Sometimes couples will strike lucky with a wedding venue that provides catering onsite. Most of the time couples will need to source quality caterers and the search can be trickier than people assume.
Everything from choosing a business before sampling their food to ensuring they provide high quality service can make finding the caterer one of the most stressful parts of the wedding vendor list. Food and drink are normally two of the biggest budget expenditures so it makes sense that choosing where to throw your money is a tough decision.
Let’s take a look at the following tips for choosing the perfect wedding caterer.
Don’t do anything until you decide on budget
It’s pointless to start sending out emails and getting quotations if you don’t know what you have to spend. Developing your catering budget early on in the planning process helps you filter through which options are out of the picture and which will go onto your shortlist.
Knowing your budget allows you to browse caterers realistically and find a perfect option that’s within your means.
Ask the venue for their recommendations
If you’re using a venue that is a popular wedding spot then they will undoubtedly have connections to catering companies that have worked there before. This is a great starting point because you know that these caterers have successfully worked in this space before and meet the venue’s specific standards and requirements.
Collect several different proposals
Start building a shortlist of candidates with the various proposals you have taken from different catering companies. Compare costs, service style and the menu options while asking specific questions you want answers to.
Make sure you’re upfront with the caterer about how many guests you plan to have and what the style of the wedding will be. They should be able to take this basic information from you and make proposals based on how many courses, wait staff, chefs and other logistical factors.
Ask about the tableware
If the venue you have selected does not provide the necessary dining elements like tables, chairs, dinnerware and linens, ask the caterers if they can source them. This may incur an added fee it is more convenient that engaging yet another company just for those things.
Make notes of how they correspond with you
Ideally every service you engage for something as a big as your wedding day should be attentive and punctual. If you notice that they are sloppy with their paperwork, slow to reply or just disorganised in general then it is unlikely they will impress you with how they work on the wedding day.