Post # 1
I’m leaving the country in 10 days and just figured out who will be catering my wedding. It’s a small business in my city, a nice Italian restaurant. He said he’d be happy to do my wedding, but that it’s way too early to make any official plans (my wedding is next July.) He said to stop by when I’m home on Christmas break for a food tasting.
He said his prices run anywhere from 9-15 dollars a plate buffet style. This would include one chicken dish, one or two different pastas and salad (for the cheapest prices) I’m wondering if I should have him sign a price agreement before I leave? I’m afraid he’s going to say $9 and then raise his price at the last minute. Is this good form? Would it be rude to ask him to sign an agreement? Should I wait til December to do this?
He’s kind of a notorious business man in our city- everyone knows him to be kind of ruthless, but his food is excellent and I don’t really have any other options in my city. Ha ha I’m thinking I could have my dad meet with him (because my dad is kind of a notorious business man too) and agree on the price range.
What do you think? What has worked for you?
Post # 3
Definitely get a contract signed! I’m currently dealing with the ramifications of not having one from a vendor…it sucks.
Post # 4
I’d see if you could get an email stating his price range and what he typically. You’re about 10 mos out so they should be able to give you a contract relatively soon (we had ours about 6 mos before our wedding).
However I could see that a lot of caterers may not be able give you a contract or definite pricing TOO early because acts of nature may limit some food availability. He should be able to give you a general menu (meat, # of veggies, dessert etc) and a price. Whatever you can get in writing now will help you plan.
Post # 5
Hmm good advice. Maybe I can do this in December. Sorry, I think I posted this twice.
Post # 6
It is NOT too early to get a contract signed – you are less than a year away! I signed my catering contract more than a year out. He should be able to committ to a price point for a list of possible dishes, and then you can narrow down the specific dishes at the tasting. Do not book him without a contract. You could seriously regret that decision.
Post # 7
Definately not too early to have a contract signed! We signed a contract with our caterer 16 months before the wedding.
I made sure that 2009 pricing was guaranteed for our 2010 wedding in the contract as well.
Post # 8
We signed a contract with our reception venue, which included catering, in June – so over a year out from our wedding. It is understandable that food prices and availability change, but I did not want to get screwed by a huge increase! My venue says typically increases are 3-5% a year at most; however, last year, they raised their prices by 13%! That is HUGE when you are budgeting for something much lower. We were not able to lock in this year’s prices BUT we were able to get them to agree that prices would be raised by no more than 5% and had that added into our contract before we signed it.