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Gino Spano

For many couples, there’s nothing more important on their special day than the food and drinks. For this reason you want to make sure that your wedding menu is left in the hands of some highly trained professionals.

During the wedding planning process, you’re probably going to interview quite a few caterers before making the all-important decision of who will prepare the food for your wedding. After all, you want to make sure they’re capable of bringing your wedding to life in the form of food and cocktails.

To ensure you’re hiring the right caterers for your wedding, here are six questions to make sure you ask the caterers before you go ahead and sign any contracts.

1. Can the Caterer Provide Any References or Client Testimonials?

As a bride and groom, it’s important to do your due diligence before making any hiring decisions. This is why you want to make sure you ask your caterer for references and look up any reviews you can find.

Any great caterer will have previous clients who are more than happy to speak about their work, and with social media and review sites being so popular, it should be fairly easy to read what others have to say about your potential caterers.

2. Does the Caterer Have Liquor Liability Insurance?

This may seem like a trivial point but it’s actually an important consideration in wedding planning. Not all caterers hold a liability insurance policy that covers alcoholic beverages.

Anyone serving alcohol needs to have this kind of insurance as protection from financial liability if anything should go wrong. This is especially important if you’re having an open bar at your wedding where guests are more likely to over-indulge.

Alternatively, the venue or caterer alike may ask for an additional insurance policy; it is very common for event spaces and special occasions that will be serving alcoholic beverages.

3. What’s Included in Your Menu’s Price Per Person?

Since most wedding caterers will give you a menu price per person, it’s important to clarify what exactly will be included in this price as there can sometimes be fees for things like rentals, beverages, service personnel, bar condiments, plates, glassware, etc.

When planning your wedding you’re going to be working within a budget so it’s important to know if you’re caterer’s price is all-inclusive, or if you have to make room for some extras. The last thing you want is an invoice with a bunch of additional costs you did not take into consideration when planning your budget.

4. Can the Caterer Provide Customized Menu Choices, Including Options for Dietary Restrictions?

This is a very important question when it comes to wedding planning as many people have specific dietary restrictions and when you’re dealing with a large crowd you’re bound to have a few people with different dietary needs.

Ensuring your wedding caterer can offer options to appease all of these potential needs of your guests is paramount to ensure no one at your wedding feels like their meal was an after thought.

5. When Does the Caterer Need Finalized Menu Choices?

The caterers will have to order all your wedding menu ingredients ahead of time and make sure everything you want is available. Usually the menu is finalized several months in advance.

It’s important to be aware of the dates your caterers require for finalized choices so that you can plan your RSVP’s accordingly. It’s also smart to ask if or how they can accommodate last minute changes, because it’s not uncommon for a guest to forget they should have checked off vegetarian on their reply card.

6. Does the Caterer Provide Tastings Before Being Hired?

Some caterers offer free tastings while other caterers charge you a fee. As well some charge a fee regardless. It really depends on the company, level of service, and quality of food. Reading a menu and hearing client testimonials is one thing, but you should also ask for references and speak to the caterers about the food. Ultimately you may want pay an extra fee to taste the food to be sure that it lives up to your expectations for your wedding planning. Ensure your caterer can provide you with this opportunity.

Ideally, you want to be able to have a tasting and try out some of the food before you commit to hiring a caterer to avoid being locked in with someone who's food doesn’t fit the bill.

The Guide to Planning Your Perfect Wedding

Gino Spano

Starting with roots in a kitchen at 14 years old, he worked his way up the ranks and by the young age of 17 was responsible for daily events of 50 to 600 people. Gino continued to use his talents to work in catering, banquet and restaurant kitchens across the GTA. His love for Italian, French and Asian cuisine paired with his wide variety of knowledge brought him success in his new venture at Seventh Heaven in 2001. Over the past 12 years, he has cooked many meals for social events, corporate events and government officials. His love for new challenges brought him into corporate sales where he and the Seventh Heaven team won Best Catered Event for Canadian Linen’s “The Great White North” – Facility Grand Opening in 2009.
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