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Sharon Hunter - September 2021

Catering for a Great Goodbye

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As people go deeper into their Great Goodbye celebration, food and beverages become important elements. What’s the best approach?

When it comes to catering for a funeral, get plenty of help. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when catering for a normal event, but more so when grief and anxiety are in play. So get others involved as early as possible.

Also consider the unique qualities of the venue. A boat shed suggests a different approach to food than the local pub. Likewise the beach calls for different things to a formal indoor setting. If you have a venue and theme already sorted, choose a style of food and drink that fits.

That doesn’t mean you have to spend up large.

Some of the most wonderful send offs were grounded in the simplest ideas. Like parcels of fish and chips on the lawn. While kids run around, the adults can share stories while the sun sets.

What was the character of the loved one? If he was a beer and burger kind of guy, go with that. If she was a bit posh or a foodie, more refined food and beverages might work better.

Venues and Catering

At Great Goodbyes, we’ve done some of the leg work in finding wonderful venues that come with their own superb catering. That can make life easier.

We’ve also found venues where they’re happy for you to arrange your own catering in whatever form suits. Wherever you’re hosting, here are a few catering ideas to get you started:

  • If a BBQ fits in with the setting and the mood, fire it up. If it’s a large crowd, get several people working the grill.
  • Think about hiring a food truck to handle the catering. It could be themed to a particular cuisine such as tacos or pizza. You might book a coffee truck for the end of a graveside service.
  • What about a licensed food truck mixing cocktails at your home?- If it’s a picnic on the lawn or sand, spread blankets, then add lanterns, wine and song. Rug up against the chill as night sets in. Think about how you might transport everyone to and from the venue and let everyone know to dress casually and bring something warm.
  • Professional caterers can remove a great deal of stress. Anything from a lamb on the spit to an elegant sit-down affair can be easily arranged.
  • Was she a champagne kind of girl? Ask guests to bring a special bottle and toast the night away as stories are shared. Save a few bottles and remember her all over again 12 months later.
  • If he had a favourite tipple of whiskey, it would be rude not to break out a dram or two. Add bagpipes to go all in with your theme.
  • If there is family china and silver that’s been handed down through the generations, lay the tables with it to create something personal and special.
  • Create talking points with place mats or table clothes printed with photographs.

"Some of the most wonderful send offs were grounded in the simplest ideas."

Here’s the key: Don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Once you have your food and beverage idea, ask friends and family to get busy in their kitchens.

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