If you’re getting married this year, you’ll want to start lining up who will be catering your wedding reception as soon as possible, as they are one of the first services to book up. To help you choose, here are the right questions to ask your wedding caterer:
Questions to Ask When Hiring a Wedding Caterer
- Are you licensed?
In Virginia, a professional wedding caterer must have a business, catering, and a temporary event license, depending upon the venue, and is required to carry liability insurance. They are subject to health codes for preparing, serving and storing foods as established by the Virginia Department of Health.
- Do you have a liquor license?
If you are planning on serving alcohol at your wedding, your caterer needs to carry a liquor license along with liquor liability insurance in case someone overdoes it at the bar.
- Can you provide previous client references?
Always ask for references from brides who have worked with this caterer before. And don’t be afraid to call them to ask how their experience went. Get at least two references from clients who had the same wedding style as you are planning (for example, a standing reception or seated and plated reception).
- What types of food do you provide?
Make sure that the caterer you choose can provide the type of meal and the type of service delivery that you envision. If you are looking for a French meal with formal French service, ask if that is something they can and do provide. Hiring a caterer that offers International Cuisine will give you the most variety in meal options.
- Do you do wedding cakes?
This may seem an obvious question, but some wedding caterers do not create custom wedding cakes. If you’re looking for something special or over the top, it is best to ask ahead of time.
- Can I do a tasting?
A professional wedding caterer will line up a special tasting for items and the cake you choose for your menu. This way you can know exactly what your guests will be receiving on the big day.
- Can you provide special-request items like vegetarian, gluten-free, kosher or halal meals, or is there a special fee for these meals?
You will have guests who have special needs for their meals, so it is always good to know ahead of time that 1) the wedding caterer can provide these options, and 2) if you will incur an extra cost per meal.
- What is the average price range or price per head, and what will I receive?
One of the largest items in your wedding budget is catering. Make sure you know exactly what you’re getting when comparing one wedding caterer to another. Is the package all-inclusive? Are items priced individually? Is there one per-head price? In addition, get an outline of specifics on what is included: appetizers, salads, entrees, desserts, cake, coffee and tea, alcohol, champagne toast, etc. You can create a sample menu with your caterer to define costs.
- Will you provide the alcohol?
You can include alcohol service in your catering package, or if you have other connections, you can arrange this on your own. Check with the caterer to see if they have corkage fees for opening bottles if you provide your own alcohol.
- Do you offer packages?
Since wedding caterers do so many weddings, they know what will be needed. Often, they can provide a wedding package at a special package price that can save you money.
- Are there additional charges for setup or breakdown?
Most caterers include the entire events, including setup, breakdown and service personnel in their price quote. Always ask to make sure.
- Can you provide a one-stop resource for everything?
It is most convenient to find a wedding caterer that can offer and coordinate everything you need for your wedding reception. This can include tables and chairs, linens, table settings, table decorations, lighting, dance floor rentals, balloons, wedding music, tents, and more, in addition to food and alcohol. This can save you a lot of time and money in finding these resources yourself, and the added stress of having to schedule and manage these services on your own. An experienced wedding caterer can coordinate whatever you need.
What Your Wedding Caterer Should Provide
An experienced wedding caterer will coordinate everything you need for your wedding, right down to the last detail so that all you’ll have to do is enjoy your reception. The catering wedding coordinator will also be present throughout your wedding reception to ensure all goes well.
For One-Stop Wedding Reception Catering, Call Maison Culinaire
Maison Culinaire provides uncommon experiences for wedding receptions in Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C., whether you are desiring a small, intimate gathering, or a grand banquet. We also offer the added benefit of being a one-stop resource for everything you need for a fabulous wedding reception.
Let us coordinate your reception set-up and décor, and offer our proven recommendations for musicians, wedding cake designers, and the other elements that can make your wedding reception as special as you are. As us for our professional suggestions as well!
And don’t forget that we offer the most delicious food, with choices from an International menu. Your wedding guests will be thrilled with the fresh and creative dishes you serve casually on a buffet, throughout a standing reception, or in a seated service. Trust Maison Culinaire for the finest in food and impeccable service that only a professional can provide. Contact Maison Culinaire for your one-stop wedding reception catering.