Your wedding day is going to be one of the most memorable days of your life. You want everything to be perfect, and one area that leaves most couples anxious is the food department. We all know how everyone makes a big fuss over food and drinks at weddings. Chances are that is the one part of the wedding that will forever linger in their minds. The truth is that not only do catering services cater for the food; they also contribute to the reception timeline, dinner, stocking the bar and also bake the cake.
Evidently, catering will affect a huge chunk of your budget. You, therefore, want to get the right caterer to ease off some of the pressure. How then can you go about choosing the best catering services for your wedding? The only way out is to ask a lot of questions relating to the basics, food and presentation, drinks and business matters.
While choosing a caterer, you need to know whether the date of your wedding is open on the caterer’s calendar. If they say they are booked but can handle your wedding too, you need to find out if they can handle multiple clients and whether they have enough staff for more than one event. Handling more than one client should not be a deal breaker, but you have to be very careful to ensure that all your needs will be adequately met. You also need to find out how long the caterer has been in business and on average the number of weddings they handle in a year. This will inform you of their experience and help you in your decision making.
Additionally, has the caterer ever covered a wedding at your preferred location? If yes, do they have any pictures you can look at and did they find working with the venue owners convenient? Above all, find out if the potential caterer is licensed. This shows that they adhere to all the local health law standards. If alcohol is being served at your wedding, you need to find out if the caterer has a license to serve alcohol and whether they have alcohol liability insurance. The insurance saves you money just in case there are any incidences such as destruction of property by your guests.
Also find out if you will need any permits for your wedding and if yes, whether they can assist you in obtaining them. On coordination of the wedding, your catering service should inform you if it will provide an on-site coordinator to run the whole event or banquet manager to coordinate the meal service. Lastly on the basics, is the catering services in a position to assist you with other aspects of the wedding such as choosing other vendors or will you have to outsource?
Food and Presentation
Depending on the number of guests, your budget and event style, you should find out which food choices are on offer and if the caterer specializes in specific cuisines that would best suit your wedding. The caterer should also inform you if they can serve a particular dish you may want or if they can accommodate dietary restrictions. Also find out if they custom-make or have a preset menu and if they can handle theme menus. Additionally, do they offer packages? This is very cost-effective.
With regards to the cake, find out if the caterer will also handle your cake or if you need to outsource. If they’ll be handling the cake, do they have pictures of previous cake presentations? The cake, food and drinks are a big deal at the wedding. Are there tastings and if yes, will it cost you more? If there is leftover food, what happens to it? Can it be wrapped up and delivered to a destination of your choice?
On clean-up, do they offer this service or do you have to outsource? If they do, what exactly does it entail? Have it in writing so that you don’t end up picking trash instead of heading to your honeymoon.
Do they serve both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages? How do they charge? Per person or per consumption and which is the most cost effective? If you need alcohol served, find out whether the caterer will provide alcoholic beverages and bartenders or if you have to outsource. If yes, which brands will be served? Can they provide labor if you provide your own drinks? Is corkage fee charged if you have your own wine? Is the champagne toast cost added in your package? Is coffee or tea added in the per person meal cost?
Wedding preparations eventually come down to business matters. What is the ratio of guests to servers? How will the staff be dressed? What is the pricing breakdown and does it factor in service charge and tax? By when should you RSVP? What is the payment policy, how much is the deposit and when should final payment be made? What amount of time does the caterer need to set up and break down the event? What are the refund and cancellation policy? At what point is the contract signed? Do you have a list of references?
Clearly, a lot goes into choosing the right catering service for your wedding and getting the right one will save you a lot of headaches. Good luck as you prepare for your big day.
Ryan Davis is the owner of Argyle Catering the best company for catering Jefferson City, MO has to offer.