For many couples, the caterer, and more importantly what food they prepare for your wedding, is one of the most important aspects of your reception. Given their importance in the overall direction of your big day, it’s important to have a good relationship with them from the start, and to effectively manage the relationship throughout your wedding planning process. Of course, having a wedding planner can take this stress off of your plate, but for those looking to get their hands dirty, here are our tips for managing the caterer at your wedding.
1. Definitely Schedule a Tasting: This is the chef’s opportunity to really impress you with all they’ve got. If they can’t impress you when it just the two of you they’re cooking for, we guarantee the food will not impress when you multiply that number by 100 or more.
2. Make Payments on Time: Many caterers require a portion of their fee up front, with the remainder in installments once the final head count is firm. To keep your caterer happy and in your corner, make sure you schedule when all of your payments are due, and ensure that they are delivered on time.
3. Stick With A Seasonal Menu: Sure, we all love a strawberry and goat cheese summer salad, but is it really appropriate for a winter wedding? To ensure not only the quality of the food, but also to keep your costs down, make certain that the ingredients on your menu are fresh and in season.
4. Know their day-of Schedule: Many of your other vendors will plan their set up time around when the caterer plans to arrive. This is because they bring with them (oftentimes) linens, tables, chairs, etc. Your florist and event designer will need these items in order to set up the beautiful tablescapes you’ve planned for!
5. Tip The Waitstaff: This goes without saying, but those people filling your wine glass and bringing you your dinner deserve a tip, just as they would get if you were dining n a restaurant! Our advise is to designate ahead of time exactly how much to provide, and a point person to dole it out. This ensures you are not handing out wads of cash moments before you cut the cake.