Many hotels restrict bookings to couples that are intending to use inhouse catering from their restaurant Ė whilst on occassion this is frustrating it is also understandable as this is where much of their revenue comes from. Couples using a hotelís catering staff will get lower (or indeed free) room hire rates. Whereas if you want to use outside caterers the room hire costs may be hiked up, possibly to the extent where it becomes too costly to pay room hire and external catering charges.
Some venues however donít have provision to do their own catering and clearly these will welcome your selected caterer. Many of this type of venue will be able to point you in the direction of some caterers who have regularly been used in the past.
When selecting a caterer, as with most suppliers, try to go on recommendations. Have an idea of what sort of meal you want to serve at your wedding and only consider a caterer who is prepared to offer you a taster meal and provide you with references from recent clients. Discuss with them your requirements and get a fixed price form them once your menu is agreed. Also, get them to agree to communicate directly with the venue as well as yourself to ensure everything is scheduled to run like clockwork and everyone knows what is expected - you don't want the venue ringing you as you walk up the aisle to confirm if the caterer was arriving at 12 or half past!
The cost of using an outside caterer is similar to the cost of a typical wedding meal of the style you have chosen. There may be an additional surcharge but this should be relatively small. Consider your reasons for using outside caterers and if the difference in costs are significant consider whether you could compromise your wants and go for the inhouse restaurant instead.
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