5 Important Conversations To Have With Your Wedding Caterer

No matter how much planning you put into your wedding, the day will only be as good as the wedding vendors you hire to bring it all together. In this blog series, I’ll give you the top five questions you should ask each of your wedding vendors before you sign a contract. It’s important to have a conversation with every vendor, not only to gauge their expertise, but to gain a sense of your rapport with them. Remember, there are lots of vendors out there, so there’s no need to settle for anyone that doesn’t suit you.

One of the most anticipated parts of any wedding is the food. Many guests consider the food and beverage their “reward” for dressing up in their finest. It’s certainly one way a couple can introduce their theme and/or culture into their big day.

Whether you’re having your reception in a hotel ballroom or out in a relative’s sprawling backyard, here are the top five questions you should ask the caterer or catering manager:

1. What is included in your fees/packages? Always know what you’re paying for. Does the cost per person include plating, silverware, linens, and/or seating? Does it cover the cost of waitstaff, bartenders, and/or station attendants? Are beverages included or separate? Do fees cover setup and breakdown?


2. Is there a F&B (food & beverage) minimum I must meet? Many caterers and venues require that an event meet a food and beverage minimum, and occasionally a per person minimum. Sometimes this is inclusive of taxes and service fees and sometimes it isn’t, so make sure you’re clear on this before making your decisions.

3. Do you offer dietary friendly options? Make sure if you have guests who are vegan or have food allergies that they have food options, too. Also, if you have religious or cultural preferences, be up front with your potential caterer to confirm they can accommodate your needs.


4. Is outside food or beverage allowed? Depending on the venue and caterer, the answer to this question will vary. Some are very strict about not allowing any outside food and beverage, some have no problem with it, and some charge a fee for you to do so.

5. Where is the food prepared? If you’re having a ballroom reception, everything is usually cooked on-site. But for venues where an outside caterer comes in, you’ll want to know where the food is prepared and how it is handled before it reaches your guests. Make sure you’re comfortable with every step of the process.

As with every aspect of your wedding, you’ll want to verify that the food and beverages you’re serving meet your expectations. Always request a tasting in advance of the big day (don’t expect this before you sign a contract, however!), and use that opportunity to request any changes to your menu.

If you have any other thoughts on what to keep in mind while selecting a caterer, please let us know in the comments.