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Food and Cakes

When to finalize menu...

Hi ladies! My wedding isn't until Aug. 2nd of this year and I'm just wondering how far in advance you should typically be looking to finalize your menu. Our venue is a rustic inn that was bought out last fall after we signed our contract. The new owners are wonderful however, they do seem a little overwhelmed with taking on the ownership of the Inn and I'm a little nervous about finalizing the food. We are planning on doing a family style meal and we did meet with them to discuss our general vision however, this was back before the holidays and they stated they would let us know prices/menu options after the holidays. It's now the end of March. I don't want to seem pushy to them but I really want to have it figured out sooner rather than later especially since were going to order our invites soon. Is it still too early? I also want to get a more accurate cost per guest for budget reasons. When we met before they basically said with open bar and the food we were discussing to plan for $75-100 a guest but I'd really like a definite number. What do you guys think.

Re: When to finalize menu...

  • you need to get the food piece contracted ASAP so that you can lock down pricing.  i don't think you need to lock down details like what dressing goes on the salad, but definitely estimated number of people, staffing, price per head, etc.
    lc07
  • obviously bigger decisions will need to be made to lock down pricing, like what cut of beef, etc.
  • Ask away! I think this is a completely reasonable time to ask, especially if you mention it's for budget reasons. The last thing a vendor wants is to have waited too long to give you a dollar amount, and then find out that's too high. Give yourself plenty of time so that if your initial idea costs too much, you can tweak the menu until it works!

  • Definitely contact them now. Remember, you're paying them a lot of money. It's not pushy to confirm details associated with that.
    lc07
  • Thanks Ladies! I am definitely going to send them a quick email now! 

  • For me, my wedding is the end of October and I'm meeting with the caterer in May to finalize most of the "big" decisions, so about now is a good time for you, I would think. 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • everything was finalized the day we booked granted we booked almost 3 years in advance, and the venue told us prices would go  up so it was 5% more ahead plus the package we booked with they re did it so we are locked into some of the old extras
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers

    Hi ladies! My wedding isn't until Aug. 2nd of this year and I'm just wondering how far in advance you should typically be looking to finalize your menu. Our venue is a rustic inn that was bought out last fall after we signed our contract. The new owners are wonderful however, they do seem a little overwhelmed with taking on the ownership of the Inn and I'm a little nervous about finalizing the food. We are planning on doing a family style meal and we did meet with them to discuss our general vision however, this was back before the holidays and they stated they would let us know prices/menu options after the holidays. It's now the end of March. I don't want to seem pushy to them but I really want to have it figured out sooner rather than later especially since were going to order our invites soon. Is it still too early? I also want to get a more accurate cost per guest for budget reasons. When we met before they basically said with open bar and the food we were discussing to plan for $75-100 a guest but I'd really like a definite number. What do you guys think.

    I would never have signed a contract without a firm number.  You need to have them revise the contract with a firm price ASAP or you could be in for a big surprise!  As for menu, we knew the choices offered when we booked (it was in our contract!) and we selected the actual items about 2 months before the wedding.
  • tammym1001tammym1001 Akron, Ohio member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    JoanE2012 said:

    Hi ladies! My wedding isn't until Aug. 2nd of this year and I'm just wondering how far in advance you should typically be looking to finalize your menu. Our venue is a rustic inn that was bought out last fall after we signed our contract. The new owners are wonderful however, they do seem a little overwhelmed with taking on the ownership of the Inn and I'm a little nervous about finalizing the food. We are planning on doing a family style meal and we did meet with them to discuss our general vision however, this was back before the holidays and they stated they would let us know prices/menu options after the holidays. It's now the end of March. I don't want to seem pushy to them but I really want to have it figured out sooner rather than later especially since were going to order our invites soon. Is it still too early? I also want to get a more accurate cost per guest for budget reasons. When we met before they basically said with open bar and the food we were discussing to plan for $75-100 a guest but I'd really like a definite number. What do you guys think.

    I would never have signed a contract without a firm number.  You need to have them revise the contract with a firm price ASAP or you could be in for a big surprise!  As for menu, we knew the choices offered when we booked (it was in our contract!) and we selected the actual items about 2 months before the wedding.
    This! We are getting married in May and we just finalized our menu Friday, but we knew the prices before we signed a contract almost a year ago.
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  • Thanks guys! I should have clarified a little. The venue offers various packages and meal options that we received pricing for and that were included in our contract only the menu options did not fit what we wanted at all. We did have a sit down meeting with them like I mentioned back before the holidays and discussed changing the menu and going a different route. Our venue was fine with changing up the menu and catering it to what we wanted and I am hoping it would cut costs somewhat but the venue contact said it would be around the same price. I realize we should have a definite price but if we need to we will just chose from the existing package options since we are contracted for those prices.
  • Our wedding is in September, and the catering director asked us to come in April for tasting/menu selection so I think this is perfect timing for an August wedding. Go ahead and ask to schedule something and get those details locked down!

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