Hiring a Wedding Caterer: Checklist of Helpful Questions!

So it is time to find the right caterer for your wedding day? With that comes some work that needs to be done. First, it is recommended to get suggestions from friends and family members who have had good experiences with certain caterers. Make sure to check their web sites for the latest customer reviews. That is an excellent benefit that brides and grooms have these days. Also, it is very important to set a budget beforehand. Many caterers may try and talk you into more expensive menus, but stick to your guns. It also doesn’t hurt to have in mind what kinds of food you want to serve—whether it be rustic or upscale. That is always a good starting off point in negotiations. When you narrow down some caterers that interest you, keep the below questions in mind.

Planning Your Wedding Catering
Catering is one of the most important events at nearly every formal wedding, so make sure you know what to look for and what questions to ask.

• Is the caterer licensed? The need to be or you will be liable for any accidents.

• How far in advance time is needed to confirm a reservation?

• Do they provide refrigeration if the reception or cocktail area is outdoors?

• What is the estimated cost per person for a seated dinner? Buffet? Cocktail reception? Open bar? Know everything that is included.

• What is the staff-to-guest ratio? This will vary depending on if it is a buffet or sit-down meal.

• Are they familiar or have worked at your chosen reception site?

• Can the menu be modified? Remember to always have a vegetarian option and options for dietary needs.

• How much advance time will they need to set up?

• Can they provide you with a list of references? Do they have a website where that is available?

• Can you arrange to taste foods that may be on the menu?

• Are linens provided? If so, is there an additional fee?

• Is there an additional charge for rental of requested extras?

• What is the policy for payment and tipping?

• Do they provide a confirmation letter including the wedding date and time, cost and other details? This is very important.

• How many drinks does each bottle of liquor, champagne, provide? Is there an opening fee per bottle of champagne?

• Will they provide food for the photographers, the musicians and other wedding entertainment?

• What is the guarantee requirement for number of guests?

• When do you need to provide a final guest count?

See also:
Top Boston caterers in 2011
4 food options for your wedding
Should you use a wedding planner?