After work the other day I stopped by the Brazilian Room – excuse me, the Bridezilian Room – where a couple of caterers had set up tables with food and information, as happens there every Tuesday. The first table was manned by an extremely friendly man who, after a few minutes, determined that his company was way above our price range and gently and kindly steered me towards the other table. I smiled, doffed my hat, did a curtsy, and bid him adieu.
I got into a nice, informative conversation with a woman at the other catering company. The minute I started speaking with her I realized I didn’t have a ready list of questions, and so the first thing out of my mouth was probably in the vein of “Hi there, um, I’m getting married. Here. In 2011. July. July 28th. And, um, we will need some food. Dinner. We have a budget of $10,000. Not for the dinner, though, for the whole thing. Um.”
The nice woman was very patient and smiley with me, took down my name and contact info, and then we proceeded to have a delightful chat about food, photography, linens, cutlery, and other wedding-related odds and ends. She said that fitting food for 150 people into a $10,000 budget was not going to be easy, but was certainly doable, especially because in the current economic climate, many caterers are willing to work with clients to hash out a deal.
At one point she tried to get a sense of how fancy we were going for in our wedding planning, and I told her “to give you a general idea we’re strongly considering having a hamburger bar.”
Mind you, we’re not going to throw an entire wedding that aesthetically aligns with the concept of a hamburger bar, but we do want one that doesn’t scream opulence, money, too much attention to needless decoration, or really, does any screaming whatsoever. We want nice linens, good food, a beautiful place to dance, but we don’t need to have grilled Chilean sea salmon stuffed with lobster crab, served with arugula tartlets and filet mignon, or even Philly mignon.
She mentioned a few ways we could cut down on costs:
– Buffet-style food, rather than servers.
– Single entrée rather than two. To account for vegetarians, her advice was either to make sure we had lots of vegetarian appetizers, or, to simply make the one entrée meatless. I feel like since I carelessly put the mouth-watering idea of barbecue into peoples’ minds, serving them no meat at all might be a little cruel, though.
– Compostable cutlery. I think she was referring to those forks, knives, and spoons made from potatoes. I’ll be honest: they don’t drip with classiness. But at the same time, they apparently cost significantly less and seem to be cool with the environment. Plus they’re made from potatoes, so if something should happen and the guests are trapped at the Room for days, we’ll have something to eat besides our belts and shoes.
– The all-finger-food option. We were told not long ago from a couple who’d been to a wedding where they only served appetizers that it worked really well and was the best wedding they’d ever been to; it’s certainly something that’s at least worth a look. The woman cautioned me, though, that it’s easy to go a little nuts on appetizers and end up spending MORE than you would with an entree or two. And Jessica and I love going a little nuts.
I liked this place. They had a few samples out, including a salmon that was seriously kick-ass, and your typical plate of fruit and bread and cheese. We have a long road ahead of us, and food is probably going to be the most complicated and most expensive piece of the puzzle.*
*See how many metaphors I crammed into that one sentence? Impressive, I know.
A final note: I noticed only brides there, and only brides who had signed up with the caterers. My question is: where all the grooms at??