WOODSTOCK – Some area wedding businesses want to make planning the wedding menu as tasty, stress-free and special as possible.

Shaffer's Catering, Barbecue and Deli

Shaffer's Catering, Barbecue, and Deli in Woodstock can cater a variety of wedding menus.

Shaffer's is catering more weddings that are casual and rustic in settings such as barns, said Jill Murphy, catering manager for Shaffer’s Catering, Barbecue, and Deli.

“People want to move around and socialize,” she said.

That means the majority of the catering they do is buffet-style but they can always do more formal plated service.

“Some people want straight-up barbecue and mac and cheese like grandma made but we also have an expanded menu,” Murphy said.

That means in addition to the set menus, they can also show clients their custom menus.

That could be vegan, gluten-free, Indian, Tex Mex or even Asian inspired, she said.

“We can handle the whole gamut,” Murphy said. “Tell our chef a style and he will go with it."

That is Executive Chef Paul Clark, who along with eight employees, make menus to fill anyone's desire.

"We make it easy for our clients," Clark said.

They even make family recipes to include with the meal.

When she meets with a bride and groom, Murphy asks them what food they would like served at their wedding and what that would cost. They then discuss the couple’s budget.

It is then a matter of figuring what Shaffer’s can give the couple at their cost, Murphy said.

“We have done modest and we have done through the roof,” she said.

No matter the budget, Shaffer's has one goal.

“We want to give our clients a memorable, stress-free evening, with plenty of delicious food,” Murphy said.

Six Star Events

Six Star Events in Winchester can also handle wedding needs.

Kim James started Six Star Catering in 2002, with the help of a business partner. She followed that successful business on her own with Six Star Events in 2009, expanding her business to be full-service, one-stop shopping, not just catering.

James has seen trends come and go during her years of experience in the wedding business.

A current trend in wedding catering that she is seeing is the return of the brunch, which typically means food stations, such as an omelet station or stir fry.

“People have busy lives so when they have a wedding with people coming in they want to socialize, walk around and graze on food. People stroll around and eat when they want. We can tell when they are done,” James said.

People seem to have more refined palates and are wanting fresh and local ingredients, she said.

Some foods are just favorites and are standard like their herb, garlic and olive oil roasted beef tenderloin with horseradish cream.

Six Star Events works within a client’s budget. For those on a tighter budget, Six Star Events can offer a more affordable option while giving couples the same flavor profile as the popular beef tenderloin by using grilled flank steak, she said.

Often a fish entree is requested. Six Star Events might suggest salmon as a more cost-effective entree then tuna.

They also do chicken breast with wild mushrooms in a fresh herb white wine cream sauce.

“We can think of good food within the budget that will work within the venue,” James said.

On the day of the wedding, there is one thing everyone wants.

“They want good food, a pretty presentation and a staff that is on top of things,” James said.

Rochelle Myers Catering

Rochelle Myers, the owner of Rochelle Myers Catering based in Leesburg, said a wedding trend they have seen and were on the forefront of is personalization.

"Personalization is the hallmark of my company," Myers said. "People want to make their wedding their own."

That can mean taking food that is special to the couple and incorporating it into the menu. It can often mean taking global cuisine and tying them into the menu in such a way that 100 plus people can enjoy them, Myers said.

She pointed out, however, that it is hard to go wrong with a classic like beef tenderloin.

She takes time with the client, getting to know them and their needs.

Catering is often thought of as just the food but catering also includes rental of the equipment such as the dining tables and it also includes the time of the service staff, she said.

Those services are ways to save clients money without compromising on the food - such as clients having others set up the tables and limiting the amount of time the service staff will be needed.

Myers and her staff strive to make the wedding a special experience personalized for her clients.

Shaffers Catering, Barbecue and Deli

913 S. Main St., Woodstock

540-459-3744

www.shafferscatering.com

Six Star Events

341 Victory Road, Winchester

540-773-3306

www.sixstareventsllc.com

Rochelle Myers Catering

(703) 791-9328

rochelle@myersfood.com

Contact Melissa Topey at mtopey@nvdaily.com