Post # 1
So we’re getting ready to visit a potential venue that’s across the country from where we live. They’re comping our room for two nights, but they refuse to do a tasting (even though there’s a wedding scheduled the day we’re vsiting). The sales manager told me that they “never” do tastings before a contract is signed, but the next time we visit after signing we can try the food. Here’s the thing… we have to fly across the country, then drive 5 hours to get there so we’re not planning to go again before the wedding. She offered to comp a meal in their restaurant (it’s a resort) which was generous, but the food in the restaurant is going to be completely different than what we’re planning to serve at the reception. I thanked her, but said we would really appreciate it if we could taste two or three pieces (appetizers) to give us an idea of what they can do.
I’m guess that if we sign the contract while we’re there we’ll get to try some of the food, but I’m not comfortable signing without tasting the food beforehand. Especially since the food is the majority of our budget.
What does everyone think? Am I overreacting? Any suggestions? I really don’t want to get on the wrong foot with the person I might be working with.
Post # 3
I don’t think it’s unreasonable for the venue to require a contract before tasting. If it’s a popular site, can you imagine the loss of time and money they’d be out if they let any potential client do this?
I can certainly understand the frustration because of the distance factor.
Personally, we signed our contract before doing the tasting. I figured there are no guarantees and you still run the risk of the tasting being nothing like the actual day (different chefs may enter the picture, etc.) If it’s a reputable place that has good reviews for weddings, I’d say you’ll be ok and to move forward with the decision.
You could try to push the issue (and perhaps use the distance card as the major issue). After all, they are trying to earn YOUR business – but, try to keep in mind that they are doing a JOB and likely have rules (and bosses!) they have to follow.
Post # 4
We didn’t taste ours and it was okay. Sometimes they can’t just appease everyone that comes in that is interested. I see your points but I also know I totally winged it and it worked out just fine. We loved the venue so much we couldn’t see ourselves going anywhere ese =]
Post # 5
That is a huge red flag to me. They never do tastings before a contract is signed? I’ve never heard of that and it sounds quite unprofessional.
I would run the other way…
Post # 6
I don’t blame you at all, food is a very memorable part of a reception. Can you be sneaky and check out the kitchen or reception and peek at the food when you visit? This could call for some stealth!
Post # 7
Eh, I’m probably a bad bride but we didn’t do a tasting at our venue before signing the contract and we’re not going to do a tasting now. Our venue is a high-end country club with great reviews and we spoke to someone else who had their wedding there. Wedding food is wedding food and I just didn’t see the point.
Post # 8
I understand you being uncomfortable with that. You’re definitely not overreacting. We didn’t get to taste ours before we signed either. And then they said there’s a $75 charge per person for the tasting! (ew)
For whatever reason I think that’s pretty standard. I’d still take her up on the offer to try the food at the restaurant because it may at least give you an idea of the quality of their food. And if its popular, it should be pretty good.
Post # 9
we didn’t taste before we signed. honestly, we hadn’t even thought of it. we knew what we wanted and would have done it there regardless. plus our the food at our tasting was different than the food at the reception (tasting was better). i say if you love the place go for it – as someone else said wedding food is wedding food.
Post # 10
Since we used a restuarant, we didn’t get a tasting. We did try their food and it was very good, so I felt confident with their skills.
Post # 11
It’s really annoying, but none of the venues we looked at (and there were a lot!) offered a tasting before we signed the contract. So I tried to read reviews of the venues to see if people liked the food or not. And looking at the menus gave a me an idea about whether the chef was creative or whether it looked like standard wedding food. The food is really important to us too, so I’m hoping that we made a good decision.
That being said, we will be able to do a tasting before the wedding and I would be nervous if we couldn’t. So since you’re not going to be able to visit again, if you really like the place and it seems right to you, I would probably sign the contract and try to schedule a tasting while you’re there, if they can do it. That might be something to discuss with the sales manager before you go, just to see if it’s possible. The options may be different than what will be in season/available for your wedding, but at least you’ll have an idea about what they can do.
Good luck! 🙂
Post # 12
Thanks everyone for posting! Also, I feel like I irritated the sales manager by asking and then when she said I explained why. I really don’t want to be a psycho bride and I’m afraid she thinks we’re headed in that direction. How do I smooth things over?
This is my dream venue and really the only resort in the area.
Post # 13
- Wedding: March 2010 - Calamigos Ranch
We didn’t do a tasting before we signed. It’d be nice if places charged for a tasting and then applied it towards your deposit if you do sign, right? Then we’d all know what we’re getting and no one is out anything? But policy at my venue is no tastings. At all. Ever. Even after signing. So it’s frustrating, but I think it’s par for the course and I wouldn’t let that stop me from going with a particular venue if it’s the venue I wanted for other reasons.
Post # 14
Just to let everyone know… I emailed the resort and offered to pay for the tasting and thanked them for their genrosity in hosting us.Thanks for the feedback!
We’ll see what happens…
Post # 15
I had to pry tastings out of my potential caterer but in the end, I got the tasting. I told the caterer that food is a big part of my venue decision.
Hope you get your tasting!
Post # 16
sometime i think people forget your about to drop a HUGE amount of money-i mean you’d be crazy to buy a car before test driving it! so frustrating!