Choosing a Wedding Caterer
Food arrangement is an important part of any wedding. Do-it-yourself food arrangement will surely be a big fiasco when it comes to the wedding catering. It is the best idea to hire a professional wedding caterer who can customize the menu according to the time, season and the number of guests attending the wedding.
Choosing a wedding caterer is an important task to be done during the wedding planning process. There are various points to be considered while doing the same. There are two types of caterers, one who travels to the venue and cooks there and the other is who sends the cooked food to the venue. You will have to choose one of the caterers according to the space available at the venue as well as the quantity of the food you need.
Before inquiring for a caterer, set a budget. Discuss your requirements with the caterer and get the menu customized accordingly. Always contact at least three caterers and compare their prices, quality as well as service. You might get a pretty good deal if you take the necessary precautions.
Some of the points to be noted while choosing a wedding caterer:
- Number of servers provided - their charges, uniforms and clearly defined tasks to be performed by them
- Setting up of the furniture and the cutlery
- Quality of ingredients - where they come from and overall hygiene
- Samples and references in order to taste the food in a real event and get the feedback from the people who have already used their services
- Deposit required and refund policy
- Wedding cake baking, cutting and serving charges
- Options for vegetarian alternative, if necessary
- Payment policy with taxes
- Attend the weddings and other social gatherings. Ask for the contact details of the caterer. Make sure whether he is available on the said date.
- Take advice from the friends who are already married. Contact the catering company they hired for their wedding. Short list at least ten vendors and ask for their availability.
- Ask your other service providers whether they would recommend anybody. If you are hiring a wedding planner, they would be having a specific caterer, which is a part of the wedding planning package that they offer.
- Try to hire an experienced caterer. Ensure every little detail such as the number of servers, waiters and waitresses. Also, find out what are the inclusions and exclusions.
- Ask for the references from the caterer himself and check them personally. This helps you get a valuable feedback and a clear idea of the caterer's quality of service.
- Do not forget to put every little clause in the contract and get it signed legally.
- Get your menu customized from the caterer according to your tastes and budget. Ask if you can custom the menu or there are any fixed menu combinations.
- Make sure whether the charge is per person or depends on the quantity you order. If the charge is per person, the cost will directly depend on the number of the guests invited.
- If you want servers, waiting staff, cleaning staff or bartender, you need to clarify it to the caterer beforehand. They may charge the service charge for these extra services. A buffet meal costs less than a sit-down meal and is fairly convenient to the hosts as well as the guests.
- You also have to pay an extra charge if you want the cake to be cut and served. Discuss this with the caterers when you discuss other expenses.