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Guest Blogger: Sarah Hendler, food for thought

February 9, 2010

The knitty gritty: venues, tastings and meal options

I was very fortunate to have my wedding at my childhood home. However, before coming to that final decision I did my fair share of research of venues all over New York state. Farms, lofts, vineyards…you name it. All of the venues had different food options. Some had standard catering companies you had to use and others you had to bring in your own. Through the whole process even with our own caterer I went with the old standard saying, “It doesn’t hurt to ask”.

Below is some insight into three major components of choosing, eating and loving your wedding food!

If there is a standard menu or you feel like your options are limited due to the venue or budget you still can ask some important questions. Remember: It never hurts to ask!! Trust your caterer. Make sure you feel comfortable with them or a member of their team.  Food always taste better when it is in season.  Still stuck? Ask if the caterer can recreate a dish that is meaningful to you and your husband. An appetizer from your favorite local restaurant or a type of cuisine you had in another country. Finally, if there is no room for being creative ask if you can bring in your own cake or some form of dessert.


There is usually a charge per person attending the tasting. Or a caterer will ask you to have the event contract signed for them to do the tasting. Bring another person with you, fiancé, family member or wedding planner. Talk to your caterer.  Make sure you know exactly what they will be serving you. You have to be able to make compromises for cost and for staying in season. Try to do your tasting closer to your wedding date. If you do a tasting in the winter for a summer wedding you will not have the same ingredients. Questions to ask yourself before the tasting: Do you have to try every one of your passed appetizers? Do you have to taste the salad?


Like any aspect of a wedding the way you present it can make such a difference. Family style service was a hit at our wedding and does not have to translate into a casual wedding. People were so excited to tell me how nice it was to share food with other guests at the table. Fish, poultry and meat can all be done in this family style atmosphere. A twist on the formal plated meal is duo plates.  Putting smaller portions of two different types of food on the same plate. Think lobster and steak. A new trend for the reception is heavy appetizers with beer, wine and maybe one specialty cocktail. A hit for people doing any size wedding who want it to feel more like a cocktail party then a traditional wedding.


Tomorrow…caterers. The ones you might not know about in your city…Check back in for a food filled Wednesday post.

Do you have any good tasting suggestions or fun ways you have seen food served at a wedding?

chow, Sarah

{photo c/o Scott Clark Photo, a la mode, Davina+Daniel}