5 Things You Need to Look For When Hiring a Caterer for Your Wedding in San Antonio, Texas

In 2020, there were 5.3 marriages per 1,000 residents in Texas. This is a slight increase in the marriage rates from the previous years, and the numbers may continue to go up as we bounce back from the pandemic. With all the lockdowns and travel restrictions in the last two years getting in the way of most wedding plans, it’s no surprise that more people are tying the knot and heavily planning for their weddings now.

Aside from invitations and guest lists, one aspect of wedding planning you shouldn’t overlook is hiring the perfect caterer for one of the most memorable days of your life. Below, we’ll go through the five things you should keep in mind during your caterer search:

Catering menu

When looking to hire a caterer for your wedding, the menu for the night should be one of your first priorities. Research shows that food and drinks are among the most important aspects of a wedding to focus on, as revealed in an informal wedding guest survey online. While some caterers provide classic menu items like prime ribs or grilled chicken, other caterers may offer customized and personalized menus for your night — as we do at Tim The Girl. Being hands-on with your menu selection can help you be on top of health and allergy concerns for you and your guests, as well as make sure you don’t go over your budget. The right caterer should help guide you in the right direction, while also being open to your suggestions.

Menu tasting

This one should go without saying. Agreeing on a menu tasting before finalizing any contracts with your caterer is important, as you narrow down further food options to ensure your expectations will be met for your special night. While you want your food to look fantastic and appetizing on the night itself, you’ll want to make sure the taste meets its appearance — and a menu tasting is the only way to determine that, regardless of the catering style you ultimately go with. Here at Tim The Girl, we offer menu tastings for up to 4 guests, so you can make sure you get valuable input from family or friends as well.

Catering style

Next, you’ll want to figure out what catering style you need for your wedding meal. Doing so will help you narrow down your list of caterers, as some can offer any dinner style while others are focused on specific types. Keep in mind the five dinner styles to see what fits best with your wedding and theme: plated sit-down, family-style, buffet-style, self-serve stations, and cocktail-style dinners; the reception style you choose will affect not only your menu for the night, but the cost factor of the event as well. Choosing the catering style for your special night also ties into the design and layout of your wedding venue. Not all venues can accommodate for buffet-style dinners, and other venues may be a better fit for cocktail-style dinners. Figuring out the right balance between your preferred catering style and the venue will ensure everything runs smoothly, so don’t hesitate to ask your catering candidates for their input.

Competent staff

A catering company is only as good as its staff. Hiring a caterer that offers the best service will make sure nothing goes south on your night. This applies for the staff behind the scenes too. In particular, the catering staff should be led by a competent operations manager, who will handle the business side of the event, such as ensuring you stay on budget. A competent operations manager will make sure your wedding night catering is a success and that no guests leave hungry or unsatisfied. On top of great service, these professionals take care of the little details too. Things that help the catering staff fit your wedding theme, such as the way they are dressed or even the number of servers at the event (based on your catering style of choice) can help transform the event into a more immersive experience for you and your guests.

Venues and other packages

Now that we’ve got the food out of the way, you also want to check if your caterer will be familiar with or close to your venue of choice. This will prevent any logistical mishaps like delays in arrivals and setups, which would be a nightmare for anyone’s special day. If you’re in the early stages of wedding planning, some caterers also offer venue recommendations or referrals, along with other additional packages like photo and video coverage, to make sure the reception goes smoothly and is well-documented. When in doubt, ask your caterer if they offer any additional services you may need.

Article contributed by Ressie James