Choosing a Wedding Caterer
Choosing a good wedding caterer is crucial to having a wedding that your
guests are sure to enjoy.
Some may argue that the food served at the wedding is the most important part of the
After all guests who enjoy their meal are likely to be in better spirits than guest who have eaten very little
or who have not enjoyed their meal. Many wedding venues offer onsite catering and more importantly do not allow
offsite caterers to work at your wedding.
Since most couples choose the location for their wedding before considering
their catering options, it is important to ask about the venues policies regarding outside wedding
caterers. This is important because many venues will only allow you to use their caterer or a
wedding caterer that they recommend. In this situation it is crucial that you choose the
venue for your wedding, not only on the appearance of the ball rooms but also on the quality of the food they
Although a venue may have picturesque views and gorgeously decorated rooms if the food is not up to par you may
want to consider a different venue in which to host your wedding. A great place to start your search for a
qualified wedding caterer is to ask friends and relatives for their recommendations. Or if you
have recently attended a wedding that served fabulous food, you might want to contact the host of that wedding to
inquire about their wedding caterer.
Recommendations are important because the best indication of how good the food will
be is how well the food was received in the past. If you are unable to obtain a few recommendations for
caterers trying using the Internet and phone books to research local wedding
caterers. You could use the Internet and direct calls made to the caterer to learn about their
availability, menu options and prices. Once you obtain this information you will be able to eliminate caterers
who are already booked for your wedding date and who are out of your price range. Next you will want to
consider the menu options of the remaining caterers. If you have a specific menu in mind and none of the
caterers have the items you are looking for available, you might want to check with them to see if they will
be able to prepare your favorite dishes. Many skilled caterers are fully capable of preparing many dishes
besides what they list on their menu. Finally, once you have narrowed your choices down to three or four
candidates, call them all back and ask them if they are available for tasting sessions in the near future. If
a wedding caterer does not offer tasting sessions, strike them off your list
immediately unless you have tasted their food at previous weddings. Without tasting their food, there is
really no way to decide if the caterer is right for your wedding.
It is important to decide on a few possible menu choices prior to the tasting session so that you can ask the
wedding caterer to prepare these specific dishes. While there is some merit to tasting
general items from the caterer’s menu, it is always best to taste the exact items that will be prepared at your
wedding to ensure that the food will meet your expectations. It is acceptable to ask that the wedding
caterer prepare a few options for each course to be served on the day of your wedding. This will aid
in the decision making process. Plan on sampling about two to three bites from each dish to really get a feel for
the flavor of the dish. Also, try not to schedule more than one tasting session on any particular day. Trying too
many dishes on one day can dull your taste buds plus you may have difficulty remembering which wedding
caterer prepared which dish. After each tasting session take notes on the dishes you prepared and
your opinions of these dishes.
You might also want to assign a numerical rating from one to ten for each dish. It is important that you do this
immediately after each session so that you are sure to remember the details as well as your opinions of the food.
After your final tasting session, you will want to compare notes from all of the previous tasting sessions. If you
took careful notes, you should be able to determine which wedding caterer had the best
available dishes. In choosing a wedding caterer you may find that one caterer had
delicious entrees but bland appetizers or salads. You may find that another wedding
caterer had a variety of delicious appetizers but that the entrees all fell short of your
Still another wedding caterer may not have had any courses really stand out but had
each course receive an above average rating. In this case you might want to consider the caterer that had a menu
that was well balanced so that none of your courses wind up being sub par. Your wedding
caterer can make or break your wedding so it is important to choose them wisely. Recommendations and
personal experiences are some of the best ways to choose a caterer. You should also consider scheduling tasting
sessions to try out the exact dishes that will be on your menu before you make your final decision.
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