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Brenda's Wedding Blog is your online resource for planning your dream elegant wedding. Helping you find the "wow" in weddings.

7 Must Ask Questions for your Caterer Before Hiring Them

Happily welcoming guest author Rob Lowry with us today... I will now turn the blog over to him :)

As your wedding is the most important day of your life, you must take extra care when hiring your caterer to ensure it’s a great success. The last thing you want is a less than special meal to ruin it for you and your guests. A bad catering service reflects badly on you. So with this in mind I have prepared 7 questions you must ask them before you hire . . .

1. How many weddings have you catered for in the last year?
Recent and regular experience is what suits best here. You want your caterer to know what to expect and how to plan their wedding catering so the day can run as smoothly as possible. Regular bookings are a great recommendation for their standard of work, so don’t be afraid to ask this question and get the answers you want before hiring.

2. How many guests can they cater for?
This may seem an obvious question, but what you should also find out is on average how many guests they cater for. They may be able to cater for 300 guests, but if they normally cater for 100 they may struggle to handle 300. Ideally you want caterers with experience with weddings of similar size to yours.

3. Can they arrange a testing session?
You really shouldn’t hire your wedding caterer without a tasting session. You don’t want your special day overshadowed by the poor standard of the food served. The exception could be if you have attended a wedding catered by that company, and have been very impressed with their food.

4. Can they cater for the different needs of guests?
Everyone has their own tastes, but sometimes a vegetarian and non-vegetarian option isn’t enough detail for each guest. Some may even have severe allergies to certain foods or ingredients that can’t come into contact with anything served on their plate. This is an extreme case, but one that should be covered nonetheless. Allow your guests the chance to note any allergies in a space provided on the rsvp card. It’s vital that you have a caterer who can cope with these demands, as these errors could prove costly.

5. Do they have a catering license and insurance?
A licence shows they have met the recommended health and safety standards. And insurance protects you and them against any mishaps which happen on the day. Remember anything can happen when food is involved, people can be burnt, poisoned or have severe allergic reactions. Insurance is a required safety net.

6. What’s the ratio of staff serving to the number of guests?
To ensure smooth service and happy guests this is important. I once attended a wedding which was so understaffed that you had to wait for ten minutes on each portion of food being served, which ruined the day for everyone. Ideally you want one waiter for every 8-10 guests to ensure service runs smoothly.

7. What serving style do they use?
Some people get so caught up in the excitement of food suggestions that they forget to ask what serving style will be used. Seated service is when the food is put on plates in the kitchen and served to each guest. In Russian style the food is plattered and served by portion to each guest. French style is similar only the plattered food is set tableside and the guests serve themselves and pass the platters along. More table space is required for this and it takes longer to serve. Family style is where the food is left in bowls in the middle of the table and guests help themselves. Buffet style is where guests queue in a line for their food. Which would you like on your wedding day? Decide and be sure to ask if the caterer can offer this service.

So there you have it, 7 simple questions that you must ask your caterer before hiring. Everyone gets caught up in the excitement and stress of planning a wedding, so make sure you make a note of these questions and don’t forget to ask them.

About the Author:
Rob Lowry specialises in making sure your big day really is the best day of your life. His expertise has been sought by brides nationwide as well as by www.personalisedweddinggifts.co.uk where he advises on creating wedding lists for themed and seasonal weddings.