choosing a wedding caterer

meal

The food that is served at your wedding reception will be something your guests will talk about and remember.

One sure way to please them is to satisfy their hunger and sweet tooth with a delicious, well-planned menu.

You're going to want a caterer that comes highly recommended and is pleasant to work with. These caterers are popular, so book them as soon as you have set a wedding date and have made the decision to hire them.

Wedding Caterers usually have photos of previous wedding receptions they've worked. This will give you an idea of how organized they are and how you may want your own serving tables arranged. Get the details in writing.

Ask them for a price sheet that lists the entrees they offer and the prices. Take one home so you can begin planning your menu. Make sure the price quotes given to you early on are in the final contract you sign.

things to ask

  • Is their location near?
  • How is the food transported?
  • Are additional cooking facilities needed at the reception site?
  • Is the food prepared from fresh ingredients, or frozen?
  • Who keeps the leftovers?
  • Do they bring servers?
  • Are they licensed by the state?
  • Do they provide additional decorations?
  • How much deposit must be paid?
  • When is the balance due?
  • How are the charges calculated? Per person? Per plate?
  • Are tips included in the fees?
  • Are they insured?

how to save money

You can save money by serving a sit-down luncheon in lieu of a fancy dinner. Order food that is in season and easy to obtain. Enlist your family and friends to help with setting up, serving and clean up. Ask the caterer if you're allowed to bring some of your own entrees, condiments or desserts to help cut costs.

Find out if the caterer provides tableware, linens, utensils and the cake table. If so, what are the additional charges? If you think you can get these items cheaper somewhere else, consider paying a little extra and letting them handle it. Less hassle will probably be worth the cost.

Make sure you tell the caterer how many guests you will be expecting by the date given. If there is any significant change, you can get back to them before final preparations are made. Give them several contact phone numbers and get the same information from them. The more prepared you are, the less likely you are to call them for emergency purposes.

related pages

today's tip

The date, time and place should be written on the contract. Review the contract the week before your wedding to make sure they are still correct.