Last Minute Changes for your Wedding or Function
Last Minute changes to your wedding and function may be important to ensuring everything runs smoothly on the day. This may include guest numbers, wet weather contingencies and locations.
It is very common for multiple enquiries to be made regarding catering services and venue hire. Depending on the replies you receive, you will book with the company you feel most comfortable with. As each company has different policies, it is important to keep these in mind when making any last minute changes and how this may affect their service for you.
If you have booked with a venue, they usually charge a flat rate for the venue hire only and guest numbers may not affect the final amounts payable if guest numbers are reduced. For a catering company this will not be the same policy. Guest numbers are usually approximate on enquiries; however a minimum number of guests may be required, even if final numbers are lower than expected. With larger catering companies this may not be a problem, however if they are travelling a distance to reach your location or venue minimum charges may still apply.
Smaller catering companies that only accept one function per day will work on minimum guest numbers when making a booking. When their function comes closer and the numbers are reduced by 10-20 guests this can make a big difference to the overall cost quoted. It is standard policy to charge the minimum based on the booking. If you contact your suppliers asking for a cheaper price due to reduced guest numbers once a booking has already been made, it may not be viable to do the job especially if travel is quite substantial. Do consider minimum numbers when making a booking and how this may affect you when RSVPs are received.
Wet weather contingencies are another important detail when considering any last minute changes. If you wedding or function is planned outdoors or the venue may be hard to access for suppliers, do have a wet weather contingency plan. I have heard horror stories that weddings have had to be completely changed within a week of the function date, as no plans had been put in place. This does have major implications with your suppliers especially if a lot of planning and work has already been organised for your event. Another problem with wet weather, even if you are having a marquee for your guests, is providing shelter and easy access for your catering company.
Caterers and party hire companies generally have requirements that are provided when making initial enquiries. If you have advised there will be easy access for vehicles making deliveries or working onsite, and wet weather means they can't deliver this may have huge implications for you or the company hired. Transporting huge amounts of equipment in the rain long distances will require more work, and may affect the quality you receive.
Consider any last minute changes that may be required when booking your suppliers, and do have a wet weather contingency plan. It may require a little more planning, however this will be nothing compared to a wet function when all your suppliers are wet and working in extreme conditions.