So you’re getting married… congratulations! This must be a very exciting and stressful time for you. You’re running around trying to plan everything, and that can really take a toll on you. But when it comes to the food at your wedding, don’t stress about trying to cook for everyone; hire a wedding caterer.
A wedding caterer can take away the burden of preparing food for your wedding. Your responsibility is to taste the food that the wedding caterer offers and choose what you want to serve. Seems like a fun job to us, and you might even get your fiancé to help out.
Be sure to know what to ask a wedding caterer and know what you want for your wedding. Beyond that, let the wedding caterer do their job and you can cross the food off your list. Wedding caterers are professionals who work to make events run smoothly from the food perspective. As long as you hire a reputable wedding caterer you should have a good experience.
When you are looking for a wedding caterer be sure to follow the 7 tips covered in this article from SheKnows.com. This article walks you through the steps you should take when hiring a wedding caterer.
7 Tips for hiring a wedding caterer
CHOOSING A WEDDING CATERER
We all know the saying, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” It turns out that’s the way to your wedding guests’ hearts as well. Hiring a wedding caterer is an important early step in your wedding planning.
1. GET RECOMMENDATIONS AND REFERRALS
Looking for reviews and ratings on sites like OneWed.com should be one of your first steps in any wedding vendor search. Tastings are a lot of fun, but you don’t have the time to do tastings everywhere, so try and use recommendations from friends and online ratings to narrow your choices down to 3-5 caterers before you make appointments. Once you’ve narrowed your list down, get referrals of past clients from the caterer.
2. KNOW YOUR BUDGET
There’s a caterer out there for almost any budget, but you can save yourself time and aggravation if you have an idea of both your overall budget and your food budget before you start looking. Don’t forget to consider your budget for linens, plates and tables as well, since the caterer will often coordinate renting these items. You will probably be asked to put down a 50% deposit when you sign the contract, so make sure you’re absolutely committed before signing. It is expected that you’ll tip the wait staff and the catering manager, so don’t forget to budget for that as well.
3. CHECK WITH THE VENUE
Some wedding venues may have an approved list of vendors. This is why it’s important to decide on a venue before choosing a caterer. Usually these lists are necessary because of insurance requirements, but sometimes it’s simply that these are vendors the venue knows can be trusted. There is value to choosing from a recommended list, it means the caterer will be familiar with the set up and will have an easy time coordinating with the venue staff. But if you’re having trouble finding a caterer that works for you on the list, discuss it with the venue manager.
4. BE UPFRONT WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
If you want a vegetarian menu, or have specific allergy or ingredient concerns, discuss this with your caterer before making an appointment for a tasting. If you’re having children at the wedding, arrange for special children’s meals; these will be less expensive and keep the kids happy.
5. GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING, AND READ IT CAREFULLY!
There are a lot of gray areas with catering a big event. Is the caterer providing tablecloths and linens? Are they an extra cost? If it’s a buffet, do you need to rent the serving dishes separately? How many waiters and what will they wear? If the event lasts longer than expected, will you need to pay additional charges? Who is responsible for paying lost linen fees? It’s a lot of detail to consider, but you need to pay attention.
6. DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE BAND AND THE PHOTOGRAPHER
It may be in your contract with the band and the photographer that you need to provide them with meals. Discuss getting special vendor meals with the caterer. Since your vendors won’t be eating with your guests, their meals can be plated differently and should cost less.
Don’t forget to relax, sit down and have a bite yourself!
Weddings can be very stressful. However, it should still be one of the happiest moments in your life. So don’t let the stress get to you and take help where you can get it. Wedding caterers are great because they take the stress of feeding everyone off of your shoulders. Hiring a wedding caterer can help you make your special day as relaxing as possible. Just be sure that when you are looking for wedding catering services, you take the right steps to ensure that the wedding caterer you hire is a good fit.
Enjoying your day is what really matters. If you follow the above steps, you can be stress-free knowing that your wedding caterers will have everything ready and perfect for your special day.
If you are looking for a venue and wedding caterers to help manage the stress of planning your wedding, please don’t hesitate to call us. We can offer the beautiful venue and professional wedding catering services you deserve. Learn more about weddings at the Beechwood Hotel and why our historic hotel is treasured by so many couples.
Let us help make your wedding day one of the most special days of your life.