_____ What is the estimated cost per person for a seated dinner? Buffet? Cocktail reception? Open bar? What does the cost include?
_____ What is the staff-to-guest ratio? (For seated meals, the ratio is usually one waiter to 8-10 guests.)
_____ Have you worked at my prospective reception sites? Can you recommend other sites for weddings?
_____ Do you have a set menu? Can the menu be modified?
_____ Can the kitchen staff adhere to special dietary restrictions for some guests who may be diabetic, kosher, vegetarian?
_____ Do you have liability coverage including liquor liability?
_____ Can you supply me with a list of references? (Contact two.)
_____ How much advance time is needed to confirm a reservation?
_____ Can I arrange to view the catering of another wedding reception to check food display, service style, flow, organization? Can we arrange to taste foods on the menu you suggest?
_____ Do you set the tables? Provide linens? Order floral arrangements? Coordinate the music?
_____ What additional charges might be incurred other than the food, beverages, and rental of requested extras?
_____ What is the policy for payment, tipping? (Some caterers request cash, others accept checks or credit cards. Some include gratuities in the base or overall price, others do not.)
_____ How much advance time will you need to set up?
_____ Can you send me a confirmation letter including the wedding date and time, names of service help, tipping policy, decorating time, color schemes, menu, cost per person?
_____ Can I see available linens? What is the additional rental cost?
_____ How much food is enough? (Ten to twelve hors doeuvres per person is adequate. With buffets, offer a choice of two entrees.)
_____ Will the hors doeuvres be butlered or on a buffet?
_____ How much are your overtime and cancellation costs?
_____ Can you give me a ceiling on anticipated menu price increases? (Caterers quote final prices 90 days prior to the wedding. Due to rising food costs, an increase might be 10%.)
_____ When will the wedding cake be delivered (if your caterer will provide you with one)? Is the cake cut by the banquet staff?
_____ Can we go over placement of the head table on a raised platform or floor level, dais or round table?
_____ How many drinks does each bottle of liquor, champagne, provide? Is there an opening fee per bottle of champagne?
_____ Will you feed the photographers, the musicians?
_____ What is the guarantee requirement for number of guests?
_____ When must I provide a final guest count?
Get all estimates in writing; contracts should state what food and drink is to be served, how many servers will be needed, and a provision to inform the caterer of the final number of expected guests at least a week before the wedding.