As every soon-to-be bride knows, there are a million and one things to consider when planning a wedding and it can all get a little bit overwhelming to say the least. There’s the venue, the dress, the flowers, the cars, the photographer, the invitations, the vows, the seating plan, the catering and the bar, to name just a few.
Where do you start?
Obviously I can’t help you with the dress, nor your wedding vows for that matter, but I can certainly guide you when it comes to choosing the right caterer, venue and a lot more (I have been doing this a long time so I have lots of useful contacts!)
Besides the wedding dress (and the groom of course), the main “stand-out” of your wedding day is going to be the catering. So it’s no doubt important to you both to ensure you make the right choice in order to guarantee that the wonderful occasion of your wedding day leaves you and your guests with a lingering, happy memory.
To help you make that choice, I’ve put together a few tips to steer you in the right direction when choosing your wedding caterer.
How to choose a wedding caterer - tip # 1 - Availability
Self-evident and probably a no-brainer, but you do need to contact your potential wedding caterer well in advance to ensure they are available on your big day. Getting your booking made is not just a matter of picking up the phone or sending an email, so we suggest you get the ball rolling 9 - 12 months before the wedding bells are set to chime.
As there are a number of items to clarify before you actually choose your caterer, give yourself plenty of time to do your research and to make a wise choice, avoiding any last minute panicky decisions you may later regret.
How to choose a wedding caterer - tip # 2 - Choose a professional!
You only get one chance at this and you really do need an expert! A professional caterer who will not only listen to your vision and ideas, but who will also make suggestions, some of which you may not have even considered.
Choose a caterer who is happy to make site visits and run you through schedules, dietary requirements, seating plans, beverage and equipment quantities, tableware, linen, garbage disposal and everything in between.
How to choose a wedding caterer - tip # 3 - Taste the food
Another no-brainer and pretty self-explanatory. A glossy photo on a website is great but nothing compares to the real thing, so make sure you try before you buy!
When choosing your caterer you want to be looking for exceptional presentation together with sensational taste. We believe the tasting experience is critical! Not only does it give the client the opportunity to taste and see, first hand, the quality and presentation of the food, but it also gives them the confidence to tick catering off the “to do” list - and who doesn’t love to do that!
A confident bride is a happy bride!
How to choose a wedding caterer - tip # 4 - Service, Service, Service!
I’ve repeated this heading three times for a very good reason! Service is a vital part of the catering experience - beginning with the telephone manner on your initial enquiry right up to the number of wait staff clearing the tables at the end of the wedding celebrations, you need to be happy with the service provided.
Your potential caterer should be enthusiastic, trustworthy, helpful and almost as excited as you are….. and your early discussions should be firmly focused on this. Feel confident to ask questions to ensure all your requirements are met. Are they listening to YOUR ideas? Will they happily cater for guests with special dietary requirements? What things can potentially go wrong? How many weddings have they catered for in the past?
You are paying for their expertise and service so make sure you are getting exactly what you want. And don’t just take their word for it! Check out their website and social media sites. Is their Facebook page current and up to date? If not, why not? Is there any negative feedback from previous clients? Put your closet detective to work and delve a little!
How to choose a wedding caterer - tip # 5 - Budget
You probably have some idea of what you would like to spend on catering for your big day. During initial discussions with your potential caterer make sure all your cards are on the table. Most caterers will be able to provide a package to suit and supply a quality wedding catering service that you know is value for money.
Again, don't be afraid to ask questions as to what is and what isn’t included in any package you are considering.
Remember they are the experts and a good caterer will be prepared to pull out all the stops to ensure the happy couple is exactly that…. Happy!
Enjoy your big day!