Chios Wedding

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.

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 12 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.

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 – 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.

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.

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.

GREAT EXPECTATIONS
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.

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.

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. At Kalm Kitchen we take great care to ensure that every element of décor – including the flowers, tablecentres and candles look perfect next to our tableware, we go above and beyond to ensure a couple’s vision is achieved on the day. It’s vital your caterer takes the care and time needed to achieve this.

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 enquiry, 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!

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5 Comments

  1. Thanks for the advice to make sure that you get a detailed quote when you’re making a decision. I know that some people seem expensive, but compared to someone who costs less but also does less the first option really is a better choice. I’m definitely going to make sure that I take everything the caterers can do into consideration when choosing someone for my big day! Also, what is VAT?

  2. I’m going to be getting married in a few months, and I’ve decided that I want my wedding to be catered. I’ve never had to choose a catering company before, though, so I’m happy that I found your post! I really liked your tips, especially what you mentioned about scheduling a tasting session. I think that sitting down and tasting the food that the company prepares will be a great way to find the perfect caterer! I’ll be sure to keep this tip in mind as I look for a catering company. Thank you for the advice!

  3. I liked what you said about how event coordinators should communicate their vision for their event to caterers. That seems like a great way to help them know what you expect from their service when preparing and serving food. It seems like a good caterer would go beyond your expectations, so the best way to do that is by letting them know what your ideas are.

  4. Cool post! I learned a lot about how to choose a wedding caterer by reading this! Thank you for explaining that “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 what point your date becomes secure and when payments are needed.” I have never planned a wedding before but it helps to know how to choose a caterer when I do have to plan for one.

  5. These are some great tips, and I appreciate your advice to get an idea of catering costs before creating a budget. My fiance and I are trying to iron out all of the details for our wedding in a few months, and our next step is to find a caterer. We’ll definitely look at some prices to get an idea of what they cost, and then we’ll create a budget and stick to it. Thanks for the great post!

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