Wedding Catering Planning Timeline

A catered table at a wedding

Wedding Catering Planning Timeline

Planning a wedding is a huge undertaking. There are many details to nail down, including the reception venue, decorations, cake, and menu. Regarding food, finding a wedding caterer who can suit your needs and budget is crucial.

Make sure you have a plan before you start looking at wedding catering packages with prices. No matter how enticing some wedding catering packages may look, you must remember your allotted budget for wedding food catering. The key to finding the right wedding caterers will depend on your online research. When working with wedding catering services, it is up to the company to execute its job correctly. However, it is your responsibility to iron out all the details with them long before the big day. If you are considering wedding catering services for your special day, continue reading about our wedding catering planning timeline.

Six to Eight Months Before the Wedding:

Pick out a short list of the best wedding catering companies in your area. Your list should have at most half a dozen different options; otherwise, it will take more effort for you to make a final decision.

Once you have determined which wedding catering companies you want to use, set up a time to meet with them and discuss your wedding reception menu. They will have a selection of wedding catering packages and be able to tell you the estimated cost for each package. Before anything can be finalized, you will have to go over the catering contract, sign it, and make a deposit.

Four to Six Months Before the Wedding:

Get a final count of all the wedding guests who plan on attending the reception. Once you have double-checked your list and have a head count from both sides of the family, contact your wedding reception caterers. This is also the timeframe for discussing special dietary requests (if there are any) with your wedding reception caterers.

Two to Three Months Before the Wedding:

Food is the most significant aspect of wedding catering, but you must also consider the seating arrangement, plus any rentals you will need. By now, the wedding day jitters have started to kick in, but do not let that deter you from finalizing the floor plan and approving the seating arrangement with your wedding caterers. At some point during your discussion, you will also need to go through the list of rental items, including (but not limited to) linens, tables, and chairs.

One Month Before the Wedding:

The time has come to review the wedding catering contract. Feel free to go through it with a fine-tooth comb before signing it; you can still make any necessary last-minute changes at this time. You will also have to confirm the timeline of the wedding day with them. This will ensure your wedding caterers know when to arrive and when they need to start serving the food.

One Week Before the Wedding:

Reconfirm your final guest count, then inform the catering company of any changes. Talk to them about rental items again and ensure you are both on the same page. Sometimes details fall through the cracks, so this is one way to avoid potential wedding day mishaps.

The Day Before the Wedding:

Go through the nitty gritty details with your wedding caterers one last time. They want your special day to run as smoothly as possible; communicate your expectations so they can meet your needs.

The Day of the Wedding:

Now that all the wedding catering details are taken care of – enjoy yourself. Your wedding does not happen every day, so do not waste all that time, planning, and preparation. Eat all the food you want, and most of all, have fun celebrating this memorable day!


Planning is of utmost importance, especially for special events such as weddings. Ideally, you should find a wedding caterer six to eight months before the wedding. Once you choose a wedding caterer, start planning things with them as soon as possible. The more time you give yourself, the greater your chances of success on the big day.

If you have been searching for wedding catering companies in Southern California, look at Command Performance Catering. We have proudly served our customers for over 35 years, and we look forward to giving you the best wedding catering experience of your life.