The "Right Wedding Caterer" is So Important!

Choosing the Caterer

When it comes time to choosing your wedding caterer and deciding on what liquor, if any, you will serve, you must take the location of your reception into consideration.

Some reception locations require that you use their onsite caterer, others will allow you to hire and bring in your own. Some locations will even allow you to purchase your own liquor and bring that in as well—and this is a huge money saver!

If you do have the freedom to hire your own wedding caterer, you will probably be able to get exactly what you want for a better price.

The best way to find a wedding caterer is to ask around. Ask other wedding vendors that you are using, such as the manager of your bridal store, your photographer, or your band. Ask brides you know that have recently gotten married. Get quotes and ideas for the menu from several caterers and narrow it down to the one you feel most comfortable with.

Working with the venue's caterer

If you must work with a caterer that the reception location provides, you will probably have less room to negotiate and you might find yourself paying some hidden costs. However, it is rather convenient to work with someone right on site and you won’t have to worry about bringing in the equipment and finding out about requirements such as insurance and other policies that the reception site may have. The on site caterer will know the drill for that particular location and this could end up causing you less stress.


If you are able to bring in your own alcohol, then you definitely want to do this. You can most likely purchase your liquor and mixers at a much cheaper price than the reception site charges. Look for ways to possibly recoup some of the money you've spent on the liquor that might be left over. You’d be surprised at how many bottles you might have that were never even cracked open!

If the reception site is providing the alcohol, be sure to let them know all the important information—how many people you will have, how long you would like the bar to be open, and what kinds of drinks you would like to have served. Some people choose to save money by only offering beer and wine.

Know what you are paying for!

Be sure that you know exactly what you are paying for. Some hotels or caterers base the price of alcohol off the number of opened bottles at the end of the night. Don’t be ripped off by this. Waiters sometimes clear away half finished drinks while people are away from their seats or try to push refills on guests.


Make sure you let the hotel or wedding caterer know how often you want drinks served and refreshed. It might be a better choice to see if you can pay a flat rate for each guest of legal drinking age so that you know what you are paying up front. This can save money and keep you from getting a big surprise afterward when you see the bill!

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