One of the big questions and expenses you'll deal with will be the food and drink decisions. You and the groom need to sit down from the beginning and decide if you'll just be serving appetizers or full meals. Will the food be buffet style or a sit-down dinner? After you decide which way you're going to go, make sure you start asking friends and family for referrals. Also be sure to ask your photographer, florist or videographer – they may have a favorite they work with on a regular basis.
After you accumulate quite a few names, make the phone calls to find out what they specialize in and their price range. Choose your favorite ones and set up an interview to ask questions. Make sure they provide a tasting session as well.
There are several questions you need to ask. Print the questions up and take the list with you:
What menu items do they suggest (it is only a suggestion) and what's the cost per person? How many other weddings will they accept to handle that week/weekend? You don't want them to be so slammed that they can't give you the time or quality you deserve. How does the cost per person of a buffet versus that of a sit-down dinner compare? Does the cost per person just cover the food, or are charges such as staff, rentals, and linens included? Is there a set-up or clean-up fee? How much do they charge if the reception goes over the time limit? Do they provide everything, such as the linens, glasses, plates, silverware, tables, chairs, etc . . . What do they not include? Will they be the one handling the wedding? If not can you meet the person who will be? How much time is needed for set-up and clean-up? Do they charge for beverage service? Will they provide food for the other vendors? If so, is there an extra charge? What deposit do they require to hold the date and when will the rest of the money be due? Can you see pictures of previous events and speak to former clients for referrals?
Once you choose the right caterer for you, ask them to draw up an outline of what you both discussed, including costs, menu possibilities and what the fee includes.
The food type should be centered around the season, time of the wedding and perhaps a certain theme to match your wedding.
Choose both stationary and passed hors d’ oeuvres, as well as both hot and cold ones. If you want to incorporate an old family recipe, make sure your caterer can do so. If it is a concern, be sure to ask what dietary options are available.
Your caterer should be able to help you with your wine and champagne choices and help you figure out how much you will need for the amount of people attending.
Women tend to lean toward white wines, while men usually like red wines.
You'll want champagne for toasting – since this is the most expensive part of your wine budget – use it only for toasting. You should plan about two glasses of champagne per person, unless your wedding will be very long or you know there will be many toasts.
If your budget is tight, there is nothing wrong with having a cocktail reception or a dessert reception. Actually more and more people are opting for these type of receptions. Not only is it easier on the pocket, it is also less stressful and time consuming.
References from Nina Callaway
This article has been submitted in affiliation with http://www.Prye.Com/ which is a site for Wedding Invitations .