Wedding Planning: Food

Ideally we would have made our own food or bought a whole slew of goodies from Costco from our wedding but we had to pick a caterer. Here’s why: the venue we chose required caterers for liability purposes. If we chose a caterer outside of their preferred vendors, we had to pay an extra $300. So, we picked a catering company from the chosen few, Twelve Baskets (apparently this place rocks).

It always seems like wedding food is the go-to: steak, salmon or fancy chicken (my sister and her husband did pizza so kudos to them because it was fun and delicious and who the hell doesn’t like pizza!?). We didn’t want to do anything traditional so we chose fried chicken, baked beans, corn bread, fruit salad and a green salad and we only wanted food that we like to eat normally. That’s it. If you want fancy wedding food you probably shouldn’t come to our wedding.

Catering is expensive; there is no way around we. Ours is about $30/head. That’s a lot and we have 80 people coming, so that’s roughly $2,400. I was pretty vigilant in getting RSVP’s from people. If people don’t RSVP but decide to show up- they don’t eat. Sorry, the RSVP’s are for a reason. That may be harsh but $2400 is a lot of money and we are paying for everything ourselves.

There were some people who didn’t get invited who wanted to come. I am sure this happens at every wedding. We are having a small wedding. We only want close friends and family; people that we really enjoy spending time with. Our thought process when inviting people was “can we imagine having a conversation with these people at our wedding?” If the answer was “no”, “not really” or “it’d be a brief ‘hello'” we decided not to invite them. It is our wedding and we refuse to invite people just because. Most people were completely understanding and we know a few people who were upset but we had no intention of upsetting people or hurting anyone’s feelings. It just doesn’t make sense to invite people to such a wonderful celebration of our relationship who aren’t really close to us. It’s not a party- it is our wedding.

As for cake? We aren’t having any. We aren’t doing a cheesy cake-cutting either. My friend suggested Costco cheesecakes and the moment it came out of her mouth I knew it was the way to go. We will have cheesecake and pumpkin pie. Two things we both love. It will cost $200 less than a wedding cake or cupcakes (which are too trendy for us anyway).

I know the cost of catering seems high. I’ll tell you why it is so high. It isn’t necessarily the food because we aren’t having a plated dinner (we’re doing buffet style). It is solely because we are hiring a full time bartender. We will only be serving beer (Manny’s from Georgetown Brewery. If you haven’t been to this place or tried their beer- go now) and wine (two buck Chuck from Trader Joe’s cause we fancy like that). We will have sparkling wine while we get ready but that’s just for the bridal party and toasting. We are serving flavored water, soda and coffee and that’s it.

I have to admit that the food portion of wedding planning has been the most challenging. It all depends on who RSVP’s, which means we were reliant on other people. Scary. Luckily, Twelve Baskets told us to use their deadline to get people to RSVP and it worked well. We joked that if people RSVP’d to the wedding but don’t show up that we will send them a bill. It sounds funny, right? Well, we might do it…

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