Micro Weddings: Chicagoland Catering

Although not an entirely new concept, the idea of micro weddings seem to be taking off in the midst of COVID-19 in Chicago.

At this point, about 95% of our couples have postponed their big Chicago weddings until 2021. Of those, many couples still want to get married now, so they are planning micro weddings this year.

Small chapel for micro weddings
(C) Lindsay Hite / www.readyluck.com
A cute, little chapel for smaller micro weddings.


Right now, we are receiving inquiries for smaller back yard weddings.

For help learning more about the catering process for these micro weddings, I called upon two of my favorite caterers.

(As you read this, keep in mind this was written in IL June 2020. We know that the rules and restrictions vary in different locations and may change.)

The Look

Rachel, from Paramount Events, explained how events may look different at these micro weddings than what we are used to at larger events.

  1. Paramount plans to put a barrier at the bar so that it creates a boundary between the bartender and guest.
  2. Just as we’ve seen at the grocery store, they have signage and decals to indicate identify 6 feet of spacing while waiting for a drink at the bar.
  3. In the past, we’d have beautiful table settings with silverware, plates, napkins, water glasses filled, and other wine glasses on the table. However, for now, that needs to change. These will be distributed to guests after they sit down at the dinner tables. (See image below of table settings from 10/2019.)
  4. In terms of seating at the tables, in the past a 66″ round sat up to 10 people. Now, caterers create floor plans to reflect 6 feet between tables and allowing up to 6 guests at each 66″ round table.
Wedding Tablescape
Something Blue Photography

The Food

I chatted with another one of my favorite caterers, Lorena from Food for Thought, as she described how the food service will change.

  1. In our past, appetizers could be butler passed or placed on stations. Last year, Lorena and I worked on a wedding where we had this beautiful charcuterie board for guests to nosh on throughout cocktail hour. As you can imagine, this will not be acceptable during this season of micro weddings. Instead, the service staff will circulate throughout the event with trays of appetizers covered in domes.

2. During cocktail hour, we’ll also see that the bars will have a single bartender instead of the giant 3 – 4 person bars.

3. Caterers will no longer be able to pre-pour, stage, or pass beverages. Instead, bartenders will be responsible for serving drinks.

4. Moving away from family style service, caterers are focusing on plated meals for micro weddings.

The New Normal?

Yes, this all seems very different, especially for those of us who are accustomed to seeing events on a weekly basis. Although Chicago micro weddings will have significant changes to them, the changes are essential.

Over the years (see here and here), I’ve gotten to know, rely on, and trust both Rachel and Lorena. Thank you for taking the time to speak with me yesterday about how your companies are adapting to the new regulations. I commend Paramount and Food for Thought for having a solid game plan moving forward!

We know that the rules are changing rapidly, so thank you for always getting in front of each challenge!