All posts in Raleigh Catering

Wedding Photography Tips

Posted in: Raleigh Catering

Raleigh catering for weddings

The closer you get to your wedding day, the more nervous you’ll get about making sure all the fine details are all buttoned up. You’ll wonder about all the vendors having their staff ready so that your big day goes off without a hitch. One of the most important elements of your wedding day that you’re probably worried about is getting the right pictures. After all, these are going to be memories that you are going to want to share for a lifetime. Don’t worry, we’ve put together a great list of tips to make sure you get all the correct shots for your wedding book. If you are looking for the best in Raleigh catering, then look no further than Catering By Design. Our wedding menus are perfect for any budget and are fully customizable. Call us today and ask about our FREE menu tastings.

Wedding Day Photography Tips

One of the first things that you need to do is make a list of some of the must-have poses for your wedding. Things like pictures with you and your family, you and your bridesmaids, you and your maid of honor will be a good place to start, but take it step further and really think about your venue. Maybe there is a winding staircase that you wanted to take advantage of, or maybe the property features an old barn by the pond, both of these ideas would be a good backdrop for a few photos.

Pinterest is a great place to look for inspiration as well. Just login to your account and search for your wedding venue. You’ll probably find a lot of creative options that you had never thought of. You might even find a few that you’ll want to scratch from your list. Just don’t go overboard with it because too much Pinterest can actually add to the stress that you’re already under by making you want to add too much with too little time.

You should also make a few trips out to your venue during the timeframe of your ceremony, when it’s available of course, and take note of the lighting and how/where the sun shines on the places that you want to be photographed. Make sure to scout out the inside and outside of the grounds. You can also ask the venue staff for suggestions. They should be experts at helping you pick the best places to be photographed while on their property.

Also, make sure you have a sit down meeting with your photographer and create a timeline for all of your photos that will be in concert with the other time elements of your wedding. You are really going to want everything to flow smoothly and this meeting will give you an opportunity to make sure your photographer is on the same page with the other vendors, like the caterer.

Overall, have trust in your wedding photographer. If they are a hired professional then this is their craft … this is what they do. You should be willing to give them some creative power of their own. This way they will be sure to capture the quality images that you’ll love for a lifetime. If you have done your research then you shouldn’t have anything to really worry about as long as you communicate your needs.

Award Winning Raleigh Catering for Weddings

Brides, we’ve been serving smiles to the Triangle for years and we know what it takes to make sure your wedding reception is as wonderful as you’ve ever dreamed. We offer free menu tastings, so please call us today and schedule yours. Our wedding menus are fully customizable and we invite you to bring in your own family recipes so we can incorporate them into the biggest day of your life. Give us a ring, or stop by our kitchen in Cary.

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Irish Soda Bread and Honey Butter Recipe

Posted in: Raleigh Catering

Raleigh Catering

Your family and friends will think you have the luck of the Irish with this easy and delicious bread and honey butter recipe. This treat is a family favorite of ours and we think your family will love it just as much. It’s really easy to make so give it a try and let us know how it turned out in the comments below. If you need the best Raleigh catering service then please call Catering By Design. We have menus to fit all size budgets. Call us today with any questions, or to book your next catered event.

Soda Bread:
1/2 stick – unsalted butter
2 cups – all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups – whole wheat flour
1/2 cup – oats
1 tablespoon – packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons – baking powder
1 teaspoon – baking soda
1 teaspoon – salt
1 3/4 cups – buttermilk
1/2 cup – dried currants
1 – egg white, beaten
Honey- Butter:
1/2 cup – unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon – honey
2 shakes – ground cinnamon

Directions: First, preheat your oven to 375°F. Now, in a small saucepan melt the butter over medium heat for 3 – 4 minutes, or until the butter is a golden brown color. You’ll need to keep a close eye, and stir it often to avoid burning it. Once melted, remove the pan from the heat and set it aside to cool. Now take your large bowl and whisk together the flours, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Now stir in the browned butter and the buttermilk and mix together until everything in the bowl is moistened.

On a well-floured surface, turn the dough out and sprinkle the currants on top. You’ll need to knead the currants gently into the dough until everything comes together. This will take about 7 turns. Now you should divide the dough in half, and shape each half into balls. Take each dough ball and lightly flatten it into a 6-inch round. Place each of the rounds on an ungreased baking sheet and space them 5 inches apart. Now take your knife and cut a ½ inch deep “X” across the top of each dough round and brush them with your egg wash.

Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until they turn a deep golden brown color. Use your knife to test the center, if the knife comes out clean then cool the breads on a rack for at least 10 minutes. Serve the bread warm or at room temperature.

Now, to make the honey butter all you need to do is just mix the softened butter with honey and cinnamon in a small bowl until everything is blended together. Serve with the bread.

Top Notch Raleigh Catering

For your next Raleigh catering need, please call Catering By Design. We’ve been serving smiles to the Triangle for decades and our professional staff will make sure you and your party have a wonderful meal. Call us today to learn more.


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Why Not Have a News Year’s Eve Wedding?

Posted in: Raleigh Catering

Catering Raleigh NC

A lot of brides dream of having a wonderful summer wedding in June or July. After all, it seems that the summer and fall months are the most popular ones to get married in. Why not do something different and have your wedding on one of the biggest nights of the year – New Year’s Eve? Just stop and think about it for a second … you could be tying the knot on the last night of the year where popping champagne bottles at midnight and glamorous decor just may be the perfect backdrop for saying your “I Do’s”.

Good Discounts

Because New Year’s Eve is not a traditional date to have a wedding, some vendors might be offering off-season discounts. You’ll have to plan early though, because on the other hand some venues and vendors will be charging extra for the holidays. Other vendors, such as limo services, are another great example of something you’ll really have to plan ahead and shop around for. Just think about how many different groups of people will be trying to use a limo service for their New Year’s Eve holiday celebration. You’ll also need to think about hotel stays for your out of town guests. This could also be challenging on New Year’s Eve, depending on your location.

Catering Raleigh NC

The Themes

News Year’s Eve gives you great opportunities to really have a grand wedding. If you really want to set your wedding apart from all the others, here is your chance. Start off by having an all inclusive NYE party-like reception for your wedding. Make sure your theme is something black tie, elegant, or Gatsby inspired. You can even choose to have a masquerade ball. Use plenty of metallic colors. Gold and silver with black accents are perfect. Go wild with it and you can even incorporate this into your bridesmaid’s dresses. Drop confetti and balloons during the champagne toast at midnight or go outside for sparklers and fireworks. We guarantee that no one will ever forget your anniversary date.

A great idea for a New Year’s Eve wedding is to have everything at a destination hotel. This way you will not even have to worry about your friends and family drinking and driving if alcohol will be served at the reception.

5 Star Wedding Catering Raleigh NC | Catering BY Design

When you need the best wedding catering Raleigh NC services, please consider Catering By Design. Our menus are affordable for any budget and we even offer free menu tastings to our brides and their families. Please call us today to schedule your tasting or to simply learn more.

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Breakfast Catering in Raleigh for Morning Weddings

Posted in: Raleigh Catering, Wedding Catering Raleigh

Continuing with the best 2014 wedding trends, we’re going to talk about the best foods for breakfast catering in Raleigh for morning weddings.  A morning wedding can be your unsung hero this season because they can be more affordable than afternoon and evening events. To help you plan your morning wedding, we’ve gathered some ideas that will make sure the food is perfect for all your guests.

Before we dive right into the food trends, let’s talk about timing. If you’re having a morning wedding, your guests are going to be eating fairly early.  Try to serve breakfast between 9 -10:30AM and brunch typically takes place between 11AM – 2PM.  Just remember that some guests’ stomachs might not be ready to handle heavy food, so make sure to have some light, fruity starters served with juice or coffee before moving on to the heavier courses.


Drink Time!  One of the reasons a morning wedding can be cost effective is mainly because of the choice of beverages. We suggest starting guests off with a tricked out coffee and tea bar for both hot and iced drinks; hot chocolate, juice or fruit smoothies are great for the kids. Don’t forget the lemonade. If you’re serving morning-time cocktails, then consider bloody marys, mimosas or bellinis.


For the food, decide if your having a formal, sit-down wedding or buffet style meal. We feel a brunch buffet works best for morning weddings allowing guests to mingle while they fix their plates. Also, instead of a traditional buffet try to incorporate as many interactive food stations as possible.  These are really trendy and keep the food lines moving.  Some ideas for your brunch buffet and food stations could be a gourmet crepe, french toast or omelet station, biscuit or waffle bar, and mini quiche, mini breakfast soufflés or miniature eggs benedict. Instead of having traditional muffins and croissants, how about serving orange-scented scones and banana walnut bread? And don’t forget your vegetarian friends. Make sure to have a few different healthy options besides just a fruit salad.

Finally, if you are unsure of serving a traditional wedding cake at a morning wedding, then a great alternative is a gourmet waffle tower.

Catering by Design is your go-to caterer for weddings during any time of the day. Whether it’s morning, noon or night, you can expect menus to fit any budget and a staff that is passionate about what we do. Not only do we serve food, but we serve your family with a smile and style! Call us today, and let’s create a magical meal for your special day!

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Raleigh NC Wedding Catering | Southern Bridal Show Round Up

Posted in: Corporate Catering, Raleigh Catering, Raleigh Catering Services, Social Event Catering, Wedding Catering Raleigh

The Southern Bridal Show and Expo wrapped up Sunday, April 6th. Magic and enchantment was in the air with over 150 vendors from the Triangle showing off the hottest wedding trends for 2014. Raleigh NC wedding catering ideas were provided by Catering by Design. Our menu samples received rave reviews from the brides, grooms and their families. We want to thank everyone who helped make the expo a success and a special thanks to all the brides and grooms that stopped by our booth. Below are some highlights from the Southern Bridal Show to give you a taste of the event. If you would like to see the entire event gallery, visit us on Pinterest!

Raleigh NC Wedding Catering

Hot for 2014 are interactive food stations. We incorporated this wedding trend with our booth so guests could have fun and design their own plate with as much or little food as they liked. Here we featured delicious Beef Wrapped Portobellos with Sesame Ginger Demi Glaze, Smoked Chicken and Roasted Pepper Dip, Crostini, and various home made Humus and Salsas.

Raleigh NC Wedding Catering

Live, Laugh, Eat! At Catering by Design, we serve your family with a smile. Here is a lovely group registering for our free China giveaway during the Southern Bridal Show and Expo!


Even simple wedding foods can have an air of elegance if displayed properly! Here our Cristinis are well lit by candles nestled between two complimenting dishes.


Pictured above is what we like to call “Summer In A Cup”. Our signature summer lemonade is a perfect beverage for summer weddings or corporate events. We combine basil, mint and edible flowers to give this lemonade a fresh and clean taste.

Raleigh NC Wedding Catering Super Tip: Edible flowers are great for the DIY caterer. Edible flowers add amazing color to your dishes and have a dramatic impact on your guests.


Fresh and local is our mantra. At Catering by Design, we are passionate about our food. That’s why we use only the freshest ingredients, sourced locally, to create incredible flavors. Here we featured some of our homemade salsa. Simple, fresh and delicious, this hor d’oeuvre works well for any catered event.


Catering by Design is a Wedding Wire Award Winning Caterer three years in a row – 2012, 2013 and 2014! We have menus that fit any budget! Contact us today, and let’s start planning a meal that you and your groom will remember for a life time!

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Catering by Design Pizzazz: Making Sure the Bride and Groom Are Taken Care of

Posted in: Raleigh Catering, Wedding Catering Raleigh

It’s the bride and groom’s big day, and with so many family, close friends and far away guests to see, it’s difficult for them to sneak away, even for a bite.

Before the wedding, we offer personalized tastings for the bride and groom, to make sure they have the perfect recipes to celebrate!

But what’s the fun if they don’t have time to eat? There’s nothing worse than starving on your wedding day!

That is why Catering by Design will pack up a to-go package for the bride and groom to take with them, so they are taken care of and enjoy the delectable dishes that their guests enjoyed during the reception.

We ensure that the wedding party is happy before, during and after their event!

Enjoy these additional wedding tips:


Catering by Design is one of the top caterers in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill area of North Carolina. We’re a full service caterer for weddings, social occasions and corporate events, serving the full triangle and surrounding areas including Pinehurst and Rocky Mount, Pittsboro and Fuquay Varina, Wake Forest and Carrboro. We’ve even been known to cater a wedding on the coast every so often.

Call us and find out how we can help you! (919) 481-2366.

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Planning a Spring Outdoor Wedding

Posted in: Catering in Raleigh NC, Raleigh Catering

Hint, hint – factor in a tent for your spring reception. They are wonderful rain or shine and add to the ambiance of the event without a doubt.

Every bride dreams of having an outdoor wedding, and the spring is the beginning of the perfect season to host a wedding or reception outside.

Spring colors may be soft and pastel, with summer themes vibrant and bold, but holding your wedding outdoors allows for color schemes that are also closely associated with nature. Foods may include seasonal fruits and vegetables, and flowers that are in season.

Don’t forget the music. Many brides opt for a more laid back pianist or jazz band, embracing the season. Themes may include garden, flowers or beach themes.

Centerpieces trends are also changing, which can create some unique color tones and textures. Centerpieces also change the feel of the tables, while mixing round and square tables can add interesting variety. Vase fillers such as seashells, crystals, beads, or fresh vegetables or fruits such as lemons and limes fit the season nicely as well.

Evening weddings utilizing candlelight bring a gorgeous ambiance to any occasion.

This spring, bring your wedding a unique spark that incorporates the beauty of the outdoors.

Check out these other spring tips!

Spring Wedding Trends for 2013



Spring Showers- Watching the Weather for Outdoor Wedding Receptions

Special Dietary Needs at Weddings- Vegan, Gluten Free, Sugar Free or Dairy Free


Catering by Design is one of the top caterers in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill area of North Carolina. We’re a full service caterer for weddings, social occasions and corporate events, serving the full triangle and surrounding areas including Pinehurst and Rocky Mount, Pittsboro and Fuquay Varina, Wake Forest and Carrboro. We’ve even been known to cater a wedding on the coast every so often.


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Catering by Design: An Endorsement from the Father of the Bride

Posted in: Catering in Raleigh NC, Raleigh Catering, Raleigh Catering Services, Wedding Catering Raleigh

Here, at Catering by Design, our goal is bring a bride and groom’s vision of their Wedding Day to reality. It’s such a pleasure when we receive feedback, to hear from families after the event! Here is a letter that we recently received:

Hi Greg,

After having nearly 24 hours to reflect on the reception, I have a bone to pick with you…… You led me to believe that you and your team were good……but you didn’t tell me that you and the team were ……. THIS GOOD! What a fantastic experience!!!!!!!  Your people, your food, your presentation, your professionalism, and your service EXCEEDED MY EVERY EXPECTATION.  There is no way I could have asked for more from a professional catering service than what you provided.  Thank you. 

You know how specific and particular (some might say peculiar) I was about the things we wanted – the things that were important to me to make my daughter’s wedding the once in a lifetime event that she dreamed of.  Your team made that happen – in EVERY way.  You know how important it was to me to have a lead person who took charge and managed the room.  You provided that for us in Steve Gade.  I don’t know what you are paying him, but it’s not enough!  Steve took charge and made EVERYTHING happen as it should without one single issue.  He was attentive to our needs and wants, and was the PROFESSIONAL MANAGER that we were insistent on having.  Amanda and I could not have been happier than we were with Steve. Absolutely awesome!Thank you.

Finally……Thank YOU for running a professional service that actually listens to the client’s desires and does whatever it takes to meet those needs.  You have been wonderful to work with, and Amanda and I thank YOU for helping to make my daughter’s wedding the perfect fairy tale that she always dreamed of.  We will confidently recommend Catering By Design at every opportunity!

Thanks again!


Catering by Design is one of the top caterers in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill area of North Carolina. We’re a full service caterer for weddings, social occasions and corporate events, serving the full triangle and surrounding areas including Pinehurst and Rocky Mount, Pittsboro and Fuquay Varina, Wake Forest and Carrboro. We’ve even been known to cater a wedding on the coast every so often.

Call us and find out how we can help you! (919) 481-2366.

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Catering Poolside: Summer Drinks and Tasty Treats

Posted in: Raleigh Catering, Social Event Catering

The summer is heating up, and while you’re on your vacation or just trying to cool off for the day, poolside parties are a fashionable trend.

Whether you’re having a weekend party, after work social or just getting together with a few friends, refreshing signature drinks are fun, fancy and stylish.

Are you looking to cool off from the summer heat? Try these unique combinations:

• Mango champagne

Any fruit drink can be a crisp, cool down from the heat. This year, fruit wines or blends give a sweet taste, whether you’re mingling over hors d’oeuvres or having a full-seated meal!

• Chilled fruit soup

Most people think of soup as a warm, hearty meal for the winter, but many chilled soups can give just the right savory flavor to cool down your taste buds in the heat of the day.

• Fruit Parfait

After a scrumptious meal, a fruit dessert is the perfect way end the evening. Before you delight in dancing as the sun goes down, be sure to relish the delicacy of fresh fruit in a delightful parfait.

Just remember for that poolside event to use plastic plates, cups or wine glasses (you wouldn’t want to have glass around a swimming pool- just in case!). Here, at Catering by Design, we use high-end plastic ware to give you the finest experience; you’ll hardly notice the difference.


Catering by Design is one of the top caterers in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill area of North Carolina. We’re a full service caterer for weddings, social occasions and corporate events, serving the full triangle and surrounding areas including Pinehurst and Rocky Mount, Pittsboro and Fuquay Varina, Wake Forest and Carrboro. We’ve even been known to cater a wedding on the coast every so often.

What’s your next poolside or outdoor event? Call us and find out how we can help you!
(919) 481-2366.

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Summer Parties & North Carolina BBQ

Posted in: Catering in Raleigh NC, Corporate Catering, Raleigh Catering, Social Event Catering

Nothing says summer in North Carolina louder than an outdoor summer party complete with BBQ, sweet tea, and all the southern sides including veggies and freshly baked pies.

Let Catering by Design satisfy your craving and your party needs with our Southern Buffett menus available for deliveries as well as full service.

Something about the mere mention of southern fried hushpuppies, cool, creamy coleslaw, and pulled barbeque always gets the taste buds watering. Hungry yet?

Throw in jalapeno corn bread, homemade baked macaroni and cheese, and country style green beans with bacon, and wait to hear your tummy begin to growl just thinking about it.

Catering by Design offers both Northern styled barbeque and vinegar based barbeque because we know people take their barbeque preferences very seriously.

The Southern Buffet menus are one of our most popular selections for good reason. Ideal for family reunions, corporate lunches, office outings, outdoor socials, and poolside parties, this casual variety of southern food favorites is the easy answer for feeding small armies with diverse tastes.

Call us for more details on arranging a Southern Buffet menu for your needs.

Now, let the summer celebrations begin!

Let the summer celebrations begin! From decadent Southern Buffets complete with NC BBQ and jalapeno corn bread to light, refreshing summer salads, Catering by Design can put together your ideal menu for your socials this summer.

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