Southern Alberta's wedding, honeymoon and special occasion
planning website offers tips and information for planning your special
Useful wedding advice,
tips, questions for planning your
You want your wedding feast to be special,
so it is important to take care when choosing your caterer. Whether your
reception venue comes with a caterer, or you are hiring a separate caterer, here
are some fundamental questions to ask to ensure your wedding banquet is
exactly what you want.
Menu Choices and Reception Styles
There are so many types of food to choose from when selecting your menu. The
style of your reception will help determine the type of food you choose. You can
have a traditional sit down dinner, buffet, or a cocktail reception. Your
personal preferences, budget and choice of venue will help you decide on the
Tell your caterer your budget at the start. It's best not to presume that a
buffet or cocktail reception is less expensive than a sit down dinner. The cost
depends on the type of food served, not necessarily how it's served.
Does the caterer use fresh food and produce, or will some of the food be canned
or frozen? Will all of the food be cooked in-house, or will some be purchased
pre-made food from another source?
Number of Guests
Ask if quote prices are based on a minimum number of wedding guests. There may
be additional fees if the minimum number is not met.
Ask the caterer what the ratio is for servers to guests.
Ask how the wait staff will be dressed.
Ask the caterer if they would be able to prepare dishes that aren't on their
catering menu. If you have a favorite "family" dish or ethnic food that is
special to you and your family, many caterers will customize to suit the bridge
and grooms wishes.
Ask your caterer if you can taste some of the caterer's dishes. You can taste
the freshness and flavor for yourself.
Ask the caterer what is normally done with the leftover food. Sometimes leftover
meat, etc. is used for a midnight snack during the dance. Some brides choose to
have the food packaged up and brought home, but some caterers don't allow this
because they cannot guarantee that the food is going to be stored properly after
Can they bake you a wedding cake? Will the caterer cut the cake for you? Is it
included in the catering fee or is there an extra charge?
Be sure to include taxes in your budget calculations. Ask if they are included
when you obtain quotes.
Tableware and Linens
Find our if table linens, dishes, glassware, and napkins are included in the
price. Make sure you look at samples. If you don't like the tableware or linens
they offer, you may be able to rent what you need.
Talk to your caterer about decorations. If you are planning a buffet station,
some caterers provide floral arrangements and other decorations. Discuss the
color theme with your caterer, so that all decorations and floral arrangements
coordinate. Some caterers will also provide decorations for the head table and
cake table. Ask what they offer, and you may be able to save money and time and
time shopping for decorations!
Most caterers display their license. If you are unsure, just ask.
Find out if need a special liquor permit. If you are supplying the alcohol, find
out if you will be charged a corkage fee.