Questions to Ask your Caterer

The wedding reception is all about good food and good times. Aside from entertaining guests, you want yourself and your guests to have a very hearty meal. Because food is not only important but also quite expensive, taking up 50% of your wedding expenses, you’ll have to make it worth the cost. Follow this guide to help you find the right wedding caterer.


Before you even start speaking with your prospective caterer, you need to check a few things on your reception location. There are some facilities that require in-house catering so it’s better to ask if they allow an outside catering of your choice. The site should fit your wedding theme, your desired food, and of course, your ideal budget.

It is also important to know what facilities they have on site. Do they have refrigerators, kitchens for the last minute preparations, or extra waiters? All these may affect not only the service of your food, but the state of your food itself. You wouldn’t want warm food to get cold, or vice versa.


Your budget should match your caterer’s price range. Inform them of your budget, and see if they can work with the amount. You can ask them these questions to ensure a smooth interview.

What are the recommended menu items?

What are the payment methods? Some caterers require an initial deposit, while some allow installment plans for their clients.

When is the final payment due, and does it already include taxes?

How long is the catering time and will they charge extra if it runs overtime?

And finally, are there extra services or additional costs?


The more experienced the caterer, the more reliable the service. There are also some new in the market, but you should have their complete information to know what their strengths and weaknesses are.

How long have you been in the catering business?

What kind of events have you handled? Does it include both big and small events?

What is the actual plan should they handle the day of your wedding event?

Will you be personally handling my event, or is there another person in charge on the actual day?


Inform your caterer how many people are attending the event and always add a few extra heads. This information should be with the caterer 2 weeks before the wedding so they can make their own finalization.

Also, do not forget to include your vendors on the count. Your photographers, wedding singers or band should also have a place to eat.


Do they have a set menu, or is it customizable? Take note of guests with special diets. Are they able to provide dishes for them, or perhaps accommodate guests with allergies? These are tiny details that could cause huge embarrassment on your wedding day.


In any transaction as huge as a wedding, it pays to have a contract so that possible disputes may be avoided. Read the contract thoroughly and check for the cancellation and refund policy. You should also check on their service charge as well as taxes as they may add extra costs. All parties should sign it and any points you are unsure of should be cleared out as early as possible.

The contract should include the date, time and location of the event, as well as the hours of service that the caterer is able to provide. It should also include the date you need to provide the final details. Other important factors are the list of services provided, the menu you have personally selected, the fees, their due dates, the name of the caterer and the cancellation policy.


Do not disregard the time that the caterer is willing to spend to make you comfortable and discuss the details with you. Did you find them helpful with your additional requests or questions? If they weren’t it’s best to find a better caterer.


Do not be content with just pictures of the food presentation. It is ideal to ask the caterer for an initial tasting. While they are usually offered for free, they may be costly for the caterers so best ask how many people can be brought to taste the food.


You should also ask for previous events the caterer has covered. A good reference list means that they have satisfied customers. If not available, ask them for phone numbers of clients that they have served in the past. You can ask them personally of the quality of service your caterer can provide.


It is normal to assume that all food left over from the event are theirs. All food is paid for, just like the amount of food you pay for in a normal restaurant. There are also some caterers who prepare extra food for any unexpected guests so you may also include this in your conversation.