This is it. Your partner has proposed, you’ve said yes, and now you’re frantically planning the wedding of your dreams! Whether your dreams are lavish, or simple – one of the most important things you’ll need to decide on is the food. Do you want hot food, cold food, appetizers or a full meal? Is it a morning wedding, afternoon or dinner? Are there any food allergies you need to consider?
It can get a little overwhelming, particularly if you don’t have a wedding planner to do it all for you.
In many cases, the venue will offer catering options for you and your guests. However, there are many places that don’t do this, and the food is something you need to work out yourself. The good news is that choosing a wedding caterer doesn’t have to be stressful.
And we’re here to help. Here are five things you should look for when hiring a caterer for your wedding:
- They know what they’re doing. A great caterer will have plenty of information to tell you both over the phone, and at your first meeting. They will be confident in themselves and their food options and will be readily available to answer any questions you might have. When you finish up with your first meeting, you should know the cost, what’s included and any extra services they provide.
- They give you advice. If you have a particular wedding theme, a quality caterer will be able to offer you a range of food options to match. For example, if you are having a traditional Greek or Italian wedding, or a Jewish or Indian ceremony, the catering company will be able to give you options to suit. You want the food to be inviting to your guests, so ensure your catering company can provide the type of food they will enjoy.
- They provide references. Ask your wedding caterer for recent references. Talk to the previous bride and ask her opinion on the food. Ask her how many guests she had, what food she served them, and whether the food was tasty, presented well and whether the waiting staff were friendly and dressed appropriately. Aside from references, make sure you check their online reviews as well. Don’t just stick to their website – only good reviews generally end up there. But do your Google research and see what other people are saying.
- They allow you to taste-test your food options. A good wedding caterer knows just how important your big day is and they will do anything to make that day special for you (and to get your business). If you have any qualms about the food on offer, ask if you can taste-test some of the options. While many don’t allow this as an option until after you’ve signed a contract, check if they have any events they are hosting that you could attend to try the food there.
- They are friendly and forthcoming. Keep in mind that the way they treat you is telling of the service you’ll receive on the day. If you call up a company and the person on the other end of the phone isn’t very friendly or forthcoming, hang up and try another company.
The most important thing is don’t settle! There is an abundance of wedding caterers available who will provide you with the service you deserve. Shop around, do your research and find the company that fits best with your plans for your wedding day.