There are dozens of personal decisions to be made when planning a wedding, and some of them can be extremely stressful. The wedding tasting to choose a caterer and menu can be one of the most fun and relaxing activities if you follow basic rules of etiquette and then consider taste, cost and presentation options before making your final decision.
- No matter how scrumptious the food is, don't feel you have to sign a contract with the first caterer you visit. Get recommendations from friends and family members and try to schedule tastings with at least two caterers so that you have a basis for comparison. Most caterers will understand that you are comparison shopping, and they should not pressure you to sign on the dotted line before you're ready.
Keep an Eye on Your Budget
- Shrimp cocktail and lobster tails might have been featured in the wedding of your dreams, but your budget may not be in agreement with your preferences. Don't be afraid to speak to the catering manager about substitutions based on what your budget will allow. The catering manager might also make suggestions regarding serving fewer courses or a less expensive menu.
Eat Before You Go to a Tasting
- Almost anything tastes good when you're hungry, so make sure you have a little something in your stomach before you go to the tasting. Remember, the purpose of a wedding tasting is to get a small sample of the dishes to be served at your wedding, so don't fill up on any one dish since you will need room to sample several others. A couple of bites is enough to determine whether or not you like the taste.
Don't Bring a Large Group
- It's fun to bring a friend, your parents and your future in-laws, but don't bring a large group of friends. While you want everyone to enjoy the wedding feast, the day really belongs to the bride and groom and ultimately, it's their taste that truly matters. Be sure to let the caterer know how many people will be coming for the tasting.
- You don't have to choose anything that you or your betrothed really don't care for, but be flexible enough to consider a dish that you might not have initially chosen. For example, a vegetable you've always avoided might be appealing when prepared in a new way. With all the excitement accompanying the wedding and reception, you may be not eating much anyway.
- Bring a notepad to the tasting. Be sure to make a note of not only how the food looks and tastes, but also how it is presented. Even though you will probably take a menu with you when you leave, if you are visiting several caterers, taking notes will help refresh your memory when it's time to make a final decision.
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