Tips and tricks to finding your perfect wedding caterer can be very helpful! The role of a caterer is integral to your successful wedding day – they provide set up, service, cocktails, cuisine and clean up. They are there for you from your backyard wedding to a cater less venue to the fancy ballrooms. They can help you choose your cuisine style, the proper wine, assist with decor and rentals and work within your budget.
But how to choose this so important wedding professional for your nuptials? What are some tips and tricks to finding your perfect catering match?
We spoke with Heidi Jones, Senior Sales & Event Manager of Vancouver Island’s Truffles Catering, for the answers to some very important questions. We asked her what she thought were the most crucial things to look for in your caterer – so here are her tips & tricks to finding your wedding caterer::
“1} Determine your budget first. You can have your caterer help you figure out how much you are hoping to spend per guest and if you are hosting a bar/table wine or providing a cash bar. These factors will affect your budget and culinary possibilities
2} Look for a caterer that aligns to your ‘couple cuisine philosophy’ such as environmental concerns, any wish to locally source and any particular culinary wishes. Are you looking for a food truck or a personal chef? Be sure to search for your perfect caterer in the right place!
3} Location can be a factor – some caterers will only work locally and others will travel. Those that are willing to travel will be may ask for additional mileage charges and perhaps even accommodation for staff. So if you are planning your wedding at a remote spot keep this in mind.
4) Caterers can help you with food specific day of planning – timelines for receptions and dinners, bar service plans, creating specialty cocktails, ensuring dietary requests service and all kinds of other helpful advice and action . However, most times caterers work with and interact with your wedding planner or the event planner at the venue that you have chosen.
5) Pricing can seem confusing so keep in mind that there will be costs other than the actual food such as staffing, equipment, rentals (glassware, flatware, place settings, linens, tables, chairs, dance floors etc.) and decor (if requested). Price will also fluctuate depending on your choices of cuisine.
6) Caterers will offer pre-set menus or a curated menu, if you desire. Curated menus will be more unique and unusual. The culinary team would be happy to sit and consult with you to bring your vision to life but keep in mind that pricing will be according to the requests you are making and perhaps even the growing season. Strawberries in December? Those would not be local and that will reflect in the price.
6) Caterers know all the best wedding professionals so they will have great advice for you on who to hire and may even offer to contract them on your behalf.
7) Anyone who has tried to deal with liquor licenses in BC will be thrilled to know that your caterer can deal with the BC Board on your behalf – providing they buy the alcohol and serve. They will handle all your alcohol and specialty cocktail needs or will contract in a company who specializes in liquor service.
8) Deposits are required for a caterer to start purchasing your choices – expect the request to be 50% of the estimated total in order to confirm the caterer. The remaining amount is normally due before the event – often 30 to 90 days prior to your wedding day. This is so that your caterer can line up staff, ensure that all product is ordered and that rentals arrive.”
So don’t be in a hurry – take a look at and meet with a few caterers before making your decision. Be sure you feel happy and comfortable around the Catering Team that will be handling your day. Have fun with a tasting that should include the wine pairing (this may require a payment but it is worth every dime for peace of mind!) and enjoy your culinary choices on this most important of days.
Point of Interest…some of Truffle Catering’s Suppliers:
Sun Wing Tomatoes
Top Soil Urban Farms
Silver Rill Corn
Fol Epi Organic Bread and Pastry
Qualicum Cheese Works
Parry Bay Farm
Maple Hill Farms
Fraser Valley Meats
Two Rivers Meats
Level Ground Coffee