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Tipsheet: How Not to Drive Your Caterer, and Yourself, Crazy

Caterers can suffer the brunt of a couples' wedding frustrations. You want a million tastings, but can't narrow down your choices. Money is tight, but your heart is set on a full-course, sit-down meal. Alan Bell, partner in David Ziff Cooking, offers these tips on how to get the best out of your caterer.

Be Up-Front
Come with an idea of what you're looking for. Don't start by saying "It's up to you," only to complain later that your wishes weren't met.

Be Flexible
There are many factors that affect caterers, and sometimes a couple has to compromise because of price and/or location. Get over it, your wedding will still be fantastic.

Be Reasonable
It's a menu, not a magic wand. If you're on a strict budget, a caterer can help you cut some corners, but if you want the meal of your dreams, you'll have to sacrifice in other places. Order folding chairs instead of ballroom chairs; bring your own alcohol; forget about hand-blown glasses. There are ways to keep costs down, but don't hope for the impossible.

From the Spring 2005 New York Wedding Guide


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