Post # 1
My fiance and I just started planning our wedding and already I am fed up with caterers. Why are they unable to be upfront and honest? I talk to one who refuses to tell me what their service charge is until I come in for a consultation, another who more than doubles the amount of time I requested a bartender for, another that ignores my questions but insists that she needs to know my fiances name and theme of my wedding before proceeding. No wonder why women turn into bridezillas. Is anyone else having this much trouble?
Post # 2
I loved our caterer. The venue provided them but they also did off-site catering. They provided a packet with a very detailed break down of exactly what everthing would cost upfront. It was wonderful, there were absolutly no surprises! Keep looking! I wouldn’t waste my time with people who are already causing you this much stress!
Post # 3
I have to say, my vendors are all great. I’m having my reception at my parent’s home, so they have needed to be extra hands on as well. I’d continue looking for a professional that you are happier with.
Post # 4
Hmm no I am having my wedding at an all inclusive place so not using an independent caterering company, and they have been really responsive and flexible with our requests. Keep searching if you’re not 100% happy
Post # 5
konarose86 : I would let the caterers know that at this time you’re looking to get a rough estimate of costs, I’m in NYC and I did have caterers provide pricing lists based on family style/sit-down/floating and appetizers/desserts/food stations/bar services we could add, and also costs based on guest count.
I did have caterers speak to me over the phone for a mini consultation, no more than 15-20 minutes. We had no theme, just tell them what kind of atmosphere you want to have. Example: We are interested in a sit-down meal for 120 people, the wedding is for early November and we want the wedding to feel romantic, fun, and not-over-the top.
If people want you to come in for a consultation, just ask to speak to them over the phone as you are just starting to research caterers and do not have time for a face-to-face meeting as of now.
Post # 6
During my initial inquiries I dealt with one caterer who was hell-bent on knowing every. single. detail. about my wedding before sending me any information about pricing and availability. It felt very uncomfortable, and when they finally sent me a quote, it was right at the top end of my budget before taxes and service charges (this was after hearing from friends how affordable they were and seeing their own quotes which were much more reasonable). I ran away from them as fast as I could, and I suggest you do the same.
We ended up finding a fantastic caterer who has been nothing but accommodating! Keep looking bee!
Post # 7
In my experience, when vendors or contractors don’t really want the job — they string you along and overbid. Why they can’t just say that they are overbooked, overworked, hate the venue owner, or hate the idea of a job — IDK. I’d keep looking.
Post # 8
konarose86 : While I’m not a caterer, I am a wedding vendor. One thing I will say about catering is that they have it much harder than the rest of us when it comes to quoting (similar to a florist) because it literally ALL depends on your specific event/needs. It takes a lot of work to quote a catering job, and I can imagine the reason they want to have a meeting is to take sure they aren’t putting hours into your proposal if you aren’t serious. They have to think about food costs, staffing, etc all based on the size of your event, complexity of the menu, etc. It’s likely their service charge will vary depending on the size of event and specific menu.
That being said, I am basing it on my specific area. Catering and banquet halls generally do have a set menu/pricing so I could undertand being frustraited by not getting a quote right away because they are usually cookie cutter menus/events. In my area the caterers do have a mock menu but they mostly cater each job to the specific client (instead of them choosing from a pre-made menu) so for that reason until they have a specific meeting with detailed info it’s almost impossible to give an accuarate quote. Most of them will not jut throw a number out, because almost always that number ends up being higher and then the client is mad beause they thought it would be cheaper.
I’m thankful that as a wedding photographer I can just send my standard pricing out – and I’m booked based on hours not the complexity of the wedding. I would hate to have to do what caterers and florists do because they spend so much time with potential clients who may or may not book.
At the end of the day you need to be 100% confident with who you are booking. If you get a bad vibe, no matter how great they are, you likely won’t be happy in the end anyway.
Post # 9
konarose86 : No, a caterer should be helpful, not one more headache. Don’t settle for one you feel ‘off’ about- you’ll have so much else to do the week of the wedding, you need to have a caterer in place you have absolute confidence in. I’d advise you to keep shopping around. What area is the wedding venue in?
Post # 10
My advice is to just scrap all those caterers and start fresh. I love all my vendors because of how kind and hard working they are. When I reach out to them (mostly through email), they respond quickly and either reassure me of my idea or find ways to make my vision a reality.
I am not sure where you live but in NYC where I live, there are hundreds of caterers waiting to make your wedding a great day. Find a new caterer.
Post # 11
Thank you all for your replies. I left this same post on Wedding Wire and was met with a long list of rude replies. To be clear, I am very specific regarding wedding size, menu selections, serving style, glassware, china and linen needs, location, and general timeframe in my inital request. I make sure they know that we are in the begining stages of planning and don’t have a lot of things figured out yet such as colors, theme and exact start time. But still I get asked more and more questions that should not need to be answered until we’ve chosen to work with them. I figured that as a professional they would be able to give me a general idea of cost with as many details I provide upfront. I don’t want to invest too much time in a caterer that is going to be out of my budget.