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What to Ask Before Booking a Wedding Caterer

When you’re in the throes of planning a wedding, it’s totally normal to feel overwhelmed by questions, details, and decisions. There are countless considerations for your big day, especially if you find yourself struggling to satisfy picky in-laws or pushy parents. 

While we can’t hold your hand through each step of the journey to your the wedding of your dreams, we can help you prepare for one very important conversation: the one you’ll have before booking your wedding caterer. Asking the right questions will help you arrive at smarter decisions and clarify expectations well before the RSVPs start piling up. 

Read on for a few morsels of wisdom when it comes to booking your wedding caterer. 

There Are No Silly Questions… 

Sure there are, but in this case, the only silly questions are the ones you fail to ask. It’s important to be completely transparent with your prospective wedding caterer about what you want and how you envision the food at your event from start to finish. 

Before you ask the caterer anything about their business, start by getting crystal clear with yourself on what you really want to see served at your wedding and how. 

Ask yourself questions like:

  • Do I want my guests to have a traditional sit-down meal versus a buffet? 
  • Should we offer a late-night snack service for when the dancing winds down but the drinks are still flowing? 
  • What about guests with food allergies? 
  • Allergies aside, should we offer alternatives like vegan or gluten-free options?
  • Sustainability is all the rage; should I insist on locally-sourced selections only? 
  • Are self-serve food or beverage stations a good idea or a disaster waiting to happen? 
  • Will my wedding cake be multi-tiered with a mini bride and groom perched on top or should I swap out that image for artfully arranged heaps of cupcakes or mini-desserts instead? 
  • Children are invited — what should we feed them? 
  • Should I serve what I like to eat… or choose whatever I think will impress my guests?
  • What current catering trends do I want to try at my wedding — or should I err on the side of traditional? 

What these questions all have in common is that they can only be answered by YOU. 

Of course, a wedding caterer can certainly weigh in, if asked, and offer their professional opinion based on experience and expertise. But, you want to determine most of these details on your own (or ideally with your fiance — pro tip: leave picky in-laws and pushy parents out of this). 

Once you’ve answered these kinds of questions, you can then approach a wedding caterer with those questions only they can answer.

Savvy Questions to Ask a Wedding Caterer

With your vision now set, the following are the kinds of questions you’ll want to ask a wedding caterer to ensure your dream becomes reality. Remember, it doesn’t just come down to cost. You need to know if you and your wedding caterer will work well together and collaborate on your ideas in a way that satisfies your demands in a way they can realistically deliver.  

  • Will you customize meals or offer options to accommodate food allergies or palette preferences, like vegan? 
  • Will you provide food for other wedding professionals on site, like the photographer, videographer or band, depending on their contracts and whether they stipulate a “vendor meal” be provided? If so, how do we factor in that cost? 
  • Children will be in attendance — what do you recommend for their meals and what is the associated fee?
  • Do you offer additional services, like event-planning or rentals for certain supplies like linens? 
  • Will you take any thematic considerations into account, relative to how the food is presented and/or displayed? 
  • Have you ever catered an event at the venue where I’m hosting my wedding?
  • Do you have other events booked the same day as my wedding? 
  • Will the food be prepared off-site, at the venue or some combination of the two? 
  • Are you licensed and insured?
  • May I see any recommendations, reviews, or special awards regarding your service? 

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Okay, once you’ve had a thorough and honest conversation about your wedding plans with a caterer, you can then talk about your budget and determine how much their expertise will cost for your big day. Usually, menus and services can be adjusted to accommodate more or less in order to align with your budget. 

Most wedding caterers worth their salt aren’t just creative when it comes to cuisine, but also problem solving. Discussing these details as thoroughly as possible before you walk down the aisle should ensure a successful event. 

When you’re ready to book Caroline’s Fine Foods for your wedding catering, contact us and let’s get the conversation started

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