Post # 1
We’re looking at having a 2015 wedding and we’re all but ready to sign the paperwork with a fantastic rural hotel & golf club.
The hotel is known to have great food and we’re going for a full package with canapés, 3 course wedding breakfast, wine etc.
My question is, they’ve said they will offer is a free complimentary tasting. Is this something we should do before we book? Or is it something we should do when we make our menu choices?
We’ll be choosing two options from each course for guests to pick, should we expect to taste both options?
And, should we ask to taste the wine that will be served and how can we be sure they won’t serve is the “good” wine at the tasting and then do a switcheroo to the cheap plonk on the day when we may be too caught up to notice?
Like I said, wwe’re basically ready to sign, but it would be silly to if this is something er should insist on first!
Any advice would be greatly appreciated, I’m completely lost with the order of everything
Post # 2
Some venue only allow complementary food upon booking the place. I say book the place first and wait to do food tasting later when you are ready to select a menu. Some venue only allow a certain number of dishes to be serve during a food tasting. Our venue only allowed 3 dishes to be served. So asked your event coordinator and bring lots of question with you upon booking your venue.
Post # 3
RavenDawn32: I guess if they would allow it, I would go ahead and do a tasting. Otherwise, just check out some of their food in general.
With our venue, they gave us a seriously reduced rate to stay there and check out the ceremony and reception sites and we took it upon ourselves to have breakfast and dinner there. Both of which were phenomal. Additionally, they had “greeted” us in our room with cheese and cured meats and chocolates, so they blew us away.
POINT BEING, if you are able to do a tasting, sure. If not, I would be sure to try the food they serve just generally because that will give you a bit of an idea of food quality and presentation.
Post # 4
We had our free tasting months after we had booked.
Post # 5
If you know that they have a good reputation, I would book first. I looked up reviews on my venue and booked it without tasting a thing. Everything was amazing! I followed their menu reviews and based it on what people raved about.
Post # 6
I always recommend doing tastings first whenever possible, reputation or no reputation. We did this after we really narrowed things down, but I would not have hesitated to take a loss on the meal. Our venue charged a fee for this service, but refunded it once we booked.
And yes, you can ask to sample both entrees.
Post # 7
i booked my venue without tasting the food. it’s got amazing reviews and it’s a pretty well known reception hall, so i trust them 🙂 i went to their bridal showcase and loved the hors d’oeuvres so i’m sure i’ll enjoy the real food. also, menus change every year (mostly) so it might not be necessary to taste, if you trust the reputation and you’ve fallen in love with your venue.
Post # 8
We don’t get a tasting. But we had been told by everyone and their dog that the food is out of this world. And every meeting we go to we get a charcuterie platter (their own smoked meats, honey, fresh bread, jams, jellies, roasted nuts all made on-site and local cheeses from ON and PQ. I have taken every meeting with them I could! Even ones I probably could have done over email.) We did go and have dinner with both sets of parents in their restaurant. It was excellent.
I always thought tastings were done after you’ve booked the venue, when you were doing the menu selection. We just choose our selection without tasting it first. I’m a bit bummed.
We did get a cake tasting (after we’d booked and paid the deposit). That was a ton of fun!
Post # 9
My case is a little different, since our reception venue used outside caterers, but I am very glad we did a tasting before we booked. One of the places recommended by our venue was a local restaurant. They had good reviews and seem to be a popular place. They did official tastings as a once-a-month event that we weren’t able to make that month, so we just went and ate at the restaraunt. The food was okay at best. I have a former coworker who posts pictures of her and her boyfriend at this restaurant frequently and all I can think when she does is, “Ew.”
We did a tasting with another vendor and were so much more impressed with their food, and booked with them instead. My only complaint there is that they ONLY do catering, so there’s no restaurant we can go to now that the wedding is over.
Post # 10
Venues that offer tastings pretty much always make you sign first (imagine how helpful it would be if that weren’t the case!). At our tasting, we didn’t try the wine being served. They told us what was being served, and we could have had a glass, but that would have been an extra cost. If they are a reputable wedding vendor (which sounds like they are)- they won’t do a switcharoo on you.
Yes- you should be able to try both options you are looking at, but probably not every option they offer. We didn’t care for a fish we tried as much as we thought we would, so we ended up choosing another fish that we didn’t taste. It worked out for the best because that dish was awesome.
Cake tasting is a different story- I found that most vendors were willing to offer a tasting before booking. That can result in a sugar high!
Post # 11
RavenDawn32: We weren’t able to taste until about 3 months before our wedding. I read a lot of reviews, they said the food was good, and I trusted that. We did not get to taste appetizers, just the main courses. We did not like the sauce on the Salmon, so they were able to bring us up another sauce to try instead. We did not taste any alcohol either.
Post # 12
RavenDawn32: Most places (not all, but most) offer the tasting after you book. Then you can switch things up if they aren’t to your liking.
Post # 13
Thank you all for such helpful advice! We had our meeting today and (after really all the great responses!) I was prepared to go in assuming the taster would be after we booked (which now I think about it makes so much sense I feel a bit silly, why would they offer a tasting if we haven’t even chosen our dishes yet?!). Realising it’s very easy to get overwhelmed, and how if you haven’t planned a lot of weddings (which I haven’t), it would be very easy to get tricked into things. Thankfully I’ve got this wonderful forum to turn to. We did manage to get the autumn/winter menu for next year and it looks fantastic, we’ve got a contract with extended decision time on its way to us as I type 🙂