Getting Married In Italy? How to Hire The Right Wedding Caterer

You are getting married in Italy. How hard can it be to hire the right wedding caterer in a country so famous for its delicious cuisine?
Besides boasting stunning and diversified sceneries, a rich cultural heritage, and historical monuments around every corner, Italy also has the world’s favorite cuisine! Adults, kids, vegetarians, vegans…everyone loves Italian food. However, things can be different when planning your destination wedding in Italy and looking for a wedding caterer. You are looking for a reliable, talented catering company with experience in cooking for big numbers of guests and, most importantly, can provide you with an exquisite and international wedding menu beyond pasta and pizza. Don’t get us wrong, we certainly obsess over pizza, we are just talking about the need for variety!

So how do you know you are hiring the right wedding caterer in Italy? Are there any tips that can help with selecting the best one? Below you’ll find everything you need to have the perfect destination wedding in Italy, including the best Italian wedding menu!

Photo: The Edges Wedding Photography | Catering: Paula LeDuc Fine Catering & Events

Let’s start by why it is important to choose the right wedding caterer

The “good food, good mood” saying is actually a fact, especially in the wedding world. Your wedding’s food is what your guests will remember the most. Yes, it is not the little flowers you carefully chose to fluff your centerpieces or the napkins’ color. Food can literally make or break your wedding reception. This is why choosing the right wedding catering service is crucial!
Need more reasons to hire a professional destination wedding caterer? Let’s talk about the most important ones:

  • Professional wedding caterers will offer you unparalleled quality and a flavorful menu. Indeed cooking a wide variety of foods and cuisines for a large number of guests can be tricky even for your favorite restaurant chef!
    Experienced wedding caterers are used to offering aesthetically pleasing, delicately plated foods for a large number of people.
  • It will save you the time and stress of worrying about the quantity to order, the number of items and options you should offer, what type of dishes works best for your wedding, portion sizes, etc. An experienced caterer will have an answer to every one of your worries as he or she has already worked on weddings many times before and can estimate the right volumes and amounts to prepare, and can suggest the right menu that suits your budget and wedding style.
  • An experienced wedding caterer has the skills and resources to prepare a multitude of equally delicious meals. Your wedding caterer will select the best meals from appetizers to desserts and offer you a tailor-made personalized menu. They can also include kids menus and prepare food for your guests with specific dietary restrictions (yes, Aunt Suzy, there are some gluten-free options!)
  • You don’t have to worry about table service, buffet service, presentation, and even clean-up. And it doesn’t end here. Many professional and experienced wedding caterers will be able to handle your wedding drinks menu and serve some delicious wedding signature cocktails!
Photo: Corina V. Photography | Desserts: Truffle Cake and Pastry

Now let’s get to the more serious part. How do you get to know and choose the right wedding caterer?

The best way to assess and evaluate how good your wedding caterer is, is obviously through tasting sessions after you select the one that has the most appealing and appetizing menu.
However, if you are planning a destination wedding and live on the other side of the world, you might not be able to do a tasting before selecting your caterer. But worry not, with our selection of the most important questions to ask your wedding caterer, you are set to make the best decision ever (after the decision of getting married to the love of your life, obviously!).

Planner: The Wedding Care | Photo: Nancy Ebert | Florals: Nina ei Fiori | Catering & Cake:  La Torre | Venue: Tonnara di Marzamemi

Here are the questions to ask your wedding caterer before hiring his service:

  • Do they have a catering license? Does it also include alcohol and bar services?
  • How many weddings have they worked on? What is the average size of weddings they usually handle? (remember experience is key!)
  • Are they on your venue’s list of providers? Have they ever worked at your venue? (Don’t forget to ask for pictures if they did!)
  • Do they book more than one event per day? And how do they go about it?
  • Does the package cover full service? Including service, waitstaff, and cleanup?
  • If you get an external bar service provider, do they charge an extra fee?
  • Do they offer both Italian and international cuisines? Which ones?
  • Can they provide live wedding food stations? And are they included in the package?
  • Do they have a cake designer? Can they make your wedding cake? Or prepare the live Millefoglie wedding cake? (An Italian wedding menu staple!)
  • Will the food be prepared mostly on-site or in their kitchens?
  • What is the wedding attire of chefs and waiters?
  • Can they accommodate special dietary requests and restrictions?
  • Do they provide glassware, silverware, linens, and other crockery elements? What about tables and chairs? If yes, do they have style options? Will it imply an additional cost?
  • Will, there be someone from their end in charge of overseeing the event on the wedding day to ensure everything goes smoothly?
  • If you have customized menus and place cards, will they be able to handle placing them on the plates? If yes, do they charge for the service?
  • Have they ever collaborated with your wedding planner? (this is important to make sure they never had a problem with each other and will be able to work well together)

We HIGHLY recommend you follow this awesome and handy tip: Share or bring along your destination wedding mood board. This will help the caterer be inspired and contribute to designing the most beautiful wedding buffet or table setup according to the types of foods and catering needs. This will be key for you both to ensure you end up having a seamless and stunning collaboration.
One cool feature you can find on WedBoard is the ability to create your own Italian Wedding Mood Board and share it with them. Exciting, we know!

Planning & Florals : Peppermint & Co. | Photo: Snapful Photography

So, where do you find the best wedding catering service in Italy?

A platform like WedBoard will showcase a curated list of the best wedding caterers in Italy and will allow you to create and fill your mood board with the most delicious and unique wedding menu ideas and wedding food bars. You’ll be able to directly reach your favorite caterers and chat with them commitment-free to achieve the first steps of your selection. And once you make your decision, you can even sign your contracts digitally and pay your Italian wedding caterer directly online.

You can also ask your wedding planner for recommendations. A great destination wedding planner specialized in Italy will offer you the best advice based on their own experience.
Don’t hesitate to also ask your venue if they have a specific list of caterers they usually work with. This is helpful as your caterer will have good knowledge of the location, be able to assess the logistical needs, and provide you with a seamless experience.

And to be even more sure of your choice, you can always speak to one of your Italian wedding caterer’s previous brides to have genuine, tried-and-tested reviews!

Planner: Bianco Rosa Weddings | Caterer: Eventi e Cucina – Catering & Eventi | Florals: Fiori Fiori

And finally, how much does a wedding caterer cost in Italy?

Catering cost is a big chunk of your destination wedding budget. On average, the cost of wedding catering in Italy can range anywhere between EUR 100 to EUR 190 per guest.
This number depends on the following:
– If your reception is a cocktail, seated dinner, or buffet
– The number of guests attending the reception
– the type (or types) of cuisines you are going for
– If the wedding cake is included in the package or not
– Whether the type of beverages included in your package is part of a basic beverage package that includes house wines and spirits or a more customized premium bar option). The average budget for wedding beverages typically falls anywhere between EUR 30 to EUR 60 per guest
– If your wedding venue has an internal catering service that is a Michelin restaurant or has a Michelin star chef, your cost of catering may increase

You can find all the detailed costs of a wedding in Italy in our article on How much does a destination wedding in Italy cost?

Photo: O’Malley Photographers | Catering: The Hardware Store Restaurant

Now you are all set to go and hire your wedding caterer in Italy! And since you are getting married in Italy, why don’t you check out our tips on making your wedding extra Italian? Or perhaps you need inspiration on the Top Wedding Food & Drinks to Include in Your Italian Wedding Menu.

And since you are looking to get married in Italy, then we highly recommend you check WedBoard’s curated list of the best wedding vendors in Italy, and chat commitment-free with your favorite ones to start planning your dream destination wedding!  
In the meanwhile, stay tuned for more info and tips on wedding planning in general and planning a destination wedding in Italy in particular!

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Feature Image details: Photo: Laura Martha and Katie Hamilton Photography | Design & Planning: The Stars Inside | Florals: Iris & Co Floral Design | Table: Linda’s Vintage Hire

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