Finding The Right Austin Wedding Caterer

Crave Catering Petite Tenderloin

At Yellow Umbrella Events, finding a caterer in Austin is, in our opinion, one of the most enjoyable aspects of planning a wedding. You and your fiancé have the opportunity to do something that you don’t usually do – host an amazing party for all of your friends and family! And a good party needs good food.

There are so many caterers out there to choose from, and if you’re like most couples, you’ve probably never hired a caterer before.  Given that the caterer’s bill will make up one of the largest parts of your budget, it would be wise of you to spend a little bit of your time educating yourself on the finer points of catering.

Caterers come in all shapes and sizes – big companies, little companies, fancy vans and trucks, pretty logos, boring logos, shiny happy pictures of steak, shrimp, vegetarian options and everything in between. Did you notice that most of that last sentence had little to do with the actual food itself? That’s because it’s hard to judge a caterer based on pretty advertising and fancy presentation alone. There’s a lot more to it.

If you don’t have the right knowledge, you may end up very unhappy with the outcome. In fact, when questioned, wedding guests cited issues with the wedding food as their top complaints regarding weddings. According to Yahoo’s Shine, guests complained about not having enough food, too small portions, long waits for food, running out of food and not having a vegetarian option.

Southern's Fine Dining AppetizerBut where do you begin your search? You can also find a great deal of information on caterers by using sites such as The Knot, Wedding Wire and Yelp. These sites offer opinions from real users. Using these sites, you can be somewhat sure, based on multiple positive reviews, that your experience with that particular caterer would turn out positively.  But how many times have you eaten at a restaurant based on a Yelp review and wondered how all those reviewers had gotten it wrong?

Another option is to go with the recommended (or preferred) caterer of the venue that you’ve chosen. In fact, a number of  venues require you to use caterers from their pre chosen list only. This is a great idea in a lot of cases. The caterer that they would like you to use typically already knows the venue, has served at the location on multiple occasions, and understands the flow of things and what the venue expects. But were you aware that some venues charge your caterer a 10% – 15% fee simply to do business at their location? And because of this, your catering bill will be 10% – 15% higher at these venues.

There are a number of quirks in the wedding industry, like the caterer’s fee, that most people are simply unaware of.  You can avoid a lot of these common issues by choosing a wedding and event planner with experience in your area. Your wedding planner will have worked with some of the best (and worst, unfortunately) caterers in your area. They know the right ones that can work with your style, your food interests, and your budget.  They also know what your venue is charging to whom and will be able to steer you towards the right one for you.

We’d love to know – If you’ve already chosen, how did you find your wedding caterer? And if you’re still looking, where do you plan on starting your search?

Cheryl Bailey Yellow Umbrella EventsCheryl Bailey
Owner, Yellow Umbrella Events
Austin’s Wedding Planner