Place Setting with Printed Dinner Menu

Planning Tips: Choosing a Caterer for your Wedding

Choosing a catering team for your wedding is crucial; This is the first meal you’ll have as a married couple, after all! But it can get a little bit confusing. With so many talented chefs and great teams behind them, how do you know which pro is right for you? Here are some planning tips and things you should consider before hiring a caterer for your big day:

Customization Services

Can they create custom dishes or deal with allergies and special requests? 

The food at your wedding should be a reflection of your story as a couple, so if you wanted a specific dish recreated from that magical vacation you took in Hawaii, or an elevated version of the appetizers you shared on your first date, then there should be no limits! An excellent caterer will be able to offer customization and make all your culinary dreams come true.

Additionally, caterers should also be able to deal with allergies and special requests with ease. If there’s resistance, it’s not a great sign. You shouldn’t have to work with someone who is unable to provide for every single one of your guests.

Will the caterer make special meals for children and other wedding pros? What does the caterer charge for each?

If you’re having a child-friendly wedding, you’ll want to be considerate of your little guests! But double-check on pricing as most caterers won’t count a child the same as an adult guest.

Many wedding professionals have a “vendor meal” requirement in their contracts. Some caterers will have a buffet-style station for the other wedding professionals, while others will serve everything family-style in the middle of a vendor table.

Catering Spread

Communication and Professionalism

Are companies communicating promptly and responding to your questions in full?

A caterer that is difficult to get a hold of is a red flag! And if you’re fighting to get straight answers, that’s not a good sign, either. A professional team will be sure to answer your questions and make you feel like you’re their only client. No detail will go overlooked throughout your correspondence, meaning no detail will go overlooked on your big day!

Scheduling

Are they working any other weddings or events on the same day as yours? 

Many catering companies will book more than one event in a day, which definitely does not have to be a deal-breaker. A great team will be fully staffed and able to handle this. Working with a larger professional catering company will give you peace of mind as they have multiple backup plans to ensure your big day goes as smoothly as possible!

Do they have a commercial kitchen, or are they relying on the kitchen at your venue? 

For couples planning a unique wedding menu for a large number of guests, it’s imperative that your catering company has access to a commercial kitchen. It’s exciting to pick your dream venue, but if it doesn’t have a kitchen and your caterer can’t your amazing meal off-site, you could have a big problem. And if your venue does have a commercial kitchen available, would your caterer of choice be willing to prep the food at your event?

Connections and References

Have they worked with your venue before?

You’ll want your wedding caterer to have great connections with many different venues as it’s always a good sign of a well-respected and reputable business. Has your caterer worked with your venue before? Are they used to the equipment and the constraints? If the catering and venue teams have worked together before, there’s an even better chance of smooth sailing on the day of your event.

Laura and Matt
Plated Candied Pear Salads

Do they have glowing online reviews or special awards?

Accolades are given where they are deserved. While you can’t always trust every previous client or bride, there should generally be an overall positive consensus on the caterer and catering team you’re going to go with. If you’re working with a new company, be sure to ask for references.

Insurance and Licenses

Is your catering company of choice licensed and insured? Are they follow local food safety guidelines?

A professional catering company that is licensed and insured will have met local health department standards, and this is definitely a very good thing! You’ll want to hire pros who have proven their ability to create delicious meals while also maintaining health and safety protocol.

 

Photos by Jen & Chris Creed.


Choosing the right caterer for your event doesn’t have to be difficult! Pick our brains at hello@dreameventsandcatering.com. We’re always happy to answer any questions you have about your big day.