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Deal Divas

Stephanie Hayes, Katie Sanders, Kameel Stanley, & Keyonna Summers

Questions to ask a wedding caterer -- and yourself



I always heard weddings were expensive, but it didn't really hit me until I started researching services for my own.

Food and drink costs are cray, basically. I want my guests to eat, drink and be merry, of course, BUT AT WHAT COST? 

Times food critic Laura Reiley has our backs. Last year, she wrote a story detailing what questions to ask potential wedding caterers, as well as some basic questions to ask yourself before letting costs go out of control for reasons you do not understand.

Read the whole thing or absorb her main points in the story copied below. Then weigh in in the comments or on Twitter (@DealDivas, you already know) with your thoughts or questions. How did you, or how would you, throw the best party possible without going broke?

In order to keep the price down, here are some things to bear in mind:

• Saturday night is the most expensive time to schedule a reception. A weeknight or weekend afternoon event might save money on the site rental and caterer. Also, there are seasonal differences in cost. Hit a caterer off peak season and the prices reflect that.

• Ask your caterer about "guaranteed counts." Ordinarily, you have until 14 days prior to the wedding to change the guest count, which you are then obliged to pay for, regardless of who is missing on the big day. Remember to include workers (photographer, DJ) in the final head count for the caterer.

• Ask how they determine the portions for each guest. If hors d'oeuvres are planned, how many do they count on per person? The number may vary from as little as three to as many as eight.

• Generally speaking, a lunch is less expensive than a dinner; buffet is less expensive than plated meals; the more courses, the more money.

If you're just tuning in, here's a recap of Wedding Week so far.

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Brides, be yourself!

Send us your questions!

[Last modified: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 11:00am]


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