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Food & Drink

What You Need To Know About Food And Wine Tastings

What You Need To Know About Food And Wine Tastings

One of the most fun and most important choices you will make for your wedding is making the food selections. Since food will be one of the largest expenses, it is important to experience the cuisine you will be serving beforehand.

Since different venues have different approaches, it's good to ask early in the process what your caterer does. Many times the caterer won’t bring up the tasting so make sure you ask about it at the initial consultation. There are 2 types of tastings, group or private.

For group tastings, the caterer or restaurant will have a few events each year, varying from once a month to once every six months, where they get their clients and potential clients together. The caterer will usually set the menu in advance and you will personally have little control over what is on the menu. These group tastings are sometimes also called "mock weddings" and can include up to 20 other couples. Normally, the bride and groom are free, but that can vary from vendor to vendor. Almost always, anyone else’s meal is not complimentary so if you want one of the parents to attend, expect to have to pay for their meal.

For private tastings, you will normally have much more control over the menu. You will get to pick appetizers, salads, and entrees. Be careful not to overeat on the first few courses so that you don’t get full and can’t enjoy the entire menu. Some vendors go to the extreme and try to simulate your guests’ experience by using the same linens, silverware, and china as will be used at the actual reception. Most caterers will charge you a tasting fee for a private tasting, although you may be able to get a complimentary tasting if you negotiate it before signing the contract. A lot will depend on the size of the wedding and the overall cost of the food.

No matter the format of the tasting, be sure to bring a notebook and take lots of notes. After many courses, it’s easy to forget the details. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your coordinator or banquet manager. Also, don’t forget to ask about vegetarian or gluten free options for your guests.

Bakers are usually more generous with complementary tasting for your wedding cake. Its best to schedule your tasting when you’re hungry since you may be sampling dozens of different combinations of cake and frosting flavors.

This is also a great opportunity to get you future husband involved. Most men love to eat and how much more romantic can you get then picking out the first meal you will have as husband and wife.

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