The menu is a big part of the big day, so it’s understandable that couples want to make sure the food they choose is as fabulous as they hope. This is where the wedding food tasting comes in. But you shouldn’t expect your caterer to do it for free, if at all. As you know, ingredients and time cost money, so most charge a fee, while some do not offer the Service at all. However, it depends on the supplier and the circumstances. “We charge a small price for tastings for married guests who haven’t booked yet,” says Sarah Kuhlberg, creative director of Colette’s Catering and Events in Orange County, California. “The fee is only used to cover certain costs, that is, samples of food, alcohol and cakes. If the party is booked, the tasting fee will be paid on the remaining wedding balance.”
Of course, the caterer you meet can do things a little differently. Here’s what else you need to know about these somewhat unexpected fees.
Your contractual status can determine whether you are charged or not.
If you have already signed a contract or would like to book after the tasting, the fee is sometimes waived. However, if you are still searching for your options, you may have to pay for this preview. Unfortunately, it is likely that other brides and grooms took advantage of the courtesy of their caterer – just another reason for the fees.
What covers the costs may vary.
While some catering companies offer a choice of two starters, others may work with the couple of honor to arrange a menu according to their tastes. “We produce our tastings to meet the customer’s needs directly, as well as a seasonal focus on the chosen cuisine,” says Kuhlberg. “Our chef’s menus are presented by our sales managers and offer customers a complete seating experience.”
You should not bring more than six people.
This is not an excuse to have a bite to eat with the bridesmaids. Keep the group of participants to a minimum. Kuhlberg advises never to exceed six and to stick with those she calls the “marriage decision-makers”.”Think of yourself and your fiancée, your mothers or fathers, and maybe your planner or a member of a bridal party.
As always communicate.
As in any relationship, communication with the chef and the sales manager — Before, during and after the tasting — is the key. Finally, it’s time to get to know your supplier, ask questions, make replacement requests and much more. Usually caterers indicate possible bills in advance, but if not, ask. “We are very transparent about all costs in advance and share this when planning the tasting,” says Kuhlberg. “We also want the tasting to be fun. After all, food is one of the fun parts of the wedding planning process! We really like it when our couples, their friends and family have a great time, get to know their sales manager and chef better, and really see their Vision come together.”