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Expert Insights: Catering Your Dream Wedding

Updated: Apr 10

At Ocala Estate, we understand that every aspect of your wedding day should be perfect, especially when it comes to the culinary experience. To shed light on some common questions couples have about wedding catering, we sat down with Nick Metzler, owner of Southern Hospitality Catering and a seasoned expert in the field. Nick & his partner have a combined 40 years of experience in the catering world. He has owned his catering business for 6 years and has catered events as small as 25 people or as large as 600 people. Here's what he had to say:




Q: What is better, a seated dinner or buffet?

Nick: In my opinion, I believe a buffet setup is more efficient for weddings. With the number of guests typically present, having food readily available for guests to serve themselves ensures freshness and allows for better time management, ensuring everyone is served in a timely manner.

Q: What are the most popular food choices for weddings?

Nick: Beef dishes tend to be quite popular among wedding guests. Additionally, side dishes like loaded mashed potatoes are always a hit. 

Q: How far in advance should couples finalize their menu with the caterer?

Nick: About three weeks out from the wedding date is typically a good timeframe for finalizing the menu with the caterer. This allows ample time for the caterer to ensure everything is perfect for the special day.

Q: How can couples ensure that the food served at their wedding is personalized and meaningful?

Nick: Food is often a highlight for weddings, but even so, I believe it's essential to tailor the menu to the couple's preferences. Whether it's their favorite dishes or sentimental choices, the key is to cater to what resonates with the couple for a more memorable night. Wether it is hearty entrees or unique hors d'oeuvres like "Krystals," as how one of my couples did one time since they met at a Krystals. 

Q: Why are hors d'oeuvres during cocktail hour a smart choice for weddings?

A: Serving hors d'oeuvres during cocktail hour allows guests to focus on mingling and socializing while the couple takes photos. It adds a touch of elegance to the event and keeps guests satisfied until the main meal. Additionally, partnering with a mixologist to craft signature cocktails adds a personalized touch to the wedding experience.


When it comes to planning your wedding menu, it's essential to work closely with your caterer to ensure every detail is just right. With expert guidance and attention to detail, you can create a culinary experience that is both memorable and delicious for you and your guests. If you're interested in hearing more about Ocala Estate or Southern Hospitality Catering, please email us at info@ocalaestatega.com or call us at 912-417-9556; for Southern Hospitality please email them at ngm3006@gmail.com or call at 912-245-2652.

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