Choosing a wedding caterer is probably as important as the venue and décor. Ultimately, the food at your wedding is most likely to be a talking point among guests even after the wedding is over and frankly, most look forward to having a hearty feast!
1. Lead Time
Catering services generally get booked up, especially for weddings, about 8 to 12 months in advance. It is vital that you choose and speak to your caterer way ahead of the big day to ensure there is enough time to go through all the nitty-gritties in detail with ample time for any revisions and adjustments. The most popular catering services may well be booked on the dates of your wedding but there are always others out there who can do a job as good as the best in the business.
2. Number of Guests
When discussing the menus and setup, the catering service will ask you upfront how many guests would be attending. Based on the number of guests and the combination of dishes that you would select for your menu, the catering service will give you a price per head.
Deciding on your budget for the catering component of your wedding will include how many guests you wish to invite, the menu and all the additions such as table décor and liquor. The most straightforward method to determine a budget you are comfortable working with is by speaking to a few catering services and finding the average cost for your requirement. After the average cost is decided, plan how much more of a buffer you can leave yourself in case the cost increases.
4. Dietary Requirements
To make sure the caterers do not have any issues with the menu and the number of guests they would be serving for, be sure to ask your guests, in advance, for any dietary requirements if they do have any. Take into account how the catering service reacts to a curveball of some guests having dietary requirements. You should always choose a catering service that can be flexible and adjust to these requirements.
Always check with your caterer if they can provide the extras. Specifically speaking, linen, flowers, table décor, cutlery and china and of course, the bar services. If you choose to work with a caterer who can offer all or most of these add-ons, it will make your life easier to coordinate and execute your plan.
Always make sure to ask your catering service how flexible they can be in terms of the menu, number of guests changing and importantly, the venue – how far they can travel, do they cater to overseas weddings, how flexible they are with last minute changes (that are not overly unreasonable).
The Big Questions
As a customer, you have the right to as the catering service a few questions. Some of the most critical ones, especially at the outset, should be:
Remember, it is great to build a rapport with your catering service. This way, it is easier and comfortable to speak your mind and allow the caterer to have the best idea of what you want for your big day. In everything, communication is key!