How to Choose the Right Wedding Caterer
– What is the mission of a wedding caterer?
– Where to find a wedding caterer?
– How to choose a wedding caterer?
– Wedding caterer: how to read the quote?
– Cost of a wedding caterer
Beyond the choice between a wedding hall, a wedding restaurant, the rental of a wedding tent for an outdoor reception or the rental of a wedding castle, the choice of a wedding caterer is also a big investment and an essential element for the success of your reception.
What is the mission of the wedding caterer?
You have sent out the wedding invitations informing your guests of your wedding ceremony.
On this occasion, you will share a moment of happiness, so your guests will be invited to
– a vin d’honneur specially organized for the few acquaintances who will not be part of the evening party but also for your family and friends;
– the reception for your close friends and relatives.
To organize this event, you have decided to hire a wedding caterer. You will have to work quickly (6 to 10 months in advance) to find a caterer surrounded by competent specialists in this field.
The mission of a wedding caterer, as well as that of his staff, will be to offer you
– excellent quality for the dishes that you will have chosen during your reception;
– an impeccable service that will be carried out by professionals endowed with true know-how;
– well-presented dishes that can be enjoyed both hot and cold;
– creativity and originality.
Where to find a wedding caterer?
There are different tools to find a caterer for a wedding, whether it is in the provinces or the big cities:
– the directories;
– websites that offer caterers are listed by region;
– for a high-end provider, you can approach the caterers who select the best professionals:
◦ The latter observes a charter of very rigorous criteria: provision of detailed estimates, obligation to give an evaluation report to the customer and transport the products in compliance with the cold chain.
◦ Dishes must be “homemade” and based on fresh products.
– Word of mouth always gives excellent results.
How to choose the wedding caterer?
Initially, you must set your budget, and you make a list of all the services you want according to the number of guests (adults and children).
Keeping in mind that this is one of the most important expenses, you will spend time on it.
Get quotes. Depending on the type of services offered, prices can vary greatly. Don’t hesitate to use the competition and to call upon several caterers.
In addition, remember to ask the right questions to your hypothetical wedding caterer:
– What are his references?
– Does he have a book that you can consult at your leisure and where you can see the sample dishes? This will allow you to discern if they are creative and classic.
– How many receptions does he organize in a year, and for how many people?
– What are the limitations of the service hours?
Ask if it is possible to taste the proposed dishes, this can be part of a commercial gesture. If not, take some of the products to enjoy them at home.
What are the proposed formulas?
Choose a formula according to your tastes, the theme of your wedding and the number of your guests. Please note that not everyone eats pork, and some may be vegetarian.
You can opt for:
– A buffet or a sit-down meal will include a wedding menu.
A varied buffet and hot dish served at the table are more adapted when the assembly exceeds 200 guests.
– Think about the choice of wines that must be judicious. Call upon a connoisseur in your entourage, and he will be delighted to advise you.
Consult your spouse’s family when making your final choice, they will be grateful to you, and it is a question of good manners.
Have you thought about the various additional services such as
– the number of servers available;
– the supply of cutlery, dishes, glasses and tablecloths;
– the supply of tables and chairs;
– the wedding cake;
– the cleaning after the reception.
These additional services have an additional cost that is not negligible.
Attention: the number of waiters is important for the dinner’s success. Too few waiters mean a slow service and a dinner that drags guests to dance. To be avoided!
Wedding caterer: how to read the quote?
You have chosen your wedding caterer; all that remains is to read the quote carefully.
The estimate must include:
– the lump sum for all the services and the detailed prices item by item: meals, drinks, corkage fee. You can decide to bring your drinks but be aware that some caterers will ask you for a corkage fee.
– the service of the personnel;
– the additional services: furniture, equipment.
Before signing your estimate, check carefully the different clauses of your estimate, namely
– the cancellation and refund clauses;
The clause allows you to adjust the number of guests at the last minute.
If the estimate corresponds to your budget and your expectations. You will have to place a firm order by paying a deposit corresponding to 30 or 50 % of the total amount. You will pay the balance on the evening of the wedding or upon receipt of the invoice.
Cost of a wedding caterer
The caterer’s cost for a wedding varies according to several criteria: the number of guests, the region, the caterer’s reputation, and the service provided.
As an indication:
– Count on approximately $60 to $130 per person, or $6,000 to $13,000 for 100 people…
– Note that the initial estimates are often exceeded by at least 20%.
– Also, plan on custom decorating your reception hall for between $1,000 and $1,500, depending on the theme.
Don’t forget to add all other budgeted items related to your wedding.
Finally, if you have decided to prepare the reception yourself, do not hesitate to call upon, for very affordable rates, maitre d’ and waiters in an accredited hotel school and association.
Count 1 maître d’hôtel for 20 people (seated meal) and several waiters for 100 people.
Read more: What Wedding Budget Should I Plan?
Hope this post helps you choose your caterer. Remember to share your experience in the comments below.