Food: Your Caterer Comparison Worksheet

Next to your actual venue (should you rent one), the food and drink served during the reception will probably be the single biggest number in your budgeting plan. The food will also more than likely be one of the main things that your guests will remember ("Well, my chicken was terribly dry" or "Oh! Wasn't that sausage-on-a-stick delightfully retro and tasty?"). When it comes to choosing your wedding's caterer, there will be a lot of factors for you to consider. Do not be nervous - ask as many questions as you need to or request clarification whenever you don't understand.

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Image Courtesy of: Indian Royal Wedding

Some couples are choosing to have a traditional seated meals while others are more interested in a buffet or even a family-style meal. Either of those are fine but both require the same thing – a great caterer who specializes in that type of meal. But how to find one?

There are several ways to find a great caterer: look (and do tastings) at wedding fairs/expos, seek out vendors at local farmer’s markets, visit various restaurants in your area, Google “local restaurants/caterers”, ask for recommendations, and ask to sample the work of local culinary students. Next, narrow your selection down to your top 3-5 vendors. Then, schedule your (free – it should ALWAYS be free) tasting/consultation (you may need to interview your caterer first and then hire them before you do a tasting – this seems to vary by region so ask around to find out the norm for your area). These consultations usually involve looking through the caterer’s portfolio/menus and sampling various appetizers and entrees to find your favorites.

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Image Courtesy of: Buffalo Brides

However, at the tasting you will need to do more than just snack on yummy stuff (though that is AWESOME!). You’re going to need to ask a few questions to help you compare the actual caterer and its business (in addition to its tasty offerings) at a later time. Below is a download of a good list of questions to ask each potential caterer - print it out as needed and take with you to your appointments!

Download Caterer Comparison Worksheet

Alright, Tulle Nation raise your voices! What do you think is important to ask your potential wedding reception caterer? Got any tips on how to find your perfect foodie match? Share away in the comments.