Other than selecting the site for the ceremony and reception and obviously setting the wedding date, catering is the single most important step for new brides and grooms to be.
But finding a caterer that is established is important. Good caterers are usually a vast source of contacts of entertainment (for DJ’s or a band), photographers (to record that happy moment), and florists (for table arrangements, and decorating).
Once you have a few caterers that you are interested in, contact them by phone or e-mail to obtain more information. At that point, you may want to inquire about a proposal. For the caterer to establish a proposal, the caterer must be given instruction as to what your wedding plans are. Prepare your requirements before contacting the caterer in order to streamline estimated costs and preparation of event.
A caterer can create a proposal for you once you have provided information along these lines. When overlooking your proposal, expect to find a clear interpretation of the information you passed along to the Caterer. Has the Caterer consulted you regarding planning suggestions and your thoughts regarding the menu and the setting for your wedding? A well-established Caterer should provide a menu that is interesting without being outlandish. A wedding is not the place to test different culinary delights on your guests.
After looking over your proposal, and you are still interested in that potential caterer, meet with the caterer, or the caterer’s sales staff. This is when you can review the menu options, seating, and staffing. Will the Caterer be providing everything thing that you need in regards to table placements and arrangements of all tableware (glasses, linens, napkins, silverware,… etc.) Are there any hidden fees for cake cutting or corkage, or administrative fee? Are all taxes and gratuity included? Are drinks included? Will you need to rent cooking equipment if there is no kitchen to cook in? Do not sign a contract without asking all of these questions, you might find hidden charges or items were not accounted for in the original proposal, and that your cost per guest might increase drastically. Ask the caterer to bring a portfolio to show you his previous weddings. Do you like what you see? Is the catering sales person friendly? You will have to work together many months, so make sure you like the person as well as what they are preparing for you. Will the caterer be overseeing the night of the wedding? Also importantly, who is the owner of the catering company?
After meeting with and revising the caterer’s proposal, you may want to request a tasting. But while a tasting gives you an idea of a caterer’s style, it still remains that to cook for two people in a caterer’s kitchen is not quite the same as cooking for 150 people in a tent without plumbing! If you the tasting goes well, you may want to ask to sit in on an upcoming event that the caterer is performing. This will give you an understanding of the caterer’s setup and presentation and also how well the serving staff performs. To see the caterer in action is essential step in selecting your choice. Another thought is to ask for references from recent weddings he has served.
If you’ve followed the outlined recommendations above, you have started with a carefully thought out decision as to what you want from your caterer. Now it is time to relax, sign the contract and enjoy your wedding. Congratulations!