In my humble, humble opinion, one of the most important parts of a wedding (for the guests) is the food (sorry, bride and groom, but odds are that you will be giving hugs and accepting congratulations before you can say "chicken, not fish.").

The food, also in my opinion, can be one of the harder pieces to put together. So many caterers, so little time. Plus, food tends to be one of the most expensive parts of a reception: together, catering and your venue should traditionally make up just about 50 percent of your budget! Here's how to start tracking down the reception meal for you.

The Mass Email

Reach out to a lot of caterers. Find vendors in your area and go to work. Whether you mass email or call them, let them know your wedding date, a rough estimate of your guest count, what type of meal you're looking for (Dinner? Brunch? Cupcakes?) and, if you have them, food allergies. Many caterers have sample menus up on their websites, but oftentimes they're willing or able to offer you other options as well. Oh and keep track of them. Who gets back to you? Who is most responsive and helpful? Does their sample menu make you a little bit hungry? Good.

Pulling Weeds

Now that you have contact information, sample menus and pricing, you can start to narrow down your options. Do these vendors fit your budget? Do they have exciting menus? Do they make macaroni and cheese exactly the way you like it? And do they seem like the kind of vendors who are going to make planning your wedding easier?

Taste the Rainbow

Generally, before you sign a contract with a caterer, you'll want to do (and they'll offer to set up) a tasting. This is a great opportunity to not only meet your potential caterer and learn a little bit more about them, but to try the food you'll be serving to yourself, your family and all of your other favorite people!

Photo Credit: One Love Photography