don’t spend a minute worrying about your wedding food

Will the guests get enough canapes?
Will the waiters keep glasses filled?
Will Uncle Greg’s extreme egg allergy be okay?

We’re here to soothe your wedding catering worries.
When it comes to wedding food, you want a team of experts who’ve taken care of
hundreds of Melbourne weddings.

Our Wedding packages

Cocktail Wedding Packages

from $36.50 per person

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Your guests can mingle to their heart’s delight — and you don’t have to stress about seating plans. That’s why so many couples love cocktail weddings. Our finger food is designed to easily eat by hand, and we keep the food flowing throughout your reception so guests won’t be going hungry. Choose from a large selection of cold, hot and dessert canapes. You can also add a substantial menu item to ensure a completely satisfying meal for your guests.

Plated Dining Packages

from $59.00 per person

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Choose from a selection of entrees, mains and desserts, all made with the freshest locally-sourced ingredients. Our irresistible menu options include pork belly, scallops, lamb shoulder, salmon, prawns and much more. For dessert, choose from delectable sweet dishes, tangy, citrussy treats or rich, chocolatey delights.

Shared Platter Dining

from $59.00 per person

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One of our best selling menus, the shared platter offers a generous selection of mouth-wateringly irresistible dishes, made from the freshest local produce for guests to share. Choose from tapas entrees, mains and desserts with the option of including finger food prior to your shared platter dining service.

Beverage Package

from $29.00 per person

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Give your guests a great time with an array of beverages, including beers, wines, sparkling, signature cocktails and alcohol-free options. Our friendly waiters keep the drinks flowing and the glasses topped up so your guests never have to go hunting for an extra drop. Cheers to that!

wineries, event spaces, backyards, paddocks

Your wedding team comes with decades of experience, stringent attention to detail, friendly staff and — of course — mouthwatering food. No matter the wedding location, our caterers will be hard at work in the kitchen delivering sumptuous meals while our event manager supervises every aspect of your food service, leaving you to mingle with your guests and enjoy an unforgettable celebration.

Event Management experts

What sets us apart from other caterers is our extensive experience. For nearly 14 years, we’ve been helping Melbourne couples celebrate their special day. We love nothing better than seeing the smiles on your guests' faces at the end of the reception. Playing a crucial part in your day is a huge honour, one we take incredibly seriously. Let our team of experts guide you to create the event of your dreams — chat to us today!

wedding catering with plenty of inclusions

There’ll be no hidden surprises on your invoice. You’ll get all the essentials that go far beyond just the food, including all meal prep and cleanup afterwards. You get a team of experts planning and setting up your event, providing crockery, cutlery, place setting and more. Plus, you get friendly, attentive food and beverage service from our experienced wait staff. Your dedicated event manager will be keeping an eagle eye on every element of the service. So, the only finger you’ll be lifting is when you raise a glass to toast your happy day.

Get in touch

We love to talk weddings. And we’d be pleased to supply a custom quote for your big day.

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An Essential Catering employee serving drinks

Testimonials for our Melbourne wedding catering services

"The food was outstanding and there was plenty of it and the waiters were very nice to all my guests"

We had a finger food menu for over 100 guests and we were not disappointed. We were able to choose from an extensive and varied menu. The food was outstanding and there was plenty of it. The service from their staff was great and made for a very successful wedding. Thank you for making my son and his bride's wedding a day to remember.

Chez M
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"Amazing food!"

The waiters are so accommodating and were very nice to all my guests. My guests said they were so happy with the quality of food and the waiters who served them. A stand out was Caroline, she was so lovely and attentive! Would definitely have any event catered by them in the future.’

Vidi Pudman
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"They catered to our dietary requests brilliantly and the waiters were very nice to all my guests"

We recently had Essential Catering for our wedding at Paynes Rise! The food was delicious and the stall option gave the exact 'relaxed' summer food vibe! They catered to all our dietary requests brilliantly and everyone was raving about the delicious food!

Sarah Hardie
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"The food and staff were amazing and they offered many flexible options"

We recently had Essential Catering & Events cater our wedding. The food and staff were amazing and they offered many flexible options to suit our needs. Overall we are very happy with the choice we made!

Danielle Johnson
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"It was brilliant!"

We booked our wedding with Essential Catering and it was brilliant! They were so accommodating and easy to work with in the build up to the wedding, and amazing on the day! The food was delicious and our guests raved about it. I'm looking forward to hearing more about these guys in the catering scene!

Libby de Jong
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Meet our wedding team

We’re a bunch of old romantics here to help make your day extra special.

Katrina

our events manager will help you refine your menu and plan your event.
Favourite wedding movie:

My Best Friend's Wedding

Huw

our head chef, ready to wow you with amazing dishes that your guests will absolutely love.
Favourite wedding movie:
Four Weddings and a Funeral

Sean

our founder, here to personally supervise all elements of your wedding catering and ensure every second is smooth and stress free.
Favourite wedding movie:
My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Ready for your private couple tasting?

One of our favourite parts of your wedding planning is inviting you and your partner for a private on-site wedding tasting session at our Bayswater North commissary kitchen. Our wedding planning team and chef will be on hand to help you choose from our amazingly fresh and irresistible recipes.

You’ll get to taste dishes from your menu of interest. It’s a great opportunity to experience the team, the service and the quality of our delicious food. After the tasting, you are invited to stay for coffee and cake and start planning with our wedding catering sales manager, Katrina.

What’s included in our wedding catering packages

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Private tasting

Enjoy a VIP tasting session to help you choose your preferred dishes.

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Dedicated manager

Our experienced event supervisor will oversee every element of your food service.

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Wait staff

Friendly, attentive waiters will keep the food coming and the drinks flowering.

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Prep and cleanup

We bring all our own supplies for set up, and clean everything up after our part is done.

Need a kitchen in a paddock?

We bring our kitchen with us — so your rustic wedding can be as remote as you wish. 

A marquee wedding in a field on the edge of the city is the ultimate in low-key romance, with a relaxed vibe and stunning views. But it does mean the kitchen needs to come to you. We have the equipment and experience to make it happen.

CONTACT US FOR A QUOTE

Making your wedding more sustainable

We make every effort to reduce waste at your wedding by:

  • locally growing 95% of our own herbs

  • growing our own fruits and vegetables as much as possible

  • hand making 98% of our catering menus so we don’t use processed food that comes in extra packaging

  • keeping food waste and food miles to a minimum

  • composting all our food waste

  • sourcing produce from local providers in or near the Yarra Valley

  • only using 100% Australian fruit, vegetables, meat, seafood and cheeses

  • using free range eggs

  • using fair trade coffee

  • minimising the use of single-use or plastic cutlery by providing our own cutlery at events

  • recycling glass, cardboard, paper and cooking oil

  • reducing energy demand via LED lights and other initiatives

  • using 100% biodegradable coffee cups and supporting the use of keep cups

Wedding catering
Frequently asked questions

I’m not sure what food option I should choose - can you help?
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Yes, our dedicated events manager Katrina has put together menus for hundreds of Melbourne weddings and she will be delighted to share her advice.

How do I get a wedding catering quote?
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Simply contact us and chat to our events manager Katrina and she will put together an itemised wedding catering quote for you.

What are your payment terms? Do I pay a deposit?
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Yes, you pay an initial installment to lock in your booking, and the balance is due 10 days prior to your event.

We have no kitchen — do you have mobile ovens?
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Yes, we have a variety of mobile kitchen equipment we can bring, including oviens. We just need allocated space to work from that has access to power.

Does it cost extra to bring your cooking equipment along?
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Yes, we do charge additional fees if there is not a kitchen we can use to prepare your catering. We will itemise all the details of the additional charges in your custom quotation.

What’s included in the per person cost of your wedding catering service?
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You get:

  • expert advice on your menu

  • free, no-obligation quote

  • private couples tasting session

  • dedicated events manager on the day

  • pre-wedding staging and event setup (if required)

  • tables set with cutlery, dishes and glassware

  • waiters to serve your food and drink selection to your guests

  • all cleanup after the event

Do you cater for dietary needs — is there any additional cost?
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Yes, we cater to any dietary request that you or your guests may have. In order to plan the menu, we ask that you provide a list of each guest and their specific dietary requirements at least ten days in advance of your wedding. If your guest has a specific food intolerance, we will prepare a dish specifically for that guest. Plus, if there’s a dish you love, we can make it gluten free, vegan, dairy-free, nut free, etc. For each request that deviates from our main menu, we charge an additional $12 per person. 

Where is the couples tasting event held and what is involved?
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We invite you to our commissary kitchen in Bayswater North to taste a selection of yummy delights prepared by our team of foodies. Have your questions  answered, taste a selection of amazing dishes from your menu of interest and our events teams will work with you to develop a draft schedule for your big day. Our chef and sales manager are on site to answer any questions you may have about finalising your menu. You are sure to leave with confidence that your wedding catering is in good hands.

Do you have a kids menu?
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Yes, for children aged 2-12 we can provide a child’s meal for $18 per person. Alternatively, if the children are eating the same food as the adults, we offer a 25% discount off the adult price.

When do I need to notify you of final numbers?
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Typically, we ask to know the numbers a week prior to the wedding so we can start preparing for your event in advance.

Is there a minimum number of guests?
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Our menu prices are based on at least 40 guests. We can cater for smaller numbers, but a surcharge will apply.

How many waiters will I get?
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It depends on the style of the event. For finger food events, we allow one food waiter per 50 people and for seated events we allow one waiter per 25 people. We believe plenty of staff make for a smooth, stress-free event for your guests so we always have more than adequate numbers of waiters and bartenders for your wedding. We also provide a dedicated event manager on site to supervise the waiters and bar staff during the food service at your wedding.

What happens if we need to cancel or reschedule?
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As per our terms and conditions, if you wish to cancel:

  • with 176 days’ notice or more: 100% of the deposit will be refunded

  • with 21-176 days’ notice: 50% of the deposit will be refunded

  • with less than 21 days’ notice: the cancellation fee equals the total deposit and all non-refundable charges

If you wish to postpone:

  • with 21 days’ notice or more: 50% of the deposit will be refunded

  • with less than 21 days’ notice: the cancellation fee equals the total deposit and all non-refundable charges

What if there is a covid shutdown?
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Our COVID-19 policy states:

  • if the lockdown occurs 72 hours before midnight on the day of the event, there will be no charge for your event and the deposit will be refunded

  • if it occurs less than 72 hours before midnight on the day of the event, you will be liable for costs incurred

Are your staff vaccinated for covid?
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As per state government mandates, all our staff will be double vaccinated by 26 November (if not sooner). Read our COVID-19 policy.