Singaporebrides | Fine Dining

November 2013

Six Questions To Ask Your Wedding Caterer

Looking for a wedding caterer for your celebration in Singapore? Here are six questions to narrow your search!

You’ve been up since the crack of dawn, yawning through two long hair and makeup sessions and serving tea to all the branches and twigs of the seemingly endless Wong and Chan family trees. The last thing you want is to hear that your buffet service is late, and your husband-to-be’s old admirer Missy is loudly claiming to be feeling faint from gastric pangs.

In addition to not inviting the woman who’s been pining for your man for the past five years to your wedding, you should do yourself a favour when it comes to choosing a wedding caterer. The most anticipated event of a wedding may be the newlywed’s first kiss at the altar, but it is the food served at the reception that would likely be the most-talked-about part of the programme. To ensure that there will only be good things to say about the refreshments you served, SingaporeBrides puts together a list of questions to ask yourselves when choosing a wedding catering service that caters to your needs.

1. Do they cater to your venue?

The first thing to consider when choosing a wedding caterer is your venue. If you haven’t decided on one yet, postpone looking for your food provider. Venues should be confirmed so that you have a specific date and time to book your catering service. However, you shouldn’t delay locking in your venue! Chris Loh, Creative Director of Rasel Catering, advises couples to start sourcing for their caterers between one month to even a year before the event, depending on how elaborate the affair will be.

Be sure to check whether your venue only works with specific partners, allows food to be prepared on site, or has power points for your hot food stall. Bear in mind your venue’s facilities, especially if you are holding an outdoor reception. If you’re celebrating on the beach, you might want to give the pretty ice lollies a miss, since they will only melt into not-so-pretty sand-encrusted puddles before you can eat them. Check to make sure your caterer can provide covered service for outdoor events, to prevent too many creepy crawlies or grains of sand from spoiling the broth.

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2. Do they cater to your guests?

Get a good idea of the head count before looking for your caterer, so that they can assure you of their ability to prepare for your crowd. Figure out whether you have guests with special dietary needs, for example, you should make sure there are kid-friendly items on your buffet menu if your guests have children, and meatless options for your vegetarian friends and family. Don’t forget to check whether your caterer is Halal when inviting Muslim guests. Make sure you have enough food for all of your guests to enjoy themselves by ordering 20 percent more than your final head count. You don’t want anyone to leave hungry!

3. Do they cater to your budget?

You want your guests to have a good time celebrating your union to the love of your life, but you also want to spend an amount that still leaves you with plenty to enjoy your life as newlyweds. You’ve probably already sat down and discussed money matters with your beloved, so make sure your wedding catering costs stick to your budget. Decide whether you’re more willing to shell out on wine or special menu items like lobster hors d’oeuvres, and ask your caterer if you can exchange items on their menu package to get what you want.

The more freely the wine flows, the merrier most guests will be, but do check whether your wallet will be happier if you bring your own tipple by asking about corkage fees and service charges for bar set ups. Finally, don’t be shocked by the final bill by speaking to your caterer about fees and deposits up front. When in doubt, ask!

4. Do they cater to your theme?

You’ve been planning this day for months, and you’ve gone to ten different florists to get the exact shade of the peonies you saw on Pinterest for your bridal bouquet. Don’t let the decorations (or the lack thereof) shock you when you see the buffet reception on your wedding day.

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Talk to your caterers about what they provide in terms of table linens, flower centrepieces and utensils, and ask if they can arrange decorations to your liking. Research their portfolio on their website and social media. “Love is sweet!” Chris from Rasel Catering tells us, “Our prettily decorated dessert tables, with an array of sweet treats, add a dash of sugar and spice to a wedding. Couples can choose to decorate in our wedding themes, or we can customise a look based on their preferences.” If you have special menu requests, such as only serving red and tiffany-blue food in keeping with your colour theme, do make sure your wedding caterer understands your vision.

5. Do they cater to your needs?

The quality of service your vendor can provide is definitely a priority when you’re planning the biggest day of your life. Make sure you are hiring someone you can trust to show up on time and serve your guests to satisfaction. Look for customer reviews or recommendations on the SingaporeBrides forum during your search for the perfect wedding caterer.

Also ask if the caterer can offer the extras you need—VIP tables with plated service for family members and bridal party, or that dessert bar complete with fringed bunting and ombre cupcake tower that you’ve been dreaming of. Some caterers provide special stalls manned by uniformed staff to serve your guests piping hot laksa or other treats, though do ask your caterer what works best at your venue. If you need wait service on that day, check to see if they provide bar staff or uniformed staff.

6. Do they cater to your tastebuds?

Finally, request for a tasting session before committing. If you’ve already decided what type of cuisine and service style to choose, ask the caterer for a chance to sample their wares so that you can be sure the taste and presentation is up to your expectations. For Rasel Catering, couples can choose between having items from their selected menu sent to their homes for tasting, or dining in the company’s premises.

Knowing what questions to ask your wedding caterer will send you on your search armed with the information you need to plan a session of merrymaking that will leave you and your guests with a pleasant taste in their mouths. So go forth, eat, drink, and be married!

Credits: Images courtesy of Rasel Catering