing menus. Personalizing menus is a key component of our style of service. Having our client’s needs and wishes in mind is really like seeing them as a special ingredient – that detail which makes the meal like no other!

At Tasteful Gatherings, we believe you are the special ingredient! We focus on the idea that food is social, and we love being part of bringing people together. Tasteful Gatherings is a full-service, award winning catering company that offers extraordinary design, taste and personal chef service for all types of occasions.

We would love to bring our unique style to your next event.  We’ve worked hard to create a food experience that celebrates all the beautiful bounty of the Southeast Region to bring your family and friends together and help make lasting memories. You can trust our catering team to bring all the care, attention and experience to you that such a special event deserves.

Family owned and full-service, we listen to what you want and customize each event to surpass your expectations. We are dedicated to providing the highest level of service that complements our innovative cuisine. Whatever the occasion, from wedding receptions to formal corporate workshops, let Tasteful Gatherings take your next event to a whole new level.

We custom make all of our menus so we have a wide variety of options. We work closely with the bride and groom to develop their menu. We feel that our food should be as unique as our clients are.

 We would love the opportunity to provide the catering for your wedding. You can find us at, Facebook under Tasteful Gatherings and Wedding Wire or you can call Dee Johnston at 423-337-1887 to discuss your perfect wedding food!


Check out more helpful wedding planning info here!

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