How to Choose a Caterer for Your Wedding Day
The wedding dinner plays a huge role in the celebration of a happy couple on their wedding day, so it’s vital that you get the caterer right. It can be stressful to think about planning such an integral part of the event, so let’s break the process down to help you get started. Here’s how to choose a caterer for your wedding day in six steps.
1. Start the Search 9 to 12 Months in Advance
Like other wedding vendors, caterers get booked up well in advance so be sure to start the search early. You should aim to book your caterer around 9 to 12 months out from your wedding date, after you’ve booked the venue. You won’t have to finalise the menu until nearer the time so don’t worry about getting all the details figured out at this stage.
2. Ask Your Venue for Recommendations
A great place to start your search for a caterer is with your venue coordinator who will have worked with many. There’s less chance of miscommunication when your caterer is known and recommended by your venue. Plus, the caterer will be familiar with the venue’s facilities so you can have peace of mind they’ll get set up smoothly.
3. Develop a Rough Menu
It’s helpful to have a rough idea of your ideal menu so that you can find a caterer capable of bringing your vision to life. Some caterers specialise in particular types of cuisine, while others do a little bit of everything. The latter might be ideal if you’re looking for buffet-style dining with a wide variety of dishes to suit all tastes, but if you’re looking for authentic regional food, it makes sense to opt for a specialist caterer.
4. Set a Budget
The average cost of wedding catering is $75 per person, so be prepared for your catering to take up a huge portion of your overall budget. Caterers will need to know the size of your guest list and your rough menu to give you an accurate price estimate. Some caterers offer set menus to choose from to help you stay on budget.
5. Ask Questions
By now, you should have a shortlist of caterers that seem to fit your bill. You can narrow them down further by asking questions about how they work. Be sure to ask how much space they require and how much time they’ll need to set up and clear down to ensure they’re the right fit for your venue.
6. Arrange a Tasting
Some caterers provide tasting sessions before booking, but these usually incur a charge. If you feel confident in a caterer’s experience and trust that they’re reputable, you may not need to do a tasting before booking and can simply arrange a tasting closer to the big day to settle on a menu. If you’re torn between caterers or have a very specific vision in mind for your menu, you might feel it’s essential to arrange tastings before booking to help you choose the right caterer.
Find Your Perfect Caterer
It might be daunting to start the search for a wedding caterer, but the sooner you start the less stressful it will be. Once you’ve booked the perfect vendor, you’ll be a huge step closer to your dream wedding day.