Wedding Caterer Tips
The caterer is a key member of your wedding team--so choose with care
By Terrichele Bradley
Managing the details of your wedding can be hectic. The daunting task of sorting through the array of vendors to provide the service you envision has begun. You want your guests to remember the entire wedding day, even the food. Follow basic guidelines when selecting a caterer for your wedding.
You may save money by having a family member cook for your reception, but you may lose time. You do not want to spend your wedding day worried about the food and beverage logistics. Leave this project to the professionals so you can relax and enjoy the day.
Get an Estimate
Ask each caterer you interview to provide you with an estimate of catering your event. Have the caterer break own the cost per person, menu selections, rental fees, drinks, and cost for servers.
Be mindful of your guests' religious or cultural food restrictions. Remember some people have food allergies or are vegetarians. Not everyone may be able to eat what you select.
Ask for a Taste Test
Taste the caterer's food before you hire him. You do not want to find out on your wedding day that the caterer does not know how to cook what you have selected on the menu. Plus, taste tests can help you see how well the caterer can attractively present food.
Ask for Reference
Ask the prospective cater for at least five to 10 references. A caterer may have good food at reasonable prices, but if the caterer has a reputation for cooking in unsanitary conditions or the food is always cold, you may want to think twice. Call at least two references.
Verify if your caterer is a full-service caterer. A full-service caterer typically supplies china, linens and dinnerware for an additional fee. Ask to see linen, dinnerware and china before you incur this charge.
At least three weeks before the wedding provide your cater with a final count of guests. This allows the cater time to make sure she orders enough food prepared and to adjust your catering quote.
About the Author
Terrichele Bradley is a freelance writer with experience in weddings publishing.
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The final head count given to the caterer. The bride and groom will pay for this number of meals, whether all the guests show up or not.View the Full Weddings Glossary