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San Diego Wedding Caterer Advice: Direct From The Pros

It’s your BIG DAY! Don’t leave anything to chance. We at San Diego Party Ride asked some of the top wedding caterers in San Diego their advice to ensuring your reception is one to remember!

“The food at the reception is one of the most memorable parts of a wedding.

What are some tips you give your couples to ensure this part of their big day goes off without a hitch?”


We understand that planning a wedding can sometimes be stressful and overwhelming, which is why at Parq West our best catering tip is to TRUST your caterer!  We are the experts, know what food works for the occasion and how to realistically bring your wedding vision to life.  We recommend you pick a caterer that will work with you to customize a menu that will meet your taste, dining style and budget.  Leave the meal planning and logistics to us so you can spend more time focusing on enjoying your Special Day.

Parq West


The food is the most important part of the wedding reception because people want to taste what culinary diversity is offered. People travel from different regions to experience of course, the wedding, but to also experience the local cuisine. Taco Surf offers award winning local Mexican Cuisine.

Taco Surf Catering


From my experience, I have always covered my bases to ensure the customer is happy. My advice is to always bring enough booze (or food), set up early, and have enough staffing. Anytime I have ever ran into a situational problem, I have always had enough time and staff on hand help to fix the problem. If you stay on top of those specific things, what ever you do a service will be a smooth event and successful.

Tap Truck SD


Whether you want a plated meal, or buffet style, it’s important to realize that even though your family and friend’s dietary needs are important, this meal is about you, for you.  It should be a dish that represents something about you two.  Perhaps the entree you two ate on your first date, or what you were eating on the day of the proposal.  Maybe you two share a favorite dish, and you’d love your family and friends to get the opportunity to experience it.

Once you choose what works for YOU, then we can adjust for any specific dietary needs of your guests.  We are here to help build a life lasting memory for you two, and that starts with your needs.

BAPS! Restaurant


As a caterer, our most important objective is to paint a picture of our client’s vision and ensure that it comes to life without any stresses for the couple. With that said, our biggest piece of advice to soon-to-be newlyweds is to obtain a list of every service that their caterer will provide on their big day and ensure it aligns with their vision and overall timeline of events. Will they help set the table? Fill water glasses? Pass out glasses and champagne for the toast? Clear plates? Do the cake cutting? These are all tasks that most full-service caterers provide in their packages, but some do not, and the last thing you want is to have to scramble on your wedding day. If you have a Wedding Coordinator, make sure to give your caterer his or her contact information so they can do the logistical planning for you. Last, but not least, your wedding day is one of the happiest, most important days of your life. Relax, enjoy it, and make sure to eat!

Razzy Rucas


Hire a Professional & Licensed Bar Caterer: 

Be sure your beverage caterer is professional to serve alcohol. As simple as this sounds, there’s a lot of risk associated for all parties involved if the caterer is not professional. At Snake Oil Cocktail Company, we work with the California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control to be sure each event is permitted using our beverage catering license. We also carry a $5 million liquor liability and general liability insurance policy. Our goal is to be sure everyone is safe during your celebration! Don’t be afraid to ask questions of event planners and venue managers to make sure they have secured the proper event permits.

Do Your Research:

Find a caterer that has a great reputation in the community. There’s a reason why Snake Oil is involved with 650 events a year. We hire staff based on personality and their ability to think on their feet. Anyone can be taught how to pour a great drink but very few can be taught how to be polite and how to play well as a team. Our team is a group of dedicated individuals, ready to execute an event to the very best of their ability, from the planning process to serving each guest. Invest in a company that ensures a quality cocktail program, professional bartenders, and, of course, service with a smile! 

Share Your Creativity:

We want your beverage plan to be as unique as you are, so we offer the opportunity to customize everything. If you have any ideas that you’d like to share or a Pinterest board, please do! With the rise of Instagram culture and the easy ordering availability of fresh produce ingredients that were not otherwise available locally, the creativity level is always getting pushed and we love it. We encourage couples to share their personality through the beverage experience, so let’s get creative.

Snake Oil Cocktail Company


We often get asked “are the portions big enough” “how much food will we need” “can you cater dietary needs such as vegetarian” “how do we know how much is enough” All those questions are valid to ask any caterer and if possible ask the caterer to provide a tasting session choosing 3/4 items from their catering menu so you can get a realistic idea of portion, taste and presentation style.  Presentation, taste and portion are absolutely vital to know and understand when organizing a caterer for your special day.  If in doubt ask, ask the caterer as many questions as you need to in order to make the right decision choosing your ideal catering partner.  A good Executive Chef can answer all those questions confidently.  Also what ever you agree with the caterer regarding cuisine and menu style make sure it is clearly stated within the contract, confirmed and reconfirmed in advance of the wedding.

Street Chef California


Make sure that the food can be prepared quickly and ensure your caterer has more than enough time to set up, get ready and serve, it’s OK to be ready early, but it’s NOT OK to be ready late!  Perhaps this is military training creeping in, but it’s served us well.

Pacific Wood-Fired Pizza