Your Guide to Wedding Catering

Treat your guests to an unforgettable meal on your unforgettable day with our step-by-step guide.


Now What Are You Charging Me For?


You probably have an idea of what your total catering bill will be. Or do you? Don't get caught short by sneaky extras that pad your bill. Ask about these fees up front:

Corkage fee If you provide your own alcohol, many hotels and caterers will charge a flat fee per bottle opened or drink served. Negotiate to have it lowered. Or, think about using the alcohol provided by the caterer or hotel, for which there should never be a corkage fee.

Cake-cutting This charge is often tacked on for the service the caterer provides in cutting and serving your cake. If the caterer baked the cake, get rid of this fee, fast—you shouldn't have to pay it. If you bring in a cake from an outside baker, the caterer's cutting fee should be nominal.

Coffee-pouring fee—Yes, you guessed it—this is where you're charged for each cup of coffee poured for your guests. Refuse to pay this fee! A caterer who insists on charging you for it may sneak in charges elsewhere, as well.

Service charges, gratuities and tips

Did you read that and think, "Those are all the same thing!"? Good for you. Some people don't realize it, and end up overtipping. Read your contract and bill carefully to make sure your caterer doesn't double-charge you. Usually, the gratuity is a percentage the overall bill, or it can be a flat fee per waiter or bartender needed for the reception.



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