Wedding Wednesday
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Must Ask Question For Your Caterer

Happy Wedding Wednesday! Did you enjoy International Coffee Day yesterday? Instagram was full of Starbucks cups – I bet Starbucks loves International Coffee Day. There hasn’t been much more progress made in the wedding planning department (I may or may not be avoiding looking at the guest list…) because I decided to put wedding planning on hold last week until October 2nd, because of something I’m preparing for that I talked a little about in this post.  Keep tuned to find out all the details on this…but back to the important stuff: catering!

I’m an odd combination of a simple and picky eater. Let me explain. If I could eat bread, sushi, mashed potatoes and tea for the rest of my life I would. My taste isn’t very refined or fancy, though far better than it was when I was a child. I still recall one or two times that my parents took me to fancy restaurants with famous chefs and I wouldn’t touch anything on the menu with a 10 ft stick (sorry mom and pop!). Even though I have simple tastes, I’m generally not hard to please otherwise. Which is why I was actually surprised when I really loved things that I thought I wouldn’t and didn’t like things that I thought I would love at the tasting – but that’s what made me so glad that we did a tasting (and will do more with the other caterers we consider).

We’ve only done one tasting so far and while we were impressed we still want to consider other options which is why we will be meeting with other caterers over the next few weeks. I created a preliminary list of questions for the caterer we met and have included some others as well:

  1. Are you available on my day?
  2. Are you doing other weddings that day and will you have enough staff to cover all of the events you are doing?
  3. Do you cook your food on site or off site and bring it with you? Apparently most caterers do not cook on site so you might have issues with more waste than necessary.
  4. Are we able to do a full tasting before booking? The caterer we met with did let us do a full tasting (so much food) and we are actually going to do a follow up tasting before making our decision. Other caterers only do a partial tasting before you book them which I’m not a big fan of.
  5. What is the price per adult? Also be sure to note the up-charges for extra services, like a champagne toast or the caterer providing the cake etc.
  6. What is the price per child? Is this also the price for vendors (you do have to feed your photographer, DJ etc.)?
  7. Is gratuity included in the price? If it isn’t, it can really sneak up on you if you don’t budget for it ahead of time.
  8. Is there anything besides the gratuity and the tax that is a part of the price? Sometimes there are service fees that can add up.
  9. Are we able to see the tablecloths, napkins, china and utensils that we would be using? Do you have different colors and is there an up-charge for anything?
  10. Do you have rough estimates for the amount of alcohol we should provide? (This only applies if you are providing the alcohol).
  11. Do you have different level bar packages and what do they include for the price?
  12. Do you provide bartenders if we provide the alcohol?
  13. Do you set up/break down the tables/chairs/food/bar? Our possible caterer does set up and break down the tables and chairs, the food and the bar and cleans up all linens.
  14. When would you need finalized food choices?
  15. When will you arrive day of to set up? It’s important to know your caterers timeline so that it can be shared with other wedding professionals and help to inform your day of timeline.
  16. Will there be someone there day of from the catering company to oversee all food related operations?
  17. Do you have pictures/examples of how you would display the food? Do you label the buffet (if you’re doing a buffet).
  18. Ask about any special food requests that you have that you didn’t see in their package – for example, meals for people who have food allergies or something extra that you want like chocolate strawberries or ice cream.
  19. If there is leftover food can we have it wrapped up to take home or can it be donated to a local shelter? If your caterer doesn’t cook on site they will probably have waste so I think it’s important to find out if there’s any way to reduce that but there might be different regulations that prevent that.
  20. Do you charge a corkage fee if we provide the wine/champagne?
  21. Are coffee and tea services included in the price per person or is that extra?
  22. Do you charge a cake cutting fee?
  23. How much is required for the deposit? Are we able to set up a payment plan?

What other questions did you ask your caterer? Oh, and Happy Wine Wednesday (is that a thing? Well, it is now!) my current favorite is this Moscato which is the perfect mix of sweet and dry.


To Travel and Beyond


  1. Pingback: 6 Months Till “I Do” | Life With A Side of Wine

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