Finding YOUR Wedding Professionals-Part Two: Caterers and Bakeries

Choosing your Caterer and a Bakery…

This is the second part in our blog series to help couples make the most of  our Wedding Faire on January 31. We are providing a list of questions to ask when you visit a wedding professional at a wedding faire or at an individual booking appointment. Remember you are interviewing them to be part of your special day. You will want to be comfortable with their services and they should make you feel at ease when dealing with them.

Caterers and cocktails

The Food…

  • Are you licensed by the State of California?
  • Keeping in mind the budget and guest count, does the caterer have recommendations for food choices?
  • Do they specialize in certain dishes?
  • Can you create a custom menu for your event? Will they prepare or serve a special dish for
    you?
  • Do they charge by event packages or is everything a la carte? 
  • Can you schedule a food tasting? If so, what is the charge?
  • If you are looking for organic, or specialized diets, can they accommodate your needs?
  • Do they provide décor for appetizer or buffet stations?
  • Can they do a theme menu? Is there an extra charge?
  • What is the difference in cost between passed appetizers?
  • What is the cost difference between a served dinner and a buffet, for your menu? It is ok to ask what is a better price for the menu you are planning.
  • What do they charge for children’s meals? Vendor meals?
  • Will your staff help with the cutting of the cake? Is there an additional fee?
  • What do they do with the extra food? Can it be packaged up for guests to take home or donated to a local shelter?
  • How far in advance of the event do they need the final headcount?

The Bar…

  • Do you have a liquor license to serve alcohol for my event?
  • Do you provide alcoholic beverages for the bar and bartenders?
  • How do you charge for alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks? Is it based on consumption or per
    person?
  • Is the champagne toast after the ceremony included in the meal cost or is it extra?

 

“Let them eat cake”  Many couples are opting to provide small desserts for their guests instead of a traditional tiered cake. Here are some ideas to help stay within your budget, vision and a successful meeting

Getting down to business…

  • Do they offer cake tasting? What is the charge?
  • How many wedding cakes do they schedule for a weekend?
  • How is the pricing done? Is it by serving and does it depend on the desing?
  • Are all of the cake flavors and fillings priced the same?
  • What is the minimum per person cost for your cakes or desserts?
  • Do they have a menu of pre-priced cake combinations? Do they have a written list of
    pricing and options I can take with me?
  • What are the delivery fees?
  • What happens if my cake is damaged in transit?
  • Do they provide cake toppers, a cake knife and server, and any décor for the cake table? Are there any available for purchase or rent?
  • How far in advance should I order my cake?

The Cake…

  • Do they have a portfolio of cakes that you have done?
  • Do they have any specialties?
  • Can they design a custom cake for my theme? Is there an extra charge?
  • Can they decorate a cake to match a photo I supply?
  • If you have a favorite flavor or family recipe are they willing to make the cake using that?
  • Will they help you design a cake, if you are unsure of what you want?
  • What flavors and fillings are available? Is there an additional charge for any?
  • Can they accommodate dietary restrictions i.e. Gluten Free, Vegan, or Sugar Free?
  • What icing options are there?
  • Do they work in fondant, use buttercream, can they make sugar paste, gum paste or chocolate decorations?
  • Are they willing to work with your florist if there will be fresh flowers on your cake?
  • Will they help you preserve the top tier of your cake for your first anniversary?
  • Can they make a groom’s cake? Is it priced the same as the wedding cake?
  • Are they willing to make a smaller cake for you to cut, and sheet cakes for serving to the guests?
  • Do they offer cupcakes to accompany your main cake?

If your budget is tight, you might think about having a smaller cake to cut, and order sheet cakes from the bakery in your flavors. Or think about having a “cutting cake” and then cupcakes for your guests. It can save time and possibly a serving charge from your caterer.

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