Wedding Wednesdays Q&A: How To Start Finding A Caterer

Wedding Wednesdays Q&A - Wedding Planning Advice by Destination Wedding Planner Mango Muse Events

Q: I’m having a museum wedding and so I’m starting to look at caterers.  There is a preferred vendor list with 8 caterers that I have to work off of, but I was wondering, where do I start to find the right caterer?

Great question!  So, the best place to start to find the right caterer for you is going to be with their websites.  I know, it sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many couples overlook this step.

Start by checking out their website, not just to learn about them, how they work and what they believe in, but to see some of their food and most importantly to look at sample menus.  If you love food like me, it’s always fun to look at menus.  But whether or not you are a foodie, you can get a sense of their food via their sample menus.  They are only going to show menus that represent the kind of food they do and what they think they do well.  So, if you are (or aren’t) loving what you see and it sounds yummy (or not yummy), that is a good place to start narrowing your options.

If by chance the caterer’s website doesn’t have sample menus, then you’ll want to reach out and ask for some.  They may try to get you on the phone first, but I always find it’s best to look at some menus before setting up any meetings.  It really gives you a good feel of what they can do and what they like to do.  There is no point talking to a caterer who specializes in Asian fusion food when you want Italian.  Or picking a caterer who is all about farm to table sustainable food and you want something special shipped in from France.

You want to find a caterer that is a good match for you and your food tastes and desires and looking at sample menus is the first place to start.  Now, one thing to keep in mind is that many caterers can do a variety of different types of cuisines, so when you look at their menus you may see a wide range.  This is their way of telling you that they have the capability to do many different things.  But, in the end, it comes back to what sounds good to you.  Looking at these menus will help you to narrow the field to find the right caterer for you.

One last thing I want to mention is that besides looking at the actual food menu items, you’ll also want to look at the pricing.  Every caterer is different in how they price, but also, the range of pricing will vary, so check that out as well because every couple has a budget and you want to make sure you’re working within it.

Short ribs on a caterer wedding menu at at San Francisco wedding planned by Destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events

(Photo credit: Jerry Yoon Photographers)

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