Broke-Ass Tag: wedding food

12/5

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!

  • 11/22

    And other yummy treats!

    I detailed our food plan a while back, and if you recall, I was missing a fairly important detail: the total cost. We worked with our caterer to come up with the perfect menu, and we had a general price range of $12-$15 per person. We never had a contract and we didn’t have to pay any sort of deposit. Kinda scary … but we knew we were dealing with really awesome and honest people, so we were okay with it. Basically they were just going to keep track of how much food we went through, and then add it up and we’d pay the total at the end of the evening. Easy peasy.

    So how did it all turn out? Effing amazing! You guys … our food was so legit. It was delicious and fun and fantastic and about 65 other adjectives. Not only did Russel and I love it, but our guests did, too. People were commenting on it all night … and for days and weeks afterward. The final final menu ended up being shredded beef sandwiches, sausages with peppers and onions, corn dogs, french fries, funnel cakes, elephant ears and frozen chocolate-dipped cheesecake. We also had homemade baked beans and Napa cabbage salad, which were prepared by some super awesome and loving family members and friends.

    Rachel's carnival food

    The stands looked so amazing once the sun went down! Bonus!

    Guests pose with Rachel's carnival-themed food

    Our friend Nolan with an elephant ear and cheesecake.

    Guests pose with food from Rachel's carnival-themed wedding

    Funnel cake! Nom nom nom!

    I wish I had more pictures of the deliciousness! Everything was so good.

    So not only was the food the best ever, our caterers were the best, too. They set up the trailers on Thursday, which made for one less thing to worry about the day of the wedding. They also served food from the time dinner started (about 6 p.m.) until 9 p.m. For years I had planned to have late night pizza delivered because I know people get hungry after drinking and dancing for hours, but since they served so late, we didn’t have to. Again, less for us to worry about!

    I’ll be totally honest, as the evening went on and we saw how much food everyone was eating — people were making trip after trip after trip — we were a little scared to settle up. I was prepared for the worst, but when Russel found me afterword and told me our total was a whopping $2,100, I was ecstatic! I can’t say for sure how many guests we ended up having (a few people who said they were coming didn’t show up), but including our vendors I think we fed around 160 people. A little over $13/person for amaaazing food? YES, PLEASE. Literally my only regret is that I didn’t eat more food. I had a sandwich and an order of fries … that’s it! I need a re-do so I can have six helpings of everything.

    Broke-Asses: Have a carnival wedding! And have authentic carnival eats! Your guests, your taste buds and tummy, and your budget will all thank you!

  • 9/11

    Ask Liz Wedding Time vs. Catring

    Dear Liz,  The second deposit for my venue is due next week, and when I looked at the contract and thought about what we want to happen that day, I'm starting to freak out. Our wedding is next month, we're getting married at 5pm, and the music has to be off by 10pm, so we can be totally out by 11pm. With the ceremony, cocktail…

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    1/8

    Real Bride Elissa: Catering to My Love of Food

    Food is very, very important to me in my everyday life. When I say things like “I love to travel!” it’s really because I love to try new food. When I say “Let’s go do something!” it usually means “Let’s go out to eat!” Because of this, I knew going into wedding planning that finding the perfect caterer was going to be a tall order.…

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    10/24

    Dear Liz, How to do your own food (with a bit of help from willing friends/family) for your reception??? Food item suggestions and logistical tips especially! Signed, Self-Serving Dear Self-Serving, Funny thing is, I  talked to someone this morning who catered his own wedding, and he did not have fun with that.  Logistically, it's a nightmare. You have to buy the food (for 100 people),…

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  • 7/18

    Image courtesy of Simone Dear Heather, How much time should I plan for the receiving line immediately after the ceremony if there are about 80 guests? I really don't know how to ballpark this. Thanks! Stacy Dear Stacy, A general rule of receiving lines is about 20 seconds per guest, so yours should take less than a half-hour. However, there are definitely alternatives to doing…

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    3/1

    Frances Thank You Card from Fab

    Got a question for Liz? Go to the Contact page and let us know what's up! Frances Thank You Cards, $16 for 8 at Fab Hey Liz, We got married in August and have not had a chance to send out our thank you cards. We traveled until the end of September, my father in law died in October, then amongst the holidays, we started the…

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    12/5

    I'm about to tell you something you might find shocking.  But hold onto your hats, because our wedding is going to be a....MEAT FREE ZONE! That's right folks!  I am a longtime vegetarian and Zach rarely eats meat nowadays.  So we won't be serving anything that used to breathe and have eyeballs at our wedding.  I think a lot of our non-vegetarian friends and family…

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  • 2/26

    Reader Request! My name is Alicia and I am 20 years old. All my hopes of a wedding were lost until I found this website. Since I am a full-time student and my part-time worker funds are EXTREMELY limited, so the budget would be about $1000-$3000. I DEFINITELY qualify as a BROKEA**. The colors will be hot pink, bright yellow, and a bright orange. I…

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