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Food plays an important role in the wedding festivities, so you'll want to take plenty of time and care when choosing your caterer. Here are some great questions to ask your caterer to ensure that you have an amazing "wedding feast" without any surprises!

Menu Options and Reception Styles

There are so many food varieties to choose from when it comes to menu selection. You can have a traditional sit down dinner, buffet, food stations or a cocktail reception. It all depends on your personal preference and budget.

Budget

Let your caterer know your budget up front. Don’t assume that a buffet or food station is less expensive than a sit down dinner. It all depends on the type of food served, not how it's served.

Food Preparation

Does the caterer use all fresh food and produce? Will any of the food for the reception be frozen or canned?

Taste Testing

Ask if your caterer will do a "tasting" and when. This is where the bride and groom can go sample and taste some of the caterer’s dishes. Yum Yum...

Leftovers

Ask what is done with the leftover food. Particularly, if you are having a buffet or food station, there can be food leftover. Some brides choose to have the leftover food given to a homeless shelter or packed up and brought home. Some caterers don't offer this option because they can’t guarantee its freshness and they don’t want anyone to get sick if the food is not stored properly.

Ethnic Recipes

Ask if dishes can be prepared that are not included on the regular menu. Some brides have a special "family" dish they'd like or a particular type of ethnic food prepared. This is a great way to really personalize your dinner and reception.

Guaranteed Numbers

Many caterers will quote prices based upon a certain number or minimum number of guests. For instance, your caterer may have a minimum of 100 guests and if only 80 show up there may be an additional fee.

Wedding Cakes

Do they offer wedding cakes in their package? Can they make you a wedding cake? Will the caterer cut up the cake for you and will they do this for free or charge a fee? Some caterers charge a per slice fee, so be aware!!

Taxes and Gratuities

Are they included in the price or will they be added later? Find out what the final price is.

Ratio of Servers to Guests

Now, this will vary depending on the type of reception you have.

Dress Code for Wait Staff

How will the staff be dressed?

Decorations

Ask to see pictures of their table displays. Some caterers that do buffets or food stations will include floral arrangements and other decorations. As your wedding plans progress, talk to your caterer about your colour theme so that all decorations and floral arrangements will coordinate.

Also, find out what type of decorating they might do for you. Will they swag your head and cake tables? Will they set out your favours and seating cards?

Tableware and Linens

Does the price include table linens, napkins, dishes, and glassware? Ask to see samples. Remember, if you don’t like the tableware or linens they offer, most everything can be rented, but usually at an additional price!

Licenses

Your caterer should be licensed by the province. Most display their license in their office, but if you're not sure, ask!

Liquor

Do you need to get a Special Occasions Permit from the liquor board? If you are supplying the alcohol and they are bringing the mix, what is the price per person? If you are providing the alcohol, will the caterer charge you a corkage fee?

 

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