One of the things I was most looking forward to in the wedding planning process was when Fiance and I would have the opportunity to plan out our menu. Our venue offered three dinner options including a buffet, sit down dinner and stations. I immediately gravitated towards the stations with thoughts of a mashed potato bar, salad bar, fajita station, pasta station and carving station (a little something for everyone). The sit down options looked good too, and I couldn’t wait to sit down with Fiance to taste everything.
Last week Fiance and I made the hour and a half trip to our venue, purposely not eating much beforehand in anticipation of all the wonderful food we were about to try. When we got to the winery we met with our catering manager (who has an exclusive catering contract with our venue). She led us to the bar area of the reception room, and we sat down at a table and reviewed our options.
She immediately persuaded us against the stations (so many lines, people have to work for their food, the younger crowd may enjoy it, but the older crowd is always confused with stations). She told us that stations were great for a cocktail party with no assigned seating, but for a formal wedding dinner, a buffet or sit down dinner would be our best bet.
Both Fiance and I agreed we liked the presentation of a sit down dinner (since they were both comparable in price) and immediately decided on offering our guests a choice of beef, chicken or a vegetarian option. We talked through the menu and picked our favorite dishes.
At this point we expected to actually try our favorites. Fiance asked if we were going to sample any of the options. The catering manager responded that she could arrange a tasting for us when we came back to meet with wedding coordinator at our venue.
We were both really surprised they didn’t do a tasting with us from the beginning – and a little disappointed. Our reception is by far the most expensive item of our wedding, and when we offer our guests a choice of food, we want to be able to recommend an option or tell them how good it tastes. We wanted to try a few different options and then choose. I think I was also disappointed because all of my married friends talked about how much they loved planning their menu and the food tasting.
I emailed the catering manager two days later and requested to come back and sample the food before we ordered our invitations.
What was your experience with selecting a menu? Did you actually get to try out the food when you planned the menu?