For our actual wedding, our destination, we did not need to worry about a caterer or anything like that. We just choose our available options from a list. (That also means no taste-testing, all you nervous brides!)
However, we are having two events. About a month after we say our I DOs, we are having a reception in my parents' hometown. And for that, we needed to feed people.
This was by far one of the most stressful parts about planning our wedding – and it wasn't even really our wedding! To begin with, we wanted something casual, laid-back, inexpensive… It is now a full-out reception. Sigh.
Well, we compromised on the dinner (well, the whole thing really). But we refused to feed 200+ people (most of whom we barely know, who were there to hang out with someone else and just eat, not to celebrate with us). We opted to have dinner for a smaller number of people, mostly just family and VERY close friends. Then we are opening it up to an open house where everyone my brother/parents/cousins/friends of friends/neighbour wants to invite, can come.
So, now that we knew we had to feed people, the question came of WHAT are we going to feed people, and HOW. Well, in an effort to cut costs (and potentially our guest list), we thought about a few options. A smaller meal (think beef on a bun and mashed potatoes!), a later meal, even ME making the meal. All were vetoed one way or another.
There are only TWO caterers in the small town in which I grew up. Both also have other jobs. Neither has a website. Only one has email. I do not live in said town. It was REALLY hard to get ahold of either of them (and the whole me-making-the-dinner-thing was sounding less problematic all the time!). Finally, I got ahold of one caterer, who quoted me a price I did not like, was inflexible, did not have a price list at all, and generally gave grumpy vibes. It took another TWO MONTHS before I finally got ahold of the other caterer.
One glorious day, though, she actually returned my phone call! She was pleasant, answered a few questions, and sent me a price list, to which I immediately responded. And then I waited. More. Than. Another. Entire. Month.
I was getting frustrated. I started looking at other options; nearby towns (the closest one with catering was more than 45 minutes away and quite expensive, and asking people if they would help if I took on the task myself (the answer from the ones who lived out of the town, who could help the morning of, was yes. But storage before the event, during, and after? No. Clean-up? A couple people agreed to help, but they, of course, were the ones who lived out of town and would have a long ways to travel. Not a lot of help, apparently.) Then, miracle upon miracles, she responded again! Hurrah! AND she agreed to a price, a request, and my meal selection! Double – no wait – triple hurrah!
So finally, after months of unanswered phone calls, frustration, and feeling like I was spinning wheels, I got a caterer! We will be having a buffet meal (I think that is the only kind available in that town, actually), and they provide the food, the workers, the clean-up, and coffee and so on. They also provide desserts, which I have opted out of, because I will be making a dessert buffet. I will be making said desserts myself, most of which will be made ahead of time and frozen. So stay tuned for a post on that!