Questions to Ask Your Wedding Caterer

Hello friends! For many guests, the food is often one of the most memorable parts of a wedding, so finding a caterer you trust and like is really important. Ask plenty of questions! Stuck? Here are some key questions to ask when interviewing potential caterers.

Remember, if your venue requires you to use an in-house caterer, you’ll have less leeway but many of these questions are likely still helpful:

  • What is your food philosophy? Sounds like a funny question, but you’ll want to make sure their approach aligns with your vision. Lots of caterers are really focused on organic or locally-sourced foods, for example, while others gravitate toward comfort food.
  • How large is your staff? You’ll want to ensure the waiter-to-guest ratio makes sense for your event.
  • How many weddings have you done? While wedding experience isn’t necessary, it certainly helps.
  • Have you done any weddings at my venue? Again, not necessary, but it’s helpful if your caterer knows the ins and outs of your space.
  • How will meals be set up? It’s important to know if your caterer is open to buffet style, tableside ordering or pre-ordered meals.
  • What’s the charge for children’s meals? If you’re having a kid-friendly event, you’ll need these details.
  • What about the wedding cake? Ask if this is something their pastry chef can provide. If you bring an outside cake, ask if there is an additional charge to serve it.
  • How much time do you need for set up and breakdown? You’ll need to coordinate these details with your reception site.
  • What do you provide in terms of glassware, tableware and linens? Some caterers will provide these items, and if so, ask to see a sample set up. You should also ask whether insurance is provided for these items in case of breakage.
  • How much liability insurance do you carry? An oft-forgotten but very important detail. You should also ensure they are licensed by the state and have a health certificate.
  • What are the additional charges? Ask for the charges for service, gratuities, taxes, delivery, set up, clean up and more. These can sometimes add 25% to your food cost, so it’s important to know this up front!
  • What’s the cancellation policy?

Happy eating!




Header image by Dennis Kwan photography