What to Expect from Your Wedding Menu Tasting

What to Expect from Your Wedding Menu Tasting | Photo by Danielle Nichol Photography | ReunionResort.com/WeddingBlog

You’ve selected the perfect venue, you’ve found the perfect dress and your vendors are booked. Now it’s time to taste the food and finalize your wedding menu! Whether you are offering a Plated, Buffet or Action Station Menu you want to ensure the food you serve is a good representation of you and your fiancé and work well with your wedding theme.

The Catering portion of the wedding budget is generally one of the biggest expenses and as Catering Managers; we want our couples to be prepared for their tasting and to leave more than satisfied knowing we will create the perfect meal to enhance their guests’ experience.

What to Expect from Your Wedding Menu Tasting | Photo by Meg Baisden Photography | ReunionResort.com/WeddingBlog

Here is What to Expect from Your Menu Tasting

When does the menu tasting take place?
Depending on your menu selection and if you are planning to offer a choice of entrée in your invitations, the tasting should take place anywhere between 2-4 months before the wedding event.

How many people should attend the tasting?
Your Caterer and Wedding Planner should attend along with 2-4 guests including you and your fiancé.

How long does a menu tasting take?
Generally about two hours. You will be mixing business and pleasure while you taste the menu options and talk about the wedding day details.

What to Expect from Your Wedding Menu Tasting | Photo by Rhodes Studios | ReunionResort.com/WeddingBlog

How do you choose what to taste?
For a Plated Menu you will generally choose one starter for all of your guests and two entrées for them to choose from. The Chef will pair your entrees with complimenting sides to enhance each dish. Favorites of ours are the Oven Roasted Fennel and Fresh Herb Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes! You will have to list the selected entrees on the response card with your invitations and your guests will check which meal they would prefer. In order to ensure that each guest is served the correct choice the place card will have to be different for each meal choice.

Do you love everything you’ve tasted or want to avoid having to differentiate your place cards with guest’s entrée selection? A duo entrée like the Duo of Petit Filet with a pair of Jumbo Shrimp dressed in Brandy Dijon Sauce is a great option! Or substitute the Shrimp for Chicken or a Fish Filet if you may be worried about dietary restrictions.

For Buffet Menus – you will taste the starters, the entrée choices and the sides. Buffets give guests the option of trying multiple dishes and are easily customized to your flavor preferences. We are absolutely in love with the Braised Short Ribs!

Action Station and Display Menus are becoming more popular – you will taste all of the components of each menu station. Stations allow for a more interactive dining experience. As we all know, food brings us together and what better way to bring two families together than being around delicious cuisine to share and talk about?

Will the menu presentation look the same on the wedding day?
For Plated Menus there will be a show plate for each dish so that you can see what the plate will look like on the event day, but you will be trying tasting portions. For a Buffet and Action Station Menu, the presentation will be on a smaller scale than it will be on the event date, however, the actual menu items will look the same.

What to Expect from Your Wedding Menu Tasting | Photo by Rhodes Studios | ReunionResort.com/WeddingBlog

How do we take care of dietary restrictions?
Dietary restrictions and allergies of those attending the menu tasting should be discussed prior to the tasting date. The Catering Manager will communicate them to the Chef to ensure the menu does not include the restricted items and cross contamination is avoided. Wedding guests with dietary restrictions and allergies will let you know ahead of time, please communicate these details to your Catering Manager at minimum two weeks prior to the event date so that we best prepare their meal.

What you need to know and what we need from you!
Make sure you take this opportunity to speak up about how you feel about each dish. The Chef will come out following the meal to discuss your dining experience; this is a great time to talk through your menu! Our Culinary Team wants to ensure your wedding menu is created especially for your occasion. If you and your guests like your food spicy, ask the Chef to work in some of your favorite flavors. If you like extra sauce on certain dishes, don’t be shy! We host the menu tasting to make sure your wedding meal perfectly matches your expectations.

Take advantage of the time you have with your Catering Manager and Wedding Planner in one room! It may be the only time we will have together before the big day. Come prepared with questions you still have as we will be discussing the specifics of your wedding celebration.

What to Expect from Your Wedding Menu Tasting | Photo by Rhodes Studios | ReunionResort.com/WeddingBlog

It has always been a delight for us to learn how Chefs interpret different dishes and to see how different couples respond to the culinary masterpieces created by our in house Banquet Culinary Team. Working with couples to help customize their wedding day meal to over exceed expectations on the big day is what we pride ourselves in.

Although tasting all the menu options is certainly one of our favorite parts of the planning process, the menu tasting is also our most beloved time because it gives us an opportunity to get to know our wedding couples and to build more personal relationships.

Enjoy!

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Tips for Choosing Your Wedding Vendors

 Tips for Choosing Wedding Vendors | Photo by Castaldo Studios | ReunionResort.com/WeddingBlog

The vendors that you choose are a very important part of your dream wedding. We thought we would share a few tips to keep in mind when selecting your vendors.

Understand Your Budget
Set your budget and the number of guests first so that you don’t fall in love with a venue or vendors that are out of your price range. Even if you do end up spending a little more than you had anticipated; it’s better to lay out your expectations with you and your fiancé, in private. As you comparison shop, you’ll get a much clearer picture of how much this is all going to cost you.  Whether your budget is $10,000 or $10 million, find a vendor that will creatively rise to the occasion. The best will be able to suggest creative swaps that can keep you within your budget

Recommendations
Once you’ve edited the list of potential vendors, ask them to see reviews or testimonials from the last year. You can even ask them if you can contact a few of the couples they’ve worked with recently. Since many vendors work closely together in the area, you could also ask other vendors, your catering manager or wedding planner if they’ve worked with this particular person before and if they would recommend them.

Tips for Choosing Wedding Vendors | Photo by Castaldo Studios | ReunionResort.com/WeddingBlog

Glynn Ferguson, Sensational Ceremonies, officiates Cassie & Ryan’s wedding.

The Right Fit
Be aware of how potential vendors deal with your initial contact: How do they react, how quickly do they respond, and how do they conduct themselves? Follow your gut. It’s usually right and should be a good guide to follow. First impressions mean a lot, and so does interacting with your vendor. If you don’t feel comfortable with them now, why would you on your wedding day?
Remember, you’ll be interacting with them on what will likely be the most emotional day of your life, so you want someone who will be able to put you at ease, not stress you out. Not every vendor is the right fit for you and not every wedding couple is a good fit for the vendor. It’s ok when this happens. No hard feelings, just move on.

Familiarity with Your Venue
In some cases, a vendor having an existing relationship with a venue can be a big plus. They’ll already know about any shortcomings — like if the space needs a generator or is challenging to load into — and how to work around them. Alternatively, if you’re having doubts about your vendor, you can ask the venue manager about her experience with them. Questions about how they treat people behind the scenes and if they handle stress well can tell you a lot.
Being familiar with the venue is especially important when selecting a photographer; they already know the best places to take photos, how to get around the property quickly and the best alternate locations if you encounter inclement weather. They will also be able to show you photos from past weddings at your actual location.

Tips for Choosing Wedding Vendors | Photo by Revelo Studios | ReunionResort.com/WeddingBlog

PD Videography captures Allison & Aaron’s big day.

Understanding Your Uniqueness
You want to collaborate with someone who will listen and create an event that isn’t just beautiful but reflects you two as a couple. Your wedding theme, décor and special touches should reflect your unique personalities. The right vendor will create moments where your guests think, “This is SO you!”

All Packages are NOT Created Equal
Just remember that each vendor prices their packages differently, they include vastly different services in their packages and add value because of their specific experience. It would be like trying to compare apples to oranges, it’s not a fair comparison. As a consumer, you are looking to find the service that best matches your needs. Remember to objectively consider each vendors services for the cost. A florist that is cheaper may not always be better. Consider your budget, but also consider the vendors experience and quality of service when making your decisions.

Tips for Choosing Wedding Vendors | Photo by Revelo Studios | ReunionResort.com/WeddingBlog

The Photobooth from Revelo Studios creates fun moments at Allison & Aaron’s wedding.

Be Informative
When you are chatting with a potential vendor, communicate what you need and who you are. The more information the vendor has, the better they can figure out how to best help you. When vendors ask you questions, it’s usually for a reason other than being nosey. Honesty is the best policy here.

Get Everything in Writing
In order to truly understand what’s included in a quoted price; the vendor should itemize everything for you. For example, if you know that you want pink roses and white hydrangea in your centerpieces, then all of that should be listed. Although this might sound too much, this information will safeguard you in the event of a dispute or in case the items you requested aren’t available during that time because of unforeseen issues.
When reviewing the contract, look out for any hidden costs (wording such as “additional costs may be incurred” and “plus setup and delivery”). Ask for clarification if anything is unclear. For some vendors, you’ll also need to know their policy on fees in case the ceremony or reception runs over the original ending time.

Tips for Choosing Wedding Vendors | Photo by Kristen Weaver Photograhy | ReunionResort.com/WeddingBlog

Leonard Brothers Band keeps the beats going at Anna & Houston’s wedding

Know When It’s Time to Walk Away
When you’re not happy with a vendor, wait until you can articulate your concerns in a non-emotional way. Express the problem, and then ask for a solution. Depending on how they react, it may make sense to part ways. If you have a contract, you’ll likely have to pay a fee, but it may be worth it to move on to someone who’s a better fit.

Remember that We Are Here for You!
If you keep these things in mind when looking to hire your wedding vendors, we think you’ll be able to assemble the perfect team to carry out the wedding of your dreams. At the end of the day, we are in the wedding business because we LOVE it. We want your wedding to be better than you every expected it to be! On the big day, relax and remember to leave the rest up to us!

Tips for Choosing Wedding Vendors | Photo by Kristen Weaver Photograhy | ReunionResort.com/WeddingBlog

Wedding Links to Love

Wedding Links to Love | Photo by Joi Redel | ReunionResort.com/WeddingBlog

Click and explore this Wedding Wednesday with a few of our favorite links!

Wedding Links to Love

Reunion Resort_Wedding Links to Love_06

Happy Wedding Wednesday! Today we share some of our favorite links for around the internet. Wedding ideas, inspiration and something to make you smile.

Photo by Rhodes Studios.

Tips for Successfully Attending a Bridal Show

Tips for Successfully Attending a Bridal Show | Photo by Tab McCausland Photography | ReunionResort.com/WeddingBlog

Congratulations, you’re engaged! Now starts the never ending Google search for a beautiful venue, the perfect dress and, of course, the most delicious cake (along with a thousand other things).

Step away from the computer and step into the soonest bridal show you can find. That is where everything you’ve been looking at online comes to life. An empty room is transformed with the sights (couture dresses), sounds (that DJ you’ve read so much about), and smells (the cake on your tablet you’ve been drooling over) of all that is wedding.

To help you prepare, we are sharing our reasons why you should attend a wedding show. Plus few tips to navigate through the show with the least amount of stress and the most success.

Top 4 Reasons Why You Should Attend a Wedding Show!

Vendors put their Best Foot Forward:
This is the time for you to preview the best of the best when it comes to what we as vendors have to offer. Whether it is a photography studio showcasing their best photos or a bakery letting you sample their most decadent cake, all vendors step up their game for a show. Plus, many wedding vendors offer specials to brides that attend the show and book with them (we definitely do, so stop by and ask us about it!)

As a Bride, You are Treated Like Royalty:
Every girl loves to be pampered and made to feel special. As a bride, that is exactly what you can expect at a bridal show. We absolutely love meeting brides, hearing your wedding vision, and mostly, sharing in your excitement!

All the Experts at Your Fingertips
A bridal show is a fancy way of saying: “All the experts are in this room!” Do you have questions about ceremony traditions? Maybe you have a great idea for your centerpieces but aren’t sure how to make them happen. The best people in the wedding industry are there to help and we love answering your questions.

Freebies and Giveaways
It is worth it to attend a show just for the opportunity to win a great prize. Most booths have some sort of giveaway- we have a drawing for dinner at our amazing rooftop restaurant Eleven! Plus, there is usually a grand prize, like an all-expenses paid honeymoon (and, seriously, who doesn’t want that)!

Tips for Successfully Attending a Bridal Show | Photo by Tab McCausland Photography | ReunionResort.com/WeddingBlog

So, we have convinced you to give your WIFI a rest and to attend a bridal show, but now what? It’s time to prepare to attend.

6 Tips for a Fun & Successful Wedding Show Experience

  1. Pre-Register
    • This will usually save you money and will definitely save you time at the door
  2. Before the Show
    • Create a wedding specific email address. That way, all of your wedding correspondence is in one place and not cluttering your personal email.
    • Make address labels or business cards. You will be giving your contact information out, a lot. This will help you avoid those painful hand cramps.
    • Make a vendor checklist. Include what you need to accomplish at the show, this will help you stay focused. Have you chosen a venue yet? If not, make that priority number one.
  3. Make Sure to …
    • Bring a notebook and pen. Jot any notes down as you talk to different people.
    • Wear comfy shoes. You will be doing a lot of walking. And just ignore the fact that all of us vendors are in heels- we just want to look good for you!
  4. Bring Reinforcements
    • Whether it is your groom, best friend, or your mom- you’ll want to bring 1 or 2 people to bounce ideas off of, help you make a decision, or just assist you with holding everything you receive.
  5. Stay Focused
    • Stick to the list you made and seek out the vendor information you know you need. This will help you from getting overwhelmed.
  6. After the Show, Grab a Bite to Eat & Review Your Notes
    • Sit down, rest your feet, and thank your best friend for spending Sunday talking to 8 different DJ’s. Also use this time to go over all the information you collected while it is fresh in your mind.

Tips for Successfully Attending a Bridal Show | Photo by Tab McCausland Photography | ReunionResort.com/WeddingBlog

While getting the information you need is your number one priority for a bridal show, it is another event for you to attend that will add to your excitement about marrying the love of your life- and what is more fun than that?

Visit us at the upcoming Wedding Shows!

Sunday, April 17, 2016
12:00pm
Omni Orlando Resort at Championsgate
Get Tickets

Sunday, May 15, 2016
12:00pm – 4:00pm
Hyatt Regency Orlando
Save 20% on Tickets with Code ‘REUNION’

Photos courtesy of Perfect Wedding Guide and Tab McCausland Photography

Wedding Links to Love

Wedding Links to Love | Photo by La Dolce Vita Studio| ReunionResort.com/WeddingBlog

What’s new? What’s interesting? What’s fun? We scoured the internet for some links to answer those questions! Thank you to La Dolce Vita Studio for the photo.

Save the Date!

The Reunion Wedding Team will be out and about this fall!

PWG Wedding Show
September 13, 2015
Orange County Convention Center
FREE Tickets: use code VENDOR

Wedding Links to Love

Wedding Links to Love | Photo by William Arthur Photography| ReunionResort.com/WeddingBlog

Happy Wedding Wednesday! It’s that time to share our favorite wedding planning tips and ideas. Thanks William Arthur Photography for the something blue, shoes photo.

  • Save your guests’ feet! Super excited that the Blush Team shared the news about Rescue Flats.
  • Dad’s are full of advice but these marriage tips are smart and will warm your heart.
  • This romantic and whimsical french themed decor has us day-dreaming about sipping champagne by the Eiffel Tower.
  • Add pizzazz to your wedding with one of these fun ideas.
  • Ditch those pre-wedding jitters and get ready to this playlist.
  • Your Engaged! These Instagram photos will inspire your own announcement.
  • Forgo the wedding favors and use that money toward the greater good.

Save the Date!

The Reunion Wedding Team will be out and about this fall!

PWG Wedding Show
September 13, 2015
Orange County Convention Center
FREE Tickets: use code VENDOR

Wedding Links to Love

Wedding Links to Love | Photo by Julie Brewer Photography | ReunionResort.com/WeddingBlog

Happy Wednesday! We have another round up of some of our favorite wedding planning tips and ideas. Thanks to Julie Brewer Photography for the wedding guestbook photo.

Come See Us!

The Reunion Wedding Team will be out and about, stop by and say hi!

PWG Wedding Show
May 31, 2015
Hilton Orlando Resort
FREE Tickets: use code VENDOR

Determine Your Wedding Style

Determine Your Wedding Style | Wedding Fashion, Decor, Tips & Inspiration | Photo by Kristen Weaver Photography | ReunionResort.com/WeddingBlog

Photo by Kristen Weaver Photography

Your Wedding Style is a reflection of you and the one you are choosing to spend forever with. Do you and your fiancé love going to the beach? Maybe a casual, outdoor wedding is best for you. Have you always dreamed of wearing a ball gown wedding dress? A formal, black-tie wedding might fit your perfect theme! When choosing your personal wedding style, there are many details, both big and small, that can be explored. The Reunion Wedding Team would like to help you determine your wedding style considering these four main criteria: Fabulous Fashion, Celebration Décor, Creative Cuisine, and Personal Touches.

Determine Your Wedding Style | Wedding Fashion, Decor, Tips & Inspiration | Photos by RH Phography Communication, Katie Lopez Photography, Meg Baisen Photography & Soltren Photography | ReunionResort.com/WeddingBlog

Photos by RH Photography Communication (top left), Katie Lopez Photography (top right), Soltren Photography (bottom left) & Meg Baisden Photography (bottom right)

Fabulous Fashion: Style isn’t created, it is who you are. Is your closet filled with flowing chiffon or fitted suits? On your wedding day, express yourself by choosing a dress that represents you. The location and season will help determine what types of prints, fabrics, and details will be appropriate for your wedding style. Complete the look by selecting your Wedding Party’s attire with your theme in mind.

Celebration Décor: Burlap table runners, chalkboard signs, Mason jar centerpieces, and wine barrels would be great accessories to accentuate a rustic, shabby-chic wedding style. Distressed picture frames showcasing table numbers, ornate brooch bouquets, and old-fashioned typewriters and luggage are beautiful ways to perfect the vintage-style wedding.

Creative Cuisine: Don’t feel as if you’re limited to the traditional plated banquet dinner. For a more fun and interactive way to incorporate your personal taste, try an Action Station Menu or a heavy Hors d’ oeuvre reception instead. Tie in cultural elements by choosing cuisine that compliments your family’s history or the destination in which you choose to wed.

Personal Touches: Guests should be reminded of you as they experience your day through the details. Homemade favors, signature cocktails, and monogrammed wedding party gifts are sentimental ways to tie in what is most important to you both.

Determine Your Wedding Style | Wedding Fashion, Decor, Tips & Inspiration | Photo by Revelo Studios , Meg Baisden Photography & William Arthur Photography | ReunionResort.com/WeddingBlog

Photos by Revelo Studios (left), Meg Baisden Photography (top right) & William Arthur Photography (bottom right)

Still looking for wedding style inspiration? Use these three helpful hints to determine the look and feel of your special day.

Log off Pinterest!
Don’t choose a style just because it’s the latest trend. Choose a wedding style that is realistic to your budget and who you are as a couple. The goal is to look back as you celebrate your 25th Anniversary, knowing you made the right decisions. Remember it is your wedding and you can choose to be as traditional or non-traditional as you like.

Take a Look Around You!
Wedding style should be determined by your personal style. The way you express yourself on your wedding day should reflect your own unique fashion and home décor. If your home has modern and contemporary décor elements, maybe an art gallery or museum would be a great fit for you. On the other hand, if your home is filled with vintage-inspired furniture and antiques, consider a romantic, garden wedding.

Commit to It!
From bridesmaids dresses and centerpieces to menu selection and location, there are many ways to incorporate your own personal style in your wedding. Whether you choose a simple wedding style, with natural wooden elements and colors or a full-blown renaissance theme, do not try to incorporate everything. Stick to the personal style you love and remember to have fun!

Determine Your Wedding Style | Wedding Fashion, Decor, Tips & Inspiration | Photos by William Arthur Photography & Kristen Weaver Photography | ReunionResort.com/WeddingBlog

Photos by William Arthur Photography (Left) and Kristen Weaver Photography (Right)

Wedding Party Gift Ideas

Wedding Party Gift Ideas | Photos by Victoria Angela Photography | ReunionResort.com/WeddingBlog

Your Wedding Party plays an integral role in your wedding celebration. Say thank you to those standing by your side with personal and unique gifts. We wanted to share some favorite ideas from our couples.

 Monogram Everything!

There’s no better way to personalize a special gift than by adding your bridesmaid’s or groomsmen’s initials for an intimate touch to their present. Monogramming can be added to most gifts. Some of the trendiest, monogrammed gift ideas this wedding season are:

  • Robes and Apparel: Perfect for getting ready in the morning of the wedding. They make for fun and feminine photos and are something your bridesmaids will continue to cherish long after your special day.
  • Barware and Drink Sets: Complete your pre-game and post-game parties with personalized bar gifts for your guys. Pair a monogrammed flask, barware, or glassware for your groomsmen with a bottle of their favorite libation to give a gift that can be used to celebrate your wedding day years after.

Wedding Party Gift Ideas | Photos by Victoria Angela Photography | ReunionResort.com/WeddingBlog

Bon Voyage!

Is your Wedding Party traveling to be with you on your wedding day? Say “Thank You!” by giving some fun, weekend travel accessories specifically with them in mind.

  • Totes and Beach Bags: Pack a tote with some of your favorite travel essentials for your wedding party joining you on your weekend wedding celebration! Beach towels, sandals, and drink coozies make great gifts for those traveling to your beach wedding destination. Sun block and Advil are must-haves to ensure a fun-filled weekend!
  • Travel Accessories: Sunglasses, Passport Holders, bottle openers and toiletry/cosmetic cases are thoughtful ways to show your wedding party you care. Remember the time and financial responsibilities your selected friends and family are devoting to your wedding; it’s always nice to show your appreciation.

Wedding Party Gift Ideas | Photos by Victoria Angela Photography | ReunionResort.com/WeddingBlog

Looking for a favor idea to compliment your location? Tie in local attractions and activities when choosing your gift whether planning a destination or home town wedding to help emphasize your wedding theme! Just remember to give those closest to you something unique and personal to remember your special day and to show your gratitude for the important roles they play in your lives.

Thank you to Victoria Angela Photography for sharing photos for today’s post and giving us visual inspiration.