In which we do a whole lot more than taste.

Whenever I think of a wedding tasting, I imagine a couple having a one-on-one meeting with a catering team, having a bite of this or that, and providing detailed feedback on each dish. You know, something along the lines of, “Sure, Ms. Caterer, we’d love to serve the halibut, but we’d like you to go a little heavier on the paprika,” or something like that. I have no idea where I got that impression from, but that’s what was in my head.

Our tasting was like the exact opposite of that. But it was so much fun!

Truth be told, Bees, Stallion and I had been looking forward to our tasting for ages. I mean, it’s food – what’s not to get excited about?

We hadn’t attended any tastings prior to booking our venue. The catering is handled by the hotel restaurant, which I’ve eaten at plenty of times over the years, and we knew going in that the food was great. The way our venue handles the tasting is like a test run for a real wedding. They bring in all the staff who work weddings, the rooms are set up like a wedding, and they even bring in local vendors for anyone who is still looking. The tasting is open to both couples who have already booked their weddings and those who haven’t. And, of course, most of the food that we have to choose from for our menu is available for us to taste (or pig out on).

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My dad hitting up the raw bar, which we are SO including in our cocktail hour. Please ignore the dress pants + sneakers combo.

(personal photo)

I took some more pictures while I was there, but they came out terribly. Stupid cell phone camera. Fortunately, our venue posted some pictures from the evening on Facebook, so you can get an idea of how everything looked.

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Every table was set differently so that you could get an idea of how different setups would look in the room.

(collage via Fotor, images via the Grand Hotel)

If you guys find yourself in a similar situation, here’s my advice: GO PREPARED. Pretty much all the other couples and their families brought notebooks, cameras, and all that good stuff. Stallion and I had our cell phones, which were, as luck would have it, nearly dead and thus rendered useless. The notes that I did take are as follows:

Pear/champagne themed cocktail – YES!

Spicy tuna rolls

How many cocktail tables?

Black and white tables – super elegant!!!

Dad wants Joe the bartender

(That last note is because my dad inadvertently left a bunch of cash on the bar. The bartender found my dad and gave it back to him. My dad was really impressed and wants to make sure we have him working at our wedding. Also, he made my mom a margarita – who goes to a bar and asks for a marg? Mama Filly, that’s who. She said it was delicious.)

Hive, I know you guys can take better notes than I did. Don’t be like me.

Second tip? It’s a marathon, not a sprint. My fat ass filled up on all the delicious goodies at cocktail hour, so by the time dinner rolled around – it was a stationed dinner in order to maximize the number of dishes available to taste – I was stuffed to the gills. And dessert? Forget about it. But don’t worry about me, I managed to pack it in just fine.

Last but not least, keep an open mind. Stallion and I had obsessively read through the brochures for our wedding package and were pretty sure we knew what food we wanted to serve. But then we actually tasted everything, and we revamped our plans – not because anything tasted bad, but because certain dishes we hadn’t given much consideration ended up tasting so good! (Our menu planning will be detailed more thoroughly in a future post, no worries.)

We couldn’t have been more pleased with the tasting. The food was great, the staff were incredibly professional, and it was so cool to see the ballroom filled with people, set up like a real wedding. I had always thought of the ballroom at our venue as “my room”, but guess what? I bet all the other couples who were there that night think of it the same way. It made everything seem a lot more real and A LOT more exciting. So close, yet so far!

Did you attend any tastings prior to your wedding? What was your experience like?

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