As wedding budgets tighten, more and more brides are looking for a way to provide a consistent, high quality meal, and keep the price reasonable. It’s always best to start with a consultation with an experienced wedding caterer in person to discuss exactly what you are looking for and at what price range.
Many caterers offer meal choices and service options that can range from the low teens to hundreds of dollars per person. When meeting, your caterer should be able to provide several choices to the taste and liking of each individual client, including family favorites and factor in budget considerations.
Most brides are not aware of the tremendous rise in beef prices over the last couple years. Many premium choice cuts of beef, such as prime rib, are now near $10 per pound wholesale. One option, is for a Bride to consider a select cut instead of choice or prime cut. The difference between the two is minimal in taste or texture, except to the most discriminating pallet.
In essence, beef is graded on an evaluation of factors that affect palatability of meat (tenderness, juiciness, and flavor). These factors include maturity, firmness, texture, color, and the amount and distribution of marbling throughout. However, marbling (the intermingling or dispersion of fat within the lean beef) is the primary determination of beef quality. In general, the higher the degree of marbling, the more tender, juicy, and flavorful that cut of beef is.
The Magic of Proper Preparation
Proper seasoning, searing, and then slow roasting a large cut of meat is the first key for excellent taste. Then, the real trick is to hold the meat at the perfect temperature to allow the juices to disperse evenly throughout the cut to help ensure the quality of beef being served.
A Bride certainly does not want to compromise the beef quality at the wedding celebration dinner, but an experienced wedding caterer can make suggestions to help stretch the budget with minimal taste difference (if any). Our advice: do not be afraid to ask what quality of cuts your caterer is specifically using at the exact price you are being quoted, and how it will be prepared and served. You may be surprised at the answer…