Your catering budget will be one of the most significant expenses of your big day. While you don’t want to cut costs on food, service or venue, you do want to make sure you get what you’re paying for. We’ve compiled a list of helpful advice, questions and tips for interviewing and selecting a quality caterer.

  • Read reviews. One of the best ways to get a feel for the caterer you’re considering is by asking around. Reviews are your best friend – always check reviews! Wedding Wire is a wonderful tool for this as vendors (caterers and others) are not able to change or manipulate the reviews posted, therefore you get a raw, uncensored, unfiltered and honest opinion of products and services straight from the source. Remember, lack of reviews can also be a red flag!
  • Priority service. Always ask your caterer how many events they are running on the day of your wedding. Many caterers have the capacity to run multiple events per day at the highest caliber of service and professionalism. It’s important that you know what the caterer is capable of and how that will impact your event.
  • Food preparation. Ideally you want your food prepared onsite for the freshest, highest quality meal.
  • Visit the restrooms. Always check the restrooms while touring potential venues to ensure that they are sufficient for the numbers of guests you expect, and ask how frequently they’ll be serviced during your wedding.
  • Take a seat. Be sure you ask to see and sit in the chairs you’ve selected for your event. You and your guests will be seated for a lengthy period of time, especially if you’re having your ceremony at the same location, so take the time to ensure that the chairs are both beautiful and comfortable.
  • Staff count. Always ask how many servers and bartenders will be scheduled to your event. Steve suggests a ratio of one staff member for every 20 guests.
  • Service time. Ask the caterer how long they expect dinner service to take. Rich’s can execute three courses in one hour.
  • Event coordinator. It’s always a bonus to have an event coordinator dedicated to your event and your needs. Ask you caterer if the manager will be on duty at all times or if they leave at a certain hour (before your party ends).
  • Wedding suite. Some venues have a designated suite for the happy couple to prepare for and take breaks from the main event. Ask if this suite is available throughout the reception. It’s nice to have a private place to freshen up or unwind for a moment.
  • Parking. No one wants to be surprised by a parking fee. Ask if your venue offers free parking to all of your wedding guests and vendors.

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