The largest chunk of your budget would most probably go to the caterer that's why it's very important to know how many guests you are going to have from the beginning. And -
food = enjoying a wedding
yucky food = bad wedding experience
Believe me, no matter how good you've managed all the other stuff, guests would remember that the food was not good at your wedding. Well, I do remember.
I've been getting a lot of food tasting event invitations in my mail and since my weekend was suddenly freed up, I decided to go attend Hizon's Catering food tasting event at One Esplanade. I have helped my friends choose their caterer, but I've never really gone to a food tasting (left that to the lovebirds teehee). Anyway, from that experience here are some tips that I think would help when you are evaluating a caterer:
1. Menu Composition - there are many parts to a meal. Are you having a breakfast, lunch, merienda or a dinner reception? You'd normally have to choose the soup, appetizers, salad, main meal, dessert and beverage. Choosing a cuisine makes things a whole lot easier. And, don't forget to ask Sweetie if his relatives have any food restrictions (i.e. most of them are diabetic, have high blood etc.). Also, ask the caterer what their specialty is.
2. Cost - the cheapest is not necessarily the best. Find out what the cost includes - food, venue rental, chairs & tables, set-up, flowers/decor, waiters and other services. Does it include freebies like the sound system? LCD projector? Sometimes it's better just to hire a caterer for what they do best - the food - and just get someone else to handle the decor, sounds etc. And what are the payment terms?
3. Service - there were quite a number of things falling down on the floor (thus creating banging sounds) during the event. You don't want plates and stuff falling down on the floor during your wedding reception do you? It was quite annoying, plus the first table we sat down in was see-sawing so requested to be transferred another table. Make sure the waiters and service staff are attentive and are capable of exercising last minute instructions during the reception.
4. Taste - remember, not yummy food = not happy guests. `Nuff said.
*Photos by Jay de Jesus.