How Do I Find a Quality Caterer for my Wedding?

annanealwed-0451It’s one of the most important days of your life—something you and your loved ones have been planning for months or even years. The professionals you hire to make your wedding a reality can make the difference between a dream experience and a disappointment, and anybody who has been through the experience will tell you how important it is to choose the right people.

When it comes to hiring a caterer, you’ll find no shortage of options. Wherever there are weddings, there are companies who specialize in catering them. The trick is finding a company who’s going to deliver where it counts and make your event a smooth-sailing success.

So how do you go about this? There may be dozens or even hundreds of caterers in your area, and if you don’t know what to look for, it can feel like playing slot machine. But your wedding is too important for you. Here are some steps to assure that you make the best possible catering decision for this monumental day.

Ask friends and family

The great thing about weddings is that they happen all the time, every week, all over the country. This means every neighbor, friend or coworker has (or knows somehow who has) experience hiring a caterer for a wedding.

Personal connection are a great way to find out about the great and not-so-great experiences people have had. Reputable caterers with a a high professional standard will leave a trail of glowing, satisfied clients. But if you run into more than one complaint about a given company—and the company has yet to resolve or address the complaint—proceed with caution.

Look for objective reviews online

Any catering company can claim to have rave reviews. In some cases, reviews are even faked in order to give the appearance of dependability. That’s who third-party platforms like Google+ and Yelp are worth looking through. These reviews are more likely to be genuine. If you have trouble finding genuine reviews and/or testimonials for a given wedding caterer, try asking the caterer directly for client references. With an event like this, there’s no reason to cut corners.

Ask detailed, specific questions about service and quality

Many catering mishaps and misunderstandings are the result of poor communication between caterer and client. As a prospective client, you should have a fairly clear idea of what you want (including services, menu items, scheduling, and fee structures) before approaching a professional wedding caterer. Reputable companies should also be good at teasing this information out of potential clients and understand exactly what kind of service they need and want. Be as specific as possible with any potential catering company and don’t think twice about asking questions—even if the answers seem obvious. If the caterer grows impatient with your detail-oriented approach, remember: There are many other companies out there who would be happy to have your business.

Finding the wedding caterer you’ve always wanted

When you envision your (or your loved one’s) wedding, you envision a warm and unforgettable event that is punctuated by excellent food and drink. There are highly professional catering companies out there who can deliver—but in order to find them, it’s important to be detailed and meticulous during the selection process. Once you’ve settled on a caterer, keep an open line of communication and don’t let your questions go unanswered.

Good luck finding the right caterer for your wedding!