Having food that titillates the palate of your guests is is a great way of thanking them for coming to your wedding. Getting the right caterer is crucial towards this end. So where do you begin?
Think about the style you desire and the atmosphere you want to create. Traditional or western? Buffet or table d’hôte? Day or evening? How about incorporating a theme (e.g. all-white, country, cultural, red carpet)? These will help you sieve out the catering companies to shortlist.
Budget and Costs
Set a pre-determined budget so it will be easier for you to know what you have to work with. Your budget will have a big impact on the type of reception that you can have. It is also very important to ask about additional costs that you might incur so you won’t be surprised by the final bill.
As with other wedding-related services, what better way than to seek those who have walked the path before? Ask friends and family for recommendation, but don’t just stop there. Go to bridal forums on the Internet, go to the phonebook and check halal wedding catering out bridal exhibitions and wedding magazines. Talk to your makeup artist and people in the wedding industry. You can even check with your favourite restaurant if they cater. If your reception is a low-key and cosy event with only immediate family members and close friends, engaging a friend who’s a great cook could be just the kind of wedding catering you’re looking for.
Having an experienced caterer at your wedding can help take some of the stress off the big day. Especially if you’re unsure of what you want, they will be able to guide you by giving suggestions and asking the right questions to find out your needs. On the actual day, you can rest assure, knowing that the caterer will handle things smoothly. Ask your potential catering companies for client references and testimonials to help you decide.
Generally, regardless of the type of reception you will be having, it is essential to consider the different types of special dietary requirements your guests require – vegetarian, halal, diabetic etc. Many wedding caterers will allow the bride and groom to have a complimentary sampling so do not be afraid to check. As for drinks, the easiest way to take care of this is to offer a full service bar so your guests can have a choice of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
Not only does the food need to taste good, it has to look good as well. Ask the caterer how they intend to present the food. Do they supply decorations, linens, tables & chairs? See if they can provide photos of actual events or show you a sample.
How many staff will be on the job at the reception? What is the staff-to-guest ratio? A rule of thumb is one server for every 10 guests. Have they been properly trained? What’s their dress code?
Terms and Conditions
Lastly, put everything down in black and white so that there won’t be any misunderstanding. The contract should include event details, cost breakdown, service and staff, wine and spirits, menu as well as policies and procedures.