By the way… I’m getting married!
I’m not just the owner of Second Dance…I’m also a bride. ?
Of course I know all sorts of things about the wedding industry from my position as a bridal gown professional, but it’s a whole other wonderful experience stepping into the role of the bride myself.
I still have loads of planning to do—most of the planning in fact. No, I haven’t even picked my own wedding dress yet! How can I?! With so many beautiful gowns right in front of me every single day, I never know what might be coming into the boutique next…
But besides picking my own wedding gown, I’ve got the other most important aspect of the wedding on my mind.
To me, having a delicious meal is one of the most important parts of the day. I want all of my guests to indulge in a scrumptious and memorable meal. That’s so important to both me and my amazing, supportive fiancé, Eric. We believe that a sensational meal followed by an open bar and great music is what a wedding should be all about.
Forget any possibility of mediocre banquet food. We’ve decided to hold our own wedding at the Stone Mill Inn in Niagara because the food is FAAANTASTIC.
We were a group of 7 for our tasting last week, and several of the members of my party hadn’t eaten at the Stone Mill before. They were all blown away by the quality of the food, not to mention the extremely generous tasting portions.
The private room where the tasting took place was really stylish, with lovely wood features, whiskey barrels, and very hip lighting.
I guess that people thought the tasting would just be hors d’oeuvres sized samples. Well not at the Stone Mill. They brought out 2 or 3 full sized dishes for each of the 5 courses, and that was X2 because we were choosing between 2 options for each course. We ended up with more than 20 dishes on the table throughout the night! Choosing what was the most delicious proved to be just about impossible. Everything was spot on.
Before the tasting, we narrowed down our menu choices and were then served 2 options per course to help us make our decisions. They added an additional vegetarian dish for the entrée for us to try.
1. First Course – Appetizers
- Vegetable Samosas with mango & mint chutney
- Portobello mushroom stuffed with crab, spinach and asiago with balsamic drizzle
2. Second Course – Soup/Salad
- Mediterranean soup with orzo
- Apple spicy pecan salad with dried cranberries, spring mix, goat cheese & balsamic vinaigrette
3. Third Course – Pasta
- Penne with prosciutto and roasted red pepper with parmesan cream sauce
- Pasta shells stuffed with spinach, fresh ricotta and mozzarella cheese with pomodoro sauce
4. Fourth Course – Main
- Grilled Beef Tenderloin with wild mushroom and cabernet sauvignon demi glaze
- Grilled Chicken with spinach, sundried tomato, ricotta, goat cheese and wild mushroom sauce
- Eggplant Parmesan with mashed potatoes (vegetarian)
5. Fifth Course – Dessert
- Raspberry & Lemon Ice Gelato
- Red Velvet & White Chocolate Cheesecake
Not only was the food amazing, but the service was really generous and helpful too.
The verdict? Definitely 5 stars for the Stone Mill Inn!
It was quite a feast and we’re still trying to decide the final menu. With everything being so tasty, it’s so hard to pick! What would you choose???
We had a wonderful time, left absolutely stuffed, and learned a lot from the experience.
Here are my tips for any of you lovely brides who haven’t done your own wedding tasting yet.
8 Wedding Tasting Tips
1. Go hungry!
The portion sizes are more generous than you might think.
2. Consider the Guest Experience
When making your selections, don’t just choose what you like the most. Also consider what your guests will enjoy, and consider how the entire meal will flow from one course the next. Our choices included a lot of dairy in almost every single dish so we have to consider how that will sit with everyone by the time dinner has finished. We want to make sure people feel well enough to have a great party!
3. Don’t Forget Cocktail Hour
Consider what’s being served at the cocktail hour so that you don’t have repetitive menu choices in the dinner courses.
4. What dietary restrictions will you have to consider?
What about vegetarian, vegan, gluten free or other dietary restrictions? You’ll need to let the caterer know in advance about these options. Consider asking to taste some of these alternative dishes as well (The vegetarian option that they brought out for us at the Stone Mill Inn was delicious and I’m definitely glad we had a chance to try it!).
5. Will you be giving a choice for the main entrée?
Chicken or beef? Surf or turf? If so, how will you collect that data, because the caterer will need the number in advance. Make sure that you’ve thought this through because what seems like a trivial matter of chicken or beef can turn into a big administrative job.
6. Plan for Children
What options and prices do they offer for kids?
7. Money Money Money.
Always keep the budget in mind. There are always upgrades that sound delicious and approachable when they only cost $2 more per person, but depending on the number of guests those extras can add up a lot. Don’t forget to use our handy Wedding Calculators as a reference for your planning.
8. Don’t Forget to Tip
Leave a tip at the end of the tasting! The staff is working hard to please you for this big wedding planning decision making process. Give them some recognition and appreciation for what they’re providing for you.
We have some decisions to make ourselves, and we hope that you have as tough a time when it comes to your own menu decisions. Tough choices mean that everything was delicious and that’s the way it should be! Happy planning!