Ask for recommendations
Recommendations and word of mouth can be the most reliable way of finding great suppliers. Venues often provide a list of suppliers they prefer to work with, and you may be able to find out who is there most often. This will also mean the caterers will know the venue and set up very well. Alternatively, ask your photographer, florist and other suppliers whether they can recommend a great caterer. They may well have contacts from previous weddings who they have experienced firsthand.
Search magazines and online directories
Do your own homework to find caterers who appeal to you. This is a great way of making initial contacts before you investigate further. If you'd like a specific style of menu, for example Asian food, it can also be a good idea to visit excellent local restaurants in case they offer an external catering service. Be sure to choose a caterer who specialises in that style of food, or has certainly offered it on numerous other occasions rather than somebody who is keen to experiment.
Do they fit the bill?
When you've found two or three potential caterers, pay each one a visit with your ideas and a budget guideline. A good caterer should be able to suggest a menu that both suits your wedding style and your budget.
Before you choose a menu to serve to your guests, taste it first. Ask your caterer whether you can have a tasting, so that you can check the quality of the food and also choose your favourite menu. This is also a good opportunity to choose wine you feel best suits your menu.
Ask for testimonials
A satisfied customer will usually send their caterer and other suppliers a note of thanks after the big day. Ask your potential caterer whether you can see these testimonials - it's always good to know that others in your situation were happy with the service they received.
We would like to say a big thank you to Co-Ordination Catering hire for contributing this blog. For more tips and advice on organising your wedding please view our Wedding Planner Series blogs.