How To Find The Perfect Wedding Caterer

Every couple deserves a personal and inspired wedding celebration that reflects their love and tells their unique story. The planning, research and expenses can be daunting at first, but if you take a deep breath and break down the tasks into manageable pieces, you will ensure a perfect event that you and your guests will cherish forever.

Hiring the right caterer for your special day is absolutely key. After all, the venue, menu and beverages, service staff and table settings will consume the largest portion of your wedding budget.

Your first step is to determine what you want out of a catered meal, what you want the wedding to feel like and the reception style that best suits you:

  • Level of formality
  • Served, buffet, family-style, cocktail party or food stations
  • Type of menu and cuisine
  • Level of creativity and innovation

View our sample wedding packages

Establish A Budget

Once you have established what you want out of the catering program, the next step is to determine your budget.

Budgeting can be one of the most challenging aspects of planning a wedding. You must determine how much you will spend upfront and clearly communicate this when vetting potential caterers. As a general rule of thumb, you should allot 48-50% of your total wedding budget to the reception (this does not include flowers, music and entertainment).

It is important to understand that there are many other aspects beyond food that contribute to a successful catering experience. You should have a handle on the services and items that may not be included in a caterer's price. Be certain to have a clear understanding of what the quoted price covers to ensure you are comparing apples to apples. You are comparing apples to oranges if you have to add the cost of cake-cutting and coffee service or set up and breakdown to the least expensive caterer's quote! It may end up being comparable in price to the most expensive! Eggwhites Catering's expert team understands that this may feel overwhelming. We work hard to establish a trusting relationship with our clients and lay out every potential cost for our couples upfront. Our approach ensures a comfortable experience from the start of your wedding planning all the way to your wedding day.

In order to avoid costly surprises, find out exactly what is included; for example:

  • Service and culinary staff and bartenders* Reception Tables, Chairs and Linens
  • China, Glassware, Silverware and Linen Napkins
  • Cutting and Serving Wedding Cake
  • Bars and unlimited bar service
  • Pouring champagne for the toast
  • Coffee service
  • Sweetheart Table, Cake Table, Gift Table and Escort Card Table
  • Culinary and Service Equipment * Event Set Up and Breakdown
  • Trucking and Transportation
  • Business and Liquor Licenses
  • Liability Insurance

Do your research! Look at menus and photo galleries. Check out social media like Facebook and Instagram to see photos of real weddings. Read their reviews - WeddingWire, The Knot and even Yelp are great resources to find out what other couples have shared about their experience with the caterer.

Questions To Ask A Caterer

The most important questions are those you ask before you select your caterer. Some qualities to look for and questions to ask:

  • Flexibility with menu and presentation requests
  • Ability to accommodate special diets and needs such as vegetarian, vegan and children's menu options
  • Dessert and wedding cake options
  • How and where the food is prepared - ideally on location so it is fresh and maintains the highest standard of quality
  • Staff-to-guest ratio
  • Ability to assist with other aspects of the wedding like providing wedding cake, floral arrangements and decor
  • Is the waitstaff able to help with some of the day-of details like setting out place cards and party favors?
  • Good communication, organization and response time
  • Longevity and reputation

Check to see if the caterer offers a tasting experience. A tasting will allow you to fully experience the quality, style and presentation of their food. Caterers usually require a small fee to cover a tasting that occurs in the discovery phase, but they should give you a credit towards the total cost of your event catering should you book their services for your wedding. Expect a lot from your caterer. Remember, this is your wedding day so do not hesitate to ask lots of questions! A good caterer should understand your overall vision for the day and listen to your ideas. They should be able to use their wealth of experience and talent and build upon your ideas to go above and beyond your expectations for your special day. So do your research, communicate your budget and your vision and your particular needs. Most importantly have fun in the process!

Sample Wedding Packages

Take a look at Eggwhites Catering 2016 sample wedding packages - if you don't see exactly what you are looking for, just ask! We will be happy to work with you to customize a package to fit your unique vision and we can accommodate virtually any special requests that you may have. Let our team of experienced professionals guide you through every decision - large and small - to craft your perfect day!

Eggwhites Special Event Catering