A couples guide to choosing wedding caterers

Your wedding caterer will make a big difference to the overall success of your wedding reception, so take your time making a decision. Here is a list of questions that you might want to ask when choosing wedding caterers.

wedding catering

Here are some questions to ask when choosing wedding caterers:

  • Do you specialise in particular types of food, or do you have a specific signature dish?
  • Can you suggest a menu for our themed wedding?
  • Can you cook a particular family dish that we love?
  • How flexible are you? Could we postpone serving the meal if photos run late?
  • How is the food priced? Is there a set fee per head or are the dishes priced individually?
  • What is included in the price in terms of linen and tableware?
  • Do you provide serving staff as well as food?
  • How many waiters will you provide and what will they be wearing?
  • How will you accommodate vegetarians and those with other special dietary needs?
  • Can we arrange a tasting?
  • Will the food be made by the same chef that prepared the samples for your tasting?
  • Do you provide alcohol, and if so can we see your wine list?
  • Do you offer all inclusive drinks packages?
  • Can we supply our own wine or champagne and will there be a corkage fee?
  • If there are no kitchen facilities available on site, will you be able to provide your own equipment, and will we have to pay extra for that?
  • Can you provide contact details for weddings you have done in the last year as references?
  • Do you have photos of previous wedding food, particularly buffets?

wedding finger food

Declining wedding caterers

You are not obliged to tell caterers you have spoken to that you won’t be using them, but if they have gone to the trouble of providing you with sample menus and setting up a tasting session, it would be common courtesy to inform them. Telling your chosen wedding caterers that you would like to hire them is the easy part; turning down the others can be a bit more awkward.

How you approach this depends very much on the service you have received. Most wedding caterers would appreciate a phone call, so they can get some feedback on their service and find out which caterer you have decided upon and the reasons behind your decision. You don’t have to specify the name of your chosen caterer if you don’t want to, but be honest and open about the reasons that influenced your final choice. If you rather not call them in person, you could simply send a note thanking them for all their help and explaining that you have decided to hire another company.

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