He popped the question. She’s wearing a diamond. The biggest day of your life is coming and you want it to be perfect. The church? Check. The dress? Check. The caterer? No check. Maybe it’s because you don’t know where to start when it comes to wedding catering.
Set the Budget
The first item on your agenda when seeking a caterer should be determining what your budget will be. Don’t forget to look at the big picture. Take into consideration what is being spent on your entire wedding: the dress, the tuxedos, the decorations, the church, the reception hall, the rehearsal dinner, the bridal party gifts…all of it. If you don’t know how much you have, you don’t know how much you can spend.
Finding a Caterer
The Internet is brimming with websites and listings of restaurants who specialize in wedding catering at the click of a mouse, but don’t underestimate the power of word of mouth. Ask friends and family if they know a local company that has provided them with quality wedding catering. And remember, you do not have to hire the first caterer you find. A true professional at wedding catering knows he or she must provide a potential customer with an “interview” complete with menu samples.
Once you know approximately how much money you have to spend on a caterer, you can then narrow in on how much you can spend per person. Regardless of whether you go with buffet style or plate service, caterers will charge you basically “per plate.” You will need to balance the number of people you want to invite with how full or sophisticated you want your menu to be. Remember, not everyone you invite is going to be able to make it. Generally, about 80% of guests who live locally will come to a wedding. Only about 50% of guests from out of town will be willing or able to attend.
Not every couple’s guest list is the same. There are many factors to consider when deciding on a caterer and a menu for your unique collection of family and friends. Are both the bride and groom’s families from similar ethnic and cultural backgrounds? You want to try to compromise and create an event that all of your guests will be comfortable with. A buffet dinner can accommodate different food preferences and allergies by offering two or three entrees and a variety of sides and salads.
Think Outside the Box
Your wedding banquet is going to be the highlight of the year for many of your guests. Make it memorable. Don’t be afraid to go ethnic, even if your guest list is not. Most people enjoy something different, and again, offering a choice or going buffet style can alleviate concerns about varying tastes.
If you live in the Jacksonville, FL area and are interested in ethnic wedding catering, visit Mamboscubancafe.comor call (904) 374-2046.
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