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Choosing a Caterer (21 Questions to Ask)

By Rachel Kistner

After choosing a date and venue, the next major decision in the wedding planning process is choosing what vendors will help you create your dream wedding. Today we’re focusing on catering—because what’s a party without some good food?

When choosing a caterer, it’s important to already have an idea of what you want and need from them. How much food do you need to feed your guests? Do you want a waitstaff to serve them, or will they serve themselves?  Is your proposed budget reasonable for the services you want and for the number of guests you’ll have? These are all good questions to ask yourself—and anyone else involved in the planning process—before choosing a catering service.

Once you have a clear idea in mind, it’s time to find a caterer that can make that idea come to life—and the “right” caterer is easier to find than you think! Just remember, don’t make any decisions without asking plenty of questions first.

Don’t know what questions to ask? Check out these suggestions for what to ask caterers that you are considering for your wedding. Their answers will help you determine if they are a good fit for your event.

  1. Are you familiar with/have you previously catered at the venue I have chosen?
  2. What precautions are you taking to keep guests safe during COVID-19?
  3. Do you only offer preset menus, or can I create a custom menu for our event?
  4. Do you specialize in certain food types or event themes?
  5. Do you offer a food tasting before being hired?
  6. Will you provide details such as plates, napkins, silverware, etc.? If so, do these items cost extra?
  7. Do you require an on-site kitchen? If the venue does not have one, do you charge extra for bringing your own equipment?
  8. Do you have any pictures of previous food setups so I can get an idea of the style?
  9. What décor do you provide (if any) for appetizer stations or buffet tables?
  10. Do you charge a cake-cutting fee?
  11. Do you do wedding cakes? If so, is this included in any packages you offer?
  12. Do you offer décor extras, like tablecloths, chair coverings, etc.?
  13. How do you handle any leftover food at the end of the event?
  14. Are you licensed to serve alcohol?
  15. Who provides the alcohol? Can we provide our own for a separate price?
  16. How many bartenders does your service include?
  17. How long will alcohol be served?
  18. If my event runs over the expected time, what are your overtime fees?
  19. Do you charge extra for setting up and breaking down the event?
  20. When are all fees and payments due?
  21. Are there any fees not included in the package that I should be aware of?

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By Rachel Kistner
Categories:  Cakes & Catering

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