Food For Thought: How To Choose a Wedding Caterer

This entry is part 2 of 7 in the series Food For Thought

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A guest never forgets the host who had treated him kindly.
Homer (~8th century BC), Greek poet

When planning your wedding, your menu will play a large part in crating the atmosphere and experience that your guests will enjoy. Today, more than ever before,tradition plays less of a role than personal preference. This means that your options are truly endless. Informal, formal, buffet, picnic baskets, BBQ, you can truly let your imagination run wild, however, you will want to make sure that the menu fits the overall theme of not only your wedding but also your venue.

When it comes to the format of the actual menu it is generally best to provide a few “staple” options within the theme of your wedding. Although experimentation and personalization are increasingly acceptable you do want to remain mindful of the wide range of age groups and palates that you will be providing for.

Many wedding venues will be able to provide in-house catering however don’t feel restricted to their internal staffing. Although some venues don’t allow outside food, others will allow you the option to use a caterer of your own choosing. Ultimately you will want to decide on your “fantasy menu” and then find a caterer who can provide it within your preferred budget and the logistics of your location.

If you are using a venue’s in-house catering team they will often give you a guideline for the scheduling and timing of your reception. The more personalized your design for the day, the more I recommend that you run your ideas by the caterers, as well as your budget, to get their advice.

If you decide not to use a location’s in-house caterer, or are hosting your reception at a non-traditional venue, there are some important questions you will need to ask prospective providers. These include:

Will they supply (among other things):

  • platters
  • cutlery
  • crockery
  • salt & pepper shakers
  • beverages
  • wait staff

In addition to the above you may also want to ask the caterer:

  • Are you familiar with the wedding venue’s capabilities?
  • Do you cater for dietary requirements including vegetarians, vegans, and gluten free?
  • Are there any additional surcharges for weddings held on a public holiday?
  • Do we need to pay a deposit, and when is the remaining balance due?
  • How soon do you need to know the final head count?
  • Can you cut our wedding cake that is supplied by someone else?
  • Can you supply service meals for our DJ, photographer and videographer?
  • Do you supply tea and coffee, and the set up of milk, sugar, teaspoons, cups and saucers etc?
  • Is it possible to arrange a tasting? (don’t be surprised if there is a charge for this)

Having clear answers to all of the above can make a major difference to your bottom line so make sure that there are no last-minute surprises!

With careful planning, and constant communication you can considerably reduce the cost and likelihood of blunders occurring on this most important day!

 

“Food For Thought” is sponsored by The Wedding Convention TT 2016. Click below to learn more!

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Passionate foodie, founder of Trinigourmet and Caribbean Lifestyle Maven. Author of "Glam By Request: 30+ Easy Caribbean Recipes"

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