Pearl Catering

Tips and Advice

Menu Tastings: What to know before you go!

The menu tasting is one of the most enjoyable wedding planning tasks – who doesn’t want to try amazing food? Whether your venue offers catering, or you’re going with an outside caterer, you will have to try out the food and choose your wedding dinner menu. Here are some helpful things to know before your menu tasting. Bon appetit!

Pearl Catering

Choose Menu Items Beforehand  Don’t expect to try absolutely everything on the menu – the chef won’t prepare the whole thing for you. Instead, you’ll take a look at their menu beforehand, and choose a small selection of things you might want to serve for dinner – think 4 appetizers, 3 salads, 4 entrees, and so on. You’ll then narrow it down after tasting!

Come Hungry, but Not Starving  You’ll be tasting a wide selection of food, so it’s advised not to eat much before your tasting – but don’t be starving when you arrive, either. You want to be able to judge the food accurately, and you can’t do that if you’re ravenous and cranky.  

Don’t Be Afraid to Voice Your Preferences  If you think something needs to be changed on one of the menu items, speak up! If the salad needs more dressing, or if you like your crab cakes on the firmer side – let the chef know to make a note of your preference. Small tweaks are doable, and they will be happy to make them for you.

Think About The Actual Wedding Day  You’ll most likely be doing your menu tasting in advance, so think about the actual day of the wedding and what you’ll want your guests to eat. For instance, if your wedding is in August but your tasting is in January, a beef tenderloin might taste amazing at the time, but may be too heavy to serve for a warm summer wedding – you may want to consider a lighter fish option and a crisp, refreshing salad. Or if you know you’ll be doing family photos after the ceremony, make sure to choose a selection of yummy appetizers for the rest of your guests to keep them happy until dinner!

Don’t Bring Too Many People With You  This may be one of the few wedding planning tasks that your bridal party will actually volunteer for – again, who doesn’t want to try awesome food? – but it’s best to keep your guests at the tasting to a minimum. Everyone is a critic when it comes to food, and you won’t want too many opinions to consider. In fact, many venues/caterers will only allow up to 4 people anyway.

Take Notes as You Go! Have someone in your group write notes down as you go – after you’ve tasted everything, it’ll be difficult to remember how you felt about each specific menu item. Brief, simple notes will be a huge help afterwards!

All images courtesy of Pearl Catering

This Tips & Advice piece was submitted by Dana Barbar, a trusted local wedding professional and talented writer.