I have out-of-town clients that have their first meeting with their caterer coming up. Since I won’t be there in person, I want to prepare this couple for the meeting so they can best utilize their time and this opportunity. Face time with vendors (and busy clients) can be challenging to schedule, but is valuable and necessary to the success of a well planned event. Putting thought and preparation into each meeting will help you maximize these experiences and aide in building a stronger foundation to build upon as the client and the wedding professional move forward.

My advice to clients and those who are planning a wedding, before meeting with a caterer for the first time, is outlined below.

Talking points to cover in the meeting:
-Dietary restrictions
-Soft drinks
-Cash, Open, Consumption
-Dance floor
-Dessert table service pieces
-Beverage dispensers
-Other unique pieces
-Floor plans
-Set-up, breakdown
-Future contact/meeting

Before meeting with the caterer, couples should:

-Think about their dream scenario
-Discuss wedding budget
-Have a general ideal of the wedding guest list, as in the number of guests that will be invited
-Give thought to what type of service is preferred: sit-down, stations, buffet, family style
-Have the wedding date and venue narrowed down-Know who is contributing to the wedding and will be a part of the decision-making process (parents, in-laws, etc.)