Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Wedding Planning: The Menu

Here's a preview of our menu... courtesy of the Royal Fig (Image from RoyalFig.com).
Food is rarely the thing that you remember about a wedding, but it is important. The first step in selecting a menu is finding the perfect caterer. When interviewing, you want to take the food into account, but experience and references are also a consideration.

Start with your venue. Are you getting married at a restaurant? If so, you likely don't need an outside caterer. If your venue doesn't have an on-site caterer, then ask if they have a list of preferred caterers. 

Explain your vision. Tell the caterer what you have in mind for your menu, and allow them to offer suggestions or options that you haven't considered. If you're not quite sure where to start, try asking some of these questions:
  • Do you specialize in a certain type of food?
  • What was the most unique menu you have created?
  • What recommendations do you have, given our wedding style?
Ask for photos or sample menus. Most caterers will share sample menus or a master menu of options that you can choose from. Seeing pictures isn't critical, but if you're serving a plated meal you'll want to see how they present the food. Similarly, you might be interested in seeing what their buffet setup is like. 

Taste the food. Many caterers will have an initial meeting, then set up a tasting once you've made some decisions about the type of food/menu you're looking to have. This is a great opportunity to make sure that you like the food, see the dishes and serving pieces they use, and ask additional questions you might have. Pay attention to:
  • How the food is served: Is this how it will be served on your big day?
  • Food temperature: If you're having a plated meal, it's likely that some dishes may come out lukewarm. Will this impact the tastiness of your menu?
  • Overall professionalism: Is this someone you trust to orchestrate one of the main parts of your wedding?
Confirm the details. Before you sign on the dotted line, ask about the number of servers, the amount of glassware they provide, whether or not linens are included, and any other details that are important to you. It's also a good idea to ask how many other events they're doing that day, and be sure to check their references!

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