Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Meet the bane of my existence...

Catering. We meet again. The last of the "big things" to get done. The last piece of the puzzle as far as comparing prices, meeting with people, and figuring out deposits/payment schedules/etc. After this - decisions are already made (for example: I know who I'll be using for makeup, but I haven't booked them yet) and now I just need the corresponding deposits made and I'm done.

But that is not the case with catering.

Image via Just Wenderful / Photo by Becca Rillo Photography

With catering... I'm at a standstill. You may ask why? There are a ton of caterers! We can bring whoever we want! So why am I still on the caterer search? Well, it's complicated.

I met with one caterer that I really liked. They were fun to talk to, they got exactly what we were looking for, and they got me the contract quickly. In my mind - booked. But my mom had a friendor (friend/vendor) in mind and wanted me to give her a chance to get back to me with a quote. Understandable - but I hadn't gotten a response from the friendor for just over a month, which scared me a little. A lot of communication comes with the wedding, so it was important to me that whoever we went with was quick to respond to emails.

I finally got the quote from the friendor. It was more affordable than the vendor I liked, yes, but it also wasn't from the friendor. It was from a local cafe. That confused me. To be quite frank: it also led me to feel a little deceived. I had been told this was something that friendor was doing "on the side" and "outside of work"... but the cafe is her place of work. So now, I'm talking to a cafe that I've never ate it or been to, which definitely isn't my preference. (As it turns out, we found out later this is something that her place of work had been doing quite a bit - essentially stealing her side work - but at the time, we weren't aware of that.)

But this is my major issue: we're spending a lot of money on something that I don't place a huge amount of value on. The meal is just one part of the evening, and while I do want the guests to enjoy it, I just didn't love the price tag. The photos? Worth spending a good portion of the budget on because we will have those forever. The venue (ie: setting for the photos) is also worth a good chunk. The food? Not so high up on the list for us.

So I'm at a crossroads. As far as I can tell, I have a very limited range of options:
-  Go with the friendor, because it's more affordable, even though when I did eventually eat at their establishment, I wasn't thrilled.
-  Go with our first choice, even though they're more, but know that they have AMAZING food and a great staff who all have worked at our venue before.
-  Go back into discussions with a wide range of caterers (please, no!)
-  Start thinking far, far outside the box and consider doing just appetizers, just hors d'oeuvres, something like that.

Was catering a big ticket item for your wedding? Up next... we do actually make a decision!

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