Wedding planning is stressful enough, the food is the fun part!
Choosing your menu and searching for the perfect caterer can be a lot of fun - especially when it includes trying some yummy food! However, it can be a really stressful part of wedding planning, especially when it comes to fitting that in your budget, navigating around dietary restrictions, getting guests to RSVP, and much more. Coming from someone who has been in the business for many years, I have handled my fair share of stressful weddings. Here are some things that are important to consider when booking your caterer.
Photo taken by Jamie Vinson Photography
Are they available on my big day?
The most important part to finding the perfect caterer for your wedding: figuring out if they’re available on that day! Setting your date and having a rough idea of how long you want the festivities to go on for will help when coordinating with your caterer to see if they are available. Timing is also important because it will help caterers figure out how much food they need to prepare, how many staff members they need to bring, and how much it will cost. The more information you have, the better! But, do not stress if you haven’t come up with all of your details or ideas yet, we are here to help!
Also, keep in mind that some venues have a list of preferred caterers, and some require you to pick from a list of caterers offered for that site. So, when looking at venues and finalizing where you are going to host your big day, make sure to check if there are any vendors you have to choose from, or if they have any recommendations.
Can they fit my budget?
Establishing your budget ahead of time is an important part of choosing your caterer. You may be a foodie and want to put more money towards catering, or you may just want something more simple to save money for other aspects of your wedding. If you have an idea of what your budget is, you will be able to narrow down your list of caterers that can work within that budget while still helping to create your food vision. Considering different serving styles and options for food will help adjust the cost to fit within your budget. It is also important to consider how many people will be attending to provide an accurate estimate, along with other factors, such as your vision for hors d’oeuvres, dinner style, desserts, bar service, and late night food. Deciding what your priorities are in terms of food will help your caterer provide the perfect menu for you. It is also important to know what is included with that pairing, and what additional fees or things you may be responsible for paying for.
HL Catering works to provide delicious food options for all, while working to fit your budget and still providing a unique and tasty menu. We have many options that can be adjusted to fit your budget, or fun additions such as late night food or desserts that can be added if there is room in the budget. We are known for being fully transparent with our customers, and not hiding any fees or extra costs, because we understand how stressful and expensive it can be to plan a wedding!
Photo taken by Jamie Vinson Photography
Can they provide delicious alternatives for my and my guests’ dietary requirements?
Everyone should be able to enjoy the food, regardless of what their allergies or dietary restrictions are! That is why it is important to find a caterer that can not only work around those restrictions, but provide delicious and fun alternatives. Picking some crowd-pleasers while also having an idea of allergies or foods you do not want on your menu will help you and your caterer plan the perfect menu that everyone will enjoy!
At HL Catering, we pride ourselves in our unique and flexible food options, for people with all allergies and dietary restrictions. We also have chefs trained in cooking and preparing many different cultures, types, and styles of food. Our goal is to not just offer sides or a plain salad for those with dietary restrictions, but provide an entirely different and unique meal that is still just as delicious and filling.
How do I want the food presented?
There are different serving styles that will not only affect the price, but the number of catering servers that are staffed. It is important to think of how you want the night to flow, and taking into account the number of people, the venue, and what your budget is will help decide what type of serving style you want, such as plated, buffet, or stations.
HL Catering is unique because of our creative vision and ideas for different dishes. We don’t want to just throw some food on a plate and serve it, we want to create something that is not only delicious, but also artistic and beautiful. Our chefs constantly work on new and innovative ways to serve hors d'oeuvres, main courses, desserts, drinks, and so much more.
Can I try the food before my big day?
Trying the food is one of the best parts of picking a caterer, which is why it is important to ask about scheduling a tasting. This can help you decide how you want something presented or how you want to alter food on the menu. It is also important to find out if there is a charge for a tasting, and if so, how much it is. Often, a caterer will charge for the tasting, but if you book with them, they will credit money back towards your wedding.
HL Catering provides a tasting at $50 per person for up to 6 people, and it is credited towards your wedding if you book with us for up to 3 people! We are able to prepare the whole menu, from the hors d'oeuvres to the main course, to the dessert. It is important to us that you are 100% satisfied with every part of the menu, and if not, we can make changes to fit your vision.
By breaking down cost, your vision, and other important aspects of the menu will really help take away some of the stress from booking a caterer, and help you enjoy the process! It is important that you are able to have someone that can not just handle your requests, but wants to create that perfect menu and ease the stress.
What questions do you still have about finding the perfect caterer? Leave your questions in the comments below!
And check out our website for more information on HL Catering, along with Instagram and Facebook for some awesome pictures of our food and events!