Choosing the perfect caterer for your wedding is a big decision. You want a memorable meal to share with your friends and family on your special day. So how should you decide on a caterer? Here are a few tips:
Make sure your vendor allows caterers
Some venues require that you use their restaurant or a list of preferred caterers. If there are restrictions, you’ll want to know these upfront before you begin the hunt for a vendor.
Do your research
Ask your venue if they have preferred caters. Do a Google or Yelp search for local options. Then dig deeper. See if people you know have used these caterers in the past, and ask them about their experience. Sometimes, online reviews can only tell you so much.
Schedule a tasting
Before you hire a caterer, the most delicious step of your research will be a taste test! Make sure you, personally, like the food that will be served on your wedding day. Be sure to schedule an ample amount of time for a tasting, and try out a few different options. Sometimes, you will need to pay for a tasting. Other times, the meal is complimentary and the amount is taken off your final bill when you sign the contract. Note that since many wedding caterers work in the evenings and on the weekend, you may need to schedule a weekday or weeknight tasting.
Prepare some questions for the caterer
The Knot has a very helpful list of questions you should ask your caterer. These questions include everything from food to legal details. Jot a few of them down and add your personal questions or requirements to the list, too.
Get everything in writing
If you’ve done your due diligence and found the perfect caterer, make sure you understand all the terms and fees agreed to in the contract. If you discussed additional food or modifications to the catering menu, make sure these details are in writing on the contract you sign. Caterers want you to be happy, but sometimes mistakes are made because they forget the details. Help avoid the stress of an incorrect order by ensuring you’re both on the same page when it comes to the food being served. Also, take special note of all the costs and fees you will incur. Know when you need to pay the caterer for services and how much is expected at each payment. This will keep you on track and avoid unnecessary tension with the caterer.
Looking for creative ideas? Here’s a list of 24 Unconventional Wedding Foods Your Guests Will Obsess Over. Or check out Pinterest for out-of-the-box options!