As you plan your wedding reception, one of the top details to finalize is the food. Guests are going to come hungry, as are you, and everyone will be craving scrumptious fare. Whether you are having a sit-down dinner, buffet, or stations, having a food tasting with your caterer or venue (if they provide the catering) during the planning process is highly suggested.
Even if the wedding dinner menu is curated from your favorite restaurant, chef, or catering company and a tasting seems like an unnecessary step, it’s a decision that you won’t regret. Thoughtful planning in both cocktails and cuisine will only reinforce that all aspects of the reception will be perfect – setting your mind at ease as you plan the rest of the details. A great wedding-reception dinner is going to recharge both you and your guests, and the tasting is the best way to prepare to ensure everyone will be satisfied on the special day.
Photo by Carasco Photography; From Real Wedding: Traditional Ceremony & Glamorous Garden-Inspired Tented Reception
Reading the wedding-reception menu is one thing, but tasting the food is even more important. All venues, restaurants, and caterers cook and prepare fare differently, so you’ll want to ensure everything actually tastes the way you imagine to avoid any big surprises on the day of the celebration.
Maybe you’re a foodie and desire an assortment of family-style shared dishes for the reception. Not only will you want to consider how much you will need for each table, but a tasting will help you decide which plates are most delicious and suitable for your guests. Tastings are also a wonderful way to narrow down a few plated entrée choices – or to make sure the lesser-priced option is sufficient, or if you'd prefer to splurge on a more high-end selection.
Presentation is so important for many couples. You are not going to want to eat a dish that does not look appetizing – nor will any of your attendees. Request that your food tasting be plated exactly how it will be at the wedding, or as similarly as possible. You don’t want to be disappointed when you sit down for dinner and find your carefully selected meal presented in a less than desirable fashion.
Though your wedding dinner menu should reflect your tastes and favorites in cuisine, it’s always nice to consider your family and friends when making final selections. It’s also a considerate gesture to have a designated vegetarian entrée and/or to ask your loved ones if there are any special dietary restrictions or allergies. At the food tasting, you’ll have an opportunity to think through the options and discuss them with your caterer.
Whether this is provided at the tasting or not, custom cocktails are always a fun choice for special events. If you have this in mind, tasting the food will help you decide which libations will work well with each dish. Also, ask the caterer if he or she has any suggestions. Cocktails that include local or seasonal fruits or spices are a great way to make the concoction extra tasty!
Even if you don't care much about food, don't skip the tasting! Not only will tasting the wedding food prior to the event help you to avoid unexpected surprises, it will most definitely eliminate any stress or worries you might have had before related to your guests' experience. Due to your careful preparation, you will feel confident that supper will be exactly what you wished for.
Remember to keep an open mind when food tasting and keep the communication open with your caterer, so you and your soon-to-be spouse will have the dinner reception of your dreams! Also, be sure to check with them if you plan to bring a lot of guests to the tasting – sometimes it can be an extra charge to have anyone besides the bride and groom tasting.
Opening photo by Vue Photography; Planning & Design by La Cosa Bella Events; From Real Wedding: Destination Wedding with Chapel Ceremony + Outdoor Reception in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico