Catering for your wedding will probably take up the largest percentage of your budget. Let’s be frank, it’s never cheap to feed 150 people. In addition to that, the food is always the one aspect of your wedding guests never seem to forget.
Pulling off a meal for such a large group is definitely an undertaking and the one aspect of your big day wedding pros would argue you should never do yourself. The quantity of food to be prepared and the logistics to pull it off are definitely not something you can handle in addition to, you know, getting married.
Before you meet with caterers, there are five things you should know going in.
Know your budget.
As with everything, know your budget going in. For a full service caterer, you’re looking at a minimum cost of $18.00 – $20.00 per person for the food only. This doesn’t include service staff or dishware. Restaurants can provide a more affordable option but in most cases you won’t receive the same full service.
Know what you’re looking for.
Before you meet, have an idea of they types of food and style of service you’re interested in. You don’t have to know specifics but being able to say you want a buffet with two proteins, a starch and a vegetable will help caterers guide you.
Know reducing the number of items served doesn’t reduce your cost.
Frequently I’ll hear people say “We’ll do two appetizers instead of four and that will save money.” That’s not quite how it works. If you eliminate two items, the caterer just has to do more of the other two to make up for it. If you really want to reduce cost, opt for less expensive items.
Know you’ll have to rely on instinct and recommendations.
Most caterers don’t do tastings until after you’ve selected your menu and signed your contract. Since you can’t make your decision on taste alone, you’ll have to rely on recommendations and gut instinct to make your decision.
Know you get what you pay for.
As with all things, you get what you pay for. That’s not to say the less expensive caterer doesn’t do an amazing job. However, your display, quality and level of service may be different. Just think about the difference between McDonald’s and Chick-fil-a….
Now that you know the essentials, it’s time to meet with caterers in your area. Download the top questions you need to ask a caterer so you can be sure you’re getting all the information you need to make a decision.