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{GB} The Art of Working with a Wedding Caterer

For many happy couples, there is no more special day than their “big day”.

However, too often, the big day turns into a “big stress” for the bride and groom.

Your wedding day is your day, and should be executed according to your specifications. Many times event details are not carried out to your exact wishes. The breakdown in communication could be anyone’s fault, but that doesn’t help you in your greatest hour of need.

Your wedding reception is a massive undertaking with many moving parts. Finding a caterer who serves good food is hard enough, but finding one that can flawlessly execute things the way you want is an ever harder task.

With more than 25 years experience in catering weddings, we’ve learned a thing or three about your big day. We have catered thousands of weddings and know how to make the big day run smoothly. Here are a few tips from “inside the industry” in regards to working with your wedding caterer.

Our hope is that these ideas will help us (the caterer) help you (the happy couple) have a wonderful experience:

• Ask questions – if you’re not exactly sure how something is going to be done, ask for more information. One of the biggest reason problems arise is a lack of understanding, not a lack of communication. Just because you talk to your caterer ever day does not mean you both understand the expectations of the other. Find out exactly what is on the block to get done and what the caterer will be doing.

• Be realistic – too often, brides and grooms make crazy requests. Yes, it is your day, but there is a limit to the magic that any caterer can perform. Ask for the moon, but be realistic in what you expect to receive.

• Stay calm – above all else, don’t get flustered and don’t be close-minded. Wedding caterers execute a LARGE number of events every year; most happy couples get married once (or sometimes twice) in their lifetime. Even though ideas that a caterer presents may seem a little off the beaten path or different than you pictured, listen to them.

• Special requests – One thing that caterers are asked for all the time is exotic food, specialty foods or food that is not in season. While most requests like this can be fulfilled, they do come with higher costs. Just because you can buy a pound of “food X” for $5 in March doesn’t not always mean you can do the same in September, where prices might be $25 per pound. This is not our attempt at price gouging; this is simply the law of nature. Be prepared to pay for your special requests.

• The details – if there are special needs you have for the big day, it is vitally important you communicate that to us. For example, if many of your guests have dietary needs; if you need kosher / vegetarian / organic items used in preparation; if your whole wedding theme is in pink, the catering staff should not be wearing red roses on their lapel.

• Decision maker – should the need arise on the day of your wedding to change something, make a request, alter plans, etc. it is best if the bride and groom designate a single person to make those decisions / requests of the catering staff. Likewise, the catering staff can designate one person to converse with your decision maker. This ensures that things are handled properly and in a timely manner.

The goal of a wedding caterer is to be a valuable spoke in the wheel of your big day. Whatever your style, your budget or your preference, there is a caterer ready to help you out. Keep these tips in mind and your day will be less stressful, more enjoyable and easier to execute.

{GB-Guest Blogger} Bennett Brown is the Owner and President of LowCountry Barbecue, a leading Atlanta wedding caterer serving happy couples on their big day for more 25 years. LowCountry specializes in events, big or small, across the country; no location is too far and no party is too much.

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