Hiring a wedding caterer isn't always easy, particularly because there are a lot of caterers out there. Then there are the people who call themselves caterers, but are actually not very experienced when it comes to creating a menu, accommodating special dietary needs, or sourcing ingredients. How can you find the best wedding caterer you can afford and make the best use of all they have to offer? We have even more tips we think will help!
When determining a final head count for your caterer, you should include a meal for your entertainer (DJ or Band), wedding photographer, and Wedding Day Coordinator. Note: Always confirm with your wedding vendors that they want a meal before you include them in your head count. It is up to you whether you'll serve them a less expensive vendor meal 0r let them eat what your wedding guests are eating.
Ask your caterer to prepare a "leftover basket" that is a sampling of all the food at your reception. That's for you, i.e., the bride and the groom. It's likely that you and your new spouse will not get a chance to really sit down and eat (and enjoy all of the wonderful food at the wedding reception). Even if you're leaving the next day on your honeymoon, a leftover basket makes for a great late night snack!
Be sure to ask your wedding caterer about "guaranteed numbers." Many caterers will quote prices based upon a minimum or "guaranteed" number of guests, but these counts don't always correspond with reality. Many base their figures on a minimum of 100 guests, for example. If your final guest count is less than a hundred, there may be an additional fee.
Find out what decorations, tableware, and linens (if any) are included in the caterer's price. Ask to see pictures of their table displays if they do include some decorations in their price. If your wedding caterer provides these services, talk to them about your color theme so that all your beautiful decorations and floral arrangements will coordinate.
Be careful as to how many hors d'oeuvres you order. It is so tempting to get one of everything, but waste is never nice. Do you really need eight different varieties of puff, cake, and roll? You'd be surprised -- some wedding caterers will suggest that you need a ton of nibbles, even if you're serving a full meal. If you are doing hors d'oeuvres, four different varieties is usually sufficient.
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