Post # 1
We have one front-runner as far as catering. Our coordinator says they’re pretty good and they fit into our budget. BUT I have never been to a wedding they’ve catered and we don’t have a very good Yelp around here to read reviews on them.
They’ve been in business since 1999.
The crummy thing is that we are getting married on March 15….and they can’t schedule a tasting until NOVEMBER. I have already waited way longer than I am comfortable waiting to book a caterer, and lots of our other planning decisions are going to stem from our catering budget.
Should I book them without a tasting, or wait until November and cross my fingers, hoping they’re good? (If they’re not, we may be hard-pressed to find someone else who isn’t booked.)
Post # 3
I’d never expect a tasting before booking my caterer. Almost all the venues had exclusive caterers and you couldn’t taste before booking or choose a different but I didn’t care. It turns out that our venues exclusive caterer is one of my favorite restaurants so that turned out great. But even if I didn’t know who it was I probably wouldn’t care. I doubt the chicken and prime rib will vary greatly between caterers.
Post # 4
yeah, i’d be fine without a tasting. we booked our venue/restaurant without trying their food and it was just as amazing as it sounded.
I’d worry only about the coordinator saying they’re “pretty good”. That’s kind of the go-to thing to say when you don’t want to actually say that they aren’t good.
(example: “is this a good instructor to take?” “um, he’s pretty good” when he’s actually not.)
Post # 5
I did. Our caterer only offers weekday tastings and that is just not possible for us. So we booked anyways!
Post # 6
@EffieTrinket: We booked without a tasting because our venue has an exclusive caterer and we REALLY wanted our venue. We are long distance planning so swinging by wasn’t really an option, plus they charge ~$150-200 for a tasting. However, once we put our deposit down, we are allowed a complimentary tasting for 4 people. The next time we are in town, we will definitely take advantage of that so we can at least know what dishes are worthwhile.
Post # 7
Yeah I wouldn’t, in fact one of my orginal front runners for my wedding didn’t do indivdual tastings so I drop them. I say keep them on list, but be actively searching for someone else with better dates.
Post # 8
@cooperlove: They sounded pretty confident about it. They said the same thing about the other caterer I asked about it, and to confirm I said “So I could go with either of those and be all right?” And she said yes.
FWIW, the other caterer quoted us $9,000 for 135 people. LOL. No.
Post # 9
I WOULD NOT!!!!
Are they part of a restaurant?
Do they cater anything to other restaurant businesses that you can buy off of?
I booked my venue (a restaurant) after I’ve already eaten there 3-4 times so I know the service, food is good and very familiar with the layout.
Thats a LOT Of money to go with something people WILL talk about after your wedding whether it goes (hopefully) good or bad.
Post # 10
@EffieTrinket: I said ‘no’ but then I read your situation (I’ve got a BAD habit of doing polls first on here withoug reading the question I’m sorry!!).
Seems to me like you might as well book them without tasting…and hope they are good when you do the tasting in November. It sounds like due to pricing this might be one of your only options anyway. If for some reason you don’t like how the tasting goes, I’d have one or two back ups ready to go, that perhaps you can do the tasting in October, just in case this one doesn’t work out.
Post # 11
Can they provide you with recent references? Are they catering any upcoming public events?
If they can’t offer either, I wouldn’t book them.
Post # 12
@EffieTrinket: I put no, but in reality if I were in your situation I probably would.
Down here where I live, there are few caterers and we have no trouble organising tastings and things in a flash, probably because we aren’t in a city and there’s only one caterer around who is ONLY a function caterer (also very expensive!) the rest are cafe’s and things, while our caterer makes cakes and deserts as her main trade! But she catered the fingerfood at FSIL’s wedding last year and she was fabulous, (and half the price of the expensive one!) so technically we tasted her food!
I would at the very least get recent, UNBIASED reviews! — @remijp: — What she said 🙂
Post # 13
We did hire our caterer without a tasting. They were awesome! We trusted the reviews, and it worked out.
Post # 14
We had a Destination Wedding and didn’t make it in time to make an appointment during our “scouting” trip. We did a lot of research and talked to local friends but were definitely nervous. Luckily they were FABULOUS and everyone was thrilled about the food.
Post # 15
I’d just wait until November. Its only a month away.
Post # 16
We did! Pretty much all their online reviews mentioned how great the food was, plus when I talked to our other potential vendors (we had a relatively short engagement so booked our venues, photographer, and cooridinator all pretty much right away) – well, they all mentioned how fabulous the food was at this place as soon as I said we were considering it. So that sealed the deal!
Do your due diligence – I think you should be able to find enough out about the place from word-of-mouth without having to do a tasting.