4 Tips for Choosing the Menu for a Catered Wedding Reception on Maui

4 Tips for Choosing the Menu for a Catered Wedding Reception on Maui

Since food is one of the most memorable components of a wedding, deciding on the wedding reception menu will be among the most important wedding planning decisions you’ll make. After deciding on a Maui wedding location, the next thing to do is to choose a caterer and select the menuWedding reception catering on Maui with tables, chairs and linen rentals. to serve the wedding guests who have traveled to attend your island wedding. If a wedding coordinator is planning the wedding for you, request references to chefs and catering companies before moving onto the flowers, music, photographer or making decisions on other wedding details. If you are just beginning, start with the caterer and ask for wedding location recommendations or for advice on wedding planners or other services. Full service caterers are often able to plan and coordinate or arrange for most wedding services in addition to providing the food service. Since catering is likely to be a significant portion of your wedding budget, choosing a caterer and working with a chef as early as possible gives the most flexibility by allowing you to allocate or reallocate budget for food first and then know the remaining budget available for additional wedding services. If the wedding budget is fixed, either the number of guests will need to be reduced or the menu will need to be adjusted. Learn how to get the most out of a wedding catering budget by reading our four tips on choosing a Maui wedding caterer:

  1. Create the menu first – Because catering is likely the largest single item in the wedding budget and also one of the most important aspects, by understanding the cost of the catering first you’ll know what you have remaining of your overall budget to spend on the wedding flowers or to use for catering by using a DJ instead of a live band. Once the reception catering costs are known, you’ll be able to maximize the remaining wedding budget for the wedding photographers, flowers and other wedding service. If you find the menu you absolutely want is not within the planned budget, you could decide to reallocate other wedding budget. We often find couples planning a wedding on Maui have already booked several aspects of their wedding and then either need to adjust the catering menu or reduce the guest count to stay within the overall budget.A Kaanapali beach wedding reception with catering at the Outrigger Eldorado Cabana.
  2. Decide on a reception menu within your budget – Along with choosing the menu items and the variety of dishes to serve for each course, consider the type of service you want to provide as well. In addition to food costs, your wedding reception budget needs to include any  tablecloths, napkins or other linens, china, flatware, chairs, table and other wedding reception equipment rentals. Find out if the catering price includes linen or other items and ask if all delivery charges are included. Some caterers include everything in their prices while most break out pricing for ala cart Bamboo chuppah covering a catered dinner on Maui.rentals and other fees. Get catering quotes that include all service charges, vendor referral fees and Hawaii tax and ask if there are any other mandatory tips or other service charges.
  3. Pick menu items matching the style of the wedding reception and reflective of your personalities – Would a plated dinner on fine china with professional wait staff serving guests individually match your style and wedding better than a self-service catered buffet? You’ll want your wedding reception menu and the service level to match the style of your wedding and your own individual styles too. The wedding reception menu should reflect unique personalities and what you like to eat at home. Let your caterer know what you eat when the two of you are celebrating a special occasion and what you like if out for a weeknight date. If you cook, share what you enjoy cooking for each other. You’ll also want the catering to match the overall style of the wedding. If the wedding ceremony will be formal and at dinner time, most wedding couples serve a complete meal. One way to reduce costs is to get married in the morning and host a brunch instead of the traditional wedding reception. Or, if your wedding is at sunset, serve appetizers or a dessert at the reception rather than a full meal. Be sure to include the type of service on your invitations to let guests know what to expect and plan accordingly. If you have a dinner service planned you don’t want the guests to eat dinner before the wedding. Likewise, if you aren’t serving dinner you want to let the guests know so they dine before. Some couples are making their wedding catering more affordable by serving pupus along with a sunset cocktail hour after the wedding photo shoot.Complete table service for a catered Maui wedding reception.
  4. Choose a Menu to Serve Everyone – If the guest list includes vegetarian or other special dietary needs, be sure to let your caterer know ahead of time. The catering chef will either design additional vegetarian entrees or include a vegetarian side dish. To accommodate varying tastes of guests, we usually recommend the meal service include a salad, a choice of least two proteins along with a selection of two or three accompanying side dishes followed by dessert. A general wedding menu description typically begins with a fresh garden salad composed of Kula Baby Greens with Vegetables dressed with Miso Vinaigrette followed by the main course including of fresh island fish and choice of island style teriyaki chicken or Mango barbecue ribs served with side dishes of our famous pineapple fried rice. If wedding cake is served (usually with chilled champagne) immediately after the wedding ceremony, finish the reception dinner with a dessert. Dessert options for a Maui wedding reception include award winning Hana Bar Ice Cream Sunday with Mango Sauce.My award winning homemade Hana Bar Mango Sundae has been a favorite at many wedding receptions on Maui!

Ready to begin planning a wedding on Maui? Then get in touch with me, Chef Christian Jorgensen. You can count on us! My full service Maui catering company is available for wedding and catered events anywhere on Maui.  For those looking for most affordable catering options, consider a self-service buffet or a casual beach barbecue as a formal wedding reception alternative or as a guest welcome dinner a few days before the wedding. Let us know your ideas and we’ll have fun making it happen within your budget. We welcome Do It Yourself Wedding Planners who only need catering and will include as much or as little planning advice as you want. We also offer pickup or drop off catering options for the most affordable wedding catering on Maui! Ask about renting our chafing dishes and other equipment rentals for self-service catering at weddings or events.

Most of all, HAVE FUN planning a menu you’ll be proud to serve the guests who have travelled to your destination wedding! Our goal is to ensure you are more than happy with our service, to provide the best possible value and for every guest to know you appreciated their attendance by the food served! Get in touch with me, Chef Christian Jorgensen for a friendly conversation about planning your wedding on Maui by calling (808)357-8546. Or, better yet, hit the button below for a no obligation wedding catering quote:


Maui Catering Makes A Maui Wedding Day Dream Come True

What better way to make dreams of a Maui wedding day reality than a beautiful beachfront wedding on Maui!

We'll help you every step of the way, from finding a Maui wedding venue or event location and matching event and wedding service providers to preparing and serving our catered dishes at your Maui event or Maui wedding reception.

For Full Service Maui Catering with FREE event Planning, RESERVE YOUR MAUI CATERED EVENT NOW!

Or call (808)419-0889 for personal wedding planning advice from Maui Chef Christian Jorgensen.

CJ’s Kaanapali Diner Review

My daughter and I visited Maui a couple of weeks ago and came to your restaurant 3 times. I just wanted to thank you for your willingness to meet our gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free requirements. We loved being able to eat out safely and wish we had a CJ’s at home! I just wrote you a stellar review on Trip Advisor. Hope you have a wonderful rest of the summer!

Kelley MacCabe
CJ’s Maui Restaurant Review

Wonderful for a Sunday Brunch since you can order breakfast until 11:00am! Had a ‘custom’ 3 ingredient omelette (I chose mushrooms, feta and spinach) with nicely crunchy on the outside and soft inside home potatoes, yummy. Hubby had the pancakes with fresh fruit! These are light fluffy slightly sweet batter pancakes, not those heavy bland ones (OK I admit it, I had to have a few bites of his breakfast…) Service was fast and friendly :0). The menu is EXTENSIVE, we live here and love it!

Kathy, Lahaina, Maui
CJ’s Deli and Diner Maui Restaurant Review

Fact: CJ’s Maui onion soup will melt your face off it’s so good. Best I’ve ever had. It gets 20 stars.
Alas, it’s not on the menu every day… But when my fiancee and I went this past summer and were lucky to meet Chef CJ in person and mentioned that we had been thinking about the onion soup since the last time we visited two years earlier, he was kind enough to put it on the next day’s menu. We went back the following day and ordered it, and it was amazing, just as we had remembered. Another fact: the onion soup at CJ’s is better than the onion soup at Mama’s Fish House (and at like 1/4th of the price). Really. It’s that good. Part of me wants to reverse engineer CJ’s onion soup recipe, quit my job, and make millions selling onion soup to the mainland masses! (or: CJ, wanna make a deal?)
I think that the loco moco gravy is made from the same goodness. So that’s great too. The potato salad is tasty as well.
The to-go lunch plate is respectable.

Jonny S, San Diego, CA
Maui Chef CJ Prepares Mushroom Soup for Kaanapali Restaurant Guest

On a previous visit to Maui, I had the most delicious mushroom soup at CJ’s Deli and Diner in Kaanapali. When I arrived in Maui this week, I emailed the restaurant and asked what day they might have the soup. The owner and chef, Christian Jorgensen (CJ), promptly replied even though he was on vacation in Vegas. He gave me a number to call to check on the soup of the day. Then when he returned to Maui on Friday, he emailed me to let me know he would have the soup for me on Saturday. When I got there, he was so friendly and the soup was even more scrumptious than I had remembered. I really appreciated how valued he made me feel as a customer.

Linda D.
CJs Maui Restaurant Customer

Good Morning, My wife and I spent last week in Maui. Your early bird special was the best. After we found you, we ate breakfast there every morning. You had two regular coffees that we just loved.

James T Wilson Jr
Maui Restaurant Customer

The best burger I ever had! Great Service! Fantastic Food!! Simply Awesome.

Pat Janostin, Champlin MN
Kaanapali Restaurant Customer Comment

Thanks for all the Good Food. Best we have ad since we hit the island 5 days ago!

Jeff and Myra V., Ontario, Ohio

CJ’s Maui Restaurant Customer Comments on CJ’s Private Luau in her Blog

Aloha, Just wanted to let you know that this post was up last Friday and it will be included (linked) with all of our Hawaii properties. Thank you both for excellent service. You made our trip to Maui very memorable! Feel free to comment on the post. It’s always good to have additional information and your input.


Nancy Solomon, Travel Writer
CJ’s Maui Restaurant Customer Comment

Aloha, We were in to see you many times during our stay last month in Ka’anapali, couple of things for you:
Need to order some more of your CJ’s roasted Kona Coffee. I see it’s not yet on your website, only the Maui Coffee Co. stuff. We ran out last weekend and are having withdrawls, please help!! Need 2 bags urgently!!
Secondly, your claim about having the best corned beef hash on the island. I think you’ve understated this because it’s the best I’ve had any where in the world! And that covers a lot of ground as I’ve been to every continent multiple times. Just the best anywhere, period!! Don’t suppose you would have that for delivery to Indiana would you? Maybe by the pound(s)?
Great people and even better food, Mahalo CJ’s. Seriously though, please let me know about that coffee. How do we get some ordered and shipped to Indiana?

Bill Clark, Valparaiso, In.
CJ’s Maui Restaurant Customer Comment

​CJ’s Deli & Diner Rocks! Been here several times while visiting Maui – each time we tried different meals and each time we LOVED the food, service and atmosphere. Only suggestion would be to provide regular dinner napkins along with this paper type – because we’re messy!

Aloha and Mahalo from Detroit