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Choosing a Caterer for Your Wedding

Updated on March 13, 2011

Will wedding bells be ringing for you sometime soon? If you're planning to hold a traditional wedding and reception to celebrate your nuptials, you'll need to start making plans as soon as you set a date for the big day. The food is a central feature of any reception, so selecting a caterer is one of the first things you'll want to do when planning your wedding.

Caterer Selection Considerations

It's in your best interest to choose a caterer who has a significant amount of experience handling wedding receptions, particularly if you're planning to have a large celebration. An experienced caterer can help guide you through the process of making choices about the type of food and decorations that you'll need to have in order to have the type of event that you want to enjoy.

Your wedding reception is too important for you to leave caterer selection to chance. When considering which caterer to hire, it's a good idea to ask people that you know and trust to share information with you about caterers they have worked with in the past.

This can help you identify which companies have a good reputation for taking care of wedding receptions and which you may be better off avoiding. This can be a much better option than simply doing online research or selecting someone randomly from the telephone directory.

Talk to a few different catering companies before you decide which one you are going to work with. Verify that any company you want to consider has availability on the date of your wedding, then schedule an appointments to meet with an event planner. You'll be able to get a sense of what dealing with the company will be like as well as learn about menu choices and pricing options. Don't put off making your choice, as the best wedding caterers book up far in advance.

Full Service Catering Options

If you want a wedding day that is as stress free as possible for you and your family, you should probably consider hiring a full service caterer. This means that the caterer you choose will do quite a bit more than simply preparing your food. Full service catering companies offer a wide array of services that can make your wedding reception go as smoothly as possible.

If you opt for a full service caterer, you can hire the company to do as much – or as little – of the reception setup as you want (or as your budget allows). Services typically provided by full service caterers include: food preparation and setup, decorating the reception hall, tablecloth and serving ware rental, food servers, bartenders, clean up and break down, and more. Make sure your catering contract specifies the exact services to be performed so there is no question about who is responsible for what on the day of the event.

Enjoy Your Big Day

By making sure to line up a reputable caterer well in advance, you'll be taking a proactive step toward making sure that your wedding day is wonderful and that guests will be talking about how great your reception was for years to come!

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