12/5 Real Bride Holly: Highs, Lows and Catering Woes

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Well, BABs, we thought we had it all figured out. We found a venue that was cheap, and beautiful, and agreed to allow us to supply our own alcohol without adding corkage. We were pretty happy.

Real Bride Holly enjoys a beer

The venue had just contracted a local Italian restaurant to provide catering. We contacted the manager to set up a time to meet, and she was lovely. We told her our vision for our wedding and our budget. She told us what she could offer for that amount. She offered to send us a sample menu, with our agreed upon food budget, mentioning that there would be a slight add-on for the cost of staffing. I’m like, sure, a couple of servers and a bartender. A few extra dollars a head. No biggie. I went home to bed that with visions of arancini balls and pillowy ricotta gnocchi dancing in my head.

Then, when she sent us the sample menu, the cost of the catering was literally double our budget. After the initial shock and horror, we were able to look over the price breakdown and see where all the extra money had come from. Apparently, the cost of the food per person she had quoted us, at $70 a head, was literally the cost of the raw materials for the food. That quote hadn’t include the labour for prepping and cooking the food, in addition to serving it. She had also factored in the cost of paying everyone (servers, bartenders, chefs, etc.) for nine hours of work, despite dinner taking place over the course of a three hour period. We were feeling extremely ripped off, not to mention downright icky. So, we sent an email back, asking for some explanations about the pricing, and some suggestions on where we might like to cut costs: We would cut the amount of tapas in half and eliminate one of the salads. We eagerly awaited her response with a price adjustment.

And waited.

And waited.

It’s been two months and despite repeated emails and phone calls, we’ve heard nothing. To be honest, we’re okay with it. She obviously doesn’t want to work within our budget. Maybe the amount we are looking to spend isn’t worth her time. Fine. So, we’ve determined that it’s time for us to find a new caterer and we are going to be, unfortunately, scrambling — our wedding is on the Saturday of a long weekend. However, I wont get discouraged, BABs. I can’t. Instead, I’ll use this as an opportunity to be creative, to try something more unique. Maybe we will try a more low-key theme like real bride Rachel‘s Carnival themed wedding! We shall see … I’ll keep you all posted.

Have you had troubles staying within your food budget? Share below!