Archive of ‘Catering’ category

How to find the perfect caterer? – San Antonio Wedding Consultant

There are so many options when it comes to the type or style of food you want to serve at your wedding. I’ve discussed those options in a previous blog, Catering Ideas For Every Style Wedding. In this blog, lets talk about how to find that perfect caterer that fits your needs and budget and has great tasting food! Here’s a list of what you need to do…

  • After booking your venue the next step is booking your caterer. This will be your most expensive part of the wedding budget and most important.  In San Antonio, I recommend 8-12 months out to ensure you get the caterer you desire. You’ll want to contact 4-5 caterers and ask them initial questions to make sure they even offer the type or style of food you are wanting. Some of those initial questions might be:

1. Can you accommodate vegetarians or gluten free guests?

2. We want a special dish served, can you accommodate that?

3. Do you help with the set up of the table and chairs?

4. Do you travel outside of your local area?

5. Do you offer other services such as bartending, linens, china, etc.?


  • You’ll contact each one and ask these initial questions and be sure to write everything down. They will start to all run together so be sure to take good notes. Also, give the caterer a chance to ask questions as well. They’ll want your basic information such as wedding date, amount of guests and venue location. During this fact finding conversation the caterer should tell you what their charges cover. If not, ask. For example, the company might not cover alcohol or cake.
  • As you are taking notes be sure to also make personal reaction notes of each caterer and the feeling you received from each of them. If they were courteous, excited to work with you and kind. At this time you may be able to cross a couple of the caterers off your list. But, please be sure to write an email to those you didn’t choose thanking them for the time they spent speaking with you. You don’t want to leave them guessing and wondering.
  • Once you have narrowed down your list to 2-3 caterers it is time to go in for an appointment and ask more detailed questions about the menu and services you will want. Here are what you will need to talk about:

Will you have a buffet, sit down, food stations or passed hors d’oeuvres only?

What you can get within your budget.

The types of food you are wanting and those that they specialize in.

Extra services such as bartending, late night snack, specialty tables such as ice cream, chocolate, coffee, or dessert bar.

  • After this meeting, the caterer should prepare you an initial proposal and cost estimate. It doesn’t mean you have to stick with what they are proposing or the food they list but is just merely an idea of what to expect to pay. If there are a couple of caterers that fall within your budget and you like what you have seen so far, then it is time to make my favorite appointment with them….the taste testing!
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  • Caterers that I have dealt with will usually offer the client a private taste testing at their establishment giving them options of the type of food they want to serve. I have also seen caterers have open houses where more clients come in and try an assortment of different types of food. One of my couples did this and then scheduled a private taste testing with her family (and me) to try foods they liked at the open house plus a few others that the family wanted to try. There were 6 of us! At this taste testing, this is where you’ll  narrow down the food decisions for your cocktail hour, dinner and any after dinner snacks or special tables.


  • The caterer will then present the couple with a revised proposal based on the food and service that was chosen. This proposal should outline all the details of what they will be providing. This could include linens, dinnerware, cake, setting up of table and chairs, bartending, rental items, staff, and more! It is important to review all the details of the proposal and make sure you understand all fees.

What they charge for service fees.

What their delivery, set up, clean up fees are.

How many staff you are getting charged for.

What the tax is.

Do they charge you to cut and serve the cake?

What is the deposit required?


  •  The last step is choosing your caterer. In the proposal, it should clarify the payment structure and serve as the contract with an agreement page. There is still opportunities to make changes. I have had couples make changes up to 1-2 weeks prior to the wedding (even though the caterer probably frowns upon this). One important piece of advice…always tell the caterer a lower number for your guest count because you can always go up in the count later on but you can’t go down without having to pay the same amount. They normally need a final count 10 business days before the wedding date. After this day, if you need to lower the guest count you will still have to pay for the amount of guests you told them at 10 days prior.

If you need help planning your wedding I can help. I know great caterers in the San Antonio area and would love to share my knowledge with you. Please contact Trudy Scott at 210-595-9263 or


Catering Ideas For Every Style Wedding




Hi Brides. In my next several blogs I will be taking you through the process of planning your wedding. I want to help those brides that are lost in the planning process and give them some guidance. I hope these blogs will help! My previous blog was Wedding Venues – What to know and ask when picking the perfect venue. I hope you used it when choosing your venue. If you still haven’t gotten that far with your planning please go back and read it first.

After you have the venue and date set then what I recommend is making a list of what is most important to least important about your wedding. Normally, the catering will be the 2nd highest expense so I recommend you tackle that part of your wedding next. Then go down the list you’ve made (ex. photography, DJ, videography, photo booth, etc.). I decided to bring back a post I wrote last summer about different options of catering you can have for the reception. There are several ways to serve your food based on your budget, being practical, being creative and the style you want to have. Here is an article by The Knot on Questions to ask your caterer.  One question that I always ask that isn’t listed is will they be at the reception the entire evening to bus tables and clean up. This is very important because you don’t want to have to do this yourself. Some caterers charge an additional fee to do this but it is WELL WORTH IT! If you need help with choosing your catering option I would love to help you! Please contact Trudy. Enjoy the blog!

I always have couple’s wondering what food they should serve and how it should be served at their wedding reception. There are so many options. For the couple that has an extravagant budget I always recommend a cocktail hour with open bar, signature drinks (hers and his) and passed horsd’oeuvres. Then a sit down meal because the guests can spend time talking with each other at their table and can relax as they are served (no getting up). Depending on the budget, there can be 3-5 courses served. Guests love this!

Well, what about the couples that are on a tighter budget? After the cost of the venue, catering is typically the 2nd highest amount a couple will spend on their wedding. There are lots of choices and ways of saving money with your catering.

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1. A midafternoon or after dinner cocktails and dessert reception is perfectly fine to do and a great way of saving a lot of money! This choice is fun, elegant and an affordable alternative to the traditional sit down dinner. Offer stations of desserts and fun themed foods. How about a pasta bar or a Tuscan table filled with breads and array of cheese, crackers and olives. A Mexican themed station with fajitas, chips, queso and guacamole can never go wrong either in San Antonio, Texas! For other tables have an array of desserts tailored to the theme of your wedding. The guests will enjoy visiting each table!


2. Buffets are a very popular choice for couples. They are usually less expensive than a sit down dinner because less wait staff is needed and if you double up on the lines then getting through the lines can be quicker. The trick is filling the buffet with two-thirds budget dishes and one-third pricier meat dishes to keep the costs down. Chicken is a lower cost meat choice and you can choose a recipe with sauces and/or crusts that turn the dish into a fabulous choice. Fresh salads and breads are low cost choices too. Most caterers will have wait staff serving the guests so proportions are served equally and food amounts are accurate. You would hate to run out of certain items by guests serving themselves! Having a person assigned to release tables is also recommended so the flow runs smoothly and the guests can wait at their table until it is their turn to get in line. A wedding coordinator is the perfect person to do this.

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3. Dinner/food stations are a trendy option for some couples. This is a fun way for guests to try foods they normally don’t eat. So, be creative in selecting the type of foods – it will look like you spent a lot more than you did! Having 3-4 food stations positioned throughout the venue will give a flow for the guests to move around. Food stations work well for the larger wedding where there are many guests. You would let your guests get up as they like and go through the stations they want at their leisure. You can keep the food stations open longer than a buffet and guests can graze at it during the evening.


4. Hand-passed meals at the table are very affordable. Did you know that guests tend to eat less with passed meals then a buffet? Maybe they don’t want to feel greedy by taking all the food from the other guests. If you decide to just do a cocktails reception you can make the event look elegant with several hand-passed horsd’oeuvres options nicely presented on silver trays by the wait staff. For a casual wedding, an even cheaper option is going to a discount warehouse and purchasing cheese and fruit trays and just leaving on the tables. Be careful, though, because this will not go over well at a more formal event.

My favorite part of the planning process with my couples is the taste testing that most caterers offer. Be sure to take part in this so you get the food you want. If you have any questions or need help with caterer options please contact Trudy Scott at 210-595-9263 or I offer wedding coordination fit for a princess!