Choosing Your Caterers
Once you’ve found your ideal
venue, the couple and /or the bride's parents,
should make an appointment with the person in charge
to discuss dates, times, numbers of guests and the
exact prices of things - specifically the cost of
the meal, which is usually the biggest expense.
It is important to allow yourself sufficient time to
get various estimates and to compare catering
services, facilities and costs if necessary.
Remember that caterers tend to get booked up months
A personal recommendation or your own experience of
a caterer’s work is always the best guide. If the
caterer runs a restaurant or hotel, try to sample a
meal on the premises before making your decision.
Many hotels will let you sample their suggested
wedding menus, either for free, or at a reduced
price, once you have made your booking with them.
Your caterer will need to know the date, time of
reception, number of guests, level of hospitality
you wish to provide and your limit on charges per
head to supply you with ideas and quotations. Costs
are usually quoted per ‘head’ (guest). Always ask
for quotes and confirmation of everything in writing
– and file your copies carefully!
You should also check on the following:
Do they cater for people with special dietary needs,
providing vegetarian, vegan or kosher alternatives?
Will they provide the wine or can you bring our own?
(This is usually cheaper, depending on the corkage
Will they supply the cake stand and knife?
How much notice of final numbers do they require?
Will they take care of all the clearing-up?
If catering at the bride's home, what kitchen
facilities do they require?
How much deposit needs to be paid by when and when
is the final bill to be settled?
And don't forget to finalize numbers with the
caterers just before the wedding, especially if
there are late cancellations, otherwise you’ll have
to pay for wasted meals.
Bear in mind that, in addition to the catering
staff, you may also need someone to open the door
and take coats, people to look after the coats, a
toastmaster (optional) to announce guests and run
the proceedings, waiters and waitresses to hand
round food and drink and someone to help with any