The big day has been set, and you’re deep into planning mode. Everything on the day has to be perfect, which certainly applies to the food and drink you’re serving at the reception; nobody wants to celebrate their big day with some slimy salmon or over-charred crème brûlée.
Whether you’re planning for a full sit-down dinner or a cocktail hour with passed appetizers, hopefully, this quick guide can help you find the right caterer to ensure your wedding day food is flawless.
- Booking a Caterer Well in Advance
The first thing you’ll want to find out is if your potential shortlisted wedding venues have in-house caterers or a list of preferred vendors. If they don’t, or what they offer isn’t quite up to your expectations, it is up to you to start the search for caterers by compiling a list of the ones you absolutely adore.
When choosing a caterer, you’ll need to search for one that suits your tastes, standards, and the size of your guest list. For instance, if you want a high-end luxury wedding, you’ll want an exclusive caterer to match – like Riverhouse Catering as an example of what you might look for in a luxury wedding caterer.
Whatever your needs and preferences, once you have chosen that delectable delicatessen, perfect patisserie, or whichever catering service has tickled your tastebuds, set up an appointment to book immediately – wedding caterers book up fast, especially during peak wedding seasons.
- Social Media is a Great Tool
When it comes to finding a caterer, social media can be a useful tool in identifying potential candidates. Instagram is a great place to look for inspiration; if there’s a particular restaurant that you and your partner love to frequent, then look them up and check if they provide event catering services. You can also leave no stone unturned by asking friends, family, and wedding planners if they have any suggestions from weddings they’ve attended.
- Logistics of Love
A common misstep by couples planning their big day is choosing a venue first and then finding an outside caterer to come in and work within that space. By carefully considering your vision and the space afforded by the venue, it is a good idea to hire a venue and caterer in tandem; this ensures that the vendors can communicate effectively from day one, which can help eliminate potential issues further down the line.
- Calculate Your Budget
Having an established budget is imperative – even for the most luxurious and lavish couples with the cash to splash on a wedding akin to royalty. A caterer will work with you to deliver your vision of the meals served at your reception; thus, it’s important to advise your chosen vendor of your budget, no matter how big or small it may be.
Without that information, it is impossible for them to establish a framework to deliver what you want – and without a framework, the caterer won’t know whether to provide cucumber sandwiches or caviar, the latter of which is far more befitting for an extravagant wedding.
- Question Everything
Once you’ve established your budget and crafted a shortlist of caterers you can set up appointments with for interviews, it’s also a good idea to find out if you can try samples of the cuisine they offer at the same time. Also, you must make sure you’re prepared for the interview process – now is the time to ask questions, and lots of them! If you don’t ask, you don’t get – simple.
You’ll want to write a pre-prepared list of questions that cover the caterer and their availability, food and drink they can provide, including vegetarian, vegan options, etc., and don’t forget the logistics, either – do they provide linens, table settings, and accessories? These are all crucial questions to ask to ensure everyone’s tummies and taste buds are left tantalized and satisfied on your big day.