Wednesday, February 22, 2012

10 questions to ask a wedding caterer

Food at your wedding is one of the most important elements.  Why?  Because it's one of those things that people remember.  So make sure that the memory your guests will take away from your wedding is a good one.  How do you make sure that happens?  Serve great food by hiring the right wedding caterer in Portland which requires asking the right questions.

Here are 10 questions you should ask any caterer before hiring them:

  1. Are you current on all licenses?  A license may not seem that important to you but if they aren't license is it because the state shut them down at one point for causing illnesses?  Always ask that question and then double check with the state to see if they really are.
  2. Can we sample your menu?  Rubbery chicken is not a hit a weddings and the only way to tell whether a caterer will serve rubbery chicken is to sample their quality of food.  So make sure you set up a "taste test" appointment with the caterer to sample their quality of food.
  3. Do you have pictures we can look at? This is usually a given and most Portland wedding caterers will have pictures for you to see.  But make sure you look at how the food was presented and laid out.  Is it orderly or just thrown together?  Do you want the photos of the food at your wedding looking like those photos do?
  4. Can I see a contract? A contract ensures that you're all on the same page.  If they don’t use one, run as fast as you can and don't look back.  There should be no question as to what their job is and what you'll be receiving if you hire them.  Get it in writing!
  5. How do you charge for clean up? If they don't clean up then your family will be left to.  Is that what you want?  If not, then make sure that clean up is included in their responsibilities.
  6. Do you have references? Talk to other brides to see what they thought of that caterer.  Were they satisfied?  Would they recommend the caterer?
  7. When is the final menu selection required? What if you've chosen what you "thought" was the perfect menu and then your friend from Seattle tells you that they and their entire immediate family are vegetarians.  How close to the wedding can you change up your menu if necessary?
  8. Are your price quotes final? Be aware that sometimes prices may be subject to change according to the season, gas prices...or whatever. Get the final price quote in writing and in the signed contract.
  9. How many servers are there per guest? Having one server for every 100 guests is unacceptable.  You should have at least one server per 25 guests.  You may need a few more if this is a seated reception.
  10. Are you compatible with your caterer?  This is a personal question but you want to make sure that your personalities mesh and that they fully understand (and capable of carrying out) your needs and desires.  This is your day.
For more information about wedding catering and choosing your menu visit our website at or give us a call at (503) 465-0400.

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