I attended a wedding recently where the caterer ran out of food. He literally did not have enough food for all of the guests, even though the guest count was less than what the bride originally booked for. Needless to say, it was not a good evening for guests at this event.
I felt sorry for the bride and groom and their family. They tried to come up with different solutions, but in the end, people did go without or left the reception to find their own dinner. A sad affair for everyone.
The lesson learned? I am not sure that this one could be caught in time. The caterer had a great reputation for good food-served buffet style. He promised that this had never happened to him in all his multiple years of catering before. He was mortified and dumbfounded as to what had happened. He graciously picked up the tab for extra food that was brought in, but by then it was too late.
He did confess that he had never served a sit-down meal before, so brides the lesson here is to make sure that any vendor that you choose whether it be caterer, DJ, florist, etc. make sure that they can handle the job that you have hired them for. Is this their first time? Probably not a good idea to let them "practice" on your event. References are good. Ask to see samples of their work. Get some type of guarantee in writing. Ask for taste testings, sample CD's of music mixes, or a sample floral arrangement. Whatever it takes to ensure that your event is labeled a success.