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How To Choose The Right Wedding Catering For Your Big Day

This is everything you need to know.

How To Choose The Right Wedding Catering For Your Big Day

Choosing your wedding catering is one of the most important aspects of your big day. The wedding breakfast is a key part of your wedding and something your guests will remember the most. Your job is to find the right caterer who will create the perfect menu at the right price for you.

Do I need a caterer?

Usually, yes, you’ll definitely need to think about hiring wedding catering. You will not enjoy yourself if you’re running around gathering up dirty dishes and wondering if everyone has had enough to eat. If you do decide to do the catering yourself, we’d advise hiring staff to serve the food and clean up. Don’t accept help from your guests as they are supposed to be celebrating the day with you. You can start by asking friends and people they know for recommendations of a caterer that will suit your needs and your budget.

What type of wedding catering do I need?

Your wedding catering will depend on your venue and the type of reception you’ve decided on. Many venues will recommend caterers or even insist you use a particular one. But if you’re having a marquee in the garden, you’ll find that more local companies will be able to give you a quote.

Once you’ve picked a venue, there are a couple of things you’ll need to discuss with the person in charge, including:

  • Dates
  • Times
  • The number of guests
  • The expected price of things (specifically the cost of the meal, which can be the most expensive part of your budget)

Your wedding catering company will need to know the date, time of your reception, the number of guests, level of hospitality you wish to provide and your limit on charges per head. Costs are usually quoted per guest so this way, they’ll be able to give you an approximate quote. Be sure to keep all your written quotes, confirmations and contracts in a safe place. And don’t leave it until the last minute – you’ll be surprised how quickly caterers can get booked up.

Word of mouth

If you can get a personal recommendation or you have your own experience of a caterer’s work, this is the best route to go down. You’ll also be able to sample their wedding menus for a free or reduced price once you’ve booked with them.

The paperwork

Once you’ve chosen your wedding catering, it’s time to confirm dates, times and details with a written contract. This should include a breakdown for:

  • Food
  • Drinks
  • Corkage
  • Staff
  • Delivery
  • Travel expenses
  • Equipment hire
  • Service charges, etc.

Make sure you finalise numbers with your caterers just before the wedding, especially if there are late cancellations. This means you’ll be able to avoid having to pay for wasted meals.

Catering checklist

When choosing your wedding catering, here are some questions you need to make sure you get the answers to:


  • What packages do they offer and what’s included? Are the menus flexible? Is there a vegetarian option? Can they accommodate special dietary requirements?
  • Can they accommodate children?
  • When can you have a menu tasting?
  • Are they able to work within your budget?

Staff and resources

  • Are serving staff included in the price?
  • What is the ratio of staff to guests?
  • What will the staff wear?
  • Have they catered a wedding at your venue before?
  • Do they have any other bookings on the same day?
  • Will your main point of contact be at the reception to oversee the event?


  • Do they provide all the necessary china, glassware and utensils?
  • If you need to rent equipment, who is responsible for delivery, cleaning and return?
  • When is the final guest count due? Is there an additional charge for unexpected guests?


  • What brands of drink will be served?
  • Can you supply your own alcohol? Is there a corkage fee?
  • What time will the bar be open until?
  • Will they supply extra bar stock like ice, fresh lemons/lime etc?
  • Do they have the correct glassware for the drinks you’ll be serving?

Booking and payment

  • Is a service charge included or are gratuities optional? Is there a charge for breakage?
  • What’s the cancellation/postponement requirement?
  • How far in advance are bookings required?
  • How much is the deposit to secure the date and when is it due?
  • When is the full balance due?
  • Is VAT included in the final price?


Do you need help choosing wedding catering? Discover how to bring your boho wedding dreams to life by booking an appointment to discuss your plans with a consultant at The Wedding Gallery today.

By Holly Sutton

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How to choose the right wedding catering for your big day