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The Ultimate List of Questions to Ask Your Wedding Caterer

Apr 1, 2019
By Wedding Spot

Finding the right caterer is one of the most important (and potentially expensive) aspects of wedding planning. As you’re calling and meeting with different potential matches, it’s important to ask the right questions. After all, this is one of the most important days of your life. You want the food to be outstanding!

Take a peek at our ultimate list of questions to ask your wedding caterer:

The basics

  • Are you available on my wedding date?

  • Can you serve at this venue or this this area?

  • How many weddings do you typically cater in a day?


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Ask about their experience

  • How long have you been in business?

  • Have you worked with my event venue before?   

  • Do you have all of the necessary permits?

  • Do I need to obtain any additional permits? If so, can you manage that process?

  • Are you licensed to serve alcohol?

  • Who will be on site coordinating everything?

  • Can I meet the coordinator before the big day?

  • Can you provide any vendor suggestions? (Venue, lighting, music, etc.)

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The food

  • Do you specialize in a particular kind of cuisine?

  • What are your signature dishes?

  • Given my budget and guest count, what foods would you recommend?

  • Can you accommodate dietary restrictions for my guests?

  • Will the food be prepared on-site or elsewhere?

  • Where do your ingredients come from? Are they locally sourced? Do they vary with the seasons?

  • Do you offer kid meals at a lower rate?

  • How much do you charge for vendor meals?

  • Do you also do wedding cakes? If so, can I see examples of past cakes you’ve created?

  • Do you do dessert displays for other kinds of sweets?

  • If we purchase a cake from a different vendor, do you charge a cake cutting fee?

  • What is the process for any last-minute requests?


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The drinks

  • Do provide alcohol? If so, what kind?

  • Do you provide bartenders? Is there an extra fee for this?

  • Do you charge a corkage fee if we bring our own wine?

  • How do you charge for alcohol? Is it based on alcohol consumed or per person?

  • Is the champagne toast after the ceremony included?

  • Is coffee and tea service included?

  • How long do you typically serve alcohol during the event?


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The space and decor

  • Can you provide customized menus or will we be managing that?

  • Are you providing any food displays for free or do those come at an extra charge?

  • Do you handle equipment rentals like tables and chairs?

  • What types of serving items and linens do you provide?

  • Does your team offer cleanup services? Is this at an extra charge?

  • How much time do you need for event set up or break down?


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Getting down to business

  • Can you provide me with a contract for me to review?

  • Can you provide any references?

  • How exactly will you be breaking down costs on the contract or invoice?

  • How much is your service charge?

  • What deposit do you need to hold my wedding date?

  • When would the menu need to be finalized?

  • What is the latest date that I can provide my final guest count?

  • What are your overtime fees if the event goes beyond the time agreed upon?

  • What is your cancellation policy?

  • Are there any other miscellaneous fees that we should know about?

UP NEXT: Should you bring your own wedding caterer?

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Wedding Spot

The Wedding Spot blog is designed to help couples navigate every step of the wedding planning journey. From before the engagement to after you say “I do,” our goal is to give you the tips, ideas, and inspiration to prepare for your big day — and all that comes with it.