Questions to Ask a Wedding Caterer

If you’re planning your wedding, there are many things that need to be taken care of. One of the most important things is choosing the right catering service for the event. The catering company will provide everything from food and beverages to decorations and entertainment. If you want to make sure that you get the best services at an affordable price, then you should ask some questions before hiring them. Find out more by reading on. 

First off, there are different kinds of caterers. Some cater from scratch, others buy pre-made foods and assemble them. There are two main categories of caterers: full-service and self-catering. Full-service caterers usually take care of everything from start to finish. They plan the menu, order supplies, cook the food, serve it, clean up after themselves, etc. Self-catering caterers, on the other hand, just supply the food.

Questions to Ask a Wedding Caterer

How do they communicate with me?

Prior to asking this question, find a catering service that has a reputation for good communication. Do your research. A reputable company will have positive reviews on various platforms. Browse through their business listing for comments regarding communication. Select a caterer that responds (in a timely manner) via email and over the phone.

What are their hours?

Some catering services offer flexible scheduling for weddings. In any case, ask what are the best times to contact them if you have any questions or concerns regarding their service, how many hours of service are in each package they provide, and their availability for pre-wedding events such as the rehearsal dinner

What kind of experience do they have? 

A good catering company should have years of experience in providing quality services to their clients. Ask for references so that you can check with previous customers if possible. It would be wise to choose a catering service that has been around for several years because they are more experienced than those who just started up.

Do they provide references?

It's always best to contact previous clients to see how satisfied they were with the service provided. Some caterers won't give you referrals because they feel as though it would compromise their business. But, if you're looking for a reputable catering service, asking for references is a good move.

Is the chef certified?

A professional chef is expected to prepare delicious dishes. Most chefs are trained in culinary arts schools, but it is not required to be certified or have a degree to become a chef. In fact, some schools teach only cooking techniques and leave out the basics. To learn more about the chef's background, talk to him/her directly. Also, make sure that the chef knows how to handle large groups of people.

Can I meet the chef?

If possible, try meeting the chef at least once before hiring him/her. It's important to know what kind of personality the chef has so that you can work together smoothly.

What type of equipment do they use?

The catering service should have the right tools needed to create and serve beautiful meals. You don't want to hire someone who doesn't have the proper kitchen equipment or utensils. Do they provide the table settings? ie. dinner plates, salad plates, bowls, water glasses, wine glasses, utensils. How about serving and buffet equipment? Ie: chafing dishes, fuel cells, tongs, serving trays, water pitchers, and silverware.

Are they insured? 

There may be other things that you should know about the catering service. For instance, you should know if they have liability insurance. Insurance can protect both the customer and the catering service. This means that they will take care of any damages caused by their employees while preparing and serving the food at your reception. If you have hired a company that has no insurance, then you may end up paying for all damages yourself.

Will they cater to my specific needs?

Some catering companies specialize in certain types of events while others cater to all kinds of events.

What are their specialties?

Every catering service specializes in its own cuisines. Ask what they specialize in, you might want to mix it up for your guests. 

Types of cuisines:

  • American cuisine
  • Mexican cuisine
  • Caribbean cuisine
  • Korean cuisine
  • German cuisine
  • French cuisine
  • Italian cuisine
  • Greek cuisine
  • and so many more!

Do they provide samples?

Samples are great ways to test the quality of a particular dish. If the catering service provides samples, ask for one so that you can make sure everything tastes exactly the way it looks. The last thing you want is to find out that your gourmet meal doesn't actually look like the picture or taste as good as you thought it would.

Does the catering service use environmentally friendly products?

Environmentally-friendly services may or may not be an important factor in choosing your caterer. If it is, ask your potential catering service if they use eco-friendly products.

What are their terms and conditions? 

These include details like cancellation policies, refunds, etc.

What guarantees do they offer? 

Guarantees ensure that you will receive the services that you paid for.

What happens if something goes wrong? 

You don’t expect things to go wrong, but it’s also best to be prepared in case they do. Who will be held responsible for any mix-ups and how does your caterer prepare for a possible scenario, such as a few unexpected extra guests.

What type of payment options are there?

It is very important that you ask what kind of payment methods your catering service accepts; payment options, plans, or required deposits.

Will I get my money back?

Ask what the refund policy is for possible scenarios such as if your wedding gets postponed or canceled. Will you get your deposit back? Will they offer a refund or credit for a different event?  Make sure that you read through the contract carefully before signing it.

Is there any hidden cost?

Make sure that you understand exactly how much the catering service charges before signing the contract.

Wedding caterer cost 

Wedding caterer costs can vary depending on the size of the party, the number of guests, location, and other factors. A typical wedding meal might run anywhere from $50-$500 per person. Catering services often charge extra for alcohol, which can add another $100 or so per guest. So, a three-course meal could easily run $600-$1,000. However, this figure varies widely from one couple to the next. 

So, how much does it really cost to cater a wedding? 

While most people assume that catering services are going to set them back thousands of dollars, the truth is that it depends entirely on the couple. When choosing a catering service, you want to ensure that the company offers top-notch service while also offering affordable prices. By doing this, you'll be able to enjoy an unforgettable wedding celebration.

Happenings™ Ever After

Most people give up on their dreams of an iconic wedding ceremony because it feels too overwhelming to plan. Happenings™ is here to help you create the wedding of a lifetime through thoughtfully organized wedding planning tailored to iconic locations throughout Central Park so you can step into your moment with the one that you love. 

"The most valuable and important thing we can deliver is 

an unforgettable memory."

Easily plan your dream ceremony, 

we’ll help you take care of the rest. 


Browse our venues and curated packages, find the one that speaks to you, and we’ll take care of the rest.  


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About Happenings™ 

Based in Manhattan, Happenings™ founder Tom Noel would often take a walk through Central Park. In 2008, during one of his walks, he stopped to sit at one of his favorite iconic locations in the Park, the Bethesda Fountain. There, Mr. Noel noticed that the intrinsic beauty that surrounded him was not being fully harnessed. He also realized that not a single business provided the exclusiveness of an affordable and high-quality event planner. Determined to change this, Happenings™ was born. 

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