Picking your wedding menu can be quite overwhelming, especially since foodie culture has hit an all time high and people are expecting a bit more than “the norm” when it comes to wedding food. Aside from deciding on the tasty options that you are going to serve to your family and friends, it’s always a great idea to see if your caterer offers other services that are important to your wedding timeline as well. Couples are always going to ask the obvious “are you available” and “how much” questions, but did you know that there are other important details that may (or may not) be handled by caterers? Read on for the most important questions to ask your wedding caterer that sometimes get overlooked and forgotten.
Does Your Team Set Up the Ceremony Space?
One thing is for certain, you are not going to be out there setting up chairs, banquettes and sofas the morning of your wedding…but who is? If this is not already provided by your venue, it is absolutely necessary that you figure this out ahead of time. Not all caterers do this and some may offer it as an extra service. Whatever the case may be with your caterer, you need details to coordinate with your wedding venue to help determine a timeline. If your caterer does not provide this service, we suggest that you budget extra money to pay your venue or to hire an outside company to complete the task. Your vision should be present that day without you having to oversee all the laborious steps. Nothing beats walking down the aisle to your true love, let’s make sure your guests have an actual front row seat for it!!
When is the final guest count due?
Knowing when the final guest count is due ahead of time will be helpful when you begin designing your invitations. We recommend making sure your RSVP date is at least a week before the caterer’s final count is due so that you have time to hunt down answers from those handful of stragglers (Yes! There will always be a few!). This will also help prevent unwanted and unnecessary costs for you as well as allowing the caterer time to prepare and manage everything beforehand. Creating the accurate amount of servings needed saves you money, saves the caterer time and saves food waste…a bonus for everyone involved.
Does your quote include rentals?
Never assume that just because they are serving the delicious food that they are also going to provide your guests a seat to enjoy it in! Our best piece of advice when it comes to tables, chairs, linens, etc. is to check with your venue ahead of time. If they provide them (and you love them), you are all set. If not, then check with your caterer to see if they do provide rentals or will take on the task of renting them for you. The ease of being able to rent everything from one place is significant, but may not always be the case. Just remember time is money, so be prepared to “dish”out extra when it comes to setting up and breaking down your event, especially if hiring from multiple companies.
How do you want us to differentiate guest meal selections for service?
When there are guests who have certain dietary restrictions or need their food prepared differently, it is best to let your caterers know ahead of time and to provide them with specifics when it comes to seating. Providing your caterer with a final seating plan will help to avoid any confusion when it comes to serving the meal. You never want your guests to feel awkward or that they are a hassle because they have dietary needs different from the other guests. We always suggest that our couples provide a final seating plan but also mark off the escort cards in a non-obvious but telling way so that the wait staff can serve with ease.
What types of creative food services do you offer?
As couples are straying from the traditional sit down or buffet style meal, caterers are getting on board with many unique and creative food services. If you are looking to add a little excitement to your wedding food, make sure to ask ahead of time about the services that they offer. Whether you are choosing a big family style dinner or have your heart set on food stations that signify your journey as a couple; choosing the caterer that can make your foodie dreams come true is a significant step in serving your dream cuisine!
There are no right or wrong answers to these questions (we wish it were that simple), but you should definitely be in agreement with how your caterer responds! We cannot stress enough how important it is to find vendors, caterers included, that match your style, taste and needs. Going into your wedding day stress-free may be far fetched and almost impossible, but knowing that you hired a team of professionals that know and understand your vision is definitely a step in the right direction.