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Bridal Club Magazine

Catering Tips and Advice

  • Advise your caterer of your budget! They'll not only work out a menu within your parameters, but help you get the best value for your money. If they can't work with your budget, they should be able to recommend another catering company who can.
  • If you have already decided on the level of formality that your wedding will have, inform the caterer as this will held them to create a befitting menu for you.
  • Taste your food before you commit to the company. Seems obvious, but this is a gaff many are guilty of committing. Make sure you're satisfied with the menu itself, as well as the look, taste, texture and portion size of the meal.
  • Similarly, if you're renting your cutlery and crockery, ask to see what you're dealing with! This should include all silverware, dishes, glasses, serviettes, and tablecloths. As they say, better to be safe than sorry (especially when it comes to food packages)!
  • Buffet vs. formal service. The vast majority of your budget is being spent on the food itself, not the way in which it's served (buffet vs. plated styles). If you'd like to tweak the way in which the food is dished out, speak to the caterer about your options. A compromise can almost always be reached! 
  • Know what your money is being spent on. Ask what exactly is included in the meal price itself. Many companies add 15-20% to the meal and bar charge to cover the service fee.
  • Find out if your caterer uses fresh food and produce. Ask if any of the items are canned goods.
  • Your caterer should be able to provide you with a timetable that will state what courses will be served and when. This will help you to structure any other events at the reception, eg: speeches, cutting the wedding cake.
  • Ask what the ratio of waiters to guests will be.
  • Find out if your caterer offers wedding cakes in their packages. Some wedding caterers may be able to provide you with one, so this will save you going to another provider.
  • Find out if GST included in the quoted price or if it needs to be added on. Does the price include table linens, napkins, dishes, and glassware?
  • You may want the catering staff to wear uniforms on the day, so find out if this is an option with the catering company of your choice.
  • It is not uncommon that caterers will be able to incorporate your wedding theme colours into the decorations and floral arrangements of the buffet table or food station. If this is what you do want, be sure to ask if the caterer can facilitate this.
  • It's considered proper etiquette to offer a meal for your hired staff - including the DJ / band,wedding coordinator / planner etc. Ask if you caterer provides special rates for 'vendor meals' (they often do).
  • Ask for your leftovers! This can either supply you and your friends and family with delicious meals and snacks for days to come, or you can drop off the food at your local homeless shelter.

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