Wedding planning

Choosing a wedding caterer

By Nobuhle Nleya

Catering a wedding is no casual affair. It demands attention to detail and timing as well as clear communication with the bride and groom. In the efforts to have a perfect catering service, the top six tips below can act as guidelines to help in choosing the right catering service provider for you.



You must get an early indication of catering costs and what they include. Do some preliminary research to see what the average cost of a wedding caterer is. Be sure to ask relevant questions such as what is included in the fee: be it menu design, waiters, or purchasing of ingredients. Be clear if you have a limit on your budget and ask if the caterer can create a package for you.



This is when you can get to ask your caterer about their service options. You may be considering a variety of food stations, a buffet, or even have specific servers for each table or family. Discussing this with your caterer will help you to know what type of service you might need that is following your specific style. 



Caterers are often booked months in advance to ensure availability and proper planning for the wedding. This will also help you as the host to ease out pressures for making sure that everything is a success. If you think you might have found the perfect caterer but might not have a date for the wedding, you can still call them and see how far in advance they may recommend a booking.



A great option to include in your search is to ask family members, friends, and coworkers who have hosted a catered event for weddings similar to yours. The experiences that they may share with you will give you an understanding of what you should look out for and expect from a caterer. Since they will be providing first hand knowledge of how the food and service turned out you are most likely assured how to conduct your search.



Now that a budget has been set and potential caterers noted down, you can now make sure that each shortlisted candidate’s food lives up to its name. With some caterers, you can book a date to meet and taste the meals or proposed menus for you, or with some, they can invite you to a wedding or event they might be catering for so that you can see how they operate and how the food tastes when they are in the actual field. Also, a tasting before the wedding allows you to discuss how your ideas can be worked into their existing menu.



When all of the above has been finalized, you should make sure that you sign a contract between you and the caterer, but before signing, make sure that the finalized proposal includes the total cost of the food and drinks, menu, catering staff, and other additional costs. After this, you can draw up the final contract, sign, and let the caterer perform their magic.

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