I know how brides want to be involved in everything related to their wedding. And why not! After all, it’s your day and you must have had some special plans for it. I, too, was a part of every single decision during my wedding preps. But what I was most concerned about was the food at my wedding. Well, desi shaadis are all about the food. So much so, that you know that no Sabyasachi lehenga or the stunning decor is going to get you as many compliments as the food at your shaadi. But unlike other things, choosing a caterer can be the most difficult task while you’re planning your wedding. Therefore, I’ve come up with a list of questions that you must ask a caterer before finalising him/her.
Wedding trends are evolving over time and so is the food served at shaadis. So, here’s a list of questions that you must ask a caterer to make an informed choice.
Needless to say, you must ask the caterer if he/she is available on the dates you need them.
Do ask him if he/she has another wedding to cater to that day. The peak shaadi season can be crazy. Even though this doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker by any means, but you want to be sure that they are giving their full attention to your event and not taking on more than they can handle.
You, obviously, would like to know the kind of experience they have.
Believe me, this is kind of an important one. If they’ve worked at the venue before, not only will they know what works well in the space, the food service is likely to have fewer or no mishaps.
If you’ve had the food served by them, you probably already have an idea about their taste and their presentation. If not, it’s crucial to taste the food in advance. Also, do get clarity if there's an additional cost for tasting.
Caterers might offer you a package you like, but, sometimes, you would want to include or exclude some of the dishes. Do ask them if they have a fixed menu or it can be customised according to your likes.
Make sure you clarify this beforehand. Ask him if he has a liquor license and more specifically if he will provide the liquor. If your caterer doesn’t have the license, you have to get everything in place as far as drinks are concerned. Do ask them about the corkage charges if you are providing your own alcohol.
No wedding can be complete without a wedding cake. So, ask your wedding caterer if he/she will be able to provide the cake.
Some caterers provide the table setting but others require tentwalas to do it for them. Therefore, make sure that you ask the caterer beforehand.
Ensure that the person you’re meeting with is available at the venue. Sometimes the catering companies have huge teams and instead of the owner, they assign people to handle weddings. Make sure that you meet the one, who will actually be present at your shaadi.
It’s very important to know all the packages they offer so that you can pick out the best one suited for you. Do not forget to ask them what all is included in the package. Also, ask about the exclusions to avoid any confusion at the last moment.
I know you must be having your own requirements, but do take suggestions from the caterer as he is the field expert.
You need to provide your caterer with a minimum guarantee when it comes to the number of people attending the wedding. Figure that out and ask him when can you tell him the headcount.
Though this seems like a no-brainer, you must ask him/her if the staff is well-trained. Do ask the caterer about how many servers will he provide and what will they wear at the wedding.
Don’t forget that your on-site vendors need to eat, so make sure you ask the caterer if he/she will be accommodating their meals. If yes, how much will it cost? Also, ask if they provide any meal boxes for drivers/domestic helps who will be at your wedding.
Ask him/her about where he is planning to prepare the food. You will have to make arrangements if the caterer is planning to prepare the food at the venue itself.
The caterer will have to bring in truck loads of food and preparation equipment to your event. Do ask him in advance if you will have to arrange for some special permits for the day. If yes, will he/she help in obtaining them?
Ask him if there will be a written contract. If yes, by when will you receive it?
Make sure you ask him about the amount of deposit they require to make the booking.
This is extremely important to know as you don’t wanna run out of your options just because you weren’t able to decide in time.
Cheque or cash, it's important for you to know about the mode of payment.
Ask them if he/she wants you to arrange for their water or electricity needs as you will have to manage everything beforehand.
Make sure you know about the time the caterer and staff will arrive at the site so that you can arrange a person to go to the venue to supervise them.
The last thing you would want is for all the leftover to be dumped in a dustbin. Do ask your caterer about what they do with leftovers. If they do not have a proper plan in place, you can get in touch with Feeding India to ensure the food from your wedding reaches the needy.