Love the idea of a wedding reception in a barn? Want to throw a big party out on your grandparents' ranch? Dreaming about another type of gathering in a rustic environment? These are trendy places to hold big events, but they also present a lot of challenges -- in particular, they often don't have electricity. To make sure the catering is on point, regardless of electrical concerns, check out the following tips:
1. Consider Hiring a Generator
So that you have some power for the evening, you may want to hire a generator. When choosing a generator, make sure that it is safe for use in your environment. Most diesel generators need to be stored outside because they let off deadly exhaust. To estimate how much power you need, talk with the catering company about what needs power (fridges, hot plates, etc), and then add up the highest amount of wattage used by each item.
2. Remember to Think About Lighting
While estimating your potential power usage, you should also think about the lights that you need for your event. Dining by candlelight can be lovely, but you may want some extra light as well. Whether you plan to hang strings of twinkly lights over the dance floor or install spotlighting for the caterers to work under, you need to think about that electrical usage when choosing your generator and planning your event.
3. Select Your Food Carefully
Talk with the caterer about the fact that the venue has no electricity and choose your foods accordingly. Ideally, you should minimise the number of foods that need to be chilled before serving. For instance, if you plan to pass hors-d'oeuvres, they should all be fine at room temperature. Similarly, if you're serving cake, you want a frosting that holds its shape at room temperature rather than one that needs to be chilled.
4. Work With Event Hire Companies
While the catering company provides the food, they may not provide the other elements you need. Ask if they can recommend a hire company to you, and then work with that company to get tables, chairs, linens and other essentials. Keep in mind that if people are eating, you may also need to provide portaloos for their comfort and convenience. Some companies even offer walk-in fridges for hire.
5. Choose a Caterer With Experience and a Plan
For best results, you need a catering company that has experience working around electrical issues. They understand the challenges, they can help you come up with the right menus, and they can ensure that your big event goes perfectly.