One of the most memorable parts of any celebration with loved ones is the food, so we’ve come up with the top questions to ask to ensure you’re getting exactly what you need.
1. What services are included in each package?
Most catering companies offer several different packages to fit your needs. While some packages include the bare necessities, others are jam-packed to include cutlery, dishes, glassware, etc.
2. What services are not included?
Even more important than knowing what you’re paying for is also having an understanding of those items not included. Services like cake cutting, champagne toasts, coffee service, set-up or break-down, and gratuities may not be included in the initial quote. Having a clear understanding of what the proposal covers will help you weigh the options against your budget.
3. Will there be a menu tasting?
If you are able to do a tasting with your caterer, you absolutely should. There is no better way to get a sense of what your meal will be like, and it will give you the opportunity to offer feedback on anything that isn’t to your liking. Some caterers may include one tasting in the cost of the package; however, others may charge to cover their costs. It is best to find out what’s included and never assume that it is.
4. Do you offer kid-friendly and vendor meals?
For children attending the wedding, it’s nice to know what options the caterer can provide beyond the standard “chicken fingers and French fries.” In addition, it is common courtesy (and sometimes a requirement) to provide your hard-working vendors with meals. Most caterers will have options available at a lower cost, especially if alcohol is figured into the package price per person.
5. Can the menu accommodate vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, or other dietary requirements?
It’s very likely that you’ll have a handful of guests who will have unique dietary restrictions, and accommodating those requirements is seen as thoughtful and considerate. When selecting invitations, make sure to include an area to collect information on dietary requirements. This way, it will be easy to discuss those needs with your wedding caterer to decide on options for those guests.
6 .What is the server-to-guest ratio?
Catering companies may follow different ratios of servers to guests, depending on the type of wedding meal served. Pay attention to these ratios as it can tell you a lot about the level of service your guests will receive. The ratios may also fluctuate depending on their involvement. Tableside wine service and a tight timeframe for dinner service will require additional staff for support. If you are planning a more casual, budget-friendly wedding, a caterer who uses fewer servers might be the right choice for you.
7. Where is your food sourced?
Where the ingredients come from may have an effect on your budget, as some caterers will charge extra for premium ingredients. However, if you push for local, seasonal items, most likely, your budget will be better off.
8. What is the staff attire for events?
Whether you’re having a casual beach wedding or a black-tie wedding, you’ll want to ensure your caterer’s staff is dressed appropriately to match the theme of your special day. There may be an additional fee to stray from the standard dress code, so keep that in mind when planning your budget.
9. Where will the food be prepared, and is an on-site kitchen facility necessary?
More often than not, your caterer will prepare your food at the venue. However, it is best to clarify with your caterer’s culinary team as cooking onsite may require additional equipment to setup a makeshift kitchen either inside or outside, depending on what space designated by the venue for them to use.
10. How far in advance to I need to confirm guest numbers and menu details?
Make sure to confirm how much notice your caterer requires for a final headcount. Based on this policy, choose an appropriate RSVP date to provide your guests that will allow ample time for you to provide caterer with final counts for guests, vendors, children, and any special dietary requirements. This will ensure your caterer is able to source the freshest ingredients in time for your big day.
NEWLY ENGAGED? THE FUN IS ABOUT TO BEGIN!
We know how special this day is for every couple. That’s why it’s so important that your unique style comes through in every detail. Whether you’re hoping for classy twist on tradition, an outside the box concept or just a fun celebration with a party atmosphere, we’ll help capture the essence of any wedding theme. From crowd pleasing first course to delectable dessert, we’ll help refine your menu and highlight fresh, seasonal ingredients.
Contact us today at 773.880.8044 or firstname.lastname@example.org