Wedding Planning 101: Seven questions you should ask your wedding caterer

No bride wants to think about it, but a catering disaster can strike on a wedding day.

The team at Cotton Blues has tended to thousands of weddings, and they know all the ins and outs of catering. Together, they’ve compiled a list of the most critical questions you should be asking your wedding caterer so you can be sure the business you hire is up to the challenge.

1. Will we run out of food?

Avoid caterers that want you to plan using “piece counts.” For example, this is where a caterer intends to bill you for 200 crab cakes for 200 guests.

“Piece counting” is an efficient business model for the caterer because it allows them to assure no food is wasted. But “piece counts” are lousy news for a bride and groom and places a significant burden on them to guess the right amount of food.

A quality wedding caterer will use a per-head pricing model.

A stellar caterer will do the same, but also prepare for a 10% increase over your final guarantee.


Caterers that are in the business for the long haul know their name is on the line when they cater a wedding, and they’ll want to ensure your family and friends are well fed.

2. Are there hidden fees?

Just like buying a car, sometimes you may only consider the sticker price. But anyone that’s purchased a car before knows you’re also going to have to cough up extra cash for the taxes and title.

Once your caterer gives you their estimate, be sure and ask them if that includes the tax, service fees or any other hidden charges.

3. What happens once the food is delivered?

Some caterers may only give you a quote for the food, but who’s responsible for the food once it arrives at your venue? A caterer that offers servers can be critical to ensuring your friends and family enjoy your wedding.

Is the food being dropped off?
Who’s responsible for serving guests food and drinks?
Who’s maintaining that trays are full and food stays at the proper temperature?
Who’s responsibility is it to bus tables?


Your wedding is your day, and it’s supposed to be stress-free. If your caterer can affordably provide some servers, take them up on it.

4. Does the price include serving dishes, plates, cutlery, tables, and tablecloths?

An experienced caterer knows how to make your wedding food beautiful. Be sure and ask the caterer if they have a creative way to display the food.

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Disposable serving trays do not display as well as a themed approach using heavy duty platters.

If it’s within your budget, your display should be consistent with your theme and venue.

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A great caterer will offer creative ways to display your food. Choosing real cutlery and serving dishes can make a big difference in your presentation.

5. Can your caterer provide a reference list of previous wedding parties?

We now live in a world where you can find ratings of most businesses online. However, many independent caterers are small operations and crowdsourced reviews of their company may not register online.

If you’re considering using a “mom and pop” catering operation, don’t hesitate to ask if they can show you some references or testimonials from their past work. It may also be wise to ask your venue coordinator if they’ve ever worked with the caterer you’re considering?

6. Does your caterer use a contract?

When it comes to booking a caterer, contracts are a good thing.

It’s typical for a caterer to want money in advance of the event, but you deserve some guarantees as well.

Do not give your caterer money unless you have a contract that guarantees they will execute your function or return your money.

Local news stations have covered hundreds of wedding day horror stories where caterers have taken cash and then vanished.

Further, many caterers operate on thin margins, and they sometimes go out of business before your event. Don’t get burned by a fly by the night caterer.

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7. Does your caterer work out of a state health inspected facility?

The thought of a bunch of your wedding guests getting sick right after your wedding is a nightmare. If your caterer works out of a facility that is state health inspected the bar will be very high for them to run a clean operation. Another plus, the history of a state health inspected facility can usually be pulled up online with a quick google search.

If you have any questions or want to learn more about ways Cotton Blues can help at your next catering event email Ryan at or call 601.450.0510

Or visit our Event & Wedding Catering webpage.

All Rights Reserved. Cotton Blues 2018.


20 replies
  1. Bethany Birchridge
    Bethany Birchridge says:

    I completely agree that running out of food can be bad for a wedding. My uncle will be getting married next week, so I think that he and his fiancee would like to learn of these tips. One tip I’ve heard is that you want to have a caterer that can fulfill the needs of different types of guests; for example, small children, vegetarians, and those with allergies.

  2. Indian Caterers London UK
    Indian Caterers London UK says:

    Your caterer may specialize in preparing unique foods that you may not have necessarily thought of. By asking them what menu items they suggest, you are more likely to choose the most delicious options.

  3. Duncan Lance
    Duncan Lance says:

    There is a lot to look for when choosing a wedding caterer. However, I do like that the article recommends asking about everything that the caterer will provide. After all, you will want to know whether or not you need to supply any dinnerware or if the caterer will do it for you.

  4. Taylor Anderson
    Taylor Anderson says:

    A lot of my friends are getting married and engaged, so they’ve been wondering how to cater for their weddings. I like how you mentioend that you should ask your caterer to give a list of previous events they’ve catered and show you the reviews. Thanks for all the great tips on how to choose a caterer!

  5. Kenneth Gladman
    Kenneth Gladman says:

    I like that you mentioned asking for a list of past clients and maybe a portfolio if they have one. This can help you get an idea of their quality. If you want to you can contact past clients as well and ask about their experience.

  6. Hector Uba
    Hector Uba says:

    Thanks for the tips on the questions you should ask your caterer before hiring them. I agree that you should figure out if the price includes all of the extras and the cutlery so you don’t have to pay more for it. I’d imagine it’s just a lot easier to find a caterer that does provide this stuff so you don’t have to worry about it.

  7. Sariah Meagle
    Sariah Meagle says:

    My mom will be hosting an event for the homeowners. It was explained here that she should consider if they will run out of food. Furthermore, it’s recommended to hire a trusted event catering to quality services.

  8. David Jones
    David Jones says:

    I agree with you that it is always good to research before hiring a caterer because this exercise not only help us to understand about catering service, but also it can ensure us to make a event or wedding successful. Thanks

  9. Kenneth Gladman
    Kenneth Gladman says:

    I think it is important to ensure you have enough food for your guests. You should definitely get a little more food than you think you need. You never know when some extra people will trickle in to the party.

  10. Amelie Yates
    Amelie Yates says:

    Wonderful tips! Thanks for sharing all the information regarding this. It was worth reading your post. You have mentioned some smart instruction and the way of your writing is excellent. I think it’s very important to discuss everything with the planning of a wedding caterer. So that there will be no misunderstanding later. No doubt the information you shared here will help people regarding this.

  11. Taylor Bishop
    Taylor Bishop says:

    I wanted to thank you for going over some questions that you should ask a wedding caterer. It’s good to know that you should ask if they have a creative way to display the food. Perhaps it could be good to see if how they display the food could match the theme of the wedding.

  12. Penelope Smith
    Penelope Smith says:

    I liked that you pointed out that you should at how much food you will get. I liked that you pointed out that you should stay away from the whole “piece count” method. That is good to know because of my sister wedding catering soon.

  13. Desain Undangan Pernikahan
    Desain Undangan Pernikahan says:

    Goood day! This is kind of off topic but I ned some advice from an established
    blog. Is it diffficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal butt I can figure things out pretty quick.
    I’m thinking about setting uup my own but I’m noot sure where to start.
    Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Cheers

  14. Sam Li
    Sam Li says:

    I love what you said about contracts and how they are a good thing when hiring a caterer. Booking a reliable caterer is essential when it comes to planning a wedding. My brother is getting married in the fall, so I’ll make sure to find a service that cares about filling his needs in terms of food.

  15. Callum Palmer
    Callum Palmer says:

    There is usually a lot going on when dealing with a wedding. For mine, I’ll for sure have to get the food handled. Asking all of these questions I think is a good start to that.

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