The catering service that you choose for your wedding will play a vital role in many areas of your day. They will be there for much more than just helping you to plan your menu. You want to work with someone that can help you draw up a timeline for your reception, take care of the details like rentals and staff and arrange other vendors to help make your day perfect.
There is a lot to consider when hiring your wedding caterer. It’s a good idea to have chosen your style, set your budget and have a plan for what style of meal and service you are looking for before interviewing caterers. You want to be able to give your potential caterer an idea of the scope of what you want for your special day.
Before you meet with your caterer you should have an idea of the size of your guest list, any special dietary requests that you may have and how many courses you would like to have. If you have any religious or cultural requirements, this is the time to address whether your caterer can accommodate your needs.
If you deal with wedding experts like the pros at Landmark Event Co., you know that you will be in good hands. Trying to manage the dozens of details for your wedding can be overwhelming if you don’t have a great team behind you. When you are looking for a caterer for your wedding there are a few important questions that you should ask each of your candidates.
1. Ask For Credentials
You don’t want to trust the arrangements for your special day to just anyone. Choose a vendor that has lots of previous experience and can accommodate your special needs. You should request a copy of the catering license to ensure that you are dealing with an accredited professional.
It’s also a good idea to check out their website and go through the reviews and testimonials from previous clients. Talk to family, friends, and coworkers to find recommendations of catering companies that they have had success with.
It’s your prerogative to ask if you are able to attend an event that your caterer already has scheduled. This is a great way to see how your caterer manages on the day of an event and what kind of service you can expect.
2. Range of Services
Finding a caterer that can provide more than one service can help you stay organized while planning your wedding. You should ask what services are included in your package right from the start.
Catering companies often offer bar services, event staff, supply rentals, and food preparation but, not necessarily all in the same package. The costs for hiring staff or renting your tables, linens and other accessories for your reception can add up on top of the services you are already paying for.
The more services that you can cover with your caterer, the less outside vendors you have to deal with to get the job done.
3. Price Range
One of the first things that you should do when you start planning your big day is to set a realistic wedding budget. A lot will depend on how much money you want to spend. Be honest with your caterer about your financial limitations and let them work with you to get everything that you need.
When you ask for an estimate, it’s important that you address services like last-minute guest additions, special dietary meal requests, number of courses and any other fees or charges that may occur.
You can also talk to your caterer about making payment arrangements. Ask if they will work with you to set up a payment plan if it will be more manageable for your budget. You should also know what type of payment they accept, whether it is preferable to pay in cash, with a check or via credit card.
Before you sign a contract you should have a copy of a detailed estimate outlining all fees, services, and arrangements. Make sure that you also are very clear on their cancellation and refund policies.
4. Request A Tasting
Unless you have the opportunity to sample the wedding menu items, you may be apprehensive about serving an untested meal to your wedding guests. This should be an important deciding factor when you are hiring a caterer.
If your caterer is providing your cake or desserts you should also request a separate tasting. Talk to your vendor about what kinds of desserts or special treats you would like to share with your guests.
If a candidate refuses to provide a simple tasting for you and your partner, it’s a good idea to move on to the next name on your list
Your quote should include all manner of charges and fees. You don’t want to end up getting your bill at the end of your wedding and being shocked by the total amount. Talk to your caterer about all fees and charges that may apply to your event.
Ask about the costs for setting up and tearing down services, cost of additional staff, fees for specialty meals including gluten-free or vegan plates, and additions to your guest list.
It’s important to know whether your caterer will be providing bartending service. Find out if they will be providing any alcohol, a serving license, and staff. If not, you will have to make arrangements yourself or work with your venue staff to make arrangements to provide refreshments to your guests.
Look into additional fees associated with your bar service if it is provided by your caterer. You may have to pay fees for wine uncorking, and minimum gratuities for bartending staff.
Wedding planning can be as exciting as it is stressful. When you find a top-quality caterer to work with, you can hand over many of the responsibilities with trust and confidence. Take your time, do your research about your catering candidates and make sure to address these important issues before signing a contract.