So You Want to Have a Kosher Party?!

by Julie Herskovitz, Mitzvoth Consultant

Well, first things first…how Kosher are we talkin’? If you keep kosher, then this question is easy. You know exactly what level of kashrut you need and you most likely know the caterers that meet your standards. However, for those secular Jews that wish a kosher affair, the catering can seem overwhelming.

Let’s start with the easiest first and then work our way up:

1.     Kosher Style

Photograph courtesy of Pictures by Todd

Photograph courtesy of Pictures by Todd

A Kosher Style affair does not offer kosher foods, rather it presents non-kosher foods in a kosher way. Meaning, you offer an all meat or an all dairy wedding. If you go this route, and want to have steak, be advised this means a parve cake. It also means non-dairy creamer for your coffee or whipped cream on your pie!

However, some people do combine. They’ll offer a meat cocktail hour and dinner followed by a dairy dessert. This makes dessert a bit easier, and just means no butter with that baked potato and steak!

If you decide on an all dairy wedding, something we did at my own wedding to please my mother, then we offered fish and vegetarian dishes as the main course along with a butternut squash soup and salad as starters. This way we knew out desserts and hors d'oeuvres would be delicious as well!

2.    A kosher caterer.

There are varying degrees of kashrut (kosher observance). For a basic introduction, please visit:

http://www.chabad.org/library/howto/wizard_cdo/aid/113474/jewish/Kosher-Certification.htm

If you don’t know how “kosher” you should be, ask your Rabbi or Officiant if they have a preference. Or, if you are keeping kosher for a few select guests, ask them their requirements.

Then, go “shopping” for the right caterer.

3. Koshering the Kitchen

If your venue is not kosher, you will have to have the kitchen koshered. Make sure your caterer has experience doing this and that the venue is ok with the process; also, that the proper authorities are present to ensure the level of kashrut you are seeking. Many venues will have preferred kosher vendors to recommend.

Photograph courtesy of Pictures by Todd

Photograph courtesy of Pictures by Todd

4.   Cost

Kosher catering can be costly. Some brides, who do not need an entirely kosher affair but wish to invite observant family members, order kosher meals from kosher caterers to serve these guests separately. While it is an affordable option, you should be aware of a few things.

  • Be certain your observant guests are ok with the level of kashrut provided
  • Be sure the venue knows that these meals are prepared and pre-plated and should be served with kosher utensils, drinking glasses, etc…
  •  It can make your guests feel alienated

If you want to have a Kosher wedding, remember the main question, how kosher are we talkin’?

Special thanks to Todd Zimmerman owner of Pictures by Todd for the yummy photos.

Are you planning a Jewish Wedding? Come meet Julie Herskovitz at her workshop "To Bedeken or Not to Bedeken? Planning Your Jewish Wedding". Or, if you would like to schedule a consult with Julie for your Mitzvah, Kosher party, or any special event, contact her by emailing julie@trilogyeventdesign.com, calling 800-941-2770 and selecting option 3, or clicking here to schedule a consult by selecting "Event Planning".

Photograph courtesy of Pictures by Todd

Photograph courtesy of Pictures by Todd