The first thing that comes to mind when imagining the perfect wedding.. THE FOOD! So we may be a little more concerned about the food than most, but vetting your caterer for your big day is super important for a couple reasons beyond a well cooked meal. Your caterer can have a lot to do with timing, other vendors, the seating, the bar, and the happiness of your guests. Are you opting for strictly hors d’oeuvres or a five course sit down meal? Are they bringing the booze or do you need to arrange your own bubbly? We put together a list of all the questions you need to consider when booking your caterer, and how to narrow down all the great options out there.
Your wedding planner will only lead you to credible caterers, you can rest assured some of the more detailed questions such as licensing and proper insurance will be taken care of before you even book a tasting. As a planner, we stick with vendors with a long list of references or we have had the opportunity to experience first hand. When confirming these details, we also keep in mind if they are offering alcohol in their package the appropriate liquor liability is in order.
See what makes each caterer stand out! Ask what specials they offer or can create for your big day. Keep in mind dietary restrictions of your guests as well, and confirm if they have vegan or gluten free options. Also make sure to check on kid’s meals and allergy accommodations. Your planner will be able to sift through possible options based on your RSVPs so make sure you share your finally tally as soon as possible!
You will need to narrow down what inclusions are 100% needed and what you can do without. When comparing packages and pricing, your budget may have a big voice in how many bells and whistles are added to the booking. Are they full service? This means they handle the preparation as well as serving and clean up. Will they provide tables? Napkins? Utensils? Do they offer a package that includes the wedding cake, as well? Many caterers will include additional features if they are booked for a full package of services, and may eliminate the stress of having to book multiple vendors.
Taste Test, Please
Our favorite part! With both your caterer and the baker of your cake, a taste test appointment is typically offered to make sure this major part of your reception is something you’ll definitely enjoy! So often, the bride and groom become so busy they feel like they barely tasted their meal. We encourage our couples to book a vendor that they look forward to for food, so they are more likely to sit and have a bite. I’ve seen a handful of brides get their buzz on a little too early because of not eating enough! If you opt for hors d’oeuvres, make sure you take a moment when they walk past you, and if you plan for a seat down meal, make sure you sit down! Taste testing is important to guarantee what you serve will be up to your expectations on the day of.
Our most important advice: you can’t please everyone, so make sure you are happy. You planner will look out for any extra fees and let you know if final choices have to be submitted by a certain date. We know the best vendors for almost every food option and have a network of references that go beyond website testimonials, we know all the details. Whether you’re looking for a creative appetizer spread, a 3 course sit down Italian feast, or the traditional chicken, fish or veggie option, let’s talk it out and see what you will enjoy the most. When choosing a caterer, it’s your wedding, you should enjoy everything from cocktails to cake.
Until Next Time, Happy Planning!