Post # 1
Obviously, this is going to differ on preference, but I wanted to know your experiences on how well you remember the food and presentation at a wedding as a guest or a future bride/groom.
My parents (who are paying the most) think it is worth spending extra for fancier food and presentation. My fiance (who is helping to pay for some things) thinks we should budget money for other things. But we both agree that food is important to us, even for our <100 person wedding.
Here are our choices based on tastings we went to in the last couple of weeks:
(1) Company X
– Cheaper cost
– Larger quantity
– More food (10 appetizer options) that were pretty good (3.5 out of 5 stars)
– Preceremony drinks and cake included
– Desserts were very good (4.5 out of 5 stars)
– Their vegetarian dish was very good (4 out of 5 stars)
– Food presentation is not very good compared to other companies, food is sort of piled up on the plate (1.5 out of 5 stars)
– Their chicken and fish entrees were kind of dry and bland, and their beef was a tad tougher than I would have liked. But some of it was decent (their vegetarian option really saved it) (2 out of 5 stars)
(2) Company Y
– Appetizers and entrees were extremely delicious (4.5 out of 5 stars) – moist and well seasoned meats.
– Presentation was sophisticated (5 out of 5 stars)
– Less food (we only get 4-5 appetizers)
– Much more expensive
– No dessert included. Must buy cake from outside bakery.
– Their vegetarian dish was just okay (3 out of 5 stars), but I think we could probably ask to change it to something else.
Company X, which is a family-owned business (including the chef), costs $10K.
Company Y costs $15K. It is more of a business and is headed by a professionally trained executive chef.
I want your 2 cents. Which do you think is more important? Presentation or cost? Would you remember mediocre food/presentation at the wedding?
Post # 2
Good food is a must! If it’s in your budget I would go with the more expensive caterer with better food. Find somewhere else to save money.
Post # 3
The food is pretty much the only thing that guests will really remember about a wedding (and no one is excited about the usual rubber chicken and dusty steak) so I would go for “extremely delicious” rather than “pretty good.” Only you can decide if it’s $5,000 well spent, though.
Post # 4
Can you perhaps find a third company that is somewhere in the middle?
Post # 5
- Wedding: June 2016 - Our Backyard
I agree with pp. I would much rather have good food with limited selection than lots of choices that all taste “ok”. Good food will put your guests in a good mood.
Post # 6
My SO and I would cut from a lot of other places to ensure we served excellent food, but food is a major priority for us in our everyday lives.
I’m also more of a savory (I love appetizers) vs sweet eater and often skip the cake or dessert at weddings–we’ll likely serve some sweets and a cheese course and skip a cake at ours. (I do always enjoy a little box of truffles as a favor to eat on the way home, though.)
Post # 7
I would go with the more expensive option. Food is something people really will remember… my family still talks about how bad the food was at my cousin’s wedding 9 years ago (which I think they need to get over, but there you have it). Unfortunately, people won’t remember what you did right, unless you had something spectacular they’ve never seen before, but they will remember what went wrong.
Post # 8
Company Y. Food is always the most important IMO.
Post # 9
These are all very helpful. My parents have pointed out the same reasons, which is why I’m thinking of going with the more expensive one. I just have to discuss with my fiance…hopefully this won’t be our first wedding fight!
We did already give a deposit to the cheaper company to hold our date, but it was $300, and although we probably won’t get it back, I don’t think there will be an issue of getting someone else to take that date since it’s a popular weekend next year.
Post # 10
Something I’ve learned, from both my wedding, and being a guest at other people’s weddings: guests really don’t care about decor, if everything matches, fancy programs, or fancy invitations. They care about the food, the alcohol, and the DJ (and they mostly only notice if the DJ is bad). Every guest at our wedding talked about how much they loved the food. A handful mentioned the decorations. And thinking back to weddings I’ve attended, I couldn’t tell you about anything except the food, and the DJ. Cut back on the stuff no one will notice, spend money on food. A guest that’s had a great meal and a drink or two is a happy guest.
Post # 11
At a wedding I’m not overly bothered by presentation but a must is portion size and taste. So I’ve been to a wedding and the taste and portion size was great but the presentation was just OK but we went to a wedding at a 5* hotel and we got like one piece of potato in a stupid shape and a small piece of meat – we had to find other food later. Although I’ve been to a wedding where the soup looked like something that would come out of your nose when you’re ill so maybe presentation does count a bit.
Post # 12
Company Y seems like the obvious choice to me, price be damned. A lot of people seem to cheap out on food and its an odd move.. Guests always remember if the food was bad.
Post # 13
I would go with the better food and spend more money. You either want the guests to forget the food or remember it fondly – you don’t want them remembering “yea..ew that was gross” which has happened to me before!
Post # 14
Oh boy, that sucks! Company X certainly wasn’t “gross” in any way. 🙂 It is just compared to what we experienced with Company Y, it seemed to pale. Company X’s food was fine, just probably something I’d expect at a nice sit-down dinner at a local resturant vs. a fancy date night restaurant.
Post # 15
Food was really important to us at our wedding. I’ll admit that I had super high expectations, because being a wedding photographer means I’ve eaten A LOT of wedding food over my last 8+ years in the industry. There seems to be this stigma that there is no such thing as good wedding food – and that’s not the case! It’s not impossible to have great wedding food – but you have to do your research and it’s going to cost money! I personally would go with better food.
To me, taste outwieighed every aspect, including presentation. Now I wouldn’t have been happy with a crappy presentation but having an over the top presentation was not priority. I can always remember who had good food. One of our friends got married and while they DIYed a lot, their food was soo good. Her ILs own a grocery store, and they ordered all the food and supplies and have some of their friends who are chefs from a few local restaurants all come together to cater. Some of the best wedding food I’ve had – and because they all had cater experience they knew exactly how to pull it off.
I distinctly remember one wedding I photographed, that had the most terrible food. They did all pasta, which would normally be a positive. The downside was the it wasn’t very good, and they gave tiny portions. It was pretty clear that they were concerned about running out (which they did) and I watched them turn down guests requesting a second helping. I personally as the bride would have been mortified. That wedding stuck with me for years as “the wedding with terrible food”. Unfortunately it wasn’t the only one like it over the years. It was SO important to me that our guests left full and happy that my caterers knew, having plenty of food was imperative.