14 Essential Terms to Know When Talking to Your Caterer

Feeling overwhelmed by talking to your wedding vendors? Here are 14 essential terms to know when talking to your wedding caterer! Click through to check them out!

Have you felt overwhelmed by the number of vendors you need to talk to that work in industries you may be completely unfamiliar with yet? For a lot of brides their wedding is the first time they've needed to speak to caterers, florists, bakers, wedding coordinators, venues, etc. and it can be very overwhelming! While vendors do everything they can (or at least they should!) to make the process as easy as possible for brides, sometimes it's nice to have a few terms under your belt to make you feel more prepared for a meeting. 

Today I'm breaking down some of the more common and essential terms brides will want to know when talking to their caterer!

A la Carte - a menu where each item is priced individually instead of a menu that has a fixed price.

Back of House - everything that happens behind the scenes. The stuff you and your guests do not (and should not) see.

Beverage Stations - where you and your guests can go to get drinks.

Camp/Field Kitchen - if you're getting married outdoors or in a barn, chances are your caterer will need to bring a camp/field kitchen. This is basically a kitchen on wheels since your venue isn't providing one. It usually comes with an extra cost.

Charger - large decorative plates that go under each place setting.

Corkage - a fee charged for opening and serving a bottle of wine brought by in by someone other than the caterer. If you're thinking of providing your own liquor for your wedding to cut cost, you will definitely want to ask if there's a corkage fee because it may end up costing you more in the long run!

Family Style - a method of serving food where large dishes are placed on each table from which guests can serve themselves.

Market Price - this is used for items like fish where the price can vary greatly by season. For a "market priced" item you would be charged according to the going rate of the day for that item.

Open Bar - a bar where you pay a flat rate per guest for a period of time during your reception. During that time guests can have as many drinks as they would like (until/unless they get cut off.)

Service - when waiters/waitresses serve your guests at their tables.

Silencer - this is a piece of padding that can go under tablecloths to help silence the sound of dishes clattering on the table. These are especially helpful if you're in a space prone to echoing or if there will be speakers during the meal.

Sommelier - an expert in the field of wine and food pairings. 

Tasting - a meeting where you can taste some of the items you're interested in for your event. Some caterers charge for these, some do not.

Vendor Meals - some caterers provide half-price meals for other vendors (like your photographer) who need to eat but are not technically a guest.

What are some vendors that you're unsure how to talk to?

xoxo, Stacia

P.S. Were these terms helpful for you? Then you might be interested in tomorrow's newsletter where I'm sharing essential terms that you need to know before talking to your florist. I've cut out the terms that Pinterest can verbalize for you and have gone down to the basics so that you can feel confident and savvy while talking about your floral vision instead of feeling like a deer caught in the headlights! Sign up below! xoxo