"How Many 'Special Requests' Can We Make With Our Menu"?

wedding buffet
Photo Credit: Dominique Bader on Snippet and Ink via Lover.ly

Q: We found a venue we like, but I want to ask the chef to revamp almost the entire menu. Will this be insulting? Is it OK to ask for a lot of changes?

A: Requesting minor changes to a reception menu is standard and most caterers will happily oblige. They’ll also prepare kosher, vegetarian and vegan dishes.

However, if your request involves completely revamping the menu, then this might pose a problem for the caterer. His staff is trained to prepare certain types of dishes, and a special order of different foods or ingredients that are not readily available in his kitchen could prove costly. On the other hand, depending on what your menu wishes are, he might be able to work with you.

I would advise speaking with the caterer about your menu requests before booking the venue. If he is unable to meet your needs then you may need to compromise if your heart is truly set on the venue. Ask if he can prepare just one or two of your culinary requests and then agree to the rest of the already established menu. But if the menu and the types of dishes served are more important to you, then you’ll need to choose another site that’s better equipped to meet your expectations.

—Diane Forden


Featured: David Tutera on How to Keep Your Reception Fun. See more Q&As with David