Essential Questions For Your Wedding Caterer

Elegant Wedding Table | Essex Wedding Planner


When planning your wedding day choosing your catering team will be one of the most important decisions you make. They are responsible for so much more than feeding your guests, so careful consideration should be given as to which caterers you decide to entrust with your big day.

It’s a decision not to be taken lightly, so it’s essential that you carry out the necessary research on your shortlisted caterers before you even make an enquiry with them. There are also various important questions that you should ask before booking your catering team, as well as throughout your wedding planning journey.

Want to find out more? Take a read of this article to learn all you need to know to ensure you book the perfect caterers for your big day.

Before you make an enquiry

  • Does their style align with the vision you have for your wedding day
  • Have you taken a look at the sample menu’s offered on their website, do they match the style of food you were hoping to serve to your guests
  • Are they based local to you, or your venue (think attending tastings)

Initial enquiry stage

  • Are they available on your wedding day
  • Have they worked at your venue before, or, if you are planning a marquee wedding are they familiar with this style of wedding
  • Are they able to give you a guide to their pricing based on your requirements (guest numbers, wedding date, timings)
  • Do they have the necessary insurances, such as public liability insurance

Once you have established their availability, pricing and the other essential details listed above you can then dig a little deeper to establish if they are the best caterers for you.

Prior to booking

  • Are they happy to adapt their sample menus so you can create a feast that is perfectly suited to your wedding day
  • Do they provide all waiting staff and is this included in their provisional quotation
  • If you have booked a dry hire venue or are hosting your reception in a marquee have they included the cost of all kitchen equipment within their provisional quotation
  • Do they supply bartenders for your evening reception (if required) and what is the additional cost
  • If they supply all beverages can you choose which brands and how do they charge for their any drink they supply, (number of bottles allocated or number of bottles opened)
  • Can you choose to supply your own beverages, will they serve these to your guests and do they charge corkage
  • Does their quotation include VAT
  • Does their quotation include linen, tableware & glassware and are you able to upgrade any of these if required
  • Will the catering team be responsible for setting the tables, including laying out favours, table numbers and place cards
  • Will the catering team be responsible for the clean up and is there an additional charge for this
  • Are they able to operate a cash bar if required
  • Are they able to slice your wedding cake and is there an additional cost for this
  • What are their payments terms
  • Will they confirm all decisions agreed in writing

Whilst planning your wedding

  • Can they share guide timings to help you can create your wedding day timeline
  • When will they require your final menu choice
  • When will they require your final guest numbers


Now, I am by no means suggesting that you bombard your caterers with each and every one of the above questions. Instead, you may wish to use this article as a handy guide so you can decide which points are relevant to your wedding day, and remember the answers to some of the above questions may be answered on their website or within their terms & conditions.

I do hope you have found the above information helpful and if you would like to read any other wedding planning advice head over to my website where you will find an abundance of top tips and handy hints.  Or, if you are interested in working with me please do get in touch via the contact page on my website.  I am a wedding planner located in Essex specialising in planning fun, relaxed, elegant weddings and parties with a particular passion for marquee celebrations.

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Image Credit: Hannah Phipps Photography 



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Essex wedding planner Hayley Jayne Weddings & Events in garden

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Hayley Jayne Weddings & Events
Brentwood, Essex

01277 226785
07889 171453

About Hayley

With a keen eye for detail, organisational skills that are second to none and the love of a “to do” list it was inevitable that Hayley would become an events planner. She started her career within the legal profession and was a Personal Assistant for 14 years before training with the UKAWP to become a professional wedding and events planner and then going on to launch “Hayley Jayne Weddings & Events”.

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Hayley Jayne Weddings & Events trained with the UKAWP