Frequently Asked Questions: Weddings

About Food & Beverage

A wedding is one of the most important days of your life and our job is to make sure you’re enjoying, not worrying – and eating delicious food. We will talk to you about types of food that you, your fiancé, and your guests enjoy to develop a menu based on that. While our style is seasonal comfort food with ethnic twists, we have experience in American bistro, fine French, seafood, Indian/Pakistani, Caribbean, Thai, Mexican, – you name it, we’ll make it happen.
Yes, of course. Because we make almost all of our food in-house (including breads, crackers, and ice cream) we know what goes into it and can let you know … or keep it out. We appreciate foods that are naturally vegan – like fresh veggies and fruits, whole grains, and legumes, but have also been known to make a mean homemade bbq seitan or tofu for those craving a meat-substitute.
Better than that. We have developed relationships with organic farmers who who will deliver right to our door, including City Farm (Chicago, IL), Radical Root Farm (Libertyville, IL), Ellis Family Farm (Benton Harbor, MI), and Nichols Farm & Orchard (Marengo, IL). FIG sources our meat and poultry locally from Slagel Family Farm(Fairbury, IL), Gunthorp Farms (Lagrange, IN), and Mint Creek (Stelle, IL). We also serve only sustainably sourced seafood, and we’re especially fond of Rushing Waters trout from Palmyra, WI.

With a limited growing season and lovable foods that we just can’t find here (like avocados and salmon), we do find it necessary to work with distributors, but we are always sourcing better alternatives like wild caught salmon, organic produce, and fair trade coffee and chocolate.

Some venues allow you to bring in your own alcohol, but require the caterer to serve it. You’re welcome to provide your own alcohol when the venue allows and can accommodate delivery and pickup/take home. In these cases, FIG will provide a mixer package including non-alcoholic beverages/mixers and garnishes, bar set up, ice, and insurance. Or, let us help you out with the booze. FIG provides bar packages with alcohol at a variety of price points. Like our food philosophy, FIG Catering sources sustainably and organically produced wines, micro-brewed beers from local breweries, and craft distilled spirits from responsible producers. We believe the quality of your beverages should match the quality of your food. Ask your FIG contact for bar pricing and our liquor menu.

Yes, we have three menus below that illustrate different styles of service/different seasons, but keep in mind that this is just a small example of what we do.

| stations |
| buffet dinner |
| plated dinner |

This may seem like an odd question to have under the food category, but, honestly, that’s why we keep our weddings small. Cooking food for a large number of guests, off-site, using local ingredients is difficult, but we feel like we’re able to keep our food quality higher by limiting the amount of guests we serve. We would love to be able to help couples out with their 200+ person weddings, but we’re For Intimate Gatherings for a reason.

About Service

From initial phone call or e-mail, through proposal development, tasting, and wedding day, your FIG event manager will be there.
We train and hire all of our own service staff to serve and bartend at events so we can ensure they are the best.
Yes, we’re happy to help out with set-up of these items before your reception, but keep in mind that we are not florists or event designers. If flowers need to be arranged or serious design work needs to be done, contact a florist or wedding planner. Here are some great ones.

About Rentals

Providing that your venue does not have restrictions on open flames or limited electricity, your food will be cooked fresh, on-site, even if your venue does not have a traditional kitchen with equipment. We rent tables to prep, ovens, and burners, or a grill and tent to cook outside.
Yes, most of the venues where we cater are in the same situation. Our every-last-detail approach includes renting equipment to execute your entire wedding reception.

We outsource all rentals and pass them along to you without additional mark-up. Because of the cost of storing, maintaining, and transporting large equipment in Chicago, rental prices are often very high (about one quarter of the total catering budget).

We’re in Chicago and can find just about everything from vintage plate ware to wooden farm tables to modern furniture. Specialty rentals will increase your costs 2x or more so keep that in mind when looking at initial table rental prices.

Next steps…

Yes, we work at new venues all of the time and have a bunch of favorites depending on your style. Check out our full list of recommended vendors, including venues, here.

Every wedding is unique, and accordingly, we create all custom menu proposals. Also, every venue has different rental needs, requirements and other considerations that may influence the options we can offer you or the cost. Your menu options will vary depending on the date and what’s seasonally available, plus your preferences. Please call or e-mail us to discuss you plans – some important information to think about includes your date, venue, guest count, the style of service you’re interested in, the kinds of foods you and your fiance like and want to see served at the wedding, or dislike, and your budget for catering.
First, sit down. Take two deep breaths. Take your shoes off. Two more big breaths. Now, there isn’t a wedding problem we haven’t seen, and we can solve yours. Let’s talk.

We are not unsympathetic to this question. We know that weddings are a significant expense and try to answer as honestly as possible, but many factors contribute to wedding costs and so it’s not always easy for us to give a pat answer. Factors like style of service, menu, bar, rentals, and staff all contribute to the catering costs of a wedding and are important to consider when planning your affair. The average FIG wedding is about $130 per person, which includes the food, basic rentals, non-alcoholic beverages and service staff for a 6-hour event.

We love this online cost estimator because it asks relevant questions and offers a pretty realistic “educated guess.”

Once you’ve secured a venue and have received a proposal from FIG, we’d be happy to set up a tasting with you. Ask your FIG event manager for available dates, times, and details.