Top 5 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Caterer
By Luke Ellery

24 October 2017

Catering is certain to be a memorable part of your wedding. Second to the vows, the receptionis (probably) everyone's favourite part of a wedding, largely because it’s an opportunity to share some delicious food with friends and family. Blue Carrot Catering have catered hundreds of beautiful weddings, so it’s safe to say they know what they are talking about when it comes to pulling your wedding reception off without a hitch. In this collaborative article with the team at Blue Carrot Catering, we are bringing to you the 5 most important questions to ask your caterer to help create your perfect day that gives both you and your guests something special to remember.

1/ What kind of menus do you offer?  

Image from Blue Carrot Catering 

You’ll find most catering companies offer set menus and buffets, but it’s important to check what else they can do. 

Ideally, your caterer will offer a diverse range of menu options; including plated meals, family-style buffets, and a BBQ option with marinated meats, fresh fish, organic salads and delicious desserts. You know you have the right caterer when you’re spoilt for choice. A range of catering options means you can find the perfect style to fit your wedding aesthetic, season, and (of course) your taste preference. 
Some caterers offer plated meal options that allow you to work with professional chefs to develop dishes that reflect your own style personality.

Once you’ve decided what you are going to eat you can choose how your guests can order their meal. One option is to include your menu on the invitations so guests can indicate their choice on their RSVP - an experienced caterer will always have extras for guests who change their mind.  
Personalising your menu is very important; caterers love working with couples who want to incorporate something meaningful to the menu - like a favourite family dish or even bring along their own freshly caught crays and pāua. If your wedding is bringing two cultures together work with your caterer to create innovative fusion menus. 
Remember to check your caterer can provide for guests with special dietary requirements. And don’t forget the kids – ask if special meals for the young ones are available. 

2/ What’s the price range of the menus and how many dishes are included? 

Image from Blue Carrot Catering

Planning a wedding is a master-class in budget management. Check the price range of the menu options on offer, ask how many dishes are included in each option, and remember to find out about any extras – for example, are there additional costs for kids’ meals or dishes for people with special dietary requirements. 

It’s very important to choose a catering company that has solid experience in event management and wedding planning. Then you can rest easy that you’ve chosen a company that will work with you to create the wedding you’ve dreamed of . . . and one that fits your wallet.

3/ Have you ever catered an event at my wedding venue? 

Image from Blue Carrot Catering

Where are you having your wedding? Is it on a boat in the Wellington harbour, in a marquee on a family friend’s garden, in a beautifully converted barn, at Wellington Zoo, or maybe at a traditional venue like The Boat Shed. It’s important that your caterer is familiar with the venue; either because they have catered there before, or because you have given them plenty of information. 

Each place is unique so it’s important to ask your caterer:

  • if they know your venue 
  • when they will need access to the venue 
  • how much time they will need to set up on the day.

4/ Do you have a liquor licence? 

Image from Blue Carrot Catering 

This is important to check. Choosing a caterer who has a liquor licence means there’s one less thing for you to worry about. 

Caterers with a liquor license will ideally have employed experienced bar managers that can bring everything – including glassware – to your venue. Often, the caterer can provide a tray service as well as the bar service. If you book a vendor that is fully licensed and can supply the aforementioned amenities, then all you have to do is enjoy the service and the drinks. 

5/ Can we have a tasting before we confirm our menu?

Image from Blue Carrot Catering

Check whether your potential caterer offers this service. You don’t want to leave anything to chance – by having a tasting you know exactly what you are going to get on the day. Tastings are also a great opportunity for couples to meet their (could-be) vendor and chat with the team to make tweaks to the menu ahead of time. Don't forget to find out if the menu tasting has an extra cost beforehand. 

6/ Can you provide recent references?

wedding, catering, planning, platter, finger food,

Image from Blue Carrot Catering

This one is a bonus, but it’s still important. Check if your caterer can provide references, or check out their Facebook Page and look for reviews of the company. References/ reviews will give you a great insight into the quality of their food and service, as well as the overall experience of working with your caterer.