You have already found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, and planning a wedding is an incredible opportunity to begin making your first decisions together as an engaged couple. Your caterer is one of the most important vendors of your entire wedding, and the selection process can be stressful. Here are some tips on how to know when you have found “The One!”
How to know if you are choosing the right Caterer?
The Food is Delicious
The main reason you have looked into catering is to nourish your guests. You want to be sure that the food you will serve your guests is tasty and enjoyable.
Your Menu Reflects You
Your guests are at your wedding to do one thing: Celebrate you and yours! If your caterer has not taken the time to get to know you and your fiancée as a couple in order to create a menu reflective of you and your reception vision, then you may want to reconsider booking with them. Your caterer should emphasize that their menu is a reflection of you and your fiancée, not for their opportunity to shine.
If you are working with a caterer who “gets you,” then he/she is a priceless gem to hold onto. In the midst of the wedding planning, you will find much ease and comfort trusting your caterer will execute exactly your vision. However, it is your responsibility to clearly communicate what you envision. And be open to collaboration! You and your caterer can create some fabulous menus by working together.
You Feel Educated and Prepared to Make Decisions
It is imperative that your caterer educates you on what to expect for your special day. Your caterer should want to educate you on the catering process in order to empower you to make the decisions. If your caterer simply answers your questions without an attempt to further educate you, be advised that they may not be unveiling all of their information, such as hidden fees, facility charges, or equipment rentals. You should be able to understand every, single line item on your Proposal and Contract.
Your Caterer is Cognizant of Your Budget…and Sticks To It
Every wedding couple has a budget, and it is expected that about 50% of your budget will be spent on Catering Services. It is important that your caterer is open to discussing your budget with you at your initial consultation. Too many times have we seen caterers create fabulous menus that end up way out of your price range. This can create a false sense of excitement, and can ultimately leave you feeling embarrassed if you cannot afford it. Your caterer should never, ever make you feel uncomfortable about your budget.
Your Caterer has Excellent Rapport With Your Venue
Nine times out of ten, a bridal couple will ask their venue for catering recommendations. If your venue suggests a particular company, it is certainly in your best interest to check them out. Your venue contact will have a lot of insight on how different catering companies operate. Those companies who go above and beyond the rest of the companies are the ones worth checking out. If the catering company goes above and beyond for the Venue, just imagine what quality of customer service they will provide for you.
Your Caterer Remembers Your Name…and Your Groom’s Name!
This may sound silly, but a caterer meets with different bridal couples all the time. It is not unheard of that some caterers will neglect details about everyone else but you. A caterer who is particular about getting important names is one worth keeping. Brownie points if the caterer asks for spellings…this indicates attention to detail!
The Company’s Mission and Ethics Agree With Yours
If your caterer works for a company whose standards agree with yours—think waste management, for example—then the company may be a good fit, too.
Your Caterer Can be Flexible
A true professional caterer will undoubtedly understand that not every couple or wedding is the same. If your caterer has a specific guideline for payment plans, but it doesn’t align with your money management, inquire if they can create a specific payment plan just for you.
Your Caterer is Responsive
There is never really a slow season in catering. Either events are occurring every day or weekend, or consultations and tastings will be constantly occurring during an off-season for recently engaged couples. Regardless the time of year, your caterer should be responsive and communicative when you request information. Even if your caterer is not immediately available (vacations, a high-profile event, etc.), they should let you know that they have received your request and will contact them exclusively at a specific date/time to discuss. It is important that your caterer gives you undivided attention, so this method can effectively plan for a time to give each other just that.