A Wedding Catering Guide to help answer all your wedding catering queries, we have put together this short guide. Finding the right company is tops on all wedding planners to-do lists. But what does wedding catering cost? And what can you expect from your wedding catering company?
All caterers will charge based on their ‘standard menu’, which is what they offer on their website. What you may not see in their menus, however, is the actual cost per plate (the number of people you need to serve for a given price). Many wedding catering companies have very in-depth pricing policies; they will break their pricing down into a detailed serving plan, which will also take into account the number of guests and the type of food they want to serve. They might have a minimum guest count policy, or something similar. If the caterers you are considering do not have such a policy listed on their website, do not book with them until you find it out.
Most wedding catering companies base their pricing on the average cost of a four-course meal for two adults. For most weddings, this will be a traditional meal consisting of a full meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert), and maybe one or two snacks. Some companies (notably those who are top-rated by wedding magazines) reserve the right to change the menu when you request it and charge according to the new minimum guest count. In most cases, when the minimum guest count is changed, the rate goes up. Some caterers will charge a flat rate for a given number of people, regardless of the size of the meal.
Choosing a Company
It’s important to hire a top-rated wedding catering company with a good reputation. These caterers will offer you personalized service, and an outstanding quality of food. There are some talented chefs out there who know how to create delicious meals in a big restaurant setting. However, some lesser-talented chefs do not know how to create flavorful meals in a large venue; if you choose the lesser-talented chef for your big day, you might end up getting a super dining experience.
It is important to interview potential wedding catering companies. When they give you a shortlist of qualifications for the different positions, ask to see portfolios of the actual food that the caterers prepare for weddings. You should not be presented with a gourmet meal that looked like it was made at home by a small family. The wedding caterers that you interview should demonstrate that they are trained in using high-end techniques for preparing fine foods. Most importantly, the caterers should show you examples of their work from past weddings.
You must understand your wedding catering costs upfront. If you set a fixed budget for your reception, you’ll be able to plan for it accurately. On the other hand, if you make up a nice chunk of the total budget, you might have trouble making your food cost-effective. On the other hand, if you set a tight budget on the first day, you can look for ways to stretch the money around until the reception is complete.
It is important to consider the budget when choosing your wedding catering company. More couples are looking toward hiring caterers who offer customizable menus. A customizable menu gives you complete control over what you want to eat. Some couples spend so much money on pre-planned wedding receptions that they don’t even remember what they ordered in the catering hall! By using a catering service that offers customizable menus, you can avoid this oversight.
Finally, when choosing a wedding catering company, it’s important to consider what type of food truck or plated dinner will work for your reception. Will the reception be informal or formal? Formal events call for heavier meals than casual get-togethers. Even though you are spending a lot of money, it doesn’t mean that the food should be expensive. Many couples have chosen elegant buffets over noisy buffets and still have less-than-luxurious food. In addition, food trucks can work to fit into any wedding timeframe, allowing you to plan an appropriate menu.