For me and my husband (Marc), food tasting was the best part of planning our wedding. Why? Free food, of course! But, as we’ve found it out the hard way, depending your lunch on a food tasting event is bad idea if you have a big appetite.
The food servings given at events like these are only small portions—basically, just enough for you to have an idea of how their food tastes like. And because there are a lot of people going to these events, you won’t be able to see the actual table arrangements (they’ll show you photos of real weddings for those). Sometimes the caterers go all out on decorating their buffet tables (like Josiah’s Catering did on a bridal fair I attended), but there are also times when the setup is just simple (not the real thing in weddings, obviously).
The best thing to do in these events is to ask questions—a lot of them. The caterers’ sales representatives are usually scattered about in the venue, and they’ll make sure that you get the information you need (what’s the point of feeding you for free if they don’t have an opportunity to give you a sales pitch, right?). Ask them all the questions that you need to know about their service: food servings, table setup, stuff included in the packages, number of waiters, additional services, buffet setup, payment, etc. etc. Don’t worry, the sales representatives are used to answering a lot of questions. Their main objective is to get you reserve with them—it’s part of their job.
If it’s the first caterer you’ve ever tried, it’s better that you put off reservation until you’ve really canvassed and tried others. Take pictures so you’ll have a reminder of what food they served, then sit down with your groom-to-be to discuss which you liked best.
There are other caterers that don’t hold free food tasting events (the no-strings-attached events), and require you to give a down payment before you could even taste the food. Quality of food in such cases is very hard to determine, and you must really study their packages as well as presentation before making up your mind. It’s also advisable that you ask around—research on the net, or ask friends, colleagues, and relatives for feedback if they’ve already tried the service. If you’re totally lost (or don’t really have anybody to ask), you could try joining mailing lists for grooms and brides-to-be like the one they have on Weddings At Work and ask.
Catering will probably take up most of your budget (well, at least in ours it did), so it’s best to make sure that you really get the best (and at the most reasonable price) food for your guests.
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Hizon’s Catering will be hosting a food tasting event on Sunday, August 5, 2007 at the Mango Farm Special Events Venue, 22 Shield Street, Kingsville Court, Antipolo. You must be registered to join.
Robert Camba Catering, on the other hand, has free food tasting every weekend at their showroom (#12 Resthaven St., Baler, Quezon City). The showroom is a bit small, make sure to give them a call first to set an appointment (Phone: 371-1098 / 372-9755) so there won’t be any problems accommodating you.
I’m still waiting for Josiah’s Catering to send me their scheduled food tasting events (I think they have a number of them this year).
Happy planning and eating!