Brides always ask us, “How far in advance do we need to book your services?”
While we would love to tell you an exact formula of when to lock down your caterer, rentals, bar package, etc – Charleston’s wedding industry is *BOOMING* and we suggest contracting with your favorite vendors as soon as possible. All too many times, we’ve spoken with brides who try and book vendors only a few months prior to their wedding, only to find that their vendors of choice are booked solid for the season. On the flip side, we’ve had brides contact us between 2-3 years in advance, trying to get ahead of the game!
While three years might be slightly over precautious, we truly do recommend planning ahead so that your wedding is exactly how you’d always imagined, with each vendor that you handpicked!
Before we get too ahead of ourselves, there are a few questions you should always ask yourself before booking your caterer!
1) Do I trust you to take care of me and my guests during my reception?
This one is HUGE. While you might have a wedding planner, the vendor that your guests will have the most interaction with is your catering staff. These will be the people greeting your guests with a smile, clearing the room of any mess, and continually checking on everyone’s comfort level throughout the evening. If you get any vibes of unprofessionalism or lack of compassion, get out of there!
2) Is the food exactly how I want it?
Tastings are a great way to get an idea of what the cuisine will be like on the day of your wedding. They’re also a great way to put your two cents in if seasonings aren’t to your taste, you prefer your filet well done (all caterers are grimacing just thinking of this, I’m sure!) or if what you *really* want for your wedding is hot dogs and French fries. It’s YOUR wedding! Make it your own! (P.s., take a peek at our tasting blog to learn more about tastings at B. Gourmet!)
3) What do your services entail?
As a full-service catering company, B. Gourmet Catering will happily handle your rentals and bar package on your behalf! While we do not have these items “in house,” we feel that it gives us the advantage to focus solely on our food, while letting the other guys prepare the order we give them. Full service catering is a huge value, even if purely for the convenience of working with one vendor instead of three!
4) Let’s talk business. What do we owe you?
Here at B. Gourmet Catering, we require a $1,000.00 deposit and signed contract in order to lock in your big day. Most caterers will require either a flat fee deposit or a percentage of your estimated food total. After this point, we’ll collect your final balance 7 business days before your wedding! That way, you have plenty of time to make menu and guest count adjustments and ensure that everything is accurate for the wedding.
5) What is your set up, break down, and leftover food policy?
Catering staff should arrive several hours before your reception to begin preparing the food and setting up the food related stations and/or décor pieces. Here at B. Gourmet Catering, our staff does not leave the venue until your guests do, but this is an important question to ask! At the end of the night, our staff will assist your rental company in breaking down by removing linens, accounting for all catering related rentals (glassware, china, flatware, etc.). Also, because we want to ensure that you go home well fed, we’ll send you home with a Bridal Bag with a fully portioned container of each menu item you served your guests! So many brides love this little perk as a late-night snack to munch on with their new hubby after the wedding. From start to finish, B. Gourmet Catering is here to ensure that every last detail is accounted for, and that you and your guests leave happy and full.