Your plans can change three times. Here’s how yesterday panned out: [Warning – wedding drama to play out in a list of six separate events. Proceed with caution.]
1. The night before, I received a bid from an amazing caterer with a fantastic reputation. It was a very reasonable bid for our very unreasonable catering budget. But it left me with many questions about when in the heck we start the wedding.
2. Feedback on the blog (thank you, Erin, Nicole, Amy, Sarah and others who commented!) indicated that there was no way this was going to be enough food to support an evening affair, unless we started the whole thing after 7. I kinda knew that, but I needed some input from outsiders.
3. Erin‘s comment inspired me to think outside the box when it comes to catering. And then I had it. A genius idea – why not play out the movie theater theme to its fullest? Why not have a full menu inspired by movie theater food?! It was really perfect. I mean, how expensive can inspired hot dogs (pigs in a blanket?), nachos (nacho bar?), pretzels (pretzel bites with dipping sauces?), candy (a self-serve candy bar with different candies in big clear bowls?) and popcorn (the venue has a machine!) be? Plus if we added a few mini sandwiches and a veggie plate and cheese plate, that would be more than enough food to sustain a hungry, dancing crowd.
4. I contacted three caterers instantly after I checked with fiance to make sure he would be ok with my crazy ideas, to get their bids on this type of food. Well, I got one bid back, and while this caterer really bent over backwards, it still wasn’t enough food within my budget. (Still haven’t heard back from two others, but fear it will be the same story.)
5. The fiance called after work and said he had spoken with his mom. He said five words that will make any bride shudder.
“We can do this ourselves.”
What? <blink. blink.>
And I’m the one worried about crazy talk?
No, seriously, he said. Call my mom. To his credit, his mom used to be a caterer.
So I called her. She’s more than willing to bust out some killer mini sammies. Then, she thinks we can do the pretzels, candy, nacho bar and mini dogs by getting stuff at a wholesale store such as Sams or Costco. (She has some serving stuff from her catering days and we could rent/buy the rest.) The cheese and veggies could probably come from a grocery store. She also thinks we can pay a few friends and bribe a few cousins to help us out with prep, serving and busing tables. Easy peasy? Um. Sure….?
6. So, just when I’m starting to wrap my head around this concept, D called me. She was having drinks with a person who had insider information that our venue may be bad news. Some brides have had bad experiences, she said, among other allegations that I will not include here until I have proof that they are fact. Do not sign a contract with this place, she warned.
7. So the fiance and I did some online research. We found a few things, but nothing out of the ordinary for a business catering to brides. (He also runs his own photography business) We concluded that the warning was very fair, but in this economy, you really have to worry about any venue/vendor going out of business prior to your event. We decided the best way to approach this news would be to have a candid conversation with the manager and make sure we feel protected under any contract we sign.
But holy smokes, that was a lot of drama for one day. Gold stars for reading this through.