Not many decisions will have a larger impact on your wedding reception than the caterer you select for your festivities, not only pertaining to the food, but also other logistical concerns.
Frequently the caterer manages a lot of the setting up and tearing down of your event. The reception can't start unless the dining area is set up with centerpieces in place, as well as a cake table ready for the delivery of the cake. In order to be sure to get your cleaning deposit returned, you need to make sure the site is cleaned up when your event finishes.
The happiness of your guests depends on the food and service at your wedding. Although a lot of attendees won't pay attention to every detail of your event, they will all have an opinion on what you serve. Since everybody eats the food, it will be really obvious if something isn't the right temperature or if glasses stay empty because there are insufficient servers. Tastes and smells elicit powerful mental images. Your wedding day should include a delicious meal that guests are sure to remember.
Since selecting the proper caterer is essential to having a successful wedding day, it's important to know how to find the right one. It's useful to be certain of the kind of food you'd like, as well as the ambiance you're trying to create so you can let potential caterers know. Doing this, can reduce your list of possible caterers; after all you don't need to get an estimate from a BBQ chef if you want a fine-dining event.
Among the elements to take into consideration when selecting a caterer include:
* How much can you spend?
* Will the event facility you have chosen let you use independent caterers?
* Is there a particular type of meal that you are thinking of? Are there any foods you love or hate?
* Are you interested in having a buffet or family style event, a formal dinner, menu item stations, or a different option?
* Would you prefer the caterer do all of the event planning or just provide the food?
* Would you like a full bar service, personally selected drinks, or a mix of the two?
After you figure out what you want, check out catering sites online, or ask friends and family or other event experts you are working with for suggestions. Try to get your list whittled down to just a few caterers that appear to be suitable and start consulting with them.
Some smart things to ask a prospective caterer:
* What dishes do you specialize in? Will you be able to personalize my menu according to my preferences, or do you only offer pre-made menus? Typically, if a caterer charges more, you get a more personalized service.
* What is the median cost per person for your service? What comes included with this?
* When did you start your business?
* How many wedding receptions has your company been involved with?
* How busy is your company on Saturdays and Sundays?
* What is your ratio of servers to attendees? Is an event manager available for every event?
* What kind of experience does the chef possess? No matter how flattering the salespeople are, it means nothing if the kitchen staff does not have talent.
* Are tastings available before booking, after booking, or at all? While there are some regional differences, a lot of caterers currently assess a fee for tastings, which even if it costs a couple hundred dollars is a good idea.
* Will the chef who was at the tasting be present for my event? If the answer is no, then the tasting wasn't very useful.
* Besides catering, what different services do you provide?
First and foremost, you need to feel at ease and feel good about the caterer you select. After all, your wedding is a once in a lifetime event, you want to enjoy every minute of it.