Staying organized is one of the key elements of successful wedding planning. You want to make sure you’re organizing your to-dos on your wedding planning checklist—and then checking off all of those items at the appropriate time in the months, weeks, and days leading up to your wedding.
But if you’ve never planned a wedding before, knowing the appropriate time to tackle certain wedding-related tasks can be a challenge—and that includes when to book a wedding caterer.
Because your wedding caterer plays such a huge role on your big day—from dazzling your wedding guests with an array of appetizers to keeping the signature wedding cocktails flowing all night long—you want to make sure to book your wedding caterer well in advance. But when’s the right time?
The first step in the wedding planning process is choosing your wedding venue. Booking your reception venue will not only lock in your wedding date, but it will also give you the information you need to start booking other vendors (for example, some venues allow you to work with whatever vendors you’d like, while other venues have a short list of preferred vendors you’ll need to choose from).
But once you’ve booked your reception venue and have that information, the very first wedding vendor you should plan to book is your wedding caterer.
Ideally, you should plan to start researching your wedding caterer between 10 and 12 months before your big day, with the goal of booking your caterer between six and eight months out. If you’re planning your wedding on a more condensed timeline, a good rule of thumb is to book as soon as possible.
There are a number of reasons you should book your wedding caterer as far in advance as possible, including:
Though it’s important to book a wedding caterer well in advance, you shouldn’t rush the process. Before you commit to a wedding caterer, ensure they’re the right fit for your big day by asking the right questions.
But what exactly are the right questions? Here are a few things you should definitely ask your wedding caterer before you book them for your wedding reception:
Asking these questions will help you better understand your caterer, their packages, and what they can bring to your big day—all things that will help you make the best decision for your wedding reception.
Bottom line? There are a lot of things to do when you’re planning your wedding, but one of the first things you should do after booking your venue is book your wedding caterer.