The last thing you want is to have your big day ruined because the caterers you chose did a poor job of handling your reception. If the people who attend don’t have a good time, you’ll be stuck with that bad memory. That is why it is so important that you pay careful consideration when you are deciding among the different caterers that you are considering. By asking the right questions, you have a better chance of being completely comfortable with, and confident in, your final choice.
Find out if the company specializes in a certain kind of service or food, and if it has any sample menus that you can check. If you’re serving a full meal at your reception, you’ll want it to be a memorable one. You may be able to arrange for a tasting of the foods that you are considering for the menu.
Check the average price range of the different caterers that you are considering. Find out of they have an all-inclusive flat rate or if they have itemized charges. You also want to ask everything that price includes, such as gratuity, tax, utensils, and plates. Obviously, you’ll need this information for your budgeting purposes.
Many people may not think to ask how involved their prospective caterers are in the receptions they service, but you should. Some will go to the extent of telling the band when to play, telling people when it’s time to sit down to dinner, and even telling the couple when it is time to cut the cake. If they don’t, you may want to consider going somewhere else or hiring a wedding coordinator.
You not only want all chairs, plates, linens, and tables supplied, you also want to be able to see all of them before making your decision to ensure they are acceptable. Make sure that all table settings will be handled as well as the distribution of place cards and favors if applicable.
You will also want to make sure that if there are any special family dishes you want prepared, or any members of your wedding party have any certain dietary limitations, your caterer will be able to provide those services. Determine where the food will be prepared, whether on-site or at another location. Ask the caterers if there is a specific charge for using their own equipment.
If you are planning to serve alcohol at your reception, ask the caterers whether they will handle the bar or if that has to be handled by someone else. Ask if there is a corkage fee and whether or not you have to supply the alcohol. Find out if they handle special beverage requests and if they have a flexible wine list.
A few well-considered questions can ensure your reception will be something you’ll remember fondly for a lifetime. Be sure to get all the information you need to make a well-informed decision about who to work with.