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Catering Checklist

When thinking about hiring a catering company for your wedding reception or special event, use this checklist to help you get through the process smoothly. Be sure to consult with catering companies as far in advance of your event as possible so you will be able to hire someone who can provide you with the food you want.

Catering Budget
Most catering companies charge per person. You will need to know the number of people who will be attending your event and how much you are willing to spend before you consult with catering companies.

What Kind of Meal?
What time of day is your event? There are a number of options when deciding what kind of meal service you will need. Many catering companies offer a wide variety of meals, including brunch, lunch, dinner, hors d’oeuvres, and dessert.

Catering Staff
If you are having a casual event, you may consider a buffet-style meal. For more formal events, catering companies offer a variety of serving options from passed appetizers to waiter staff for sit-down meals. The wait staff could be dressed in uniforms or tuxedos with white gloves, depending on the formality of your event. Discuss these options with your catering company.

There are different styles of food, and a wide range of catering options to suit your needs. Think about whether you would like continental, regional, ethnic, or theme (such as “the beach” or “country-western”) foods. Some catering companies may or may not be able to accommodate more exotic or unusual food tastes, so be sure to discuss your ideas with them up front.

Special Needs Catering
Consider the tastes and dietary restrictions of your guests. Will there be a lot of vegetarians? Do you need to serve kosher or halal foods? Discuss these with your catering company so all of your guests will be able to enjoy the meal you are providing.

Alcohol at parties can be expensive. Be sure to go over all your options with your catering company. Here are some options: open bar, cash bar, beer and wine only, champagne, or specialty (such as martini bars).

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