How to choose your wedding caterer
So, you’ve chosen your dream wedding venue… now it’s time to choose your catering! Catering is the second, or to some, the first and most important factor when planning a wedding.
Recommended wedding caterer vs online testimonials
Most venues will have a list of caterers that they would be able to recommend to you. We suggest speaking with previous brides or friends for a personal recommendation, as word of mouth is always the best guide. When researching potential suppliers, make sure you check their testimonial pages and reviews from previous clients you can find on social media.
Meet your caterer face-to-face
Once you have narrowed down your choice of caterer, make an appointment to meet the person in charge to discuss all your relevant details; from dates and times, to guest numbers and style of meal you wish to provide.
You want to know that the person organising the catering for your big day cares about it as much as you do! It’s important that you feel that they really understand and share your vision, and are completely invested in making it a reality.
Your wedding caterer is about to become your BFF, so the relationship between you is of paramount importance when making your choice!
How can I cut down on wedding catering costs?
Most catering costs are based on cost per head – but don’t be fooled, it is not necessarily a rule that as your numbers go up, the per head cost decreases. This is all dependant on how much food you want:
- Do you want evening food?
- Are you adding a cocktail hour?
- Are you having a sweet station?
- Are alcoholic beverages going to be served during the reception?
- Is there a corkage charge?
- Does your caterer provide plates, napkins, serviceware and other catering equipment?
These factors can significantly influence your costs.
How much time do I need to book catering for my wedding?
It is important to give yourself plenty of time to get estimates and compare the wedding catering services, facilities and costs necessary – however bear in mind that caterers get booked up quickly. Also, feel out the caterers – do you work well with them? Consider these questions to help you decide:
- Do they understand your vision?
- Are they consistent in their work?
- Can they cater to your style of food?
- What cuisine is their specialty?
- Can they make a bespoke menu for your wedding?
Once you have decided on a wedding catering company – confirm your date, times and minimum guest number with them in a written contract. Ask for a full breakdown of charges; food, drinks/corkage, staff, equipment, delivery etc.
We always recommend to contract at your minimum numbers, so as not to end up paying for wasted meals for those guests that are unable to attend. You can always add additional guests later!
Questions to ask your wedding caterer
Some questions you should consider when booking catering for a wedding:
- What is included in your wedding catering package?
- Are their menus flexible?
- Can they accommodate dietary requirements?
- Do they have a different price for children’s menu options?
- Can you have a menu tasting?
- Do they have in-house staff or are they out-sourced?
- How many weddings have they catered at your venue?
- Is VAT included in their prices?
- Are they clear & consistent in their communication?
- Will the operations manager that you deal with, be at the wedding?
- If you are bringing your own alcohol, do they supply the soft drinks?
- Do they bring glassware & ice?
- What brands of drinks do they use?