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What to ask your wedding caterer

The questions you need to ask your wedding caterer before you book

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10 questions to ask your wedding caterer
What to ask your wedding caterers. Kalm Kitchen/ Eddie Judd Photography

With an endless ‘to-do’ list and months of planning ahead, visiting potential wedding caterers can be a daunting prospect for couples. Kalm Kitchen’s Jen Middlehurst reveals the key questions to ask your wedding caterer and offers her expertise to make those initial visits a little less stressful.

1. Do you offer menu packages?
Menu packages can be great as they give you a structure. However, bear in mind that there are likely to be elements you would like to change. Perhaps you would like a different main course, or an interactive dessert. A good caterer should be able to create a bespoke menu just for you.

FOOD AND DRINK IDEAS TO WOW YOUR WEDDING GUESTS

2. Have you catered at our venue before? Will you visit the site before our big day?
Some venues will specify that you only choose a caterer from their recommended suppliers, while others will be more flexible. Whoever you choose should visit the venue before the big day, familiarising themselves with the facilities and the layout.

3. We’re inviting children to our wedding. Do you offer a menu for younger guests?
Serving an adult menu to children can be expensive and unappreciated. Make sure your caterer offers an interesting, colourful menu that children will enjoy.

4. A number of our guests have allergies. Can you cater for them?
Nut allergies are increasingly common so it’s important to ask guests what their dietary requirements are and check that your caterer can accommodate them.

VEGETARIAN WEDDING BEAKFAST IDEAS

5. Do you provide a menu tasting?
It goes without saying that you need to taste a few options before deciding what you would like to serve your guests (it's a hard job but someone's got to do it). Do enquire about menu tastings, and potential costs.

6. What other elements can you supply?
Alongside the food, you might like to know whether a caterer can provide waiting staff, bar facilities, furniture, linens and crockery and perhaps even some décor. It’s generally much simpler to have many aspects of your big day provided by one supplier than to bring numerous people on board.

7. Can you work within my budget?
A good supplier should always be able to suggest ways to work within your budget. Anyone who persuades you to spend more than you have isn’t right for your big day. However, remember that your caterer is the expert so listen to their advice. If you want to serve caviar to 200 people and the budget just won’t cover it, ask for an alternative suggestion.

8. What can you suggest other than a sit-down wedding breakfast?
While a formal wedding breakfast is wonderful, if you’re looking for something a little different or a fun way to celebrate in the evening, speak to your caterer about alternative wedding menu options such as an informal BBQ or an elegant afternoon tea. 

9. How do you source your ingredients?
It goes without saying that you’d probably like to know where you caterer gets their produce from so... ask. Good quality ingredients are a must so don’t be afraid to ask about their suppliers.

10. Can I see testimonials?
The best way to get recommendations about a caterer is to hear from previous clients. Ask a caterer whether they have testimonials from other weddings, and can perhaps even show you photographs of the food. The same applies to many different elements of your wedding day – florist, photographer and cake designer for example. Brides themselves are the very best people to give you honest opinions!

Want more catering advice? Have a look at our wedding alchol calculator and how to create the perfect cheese board

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