Ask Lura: What You Need to Know Before You Schedule Your Tasting

wow your guests Planning a wedding can be stressful. There are guest lists to make, budgets to plan, venues to tour and family dynamics to navigate, but certain aspects of wedding planning in Sonoma County are fun and enjoyable. One is attending your wedding tasting. There’s nothing better than taste-testing different foods and choosing your favorites.

If you’re like most couples, you’ve probably never attended a wedding tasting before, but you shouldn’t be nervous. After reading through this guide, you’ll know what to expect and what to consider during your tasting.

The First Steps

Work with your wedding planner or wedding coordinator to create a list of potential caterers, then schedule meetings or phone calls to discuss availability, pricing info and sample menus. When talking about tastings, ask about your options. Some caterers offer private tastings while others only conduct tastings for groups, and some may not offer tastings until you’ve already booked their services. Preparing for Your Tastings Go on an empty stomach.At your tastings, you’ll likely be presented with smaller versions of various courses, but don’t be fooled by the small size! Even small bites will add up quickly, and you don’t want to cut your tasting short because you’ve fallen into a food coma.

Keep your budget in mind.By the time you attend a tasting, you should have already set a budget with your wedding coordinator or wedding planner. Don’t be wooed into going over it by an expensive and fancy feast. Stick to your budget or be prepared to move money from another category, like your venue, DJ or dress.

Consider food restrictions and allergies.Even if you and your beloved don’t have dietary restrictions, you may have guests who are vegans, vegetarians, gluten-intolerant or allergic to certain ingredients. Talk to potential caterers about how they can accommodate these special needs to create a menu that will please all your guests.

26558030 - wedding reception tables During the Tastings Take notes! Wedding planning in Sonoma County is often a long process that can take months. Jot down notes during your tastings, so you remember which caterer had the best chicken cordon bleu and whose garden salad was slightly wilted. You’ll be happy to have records of your impressions when it is time to book later.

Ask questions.Don’t be afraid to ask potential caterers for other options. For example, if you love a cut of meat but don’t love the sauce poured over it, ask what they can do differently.

Focus on the overall experience.Taste shouldn’t be your only guide to choosing a caterer. Also consider the freshness of the food, the presentation, table settings and serving style. Are the portion sizes appropriate? Is the food displayed artfully? Is your event more suited to a plated meal or a buffet? Are the servers polite and prompt? Each of these details is just as important as the taste of the food.

Following these tips will ensure that you get the most out of your wedding tasting and choose the right caterer for your needs and budget, but the most important part is that you enjoy yourself during the process.