Prosecco and Petals
Hiring an independent caterer for your wedding will enable you to choose personalised food and drink options. Below is a step by step guide to timescales, finding, shortlisting and booking the right caterer for you.
It is recommended to book your catering as soon as you have a venue and approximate guest number. This should be approximately 10-12 months before your wedding unless you are opting for in-house catering.
It is recommended to send an email, or after speaking request a summary via email, so you have an accurate record of the information given by your venue. You will need to check:
Extend of catering required: It is important to determine what you would want a caterer to quote for. This might include; Drinks reception canapes, wedding breakfast, wedding cake, evening buffet and beverages.
Style of wedding breakfast: Options often include; Self-service buffet, BBQ, sit-down 2-3 course or sit-down family style sharing.
Any must-have food preferences: As a couple, you may have specific cuisine preferences, intolerances or cultural specialisms that a caterer may need to consider when giving an initial quote.
Unlike most other wedding suppliers there will often be a finite amount of caterers in your wedding location. Best places to start your search are via:
Once you have found 4-6 caterers whose service looks interesting. It is worth making contact to understand if their services are within budget. It is recommended to provide the below information in an email.
The extent of the response, food options, clarity of costs and response time from wedding caterers contacted will enable you to get an indication of those suppliers who will be right for your wedding day.
Schedule tastings with top three caterers. If these are not included or offered, it is worth seeing if this is possible by paying an additional fee or if they provide catering anywhere that is possible to trial. When investing in an external caterer, it is vital to make sure that the taste matches the look.
Once you have found a caterer who offers the menu you want at a reasonable price, it is recommended to book early to avoid disappointment. Booking will typically involve paying a deposit and then paying the remaining balance nearer to your wedding date.
Unlike other wedding suppliers there should be a contract or T&cs: make sure to read these carefully and query anything that seems different.
After securing the services of your preferred caterer, there will often be a gap in communication while you confirm guest numbers and food options. It is crucial that your wedding invitations and inserts are worded clearly to help this process. Once these are confirmed, it is wise to contact your caterer to start finalising menu options.