As much as couples have a tendency to focus on décor elements for the wedding day, what guests often care about most is the food. This is just one reason why having a food tasting is absolutely crucial for your big day. The meal served at your reception is also likely to make up a large portion of your budget, so you want to make sure you’re happy with what is offered. In some cases, particularly when the venue provides onsite catering, you will have already booked the vendor before your tasting. When you hire the caterer separately, you may have to pay for the tasting, as they will have to prepare the food for you to try. Generally, this is the only time you’ll be able to try out the meal for your wedding, so it’s important to make the most of the experience.
Photo by Eric Kelley; Planning & Design by Kelli Corn Weddings and Events
Here are some tips and tricks to get you through it:
- Bring your planner. If you hired a professional consultant for your big day, they can be a valuable resource for the tasting. They’ll know what to look out for.
- Know your budget. Even if you discussed your price point with the caterer beforehand, upcharges can add up very quickly. Never forget what you’re willing to spend.
- Ask for customizations. Perhaps you loved the way the chicken was cooked but aren’t crazy about the sauce, or you thought the salad was delicious but prefer feta cheese to Gorgonzola. Don’t be afraid to ask for adjustments – but listen to the chef if they don’t think your suggestion will work well. You should be able to work together to create a menu you’re all happy with.
- Keep your group small. Just like going dress shopping, you don’t want too many opinions confusing the overall vision. You, your future spouse, and your planner is really all you need, and adding one more trusted person is about the limit.
- Be mindful of quality. Obviously you want the food to taste good, but you also need to make sure the produce is fresh and nothing has dry edges.
- Tip your server. In this sense, a tasting is just like having a meal at a restaurant. It is a kind and proper gesture to tip the server who brings you each dish.