Reviews and Recommendations
When it comes to the food and service for your wedding, you are going to want to hear about each company through the voices of those couples that have used them in the past. Look for testimonials on the company’s website, on weddingwire.com and on theknot.com. Ask the company for references and reach out to past couples who have used them to get answers from a live person. Word of mouth is the best way to gather information about your prospective caterer, or any wedding vendor for that matter!
Most all caterers offer tastings, be sure you have one before you decide! I would recommend narrowing it down to 2-3 caterers based on your research and then plan to have tastings at your top choices. Most caterers charge a fee for tastings, around $30-$70 per person tasting, but if you book, that cost goes towards your deposit. Well worth it to be sure you are getting the type of food you want at your wedding!
Cost is a big factor when dealing with any vendor of course, but when dealing with your caterer it is going to come down to a couple of different things. What type of food do you want to serve? Do you want a buffet/station dinner or a plated reception? Do you want a raw bar or only passed hors d’oeuvres? Do you want the caterer to use only local ingredients? So many choices, but each one will affect the cost of your menu. For cocktail hour, I usually recommend that you have 4-5 passed hors d’oevures (1 piece per person) and at least 2 stationary items. If you are doing a buffet dinner, be sure to offer a beef and/or chicken, seafood (because we are on Cape Cod!) and vegetarian option as well as a starch and vegetable. You could do a salad on the buffet as well or do that preset. If you are doing a seated dinner, I recommend sticking to 3 courses, salad or soup, entree and cake. Remember that your guests just ate for an hour during cocktails!
Familiar with your wedding site
When researching your caterer, ask if they have done weddings at your location before. If it is a private home and this is the first event taking place there, then invite them to come and see the space. This way they can get an idea as to where they would want to prepare the food, where their staff will park and the best flow of the event for you. You want to be sure that they feel confident with the location and all of the moving pieces that come with having an at home event.