Here is a little known fact about us… or maybe it’s well known. But we are HUGE foodies! So we decided to write a post for our foodie brides and grooms! You’re going to love this super helpful post about wedding catering.

image via WedBites

How To Choose Your Wedding Caterer

When selecting a catering company you are looking for excellent food, service and the ability to work with the enormity of the detail involved in your day. There are certain key factors that you should discuss when meeting your caterer for the first time.

1) Availability

First and foremost you need to see if your caterer is available on the date you require and find out what the booking and payment process is. Be sure to understand at what point your date becomes secure and when payments are needed. The last thing you want is a sudden shock and unexpected bill just before the wedding.

We suggest that you ideally start researching and meeting with caterers at least 9 months before your wedding. Many venues may have a list of preferred suppliers, including caterers, so once your date is chosen and the venue is booked that’s a great time to start contacting catering companies.

image via Yukitu

2) Budget

It is important you get an early indication of catering costs and what they include. Ask about what options are available to you, if you are on a limited budget tell your caterer what it is – ideally they should be able to provide a package to suit your needs. Consider what is and what isn’t included in the price as often this can vary from one caterer to the next.

The big things to look out for are whether your quote includes VAT (value added tax) – you really don’t want to get stung if this is overlooked. Different caterers may or may not include tableware and linen hire within their quotes, so make sure you run this past them as again it’s not something you want to have to find extra budget for right before the wedding.

image via EcoCaters

3) Quality of Food

When selecting your caterer you are looking for stunning presentation paired with sensational taste. Ask to see a portfolio of the caterers work with pictures of their food. It is important that your caterer has professional, commercial facilities and a team of talented individuals to serve your guests on the day. When meeting your caterer it’s advisable to ask about the quality and sustainability of the produce they source. Creating seasonal menus will impact highly on the quality and taste of you meal.

4) Tasting Session

Check the caterer offers a tasting experience but be conscious that popular caterers will have limited availability throughout the summer season. A tasting will allow you to fully understand the quality, style and presentation of their food and gives you the opportunity to explore how your own ideas can be worked into their existing menus.

image via The Belamar in Manhattan Beach

5) Gets Your Vision

A good caterer should understand your overall vision for the day and listen to your ideas, they should be able to use their wealth of experience and build upon your ideas to go beyond your expectations for the day.

image via Patina Group | Descanso Gardens

6) Experience

Choose a professional catering team with experience in delivering exceptional and inspired weddings and events. Use social media and websites to see what jobs they have most recently worked on and their presence in the catering market.

image via Los Angeles Caterer Along Came Mary

7) Setting the Scene

It is important to remember the importance a caterer plays in your day, with the exception of brides using a wedding planner, your caterer is likely to be the last supplier to dress your tables before the celebrations begin. It’s vital your caterer takes the care and time needed to achieve this.

image via The Kitchen in Pasadena

8) Service

Finally, service is extremely important, equal to the quality and style of your food. It’s important that you receive the upmost level of service right from your initial inquiry, through to your tasting session right up until the end of the wedding day itself. Your caterer should provide you with the enthusiasm, excitement and expertise your wedding deserves!

Cali Craft Cocktails | image via Wedding Wire

Be sure to leave a comment if you found this post helpful or if you need any advice on your wedding food and catering. We’d love to hear from you!