12 Delicious Philadelphia-Area Caterers for Your Micro-Wedding
Just because your wedding is smaller doesn’t mean you need to skimp on the food.
Philly has a stellar lineup of wedding and event caterers who will dish out cuisine with good taste — no matter what your Big Day looks like. That’s why some local businesses have pivoted to offer micro-wedding options due to the pandemic, which has caused many couples to change their plans this year — think significantly smaller guest lists, outdoor fetes, and plenty of backyard or at-home soirees. As newly engaged duos plan for near- or far-future celebrations, they’re either keeping the current guidelines top of mind or have embraced a new approach, trading big bashes for smaller, more intimate occasions — depending on what matters most to them. While Philly’s latest COVID-19 guidelines, put into place November 20th, have impacted gatherings through at least January 1st, that doesn’t mean you can’t begin your research and planning (and tasting!) now. The list of micro-wedding caterers below will prime your palate for your own Big Day. It’s by no means comprehensive; if you have a vendor you think we should know about, please email [email protected]lymag.com. Dig in!
[Editor’s note: The capacities listed below are subject to change based on updated COVID-19 requirements per federal, state and county guidelines. Please speak directly with each caterer for its latest accommodations.]
The team at 12th Street Catering seeks to make your Big Day as stress-free as possible — particularly during the pandemic. That’s why the company is offering specialized micro-wedding packages for couples that accommodate their unique needs. Each duo receives a personalized proposal to fit their specific food, rental and budget preferences. Right now, most events are being held outdoors in tents, with an average of 30 guests. 12th Street, which works with venues such as the Center for Architecture and Design and the Mann Center, offers drop-off options, is a full-service caterer, and has enacted numerous safety protocols. Staff go through a computerized temperature and mask-detection screening when reporting to work and are required to wear masks and gloves for the duration of the event. To keep distance between staff and guests, safety screens are put up at bars and food stations. Butlered hors d’oeuvres now have Plexiglas attached to the trays to serve as a barrier, and all stations and buffets are served by a chef attendant to minimize contact. The company also prides itself on its sustainable efforts, so its individual packaging features reusable Mason jars and compostable balsa-wood boxes. (We’re dreaming of the artisan cheese boxes, with Cabra Romero rosemary goat cheese, caciotta al tartufo, manchego, white Stilton, and Daniele soppressata.) Prices upon request. 3312-20 Spring Garden Street.
This fine-dining caterer (with a supper club at American Silk) believes in locally sourced cuisine (it routinely visits the farms from which it sources its products, ensuring that the team sees the process from start to finish), which you can taste in its micro-wedding dishes. Balboa’s micro-wedding packages serve up to 50 guests, with a flexible menu that includes options such as a baby vedge and citrus salad with cashew butter, herb yogurt, shaved rye crisps and cucumber. Safety precautions include customized, individually plated or served (behind Plexiglas, of course!) cheese and charcuterie with bags of baguettes and homemade crackers, and a station dishing out grilled cheese and tomato soup, plus small plates for couples to share for seated dinners. Prices are between $140 and $175 per guest, not including tax or gratuity. 4345 Orchard Street.
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With an emphasis on innovative menus and quality food, beverage and service standards, Brûlée works closely with each duo to create a one-of-a-kind culinary experience to fit their vision. The catering biz offers a curated micro-wedding package for 30 to 50 guests, with the option to host at one of its venues (like the Liberty View, Moulin, or the Museum of the American Revolution) or have the team come to you. Packages include a three-hour beer and wine bar with a champagne toast, standard rentals, a private ceremony, a cocktail-style dinner setting, a wedding cake and service staff. Couples can select from four appetizers, one small-plate salad (think panzanella with kale and brussels sprouts), and two small-plate entrées — choose stout-braised short-rib empanadas, ancho-chili duck breast, wild mushroom risotto … And according to Brûlée’s principles, each bite should taste as great as it looks. Prices are upon request. 1406 South Front Street.
Having backyard “I do’s”? Catering By Design is serving up cuisine artfully created for your needs. Its three-tiered menu selections have options to fit your palate and your budget. CBD will work with gatherings of as few as 20 or as many as local regulations will allow. No food is self-serve, and staff wear masks and gloves while preparing all plates for guests. In addition to your at-home soiree, the company works with exclusive venues Michener Art Museum, Bolingbroke Mansion, the College of Physicians and ONE North Broad. A taste from one recent wedding? Appetizers including watermelon cubes and Nashville hot chicken, and for dinner, lobster rolls and truffle french fries served in boats. Delish. Menus from $120 per person. 18 West Hortter Street.
Family-owned and -operated, Conner Catering is four generations strong, with more than 9o years of experience — the company’s hands-on, personal service makes all the difference when it comes to having a safe wedding experience in a pandemic. Case in point: Conner’s two new micro-wedding packages that accommodate 35 or 65 guests, respectively. The team has eliminated all self-serve stations, buffets and shared options (think family-style) in an effort to reduce contact between guests; all menus are prepared as formal sit-down occasions instead. (Recent menu items have included pan-seared country pork chops and honey-roasted butternut squash and parsnips.) The company works with venues Merion Tribute House and the Old Mill in Rose Valley in addition to a location of your choosing — like that outdoor tent you want for the wedding you’re currently planning. Prices range from $3,600 to $5,400, depending on the package and day, with tax and gratuity included.
Constellation Culinary Group has established new guidelines aimed at stringently following all health and safety procedures and being totally transparent with guests. While the group’s signature space, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, is currently closed through January due to the latest citywide pandemic restrictions, you can still prep for future micro-weddings (or larger celebrations). Expect custom menus, handcrafted cocktails (by skilled mixologists), and gracious hospitality. Constellation’s COVID-related updates include covering glasses with coasters as they’re being passed, to eliminate the possibility of airborne germs. (Those coasters can become a customized element, with a photo of the couple or an initial monogram.) Other measures: a redesigned bar with floral arrangements and screens, and a six-foot distance between guests and staff. Among Constellation’s other venues are the Fairmount Park Horticulture Center and the Barnes Foundation. The team also offers off-premise wedding services and catering options, if you’re planning an at-home or backyard soiree. As for the food and drink? Blood orange and shaved fennel salad, ahi tuna poke bowl, pomegranate citrus iced tea — or whatever your taste buds are craving. Packages are for groups of 50 or less, though guidelines for the city and state determine the max guest count. Micro-wedding packages start from $1,000 to $3,000, with most falling in the $5,000-plus range based on customization. 667 North Broad Street.
Let’s start with the sushi boats — picked veggie sashimi, or perhaps a trio of rolls (Shogun with wasabi foam, Futo Maki with salmon belly and Emperor Roll with tempura). These delightful individually served little nibbles from Feast Your Eyes Catering could end up on your micro-wedding menu. The catering company has designed various reception styles, such as a boxed meal to be enjoyed separately or in small pods, or seated meals served at small, socially distanced tables. Hors d’oeuvres are now presented on individual plates, while mini bottles of champagne with straws fill in for for toasting flutes. (Too cute!) Other updates include custom Lucite screens at the bars and any buffets; staffers wear masks and, depending on the location, face shields. As both an on-premise and off-premise caterer, Feast Your Eyes has access to many outdoor spaces with tents and can assist couples in finding a location that works for them. The boutique packages are suitable for under 50 guests; pricing is on request and varies based on the cuisine and service style. 1750 North Front Street.
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After pioneering some wonderful micro-weddings over the summer, Finley Catering — whose venues include the Ballroom at Ellis Preserve, Ballroom at the Ben, the Crystal Tea Room and the Union Trust — is continuing to work with lower guest counts and aims to be operating at 50 percent capacity when that’s deemed safe again. The family-run business has been in the industry for almost 45 years and has a skilled team that includes executive chef Jeffrey Ebert, Union Trust head chef Nicholas D’Ambrosio, and Ballroom at the Ben head chef Tyrell Toole. Micro-weddings offer the usual full-service food and bar packages, with butlered hors d’oeuvres, cocktail-hour stations and coursed selections. Finley’s venues have been updated with sanitation stations, sneeze guards and bar shields, among other safety protocols. Prices upon request. Wanamaker Building, 100 Penn Square East.
This full-service catering company keeps it simple but chic with its micro-wedding package. Offered on the grounds of Ridgeland Mansion (Joshua’s is the exclusive caterer), the package accommodates up to 90 guests. Receptions are held in an alfresco tent, the barn, or the beautiful Secret Garden — our pick for an intimate soiree. (Click here for inspo from a past version.) Joshua’s was founded in 2002 and today is run by CEO of corporate events Brian Hardaway and his team, who are dedicated to fresh and local ingredients and the health and safety of guests. Staffers wear masks and gloves and maintain a clean, healthy environment; guests are expected to physically distance, wear masks, and sanitize their hands. A four-hour event includes a venue fee of $2,500 and a menu that costs up to $75 per person. 804 Oak Lane Avenue.
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This sandwich spot also offers drop-off and event catering, with an eye toward seasonal menus that add flavor to your special day. Packages are customized according to client wishes and include a cocktail display of hors d’oeuvres and a full-course dinner. Miles Table can incorporate your fave bakery treat (ricotta cannoli! Espresso mousse cups!) or menu item into the mix as well as meet dietary needs. All team members are wearing masks and gloves while serving and maintaining social distancing guidelines. Most of the micro-weddings Miles Table has catered this season have ranged from 25 to 30 guests (with a few of up to 50) and took place outdoors at couples’ homes. Prices start at $55 per person for a buffet and $63 for a seated meal; packages include a cocktail hour with passed and stationery appetizers and the main meal. 1620 South Street.
This catering company has worked on micro-weddings at Pomme and Portico (its venues) as well as at private spots, offering various styles and cuisine options based on a couple’s culinary wish list. The team has held ceremonies for those who would like to say “I do” against Pomme’s dreamy woodland backdrop or Portico’s verdant greenery at Awbury Arboretum; they’ve also hosted a ceremony with only a small wedding cake and champagne. The micro-wedding menu features simple foods like mini crabcakes, lobster summer rolls and baby lamb chops — and margaritas — as well as picnic boxes that change seasonally and could include spring onion tartlets, grilled chicken with scallion dressing, citrus and fennel salad, fruit, black pepper crackers, salted caramel brownies, Birchrun Hills “Little Chardy” cheese and wine jelly. Duos have held luncheons on the grass (complete with blankets), and one couple bought the Peachtree To-Go offering for a snack in the park. On Pomme’s heated, covered veranda (which has three open sides), Peachtree has served up to 24 socially distanced guests. And an off-premises wedding in Montgomery County dished out a four-course meal for 16. Guest counts range from 10 to 35. For a ceremony only, prices range from $1,500 to $2,000; for micro-wedding brunch, lunch or dinner with a ceremony, prices range from $3,500 to $10,000. 175 King of Prussia Road.
The staff at Robert Ryan is working with each micro-wedding inquiry to create a package that fits guests’ specific needs, leaning more toward filling short-term dates. Family-owned since day one, the business has turned an eye toward reducing its carbon footprint. Safety is another top priority — all food stations are currently Plexiglas-protected, and masked attendants plate and pour dishes and drinks for the guests. Among Robert Ryan’s venues is the lovely Barn on Bridge — perfect for a small outdoor celebration with a rustic vibe. Options begin with the all-inclusive package, but Robert Ryan is allowing clients to excise elements for a smaller service with a reduced price. Highlights include a signature cocktail for cocktail hour; seated, buffet or station-style service; and a day-of coordinator. Typical micro-wedding packages tend to be for 30 to 60 guests. Prices range from $98 to $150 per person, though items are flexible and customizable per couple. 385 Bridge Street.