Wedding Planning By Jessica Weltersen Whether you are looking for a company that does catering for weddings in the West Coast, catering for weddings in the East Coast, catering for weddings in the deep South or catering for weddings in a far away land, your choice of a wedding caterer may well be the most important decision you make. A good wedding caterer can cope with emergency situations, such as unexpected guests, or electrical outages (yes, they can happen), or on-the-spot requests for specially prepared foods. The job of a good wedding caterer is to make you feel like you’re a guest at your event. What can you do to ensure against a bad, mediocre or uninterested caterer? Actually, you can do quite a lot. Be prepared, know what to expect and expect what you want. We suggest the following wedding caterer questions that also include “thoughts” for yourself before signing any contract or making any commitments. We welcome these questions and so should any other reputable wedding caterer. The following Wedding Caterer Questions cover the Most Important Things to Determine When Hiring a Wedding Caterer: Is the caterer licensed? Does the caterer possess a current permit from the Health Department for catering for weddings in your city? Ask to see it!Is the caterer insured? What if his staff spills gazpacho on that new white sofa? Is the staff insured if they injure themselves in your home or on your property? Ask the name of the insurance company.Does the caterer work out of an approved, inspected kitchen or commissary? An approved and certified workplace is regularly inspected and meets Board of Health standards. The water supply is also regularly tested.Is your caterer a “full service caterer?” Can he/she take care of all your party needs, from tables to tents, chairs, glassware, linens, flatware, china, steam trays, bar, paper and plastics, etc.? Can the caterer assist you with arrangements for flowers, liquor, music, sites, photographer or video crews? Which aspects of the wedding will they not assist with?How long will the caterer remain on the job? Is it in writing? What happens if you wish to extend your party longer than originally planned? Will there be an overtime charge? If so, how much?Will there be enough food? Exactly how much food will there be? How large are the portions? Make the caterer be specific. Will the chicken breast be four, six or eight ounces? Will the sirloin be prime or choice? What happens to leftovers?Ask how long they have been catering for weddings in your area. This helps to determine not only their longevity but if they would be familiar with the other vendors you might be using.If you are not familiar with a caterer’s work, will he give references? You should ask for three recent events. Don’t be afraid to call these people and ask how they feel about the caterer’s work and attitude.Will the caterer help you create the ambiance you want and assist with other non-food-related aspects of your party? They might not all do this, and that is fine, some want to focus solely on the food and no other details, which does not make this caterer a bad choice, it’s just something you should know.Will the caterer sign a written contract, specifying any and all charges? Make sure you have a signed copy.Does the caterer seem enthusiastic about your party? Once you have discussed these wedding caterer questions with the different wedding caterers you are interviewing, you should have good idea (other than knowing their pricing at this point) of which wedding caterers you would feel comfortable working with. And then you need to schedule a tasting!