Honestly the truth is that hiring a wedding caterer is an important early step in your wedding plans and while some brides get lucky and choose a wedding venue that offers on-the-site catering, other brides must add caterers to the vendor list and the search can get quite delicate. If you are struggling to figure out exactly how to feed your guests, think through these tips for finding a wedding caterer that’s suitable for you.
- Know your budget before you even start.
Obviously there’s a caterer out there for almost any budget, but you can save yourself the time and irritation if you have an idea of both your overall budget and your food budget before you start looking. You do not have to email caterers up until you know what you’re prepared to spend. This also allows those companies to provide their proposal to your needs. It is anticipated that you’ll tip the wait staff and the catering manager, so don’t forget to budget for that as well. A budget allows a caterer to realistically pull together all the options within your means.
- Check with venue for suggestions and requirements.
Some venues will have a list of preferred vendors. This is why it’s important and a great starting point in your search to decide on a venue before choosing a caterer. Usually these lists are essential because of insurance necessities, but at times it’s simply that these are vendors the venue knows can be trusted. There is value to choosing from a recommended list, it means the caterer will be conversant with the set up and will have a stress-free time coordinating with the venue staff. If none of the caterers on their list feel right, ask your venue if they have requirements for other caterers.
- Get multiple proposals, recommendations and referrals
Tastings are a lot of fun, but you don’t have the time to do tastings everywhere, so try and use recommendations from friends and even online ratings to narrow your choices down to 2-4 caterers before you make appointments. Once you’ve narrowed your list down, get can get referrals of past clients from the caterer.
- Make sure you read reviews.
So you’ve picked a caterer, Great! However, before you sign the dotted lines read reviews from previous clients or talk to friends and family who have used their services before. There are a lot of gray areas with catering a big event. Is the caterer providing tablecloths and linens? Are they an extra cost?? How many waiters? What will they wear? If the event lasts longer than expected, will there be a need to pay additional charges? It’s really a lot of detail to consider, but you need to pay attention.
The Avenue Banquet Hall is a single event venue with in house catering. The international catering team offer a variety of international catering options.