It’s been an eternity since we really talked about the wedding. I’m pretty sure I’ve only written one other post about the subject. It’s weird because I don’t want to give away all the details on such a public forum but at the same time, planning a wedding is a GREAT blogging topic and I do want to share our experience.
Anyway, let’s chat about food. C and I outlined our priorities for the wedding early on.
- Great venue
- Super awesome live band
- Amazing, delicious food
We knocked out #1 and #2 pretty quickly. We were lucky to find a stunning garden house that was SUPER cheap and fit our style perfectly. The band, which I thought would be tricky, ended up being pretty simple. We watched a few videos of them play and were sold.
The food, however, proved to be a challenge. It’s arguably the most expensive part of throwing a wedding. I contacted several caterers who gave us quotes that were all over the board. They mostly wanted us to serve typical apps, a boring salad, meat/fish and veg/starch. Snore-fest. C and I wanted to serve food that not only tasted amazing, but fit our style. We tried to explain our vision of Texas meets East Coast, read brisket tacos and crab cakes. But I just didn’t feel like anyone was getting it. I was also getting defeated because I felt like our budget was only going to get us some chicken and lettuce leaves.
I was finally able to hash out a rough menu with two great caterers. Each offered a slightly different “ambiance” and yet the menus came out almost identical. I arranged tastings for when we were in CT and hoped for the best.
We were blown away. The food was perfect and just what we were looking for. After discussing the pros/cons of each offering, we finally made a decision and sent in the largest deposit yet.
A few tips for getting what you want out of catering:
1. Everything is negotiable. If you get a menu and price from a caterer at $97/person and that happens to be beyond your budget, don’t hesitate to ask if your caterer can work with you on the price. We had a caterer come down almost $15/person to try to win our business. Also, don’t feel like you need to settle for a “standard” menu. The same chef that can to make chicken roulade can probably also make steak au poive…if you ask (nicely) and even if it’s not offered on their list of options.
2. Stick to a theme. Are you and your fiance a meet & potatoes kind of couple? Do you want to serve mac & cheese and fried chicken? Have you always envisioned having a 7 course, five star meal? Is it a must to serve your mom’s meatloaf recipe? What ever it is, make sure to express those ideas. Remember, you (or your family) are the ones footing the bill. You should be able to get exactly what you want.
3. Think outside the box. Just because you were served steak, asparagus and mashed potatoes at the last seven weddings you went to, doesn’t mean you’re limited to that. If you’re obsessed with sweets, have a dessert reception where you serve coffee drinks (maybe spiked?), cakes, cookies, brownies, and sea salt caramels. If you’re on a strict budget, consider having an afternoon wedding and serving heavy appetizers. Did you have cotton candy on your first date? Rent a machine for your wedding. The possibilities are endless so don’t let the “wedding norm” rule your plans. Your guests will appreciate it too!
What are some things you learned when hiring a caterer for your wedding?