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).


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.


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?


Mrs. Filly

Boston, MA
Wedding Date:
April 2014
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  1. roadtrip Bee
    roadtrip 803 posts, Busy bee @ 6:49 am

    We actually had the kind of tasting you described in the beginning with us giving feedback on the dishes we’d requested. Of course, that ended up not mattering as much in the end… but that’s a story for another day!

  2. Member
    seabeeny 69 posts, Worker bee @ 6:58 am

    Yum, sounds like fun! I think tastings like that are more common, and I wish we’d been able to go to something like that. Instead, ours was a little more along the lines of your first one you described (and what Mrs. Road Trip said she did). It was just us at a small table and they brought up everything that had been on our proposal. And I mean EVERYTHING. We had a cocktail hour and four entrees for two people. I’m glad I ate so much at that, though, because I barely ate at my wedding, so at least I got to know what I was missing.

  3. Member
    Miss_Mimosa 190 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:46 am

    Food tastings are the highlight of most wedding planning! And I love your dads dress pants and sneakers combo (fancy, but comfortable, ha!)

  4. mspalmtree Bee
    Mrs. Palm Tree 1122 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:49 am

    The tastings I conduct are pretty much exactly like the one you thought yours would be – so it’s venue/caterer specific. 😉 I’ve tried to sell to our group that we should do ‘group tastings’ but it hasn’t happened yet. There are pros and cons to both, for sure, and I do love spending the one-on-one time with the B&G and establishing a rapport.

  5. gondola Bee
    gondola 1046 posts, Bumble bee @ 3:38 pm

    Tastings are so much fun! I’m glad you had a great experience. I love how your place has different table settings so you can get into the mood.

  6. mswaterfall Bee
    Mrs. Waterfall 1403 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:43 am

    We had a private tasting also. Your way sounds like so much fun though! How awesome to see the different decor possibilities.

  7. msfilly Bee
    Mrs. Filly 85 posts, Worker bee @ 4:20 am

    @Mrs. Road Trip: Don’t leave me hanging, lady – I can’t wait for the Road Trip recaps!

    @seabeeny: Oh god, that sounds like a ton of food. Hope you guys enjoyed it though!

    @Miss_Mimosa: It’s definitely been the highlight for us so far 🙂

    @Mrs. Palm Tree: The one on one time would be a huge pro to private tastings for sure! Thankfully, the coordinator at our venue took the time to talk with each couple and make sure everyone was happy and had their questions answered. The biggest advantage for the group tasting for me was being able to experience how everything would flow at a real wedding.

    @Mrs. Gondola: Agreed, tastings are the most fun part of wedding planning!

    @Mrs. Waterfall: I loved seeing all the different linens/centerpiece combinations – almost made me wish I hadn’t committed to a color scheme yet, haha.

  8. rucksack Bee
    rucksack 518 posts, Busy bee @ 9:52 am

    We had a private tasting with our caterer, but this looks like so much fun! And I love that you were able to meet the staff and see different table themes. Such a cool idea!

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