Choosing the right vendor is extremely important. You have to rely on them to make sure that your day runs smoothly.
You can’t be up at 6am on your wedding day trying to roast turkeys or on Pinterest trying to figure out how to make platters stay fresh.
That’s the job of the vendor. And you need to make sure that you’re comfortable with them, that they get your vision, & fit with your budget.
How To Choose A Wedding Caterer
Depending on the size of your guest list, the catering part of your wedding will probably take up a large portion of your budget.
So you want to make sure that you get the right caterer for your big day.
Here are some tips for choosing a wedding caterer.
Know Your Budget
As with any part of wedding planning you have to know your budget. You can’t do (or shouldn’t) do anything without knowing if you can pay for it or not.
Remember you have to live after the wedding.
Ask The Venue
Most venues have a list a preferred caterers. So once you’ve chosen your wedding venue, check out their list. If they don’t have a preferred caterers list then ask them for their recommendations based on vendors that they’ve worked with in the past.
Check For Reviews
Do your research on the caterer & be sure to read the reviews on them. Don’t just look at reviews on the company’s website, they can sometimes be biased.
Meetings & Tastings
Be sure to meet with different caterers before you sign any contracts.
You want to not only talk to them to get a feel for them but you need to ask questions & talk details.
Plus, you need to taste the food. Nothing would be worse than setting everything up with a caterer & paying them. Then during your reception you find out that their food is horrible.
Be mindful during your communication with the caterer as to how they respond to you. Communication can tell you a lot about service.
Tip: Ask if there is a tasting fee while booking your appointment.
Questions To Ask A Wedding Caterer
- Is my date available?
- How long have you been in business?
- How many weddings do you do per year?
- Have you done events at my venue?
- Are you licensed to serve alcohol?
- Will I need to have any permits for my wedding? If so, will you be obtaining them or will I?
- Will you provide a banquet coordinator on site to make sure that everything runs smoothly?
- Are there menu packages already prepared or can I create a custom menu?
- What do your packages include?
- Are there a la carte items that I can add on?
- What is the price point for buffet stations?
- What is the price point for a sit down meal with servers?
- Is there an extra fee for carving stations?
- How far in advance is the food prepared?
- Is the food prepared on site or off site?
- Can you accommodate dietary restrictions such as kosher or vegan?
- Where do you buy all of your produce & meat? Can you buy organic?
- Do you also do wedding cakes? If so, what is the cost per person?
- If I have a cake delivered, will you charge a cake cutting fee?
- Do you provide alcoholic beverages & bartenders? If so, what is the fee?
- Can we provide our own alcoholic beverages?
- If we provide our own wine or champagne, will you charge a corkage fee?
- Given my guest count, can you work within my budget?
- Are there any other wedding elements that you provide such as linens & dinnerware? If so, is there an additional cost & what is it?
- Can I see examples of the items that you provide? Such as dinnerware & linens.
- Do you provide decor items for buffet tables or serving stations?
- What is your ratio of servers to guests?
- How will your servers be dressed?
- Can I see a break down of your pricing including taxes & gratuity?
- How much time do you need for setup & breakdown?
- What is the deposit amount? When is the final payment due?
- What is the final date that I would have to have my guest count to you?
- If there is leftover food from my wedding, will you box it up so that the guests can take it home?
- What is your cleanup policy? Will your team be responsible for dirty dishes & trash?
- Please describe your refund or cancellation policy?
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