How to Choose A Caterer

Karen Chapman, Klassic Katering

Food is an essential part of a wedding so one must choose a caterer wisely. There are many important factors to keep in mind while choosing a caterer. You may want to start by asking friends and associates for the names of those they would recommend.
If you attend a function where the catering impresses you, get the caterer's name and telephone number. When you are ready to execute your plan, call your list of caterers and check their available dates. You should ask prospective caterers if they have an upcoming event so you can visit it and see the kind of work they do. It is important to ask caterers for their credentials including length of experience, licenses and insurance policy information. Most important is to make sure that they have a certified kitchen/commissary where the food will be prepared. Once you've narrowed down your choices to three, call each one to discuss your wedding plans, your estimated head count and budget. After discussing those details have them provide you with a sample menu that fits within your budget.
Don't forget to ask each potential caterer their policies regarding guaranteed minimums, services they will provide for you, specific hours for the event and any extra costs besides food and beverages (such as table linens, tables, etc). Once you've selected a caterer, plan a meeting to work out any remaining details. After everything is put together in a proposal and the proposal is accepted, have it finalized with a binding contract. It is important to keep the lines of communication open with your caterer so there are no surprises when it comes to your wedding day.
Adding an excellent caterer to your team of great vendors will ensure that your wedding reception is everything you imagined it to be and then some!