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The reception is an important element of your wedding. It's a "social" hour, and your visitors will be looking forward to the food, alcohol, and dancing. That is why selecting the appropriate wedding caterer is critical. Your visitors will remember two things: the quality of the cuisine and the service. You want both to be flawless while remaining within your catering budget.

A wedding reception catered by an excellent and professional caterer will ensure your guests have a great time and enjoy themselves to the fullest. And you want to get the most out of your money as well. Your wedding will be a big success with a caterer you "connect" with.

We'd rather be honest than dishonest about our enthusiasm for weddings, so why not? In particular, we're looking forward to the food. At a wedding, the mealtimes are also an opportunity for you and your friends and family to get to know one another better. So, you're concerned about the food.

Using a certain caterer isn't usually required by wedding venues, however. Isn't that the case when it isn't? Catering shopping should be fun, but we're dealing with food here. Choosing a caterer for your wedding is easy when you follow these steps.

Embrace your inner Trump and use your negotiating skills to get the best value on your wedding caterer's services. Keep in mind that you are in charge of the hiring process, and you are the boss.

Check out these wedding meal ideas for inspiration to put together the perfect event.

The following are some things to look for when hiring a caterer for a wedding.

11 Tips For Choosing The Best Wedding Caterer

In addition to celebrating your marriage, your wedding guests will look forward to the food at your reception the most. Choosing the appropriate caterer is essential if you want a reception to remember on your big day. To assist you find the best caterer for your event, here are a few pointers:

  • Be aware of your financial situation. Catering is generally the most expensive part of a wedding's budget (45-50 per cent of the majority of wedding costs are spent on catering and the reception.). Caterers come in all shapes and sizes, so choosing wisely is essential. Your budget, reception style (buffet, food stations, sit-down dinner, or cocktail reception), and the cuisine you want to serve should all be discussed before you begin the process.
  • Serve as a guinea pig. Please make an appointment with your caterer to sample their food and observe how it is presented, so you know exactly what you're getting into. Getting to know them ahead of time will help you decide if they're the right fit for your big day!
  • Make sure to check your sources! It is not uncommon for brides to request references but never make contact with the people they have been given. You will feel more confident in your decision to hire them if you make at least two reference calls. Remember that this is another opportunity for you to talk about your upcoming nuptials!
  • Inquire about "guaranteed numbers" with your caterer. When you provide your caterer with a minimum or guaranteed number of attendees, they can present you with a price quote. Consider whether the caterer will use a minimum number of attendees in their pricing. Additional expenses may be incurred if the number of guests falls below 100.
  • Dinnerware and china are not to be overlooked! When choosing a caterer, ask about their china and dinnerware. Although the tableware may be included as part of the service, it may not be of the highest quality, as it may have been broken, scraped, or worn out. It's a good idea to request to see examples of the place settings to ensure that they suit your expectations and are consistent with the rest of your decor.
  • Your caterer's level of service is a crucial consideration when making your selection. Make sure to enquire about the staff-to-guest ratio. This is subject to change according to the reception you receive (seated dinner versus a buffet). One server for every eight to ten guests is a good rule of thumb.
  • Feed your suppliers. Your DJ or band, photographer, and wedding planner should all be included in the final headcount for your caterer. It's always a good idea to double-check with your vendors before adding them to your guest list. Also, your caterer will generally charge you less for "vendor" meals if you keep them separate from your guest count. Ensure that the caterer confirms that your providers will be served their meals in a separate area from your guests.
  • A basket of leftovers is at your disposal upon request! A caterer can prepare samples of all the food served at your event. You might not be able to eat and savour all the delicious cuisines at your reception since you'll be so busy mingling with your guests, dancing, and partying. The leftovers in your basket are perfect for a late-night snack, even if you're headed out on your honeymoon the next day.
  • If you're using a caterer, make careful to find out whether or not they supply decorations as part of their service. Also, ask to see photos of their previous table settings if they have any. Some buffet or food station catering services may include floral arrangements and other centrepiece decorations. Talk to your caterer about your colour scheme so that all of their decorations and floral arrangements will match your vision as you better understand your wedding's theme and style.
  • The use of menu boards at buffets and food stations is becoming increasingly popular. Inquire with the caterer about using a framed menu board to display the names and descriptions of your items. Incorporate your concept into the menu board to keep diners entertained as they fill their plates!
  • The number of hors d'oeuvres available should not be excessive. Is it really necessary to have eight distinct types? Guests may become disoriented if you provide them with a disproportionate number of options. Some caterers would even recommend it! In the event that they ask for further funds, explain that you're not interested in spending any of your own money. In most cases, four distinct types of hors d'oeuvre are sufficient.

Wedding Caterer

What Kind Of Food Service Do You Prefer?

Decide what kind of eating experience you want to have first. To put it another way, how would you like your meal prepared? Options for wedding dinners are limited. As you select a service type for your wedding, keep your venue, wedding style, and budget in mind.

Formal Sit-Down Reception Dinner

The most traditional option is to have a sit-down wedding meal. A dinner card with your invitation suite may allow visitors to select from a menu of many entrée options and submit their selections in advance. Each course is brought to your table by a hotel wait staff member.


  • The reception can benefit from this framework by having a clear timetable.
  • Friends and relatives can also give speeches and toasts at sit-down dinners.
  • The meals are served at the same time to all visitors, as well.
  • As a bonus, it's frequently the most cost-effective way to eat. Because you know the exact number of visitors, the caterer can plan accordingly.


  • Most of the time, there are only a few options for eating. Guests will be able to select from a menu of 3-4 items, which you and your partner will choose in advance with the caterer. Vegetarian and non-vegetarian options are usually included in a given dish.
  • For both serving and preparation, these feasts require more people. This may result in an increase in the cost of your catering.
  • It can be difficult for the staff to ensure everyone receives their desired food if you have allotted tables but do not designate seats. As the personnel won't have names to guide their service, guests will be able to change their original pick at the moment.

Buffet-Style Reception Dinner

Wedding buffets feature a wide selection of food products on long self-service tables or serving stations. For those who have unique dietary needs, this arrangement makes it easier to accommodate them. Additionally, it allows for more time for guests to mingle and creates a more relaxed atmosphere.


  • Reducing the amount of staff required is possible by using fewer servers. When it comes to serving food, there will almost always be a staff member at each station or table to help (and provide any allergy information). However, giving the tables appetisers before buffet dinner is a good idea. As a result, you'll still require a few servers.
  • Picky eaters won't be left out. This is why buffet-style meals are the best option for guests with dietary restrictions. For those with a limited palette, the same holds.


  • There could be long lines. Working with your caterer on a layout that minimises wait time may be necessary to ensure a successful event.
  • Guests are expected to self-serve and transport their food from the food station to the table. At the end of the night, you may not be able to perform this gracefully.
  • The amount of food needed for a buffet is likewise considerable. Guests will be left to their devices if servers aren't stationed at every station, and their favourite meals may sell out sooner. When it comes to catering, you'll need to take into account the most popular options to prevent failing your guests.

Family-Style Reception Dinner

Imagine sitting down to supper with your loved ones while you enjoy family-style dining, which is precisely what it sounds like. The table is set with enormous serving platters of food distributed around the group. The guests are responsible for their service, and the wait staff will bring plates and clear them as needed.


  • Guests are free to eat as much as they want on their assigned plates.
  • In most restaurants, you don't need a lot of personnel because the food is usually served to everyone at the same time.
  • This is a no-fuss solution. Seating and self-serve are the norms for guests. You and your partner can relax and enjoy your meal as they mingle.


  • Think about the size of your centrepieces. If you're going to have family dinners, you're going to need a lot of large plates to go around.
  • The price of this look can quickly escalate. To avoid food shortages, your caterer will need to enhance food supplies.

What Type Of Cuisine Do You Intend To Serve?

Once you've decided how your meal will be served, it's time to figure out what you'll serve it as. We believe the food served at your wedding should reflect your preferences. There are, however, a few things to keep in mind.

  • All of you. It's considerate to think about your guests as your reception won't only be for you and your partner. In contrast to your sushi-loving group, the majority of your guests may have a more ambivalent attitude about seafood. Keep in account a person's dietary preferences.
  • The way you like to eat meals. The majority of foods can be served in a variety of ways. It would be best if you also kept in mind who will serve the food, whether it's your employees or visitors. Self-serve stations may be a formula for disaster if you're hosting an Italian feast, for example.

Choose a subject or follow the calendar year's equinox. If your wedding has a recurring theme or is just a nod to the changing seasons, consider incorporating it into your menu. You're looking for both flavorful and appropriate foods for the occasion.

These things to keep in mind will allow you to focus your search for the ideal caterer. The search for caterers who specialise in your desired food and service style is now easier thanks to this information.

How Do I Find My Wedding Caterer?

There are many ways to choose the perfect caterer for your event. To begin, enquire about the location of your wedding. Even if they don't insist on a specific business, they're sure to have lots of suggestions for you. Wedding venues with a history of hosting ceremonies are ideal. It's possible that they have connections with catering companies that could help you out.

  • Also, don't discount recommendations from people you know, especially if they're close ones. If you've recently attended a wedding where the food was outstanding, ask the couple who catered that event and who they employed.
  • Request vendor recommendations from newlywed friends.
  • For a list of the best caterers in your area, check out The Knot Marketplace.
  • Hotels, country clubs, and other large special-event venues frequently have their in-house caterers, but if they don't, they'll have a list of recommended outside vendors to hire instead. A venue like one of these eliminates the need for you to look for a date on your own.
  • Consider having a meal catered by your favourite restaurant. If a restaurant doesn't cater to weddings, they may be able to guide you in the right direction to a reputable establishment that does.
  • Some of the wedding vendors you work with may have a list of trusted caterers they've heard about through the business or worked with themselves.

FAQs About Wedding Caterer

When catering a wedding, it is necessary to have a comprehensive awareness of the activities that will take place during the day as well as the role that the food will play in the larger scheme.

The very finest caterers for weddings will not only devise a meal that will astound the taste buds, but they will also deliver service that will contribute to creating a lovely ambience and ensure that your party stays on schedule.

Tips For Making Appointments

  • Try to incorporate tastings into the interview schedule when you call to make appointments—the personality is important, but it's their food that you'll be testing first.
  • Inquire each caterer for a rough outline before you depart, including data like cost per person, food options, what is included specifically in the bill (drink and rentals, tips), and how service and presentation style, as well as less costly options, are provided. Pre-booking research should consist of these crucial inquiries.
  • Check references and learn about the following to aid your search: the number of customers, the location, and the menu items; the quality, presentation, and preparation of the meal; the quality and efficiency of the waitstaff; and, finally, whether or not the menu and bill exceeded expectations.
  • Before making any decisions about hiring a catering company, do your homework and check with the Better Business Bureau to obtain the entire picture.

Your Budget

Make sure your budget and guest list are in order before contacting a wedding caterer. Your finalists will be able to provide you with a variety of per-plate options that are inside your budget. You should also know what kind of wedding catering service you need. A buffet dinner will cost more than a seated one.

If you're still unsure, the caterer can give you choices between the two. Consult with him or her about your ideal wedding and see if they have any suggestions. A professional wedding caterer will be able to turn your odd ideas into a perfect marriage.

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