One of the best parts of your wedding day is the food! (Because who doesn’t love a good meal?!) When choosing your wedding caterer, there are different options depending on the style of meal you’re serving, how many people you’re feeding, and the type of food you want your guests to enjoy. With the help of Lisa of Tastefully Yours, we’re sharing some insight on everything you need to know before hiring your wedding caterer!
Depending on where you’re hosting your wedding, the venue may already have an in-house catering team that you are required to use. However, if you are under no obligation to do so, then it’s couple’s choice! Before beginning your search, here are a few things you’ll want to nail down:
Are you doing a buffet or sit down?
Is service needed for both cocktail hour and dinner?
Wedding style? (Casual, formal, etc. – this can help your caterer aline with the aesthetic of your event!)
A ballpark estimate of the number of guests attending (to be finalized once you get the RSVPs back).
While each wedding caterer may have a slightly different process, for the most part the outline is the same. Lisa is sharing how the process works with her company Tastefully Yours!
Lisa of Tastefully Yours: “At Tastefully Yours we like to personalize the menus to suit our clients flavor profile as well as budget. So I like to have an initial phone meeting.
My first order of business is to explain to the client what the food service options are for both cocktail hour and dinner service. If she doesn’t know I will explain them in detail. Once the service style is set, we then talk about flavor profile and wedding style. Style as in is this wedding casual, formal etc.
From there I can organize menus and a proposal. We then work on that until we get the menus and pricing to a comfortable point. If at anytime the client requests a face to face meeting I am always willing.
Next we set up a tasting. Our tastings are private and last about two hours. They are an amazing experience. Tastings are $100. If they elect to go with us then I apply that $100 towards their down payment. If the client is feeling good about the tasting I then bring the brides back to my dish/decor room and we get to selecting the food service table top decor. “
The process can take anywhere from 24 hours to a couple of weeks depending on schedules. Keep in mind if you’re offering meal choices to your guests that the menu must be decided on before completing your wedding invitations. That way, your invitation designer can provide the necessary menu for guests to RSVP with their desired choice!
It’s important that your wedding menu fits in with the rest of your wedding decor. For example, if you’re having a black tie event, consider more upscale menu options versus having a bbq.
Make sure your caterer knows your budget before your tasting. There would be nothing worse than trying and loving a meal that is way out of your price range.
Take your guests into consideration. Yes, it’s your day, but if you’re the only one in the group that loves salmon it may not be a good meal option to include in your wedding menu.
Is the menu customized or are the pre-set packages/choices?
Serving style options? (Buffet, sit down, family style?)
When does the final head count need to be submitted?
Any allergy/diet requests?
What is all included in full service?
What is the server to guest ratio?
Are the table settings and cutlery provided or do we have to rent those elsewhere?
(If bringing food in from off-site, ask about the process!) What does a typical wedding day look like for you?
Do they provide trash removal at end of the night?
Does your company require an additional gratuity to their staff? If so, how much per staff member?