Firstly start at home and ask friends, family or anyone you know who recently married of anyone they would recommend. We have all been to or know of someone who has been to a wedding, word of mouth is the most proven way of determining any suppliers credentials.
Don’t get dragged into the “buy local” scenario, there is no real need to use a local caterer when the best caterer available within your budget may be based 50 miles away but is prepared to travel to further enhance their own reputation. By the very nature of event catering referrals are given to the caterers who exceed their clients’ expectations. Ask to see testimonials, and more importantly ask to see the originals! We’ve all seen snippets of testimonials on various sites that lead you to believe they are real, I’m not saying they are not but it begs the question……………more to follow.