About this Vendor
We Create Memorable Events
Our main goal is to cater memorable weddings that represent your style! Purple Onion Catering Co is a full-service, off-premise caterer with customized, and seasonal menus that are beautifully designed and presented to convert your ideas into reality. For over 20 years we have created memories that have left clients and their guests with wonderful lasting impressions. We understand that each bride and groom is different, that’s why our event designers and culinary team will work closely with you to incorporate your theme, style, and personality into every aspect of your wedding. We've been helping Virginia, Maryland, and Washington clients create incredibly unique and personal memories so call today, we will guide you through the process to ensure you create a life lasting memory!
$$ – Affordable
Buffet, Catering Delivery + Setup, Chef Stations, Family Style, Menu Tastings, Passed Appetizers, Seated Meal, Servers, Food + Catering, Service Staff
Purple Onion was the first caterer I contacted and the only one I did a tasting with! We immediately knew once we met Margaret and did our tasting that we had found our caterer! We communicated frequently and Margaret was great with answering questions, offering ideas, and putting our big day together. The day of the wedding it poured and the staff never missed a beat! They were very attentive to our needs, communicated with us throughout the night, and made sure our guests were well taken care of! If I could give more than 5 stars, I would!
AMAZING foodReviewed on 8/21/2012 Emily B
I couldn't have asked for better food at my wedding. Everything was amazing &amp; Katie even made sure my groom and I were fed so we could last through the evening. Even though I worked with Joanie through most of the process, she wasn't able to stay for our entire reception, but Margot stepped in to make sure everything was set up as planned and Katie was there to see things through to the end. I was very happy with everything.
We had a great experience working with Purple Onion for our wedding last month at the Winery at Bull Run. Working with Margaret was a dream. She was so sweet and helpful throughout the entire process and has a great relationship with the folks at the winery since she works there often. I truly cannot believe the value at Purple Onion. The quality of the food, service, and equipment was amazing for the cost. I was pleasantly surprised by huge selection of gorgeous linens, china, and other equipment that were included in the base price. So many have people have told us that it was the most delicious food they've ever had at a wedding! I would absolutely recommend Purple Onion to anyone shopping for a caterer.
I really wish that I could have given five stars but I can't. On the positive side, Joanie, our manager, arrived early as did the equipment for setting up. The right linens and equipment showed up as well, thank goodness. The hors d'oeuvres (lobster roll, Vietnamese banh mi canapes, mushroom bruschetta with truffle oil , and crab cakes) all received high marks and I thought they were very good. After that things went down hill. The pre-plated salads were wilted and not very appetizing looking. The entrees were slow to come out and when they did, they were barely lukewarm. I later asked guests at other tables to see if our experience was an anomaly and apparently they had cold food as well. So upsetting because we are foodies who cook and our guests expected more out of an event we hosted. It's a bit embarassing, actually. I truly wish I had gone to the kitchen after getting my entrée and telling them to heat things up but I didn't because I wasn't really supposed to be doing that and the food was already slow to come out. Another problem was the serving of cake. We had specifically discussed cake slices being presented on the desert table buffet style so that people could chose between the lemon and chocolate cake. Instead, slices were randomly placed at the seats so no one could choose and most people were already up and dancing anyway. Some people didn't even realize there was cake! Anyway, it's very upsetting as Purple Onion had done a bad job for an event at my firm several months before and I had a serious discussion about my expectations for this event with the owner. Anyway, the pricing for this company was lower than the others for that particular holiday so I guess we got what we paid for. The problem with a wedding is that there is no do over. Thankfully our band, Blue Label, and the flowers from Dutch Floral Garden were both outstanding.
My husband and I got married this past weekend and we really couldn't have done it without Paige's team at Purple Onion. Our wedding was on Sept. 2 in Washington, D.C., and Purple Onion took care of pretty much everything! I was out of the country during most of the wedding planning process, but Paige made it so easy for us. She was super responsive and accommodating to all our needs. We had cocktail hour appetizers, three signature cocktails, a bubbly bar as well as a family-style dinner and DIY doughnut bar for dessert. Everyone raved about the food and drinks, and Purple Onion was wonderful at making sure my husband and I had our plates and glasses filled. There was a forecast of rain on our wedding day and it poured all morning. We ended up moving the cocktail hour inside but we really wanted to keep the ceremony in the courtyard outdoors. The rain had mostly stopped by the afternoon and we decided to risk the rain and set up the ceremony outside about an hour before guests started arriving. Paige didn't skip a beat and her team was able to get everything ready with no problem! If you're looking for a DC-area caterer, please don't hesitate in booking Purple Onion. We loved every minute of working with them and we know they'll be just as great for other couples.
I'm still salivating over the food at our wedding. Paige was such a treat throughout the entire process and helped us find the perfect food options for our wedding. The tasting was super fun, and the tables/chairs/china/linens/etc. they provided were everything we could've imagined. Everything turned out perfect and I can thank Paige and the Purple Onion staff for that- Paige stayed and helped out the whole day, and the bartenders and servers were amazing! Super helpful whenever anyone needed anything, and very attentive to all guests, not just the bride and groom. They really made our day special, and I highly recommend them to everyone looking! Also, they were the only caterer that not only had amazing food, but were accommodating to our smaller budget.
The moment I got my first email from Joanie with Purple Onion about catering our wedding I knew they were the right caterer for our us. The proposal they sent was unlike any others we had gotten, then we went to a tasting! The food is INCREDIBLE. Seriously, I am still getting comments from our guests about how great the food was, including the cake. Multiple guests came up to me during our reception to tell us how much they liked the food and had never asked for a second slice of wedding cake before. Joanie was an amazing event planner, she was there from start to finish with an unmatched level of enthusiasm and knowledge, she even had suggestions about places to have our rehearsal dinner. She had great feedback about all the details and the best part was you do all your rentals through them too. The servers were professional and attentive, we even had a person assigned to us that made sure we ate! I'm talking we walked into our reception and were greeted with appetizers and drinks. Set up and break down were super quick, our reception looked great, the food was hot and delicious, I could go on and on. If you're thinking about hiring Purple Onion, don't hesitate!! It was the best decision we ever made!
They will work with you to get everything you're looking for! Margaret is very conscious of the customer's budget, which is really helpful! But infound it really easy to get everything I was looking for and my day went off without a hitch. I've gotten nothing but compliments on the food and people have just been gushing about the dinner, the apps and the bartender! These were all things that were super important to me! I felt like I was listened to and got a lot of "bang for my buck". I had a great time working with Purple Onion and am very pleased with the results. We got our cake through them too and it was so delicious! I had a wonderful wedding day and feel like I walked away successful. If you have questions, ask them! They're very open and willing to help give you the day you want. Your guests will certainly be impressed!
Our experience with Purple Onion was amazing!! We knew halfway through the tasting that we were sold. They did such a great job coming up with a truly personal menu which fit our wedding to a T, and everything was DELICIOUS! We got our cake included in the catering and the team went above and beyond to get it to taste and look exactly as we wanted. I had multiple guests tell me it was the best food they had EVER eaten at a wedding, and I agree. The food was phenomenal and the waitstaff was so wonderful the day of, but I really need to give the largest thanks and praise to our coordinator. Try to get Paige if you can! Not only was she incredibly helpful and gave fantastic advice, but she was such a joy to be around and always extremely fun to work with. We enjoyed getting to know her very well, and our wedding definitely would not have been the amazing quality it was without her!! You definitely can not go wrong with Purple Onion!
The food for our cocktail hour and wedding reception was delicious, very unique and exciting. This was especially impressive since it was a large buffet dinner for 120 people. The guests kept talking about how good the food was during and after the reception which is pretty rare for a wedding! The staff was very attentive and professional throughout the night and worked really hard to make everything run smoothly. In addition to the food, they helped out a great deal assisting the other vendors with décor and other setup items. We also had our cake done with Purple Onion which made all of the food planning easy and seam-less and the cake was great! Throughout the planning, Purple Onion was very flexible with changes and had some great recommendations. They were very professional and experienced and it showed in the quality of the food and service.
After researching many caterers in our area, we ended up picking Purple Onion because they offered the most for the best price. We had the most enjoyable experience at our tasting, and both our families were sold on Purple Onion after they knew it was not only incredible delicious, but after meeting our event designer, Paige. Paige was so accommodating to my families questions and concerns, answered my countless emails and helped us design the wedding of our dreams. From helping us with signature cocktails, to finding me the love seat I had always wanted for our sweetheart table, Paige and Purple Onion delivered again and again and exceeded our expectations. We not only used Purple Onion for our food, but also rented our tables, chairs and linens through them as well, and being able to visit the design studio and put together our table in person was a fantastic experience! It's so nice to know how your tables will look before you enter your reception, and having that peace of mind was so wonderful! Our guests raved about the food at the wedding and are still saying how much the enjoyed it too! You will not regret picking Purple Onion and can rest assured that the rentals, service, food and people will all be top notch.
They were really affordable considering you get a full service catering experience. They provided everything we needed, helped plan the vision and executed it all beautifully! Well worth the money!
Overall - really great experience with Purple Onion. We had so many people compliment how great the food was and the wait staff was super attentive and kind. One thing to definitely praise is the quality of their food. First, they have so many options. Their selections list goes on and on! And all the ingredients are fresh! Definitely would recommend based on the food.
We hired purple onion for our wedding and we are VERY happy with the overall experience! The good was amazing! All my guests are still talking about it and the service was impeccable! The coordination went well as usual, there were times I wished our coordinator had responded sooner and avoid me writing back 2 times to get a response but she was helpful! We did served salad, buffet dinner and served desert and the price was great! Although always keep in mind the hidden costs, not one napkin will be given for free and it seemed their cocktail tables were more expensive then the price per head! I would definitely use them again and would highly recommend them to anyone who needs a caterer!
Very poor organizational skills. We filled up and inquiry from their website and got no response months ago. Then we met them at an expo, and finally got them to contact us. It took about 22 emails back and forth for us just to come to realize that we should STAY AWAY!!!!! We didn't even moved forward from trying to book a tasting with them. Margaret offered different options to book a tasting with them, but she kept mixing dates. From saying that a date was available to not available. Then booking another day that she said was available, and she switched a Tuesday to a Wednesday. How do you do that. This was all done by email. Can't she read emails and folow up on an agreed date? After all we were fed up. If they couldn't get a tasting date correct, it doesn't gives us confidence that our wedding will be fine with them. We don't want our wedding to be screwed up
If I ever need a caterer again, I know exactly who I'm going to use. My husband and I booked Margaret for our wedding at The Winery at Bull Run this past November. From the initial tasting to each one-off question I had to wrapping up the reception, Margaret was fantastic and Purple Onion exceeded our expectations. Our guests raved about the food, and one of the best things I remember is that the staff made sure my husband and I got to eat! When we got a break from pictures, they had a plate of appetizers waiting for us so we didn't miss out on all the great bites we fell in love with at the tasting. Also, since my husband and I are camping enthusiasts, we decided to have a s'mores bar set up outside near a fire pit. I provided the ingredients for signature s'mores and Margaret and her staff set it up for us. And for anyone who's preparing for a tasting, request the chicken and waffle cone passed app. You're welcome :)
We used Purple Onion to cater our wedding reception, and everything turned out great! They pair their catering points of contact with certain reception sites, which worked really well. Our reception was at Old Town Hall, so our contact at Purple Onion was Margaret. We really liked that they set things up this way, because it meant that Margaret had done many weddings at Old Town Hall and was very familiar with both the reception site and the reception site contacts. She spent a lot of time with us leading up to the wedding planning the menu, rentals, and even did a walk through of the reception site with us and the reception site contacts to ensure we had all the logistics in order. During our initial tasting, the owner even stopped in to say hi and check in on what we thought of everything. Day of, everything went perfect. The food was excellent, and the staff was absolutely great! Each member of the staff was genuinely friendly and helpful, and we couldn't have asked for better service. Even when we were packing things up to head out of the site, the staff were there helping us and congratulating us and wishing us the best. Overall a very positive experience!
Our food and service was lousy. The delivery driver could barely speak English and our food was all mushy. We tried to get in contact with the sales person but nothing came out of it, we were just blamed for it.
Cake & Ice Cream!Reviewed on 9/24/2014 Ashley
We used our Catering Company to also provide our wedding cake and an ice cream sundae bar for our guests. We worked closely with the pastry chef to help get our perfectly designed cake made to fit in our budget. We also requested a custom flavor icing (lavender) and they came through with a wonderful tasting cake (we chose chocolate, marble and chiffon with raspberry jam) with a light and filling lavender buttercream frosting. All of our guests loved the ice cream sundae bar (3 ice cream flavors) with many choices for toppings. Great addition for a summer wedding!
Great Food and Service!Reviewed on 6/22/2014 Clare A
We used Purple Onion for our April rehearsal dinner and wedding and were really please with the service and quality of the food. Many, many guests came up to us during and after the wedding to tell us how much they enjoyed the food. I worked directly with Alison throughout the process and would highly recommend her! I thought the food tasted even better on our wedding day than at the tasting (it was great then too!), which I didn't think was possible! While I didn't see the buffet itself, a few guests noted that they were especially impressed that the staff never let a dish get low! We were also thrilled by the amount of extras included in our service. We had a DIY wedding - bought our own alcohol and had a friend make the cake - so there were a lot of elements I had not expected caterers to help with. Alison and her crew went above and beyond, such as setting up our centerpieces/flowers, cake service (no charge!) and moving the alcohol around during the rehearsal so it was out of the way. During negotiations and planning, Alison spent a lot of time listening to our preferences and working on her end to make sure we could stay within our budget. She even allowed us to supplement the catering menu with outside items so our guests could have more food (veggies/dip/cheeses/cookies) while we stayed in budget. The food was wonderful, the bartenders kept our guests happy, and as bride and groom we got extra special service during the rehearsal and wedding that I appreciated. From the tasting to clean-up, Purple Onion was impressive and I'd highly recommend them as a caterer!
Delicious & A Pleasure to Work withReviewed on 6/10/2013 Jacqueline J
We loved all the food that Purple Onion prepared for us. Joanie was our event manager and she was fabulous! If you want quality food and don't want to worry about a thing, Purple Onion is a great choice!
awesome!Reviewed on 11/25/2012 Samantha M
Purple Onion was amazing! We worked with Katy and she was extremely helpful, had great ideas, and worked with our budget! On our wedding day, the Purple Onion staff was awesome! They were always right there to make sure we had a drink or to see if we needed anything. They were on top of everything on our wedding day and it made me relax and enjoy the night. They also packed up all of extra decor and details, which was really helpful at the end of the night. Everything was set up wonderfully and I would definitely recommend this company! Their food is awesome and I think they have a lot to offer compared to some of the larger companies in the area.
YUM...and perfect planning!!!Reviewed on 12/27/2011 Benedetta T
I can't recommend Purple Onion highly enough! I used them for my mid-November 2011 wedding and was thrilled with everything. From our first meeting with Bernadette, we knew they were the right choice! She took care of everything, from suggesting an appropriate salad based on our entree choices to taking care of our glassware rental, Bernadette was wonderful. And...the food! Oh, it was absolutely delicious and people are still talking about it. The service was also great and extremely professional. We also used the Purple Onion for our wedding cake. Many many people stated to me that it was the most delicious wedding cake they had ever tasted...instead of the usual, dry wedding cake, this was moist and just wonderful. Highly recommend!!!
Top NotchReviewed on 11/19/2010 Alexandra O
I have to say, I didn't care too much about the food for my wedding until my parents chose Purple Onion as our caterer. Their food is *amazing*. Bernadette was so accommodating with tastings - since my husband and I were trying to help plan from out of town, we were in town for two days once and she pulled together some of the most spectacular food I've ever had in just a few hours. She's the definition of a pro. She had everything under control from the get-go, and she did a seamless job meeting everyone's - mine and my parents' - needs and requests. She made it so that once she got any necessary information from us, we didn't have to worry about a thing and could just let her take care of business. (Of course, it's hard not to worry about nit-picky things last-minute, but Bernadette was totally flexible and accommodating of our last-minute changes.) Purple Onion is the best you can get for quality of food and service. We were between Purple Onion and a good but less expensive caterer, but it was worth every penny knowing that everything would be top-notch and we could (and should) completely trust Bernadette with everything.
Great food, even better serviceReviewed on 11/04/2010 Alex E
I can't say enough about how great Bernadette and Purple Onion were. Their staff and service is amazing. The food was amazing, the table settings were perfect, and their support and advice through the planning process were great. Purple Onion came recommended by my venue, and I never once regretted signing them. I did tastings with 2 other caterers and selected Purple Onion because their food by far was above and beyond the others (one "highly recommended" caterers food I would not have fed to my dog) in their price category. Bernadette promised me during our tasting that no bride of hers had ever not eaten... and she was right! She made sure we had plenty of food throughout the evening.
Meet The Owner
Margot Jones launched Purple Onion Catering Co. in 1990, and since then has grown her team to include some of the most talented individuals in the area. Designing and catering weddings, special events, corporate events and private parties, this highly talented team went from bringing happiness to handfuls of clients to exceeding the event goals for thousands of hosts all over the area. Staying true to Margot’s beliefs in always working with the best ingredients and preparation techniques, the past three decades have consisted of more delicious food and outstanding service to the DC area.