One of the most important aspects of your wedding reception is the food you will serve and the caterer you choose. Approximately one third of your total budget will be spent on the food alone. So selecting your menu and your caterer should be done with great care. A good caterer will be excited about creating a menu to suit your appetite and give helpful tips on what foods will work well together.
If your venue allows you to select your own caterer, narrow your choices to no more than three caterers. When contacting each caterer, provide as much information as possible - your wedding date, time of day, number of guests and amount of formality. If you have any menu ideas or food choices, let the caterer know so they can be prepared for your first meeting.
BE PREPARED: At your first meeting, caterers usually like to discuss your food choices and budget. Have an idea of your guest total and what your catering budget will be.
KNOW YOUR OPTIONS: sit-down meal, buffet, passed hors d’oeuvres or food stations. Your caterer will be able to describe all of these options in detail and their suitability for time of day, guest size and your style.
TASTING: find out when you will be able to sample the caterers’ dishes. You’ll want to make sure that you like the meal before you agree to spend the money.
Although it is not required, you may consider including meals for wedding personnel, such as the DJ, musicians, photographer and wedding consultant. If cost is an issue, ask your caterer about “vendor meals.” Often they are offered at a lower cost per person.
CATERING CONTRACT DETAILS
SPECIFY: day, date and time, address of the reception site, menu by course and the number of guests expected, special meals if needed, time of the cocktail hour, time the meal will be served, contact people, including someone from your end with whom the caterers can consult, the number of servers, bartenders and their uniforms, linens, beverages to be served and bar guidelines and terms of payment and liability insurance.
Typically an advance deposit is due and you’ll definitely want to check on the cancellation policy barring unforeseen events.
With some advanced planning, your reception will be long remembered for its delightful meal.