Saturday, 6 September 2014

Wedding: Lavender Dining

Obviously the catering is a huge part of any wedding but Lavender Dining go far beyond just providing food. We cannot recommend Lavender highly enough. Ben and Clare make an excellent team, husband and wife as well as business partners - Ben in the kitchen and Clare seamlessly managing front of house.

From our very first meeting with Ben it was very clear just how different they were from any of the other caterers we had looked at. Too often companies we looked at made it feel like you were just another in a long line of weddings to be churned out, picking from a list of standard menu options and feeling more like you were organising a buffet for a corporate event.

Ben took the time to get to know us and the style of the wedding we had planned, the menu itself developed organically with us sending ideas back and forth until we had the meal that was perfect for us. Then we got to taste everything in our own home - a great insight into the boutique home catering that Lavender offer. It was an excellent evening after which we felt we had to temper our expectations to the effect that, when scaled up for the wedding, it wouldn't be as good.  Turns out we were wrong!  The food at the wedding was amazing as many of the guests commented. We had a number of people with dietary needs including a lactose intolerant bride, vegetarians, gluten intolerants, and one guest who has a plethora of serious allergies, all of which Ben took in his stride, subtly adapting the menu to accommodate. All of this was at a considerably more reasonable price than others we looked at.

To us though Lavender's greatest asset is Ben himself who has constantly gone above and beyond the role of caterer to ensure that our wedding day was perfect. He had an excellent understanding of the kind of thing we were looking for and added tweaks to the service to suit - little touches that made a big difference. Perhaps the best example of the lengths Ben went to was the Sunday after the wedding when he stuck around long after his things were tidied away to help us sweep and clean the venue itself before helping us load all our things into various vehicles to take away from the site. On seeing us struggle for space he loaded his own car and followed us back to our place and helped unpack! Judging from the time, energy and enthusiasm Ben was prepared to dedicate to us it'd be very easy to assume that we were his only wedding, but we know they have had functions nearly every weekend this summer!

It didn't really feel like a business relationship, despite being very professional in all our dealings, Ben was just another friend helping us with our wedding and we are sad that now the day itself has passed that has ended. We will be looking for any excuse to use Lavender Dining again in the future!

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