A tasting is the most important thing when hiring a caterer (in addition to getting along with your contact). But you should also review photos of their presentation techniques. You don't have to have a Pablo Picasso or a Jackson Pollock, but find a caterer who can jazz up your cocktail hour or buffet with their own creative interpretation of your theme.
I love these hot dog lollipops from Elegant Affairs. (I had the pleasure of eating them). The presentation was great: a Lucite tray with each "lollipop" on a tall Lucite stick).
I happened to miss these, but they look fantastic. This tray looks like (and very well may be) a simple votive holder that you can buy in a variety of styles. Instead of candles, fill it with your hors d'oeuvres. (Again from Elegant Affairs.)
2Taste Catering served these gazpacho shooters with a test tube of vodka. Cold soup shooter, in a variety of containers and tastes, can be a very refreshing hors d'oeuvre for a summer wedding.
I love these mini crudites. The tray is what really stands out in this picture along side the modern square dishes. You can create a tray out of anything (picture frames of the two of you, music books, travel magazines, anything), tying it into your theme or highlighting quirky parts of your personalities. (Elegant Affairs)
I LOVE the presentation of this dessert. It takes a simple pudding or mousse with berries to a whole new level. Be careful if you will have an older (or slightly less-sophisticated crowd), you don't want to serve food that will scare away your guests. In the end, taste matters, and your guests can't enjoy it if they don't know how to eat it. (Shiraz NYC)
This elegant tray highlights the perfect seaside wedding. Shells and elegant starfish sit on the bottom layer of this tray. You may even what to use elements in the tray to emphasize the ingredients in the dish. (Shiraz NYC)