Choosing the Best Wedding Venue: Questions to Ask Your Wedding Venue’s Chef
Part of your search for the best wedding venue in New Jersey is taking a venue tour, and in addition to checking out top wedding venues for their beauty, it’s also very important to gather information about the wedding menu at each venue, as well as any personalized details the venue’s chef can arrange for your big day. So, before you schedule a guided tour of any wedding venue, ask to speak with the venue’s wedding chef. To accommodate the chef’s busy schedule, though, your chat might take place while on your tour, or it might be best to arrange for a phone conversation at a separate time.
Here are some of the top questions to ask a wedding chef:
Questions to Ask About Your Wedding Venue’s Menus
- Are your wedding menus set in stone, or can we customize some aspects of your menu details?
- If we are on a budget, can we make some changes to your wedding menu, such as having fewer stations?
- Can we see your seasonal menu that will be in place at the time of our wedding?
- Can we arrange for a menu tasting? When does that take place? And how many people can we bring with us for the menu tasting?
- Are you able to do theme menus, such as an upscale wedding barbecue, a wedding menu with Asian flair, etc.?
- Can we request a special dish, such as a family favorite dish or cultural dish, to be added to your established wedding menu?
Questions to Ask About Wedding Foods, Food Preparation and Food Presentation
- What are the most popular dishes on each of your wedding menus (cocktail party menu, wedding dinner menu, desserts?)
- What are some seasonal dishes that will be available, at the time of our wedding?
- At a date closer to our wedding, will we be able to replace any menu items that are higher in price on the current market with more affordable ones? (This takes into consideration the fluctuating prices of meats and seafoods throughout the year.)
- Given our wedding style and budget, what are some menu items you recommend?
- Can you accommodate our wedding guests’ special dietary needs, such as gluten-free wedding menu items, kosher, vegan, etc.?
- Can you arrange for any last-minute guest menu requests, such as a switch to a different entrée?
- Can you source organic or sustainably-farmed wedding menu items?
- Are all wedding menu items sourced and prepared fresh, or are frozen meal items used?
- What is the difference in cost between passed hors d’oeuvres and cocktail party stations?
- Do you offer children’s meals? What are some menu items you provide for children?
- Do you offer wedding vendor meals? What are some menu items you provide for our wedding professionals?
- How and where are cocktail party stations set up?
- What is your ratio of servers to guests?
- Can we bring in additional catering items from an outside caterer, such as a specialty cultural menu item?
- What is the latest date by which we can request changes to our menu, or are our choices set in stone when we sign the contract?
- Can we arrange to take home any leftovers from our wedding menu?
- Can we arrange to have any wedding catering leftovers donated? Do you have a partnership with a food kitchen, food pantry, retirement home or other establishment for the donation of leftover wedding food?
Questions to Ask About Wedding Cakes and Desserts
- Do you have a wedding cake baker on-site?
- Do you have a pastry chef on-site?
- Can we see photos of your cake baker and pastry chef’s work?
- Can we arrange for a cake tasting?
- Can we see a flavors list for wedding desserts? Are cake flavors, fillings and dessert offerings set in stone, or can we customize our dessert choices with your bakers?
- Can we bring in a cake or desserts from an outside vendor?
- If we bring in a cake from an outside vendor, do you charge a cake-cutting fee?
- How and where are the wedding cake and desserts set up for the dessert hour?
- Can we arrange for table service of dessert platters?
- Can we arrange for gluten-free wedding desserts?
- Can we see or select the wedding cake presentation platter, as well as other dessert platters and tiers? Can we provide our own?
Other Questions to Ask your Wedding Venue’s Chef
- Are you licensed and insured?
- What will the servers wear during our wedding?
- Can we arrange for hors d’oeuvres to be offered upon guests’ arrival, as well as champagne and cocktails?
- Are there any restrictions regarding catering?
- Is there any other information you need from us?
- Who will be our main contact as we work on our wedding prior to our wedding day?
- Will you be present on our wedding day and preparing our food?