One of the biggest hurdles Maui wedding couples face is figuring out how to hire a caterer. If you were hiring a wedding reception caterer at home, you would probably request a tasting or already be familiar with the chef and their catering company. Unless you are making a trip to Hawaii before your wedding or are familiar with the many chefs, restaurants and catering options you wont be able to indulge in the usual wedding tasting menu session before hiring the caterer for a Maui wedding reception. Choosing a caterer for a destination wedding requires a little different approach than hiring a local chef or a catering company in your home town.
Though we still dont have a way to let you taste food through your phone or browser, the Internet makes it easy and possible to overcome obstacles planning a catered wedding reception on Maui. In addition to being able to easily find caterers and other wedding service providers, many pictures of culinary creations, wedding locations and chef interviews are readily available to get an initial sense of options. Then, personally interviewing a few catering service providers and asking the right questions will facilitate your opportunity to develop rapport and eventually a relationship with the chef preparing your catered wedding reception menus. Scan through the following 5 tips to help find, interview and hire a Maui caterer for your wedding and then leave a comment with questions or to request advice:
- Use the Internet to find and review Maui catering services. Any reputable catering company on Maui has a website loaded with images from past and recent weddings. In addition to the caterers own website, utilize Yelp, Trip Advisor, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and other popular sites to see more images and videos from the caterers clients. Yelp and other review sites will help you find out what others are saying about the Maui catering services and food served at their wedding.
- Hire a professional caterer or chef you like working with! Because food is one of the most important and memorable aspects of any wedding, it is important to choose a caterer whose style and personality works well with your own. Not only will the food style need to match what you want to serve your guests, you should also do your best to select a chef or catering manager with a personality compatible with your own. You may prefer a casual planning style while others expect a highly organized detail oriented business manner. Remember the first time you met your spouse or your first date? Remember getting to know the person? You probably asked a lot of questions and shared information about yourself to find out if your personalities were compatible enough to take the relationship further. Arguably, finding a chef to cater your Maui wedding is certainly easier than finding a spouse to share the rest of your life with! Still, finding a caterer for a destination wedding far from home includes similarities to finding a spouse. A few things to think about to help you find a caterer you like:
- Like the first date with your spouse, youll want to build the relationship from the first meeting or discussions with potential caterers. Because youll be spending a bit of time customizing a wedding reception menu or working through wedding reception details and possibly planning events with catering for other wedding related functions, the first thing you need to find out is if you can work with the person you are considering!
- Does their style match yours? Does the chef volunteer information and answer your questions promptly? Depending on the your own personality, you may prefer a take charge caterer who takes care of all the details and simply states the best option while others may prefer a more Do it Yourself wedding planning style where multiple options are presented to select from. Does the caterer follow-up as quickly as you expect and are they able to communicate using email, phone, text or other ways you prefer and are your preferences followed when requested? Are they able to use Skype or Google Hangout for live face to face conversation? Find out by asking questions and verifying your expectations will be met. Like all successful relationship beginnings, ask questions to get answers to what is important to you and share things about yourself to find out if the chefs style matches what you are looking for and will make you happy on your wedding day.
- Share your ideas about the type of food you like. Describe the type and style of restaurants you both enjoy. Provide details about what you serve when you entertain friends and family. Share what you cook for each other. Sometimes it is helpful to describe your nightly dinner routine and what you enjoy for celebrations or special occasions. If you have attended other recent weddings, explain details about what you liked and didnt like. Ask the caterer or chef to describe other wedding receptions they prepared for recent couples. Request sample menus or catering contracts to get a ideas of what is possible for your own wedding reception. Ask specific questions about the wedding reception menus on the caterers website and ask if customization if possible. Verify any dietary needs for you and wedding guests will be met.
- Depending on your style and the style of caterer you are seeking, you may want a caterer who will take charge and make decisions, including informing when you may be making a mistake or asking for something that is not practical for a Maui wedding. Since many couples are visiting Maui the first time or have only visited limited times, it will be critical to find a caterer and other wedding service providers who know the island and you can trust.
- Discuss wedding budget and cost considerations. So your caterer can give you advice and ideas about what is available within your price constraints or overall wedding budget, youll want to share your budget as early in the process as possible. Even a per head estimate or overall wedding budget range help establish the options and possibilities. Most wedding planners and caterers on Maui are able to offer creative suggestions for affordable weddings and to stay within budget. From guest accommodations with an onsite wedding venue to recommending menu items to serve at the wedding reception, getting a budget in place early provides the most flexibility with the greatest opportunity for savings. If you dont know your budget, ask for help establishing a wedding budget or how to calculate a budget for a catered wedding reception. Before hiring a wedding caterer, ask for a written contract or quote and be sure you understand how each catering company computes costs or fees. Ask for details about what is included. Get clarification about anything you are not certain or clear about. There are wide variations in how wedding and catering quotes are provided. Some caterers charge on a per person cost basis and include everything while others charge for the food service menu items and then add separate additional fees for staff, linens, tables, chairs and other wedding equipment rentals. Wedding venue fees can also add to the cost of a wedding. For the most affordable weddings on Maui, find out why selecting a Maui wedding location should be the first decision for getting married on Maui!
- Decide the type of catering services are you looking for. A seated wedding reception with wait staff, a self-service buffet, themed food stations or passed pupus (Hawaiian hors doeuvres). Once the style and type of food service is decided, a menu will be customized to your preferences. At this point, the chef will be asking you about the type of food you want to serve and how you want it served. The wedding budget will be a factor in deciding on menu options and services. A catered wedding reception beginning with a caviar appetizer with champagne service followed by a live Kona lobster paired with a prepared to order fillet served to seated guests by professional wait staff will certainly cost more than themed taco stations or self service beach bbq reception.
- Select the type of wedding cocktails and bar services. Decide if you are going to offer a hosted or no host cocktail or bar service for your Maui wedding. Ask the caterer if they permit you to supply your own alcoholic beverages. Anyone you are considering to provide Maui catering services should be aware of Maui county alcohol rules and offering advice to ensure your event is compliant as well as making helpful suggestions to save money on your Maui wedding.
There are a few other details youll want to find out before making the final decision to hire Maui wedding caterer. Though Maui is relatively small, some caterers charge more dependent on which specific wedding location or how far away the wedding reception location is from the catering kitchen. Ask the caterer if delivery fees are included or will be extra. If you are planning a DIY wedding, ask if you can pick up the catering or if food only drop off options are available without other catering services. Find out if the caterer will supply tables, linens and chafing dishes for the most affordable do-it-yourself wedding catering on Maui! Consider using these 5 Questions to Ask a Maui Caterer. Now that you know what to ask and how to go about interviewing caterers, get the help you need by requesting a personal catering quote:
If you found this information useful or know of a bride who needs catering tips, head back to the top and share on your favorite social network. Mahalo!