Finding the Best Washington DC Wedding Caterer

It’s easy to get swept up in the romance of the moment when you are planning your wedding. In many cases, you and your fiancé will be consumed with the love that you have for one another and the decisions you have to make to bring your vision for your ceremony and reception to life.

However, it’s critical that you also remember that you are hosting a celebration and that your guests deserve an incredible experience. Choosing the right Washington DC wedding caterer will ensure that you are able to treat your guests to a delectable meal that they will remember for years to come. 

Here’s how to select one of the best Maryland wedding caterers:

Evaluate Your Budget Before You Start Your Search

When you are trying to select a Washington DC wedding caterer, you will find that you have a lot of options available to you. Since you will be faced with several decisions when you hire a caterer, it’s important that you evaluate your budget and determine how much you want to spend on the food and catering service at your wedding. There are several factors that may influence the cost of catering services, such as:

  • The type of meal that you want to offer. A buffet meal, for example, is more cost-effective than a full plated meal. 
  • The food that you select for the meal. An entrée that consists of steak and seafood will cost more than one that includes chicken and vegetables. 
  • The number of people that will be attending your wedding. 

In most cases, your wedding caterer will give you a cost per head, and that covers everything that is included in the catering package. Each caterer will provide a different level of service, so it’s important that you understand what is included as part of your price quote.

Search for Caterers Who Will Complement Your Wedding Style

The style of meal that you serve as well as the type of food that is offered at your wedding should complement the theme and atmosphere of the event. For example, if you are planning a rustic outdoor wedding with a barn reception, you will want to focus on a more casual meal. If you are opting for a grand ballroom, then a formal plated meal may be the best option for your event. Many caterers often a variety of meal options, including a buffet meal, a strolling dinner, family-style dining, and plated meals served to each individual guest.

In addition to selecting the right meal style, you will also want to choose menu items that coordinate with the wedding theme. In a diverse region like Washington D.C., you will be able to find caterers that specialize in a variety of food types, including international and ethnic fare.

Begin Your Hunt for the Perfect Caterer Early in the Planning Process

Immediately following your engagement, your head is likely swirling with ideas for your big day. As you make a plan to transform the wedding of your dreams into reality, you will want to remember which vendors should be hired first. Most couples first book their ceremony and reception venues as well as their wedding photographer early in the process. Unfortunately, many couples overlook the importance of hiring one of the top Maryland wedding caterers shortly after they become engaged. 

Many of the best caterers book their events up to a year in advance. In order to get the best selection, you will want to think about hiring your caterer at least 9-12 months prior to your wedding day. As soon as you have a date confirmed with your venue, it is time to start searching for caterers and determining which one will work best for your wedding.

Interview Several Maryland Wedding Caterers with Positive Reviews

The first step to finding the right wedding caterer for your wedding is to set up interviews with caterers in the community who come widely recommended. In most cases, you can visit the caterer’s website and social profiles to read reviews from previous customers. When sifting for the reviews, look for couples who held their wedding at the same event venue that you have chosen. This will give you a good idea of how the caterer you are considering performed in that space.

During the interview process, you will want to ask the wedding caterer several important questions, including:

  • Are you available on our wedding date? 
  • What is the cost per head and what does your contract include?
  • Do you accommodate special dietary needs or preferences?
  • Are there additional options that we can add to our package?
  • Can we see a sample menu of what you offer for weddings?
  • Are we able to schedule a tasting in advance? 

Schedule Tasting Appointments with Your Top Choices

After you have interviewed several wedding caterers in the Washington DC area, you will want to set up tasting appointments with two or three of your top choices. There is no better way to judge which caterer has the best food for your event than to taste it for yourself. 

When you are scheduling the tasting appointments, make sure to specify which menu items you are most interested in for your event. This will allow you to enjoy a sample of what your guests will be presented with on your wedding day. During the tasting, take note of how long it took to move between courses, what the presentation was like and how the food was prepared. 

The tasting appointments are often one of the most enjoyable aspects of wedding planning. Couples will sometimes turn them into special date nights, where they get to enjoy a delicious meal together while talking about the plans for their upcoming nuptials.

Review the Contract and Sign With Your Preferred Washington DC Wedding Caterer

Once you have discussed the options at-length with the caterers you are considering and after you have tasted the food that they serve their clients, you will want to book your top choice as soon as possible. Before you sign on the dotted line, you need to review the contract and make sure that all of their services are outlined. The contract should confirm the date of the event, the time that they will arrive and their processes for both set-up and removal at the venue. It also should identify what type of meal service you have selected, your menu options and any accommodations that will be made for those with special dietary needs. Confirm that all additional options that you have selected have been added to the contract, and make sure that the price per person is clearly identified. You will want to know what to pay and when to pay it before you finalize the contract with your Washington DC wedding caterer.

Whether you opt for a budget-friendly buffet meal with delicious options or prefer a luxurious plated meal with gourmet delicacies, you will still want to partner with a trusted caterer who will provide you and your guests with amazing service. The meal is an important element of your wedding reception, and it’s the perfect way to thank your guests for joining you for this momentous occasion. 

For more information on selecting the best wedding vendors in the Washington DC region, contact us today.