Planning your wedding should be fun, however, it certainly won’t be without its stress and headaches. But, for the most part, you need to try and enjoy yourself. The whole process is building up to what will be the most memorable and exciting day in your entire life. It’s about celebrating the love that you and your better half share, – it’s your day. All that being said; you’ve still got a responsibility to your guests because while it’s all about you, it’s kind of about them as well. And, if you want your day to be as memorable for everyone else as it is for you; then you’re going to need some award winning wedding catering.
Don’t worry, it’s not as difficult as you might think! With some careful consideration, and if you follow these 8 steps, you shouldn’t have any problems finding the perfect wedding caterer for you.
1 – Budget Realistically
There’s no good blowing half of your budget on the catering, having excellent food but a sub-standard everything else. Be realistic about how much you can afford in the beginning so that you can identify which companies are within your budget and which are not. You can also determine whether you want the traditional ‘sit-down’ meal, or if you fancy a buffet free-for-all instead.
2 – Ask Your Chosen Venue for Suggestions
Remember that your chosen venue has likely got a list of caterers that they have worked with before. You can add this to your list of potentials, though it doesn’t mean that you have to choose any of them. Find out if there are any special requirements for your chosen venue so that you can advise your other, prospective caterers when the time comes.
3 – Compare Proposals
Don’t rush in with the first proposal you get. It is exciting and of course, you’ve got a million and one other things to think about, so we understand the urgency, – but it’s best that you take your time. Compare and contrast the various caterers and their proposals so that you can make a truly well-informed decision.
4 – Consider Dinnerware and Linens
The last thing you need is to hire a caterer, only for them to turn up without any linens or dinnerware. Sometimes your venue will oblige, whereas most catering companies can take care of it themselves, but you must specify this. Find out which way is best and get that nipped in the bud immediately.
5 – Communication is Key
As harsh as it might sound, if a prospective caterer has been slow getting back to you and they’ve demonstrated poor communication skills, cross them off your list immediately. It doesn’t matter how great their menu is if they are dragging their feet before you’ve even started.
6 – Make Sure You Arrange a Number of Tastings
Who doesn’t like free food? You just as well get you moneys worth in the beginning and arrange a number of tastings with various companies so that you can get a feel for multiple menus. This way you’ll be able to confidently make a decision as to who will be the most suitable for your special day. (Did we mention free food?)
7 – Follow Up on as Many Reviews as Possible
To be honest, any reputable wedding catering company worth their salt should have a minimum of 4.5 stars. Most people can maintain a 5-star rating, though every now and again there’s the odd person who gives them a 1 star over the most ridiculous reason (you know the type). That being said, have a read through as many reviews as you can and look for things like their attention to detail and the attitude of the waiting staff etc.
8 – Get the Ball Rolling
Go with your gut! (pun intended) – Once you’ve done your research, had your tastings and reviewed your proposals, it’s time to make a decision. Sign on the dotted line and get things in motion as soon as possible so that your catering company has plenty of time to prepare for your big day.
Feeling overwhelmed by it all? Can’t make a decision? Why not check out Dining Abode with Thomas Johns for some inspiration? Don’t leave everything to the last minute so that you have to rush and make a decision. Take your time, follow the steps on this list and you will invariably end up having the most incredible wedding; one that your guests will remember forever (it’s hard to forget great food!)