What to include in your contract

  • The date, time, length and location (include specific room or hall) of the reception.
  • The date by which you need to supply the caterer with a final headcount.
  • Type of food service (buffet, cocktail reception, seated meal).
  • Your approved menu and courses.
  • Alcohol arrangements: Does your caterer have a liquor license? Can you supply your own wine? Will there be a corkage fee? What brands and vintages will they be serving? Can you return unopened bottles? Will there be an open bar? (If so, specify the hours.)
  • Server specifics, including staff-to-guest ratio and dress code.
  • The cost of renting equipment, silverware, glassware and linens.
  • Arrangements for feeding other wedding vendors (photographer, band, planner).
  • The name of the banquet manager who will be overseeing the reception.
  • Price quotes for food and maximums on unforeseen menu expenditures; cancellation and overtime fees; deposit and refund policies; payment schedule; extra fees including gratuities and sales tax; and the total estimated cost.

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