Caterers

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from Rapunzel41. Show Rapunzel41's posts

    Caterers

    We just received our first comprehensive estimate from a caterer and I'm suffering from some sticker shock.  I'm waiting on estimates from several others so I can compare, but I'm curious as to what others have encountered in priving from caterers.

    Alternatively, can anyone recommend their caterer and give me an idea of your per person price?  Right now we're at $118 per person, and that doesn't include tables, chairs, linens, or bar!  Seems awfully high to me...

    This is all so frakkin expensive.  I already want to cry!
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from trex509. Show trex509's posts

    Re: Caterers

    WOW!!  That seems really high!  Is that just for the food or venue also?  My friend used an outside caterer (not the venue) and I KNOW she didn't spend that much.  I think the place she used was called Olives or something?  I'll email her and ask. 

    Did you guys choose a venue?  :)
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Rapunzel41. Show Rapunzel41's posts

    Re: Caterers

    We really want to go with the Griffin Museum of Photography, but if the caterers are all this pricey, we may have to rethink that!

    Was it Green Olive?  I sent them a request for an estimate and haven't heard back from them yet.

    We've gethered some informaiton from:

    East Meets West
    Peppers
    Gourmet Caterers
    Vinwood

    Maybe we really should just elope!
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from trex509. Show trex509's posts

    Re: Caterers

    I think it was Green Olives!  And I think for 100 people it was like $6K or $8K.

    PS.  I hear you on costs.  It costs so much more than I estimated!

    ETA:  Also, one piece of advice that has helped me.  If you don't hear back to an online request or email, just call!  It is so much faster than waiting for a reply.  And I've found in the wedding area, many people don't check email or reply quickly.  I wish they did since I find email so much easier and I hate calling people, but I got responses much faster when I just bit the bullet and called them. 

    My emails to my caterer keep going into his junk mail folder, even though he says he's added me.  So annoying!
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Caterers

    Oh, my, Rap - that is very high IMO, too.  I'm sure some other estimates will be lower.  We didn't have a caterer, but my word, I can't imagine that's average.

    DH and I just remarked yesterday at Walmart when we saw a bridal magazine that it's much more fun being married than planning a wedding.  He said, "Oh, YEAH, it is!!!"  Deep breaths, you'll be looking fondly back on your big day in no time.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: Caterers

    We used the Lafayette House out of Foxboro, MA.  I'm not sure if they would cater in Winchester, but could be worth checking out.  The food is on the traditional side, but good.  The price range (including everything except taxes - hors d'oeuvres, 2 entrees, linens, plates, glasses, cake, coffee) was about $57-70 per person.

    Even if they wouldn't work out for you, at least it goes to show that you can find a caterer for a decent price!  Good luck.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from Rapunzel41. Show Rapunzel41's posts

    Re: Caterers

    I'm going to go back to the catering manager and ask her to price it out based on specific menu choices and ask a few more questions.  I have a personal connection to this particular company so once I get as far as I can with the manager, I'll see what my connection can do on top of that.

    I'm sure calling would be easier, but I can't make very many calls during the day anymore.  I can email any time I want, and I'm often doing that late at night or earliy in the morning before work.  It's a pain in the butt, for sure.

    We're already "fighting" over the costs.  My FI will say, "I really want string musicians to play the ceremony and reception."  I'll tell him that will cost us another $400 to $700.   Then he'll say he thinks we should have chair covers (though I have no idea how he even knows what chair covers are!).  I'll tell him it's $5 to $8 per chair.  Then he gets mad at me for shooting down everything he wants!  "Honey, if you have another $700 for musicians and $400 for chair covers, go for it!"

    *sigh*  How did you all do it?!?!


     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from Peonie. Show Peonie's posts

    Re: Caterers

    I've been to three weddings where they used Vinwood, and their food is so good. No idea what their prices are like, though.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from trex509. Show trex509's posts

    Re: Caterers

    Oh, Rap, that stinks about the disagreements!  Have you guys made up a budget yet?   I made up a spreadsheet with each category as specifically as possible (food, alcohol, venue rental, ceremony fee, music, DJ, photo, video, etc, etc! even down to favors and postage!).  Then we estimated "reasonable" costs as well as I knew them (what we thought we could spend).  This way we came up with a general idea of how much we'd be spending overall.  It is a very scary number (more than I was expecting).  We went over this together so that FI and I are on the same page about how much stuff costs.  This way when we talk about adding things, we know that we have to take it out somewhere else.  Like we splurged on the photographer, so we might DIY the flowers and we're definitely buying cheap invites.  It also really helped start the discussion about what we want and what we want to spend (and how to save for it!).

    Anyway, it just helped to have us both fully aware of how "little" costs, like $500 for chair covers, can really add up in the overall budget.

    We're also sort of dividing the tasks.  Like I did a lot of the research on photographers, but I've asked FI to take the lead on the DJ and videographer.  I think that helps so he doesn't feel like he doesn't have any say.  I think this is all good practice for learning how to make financial decisions as a couple before you get married!
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Caterers

    We also had tension over what things cost during wedding planning.  I think it's very common because neither of you have ever priced these things and yet you both have at least some specific ideas of what "wedding" means and looks like to you even if you haven't thought about it too much consciously before now.  Keep being your respectful, calm selves and you'll get through it.

    If he suggests something try responding positively first even if you know it's too expensive to incorporate.  Tell him how nice his idea would look and you agree it's something to price out and decide if it fits in the budget.  Validate his idea, and then if you present the cost let him tell you he doesn't think it's worth it.  Or, if he does still want it, see if you can save on something else.  He's not reacting to not having those things he's reacting to your not saying how great an idea it is even if it does turn out to be too expensive.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from Rapunzel41. Show Rapunzel41's posts

    Re: Caterers

    He's of the mind that we're ONLY using the money from my parents to pay for the wedding and we're not contributing anything else ourselves.  That's so not how it's going to work.  LOL!

    I'm grateful for anything my parents contribute, but I am planning on putting in my own dollars - and I'm estimating about $5K for my/our contribution. 

    I've worked on my estimated costs for everything, but once I see what my parents are contributing, we'll have to sit down and seriously go through it.

    I guess we just need to win the lottery!!!
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Caterers

    Remember when you discuss putting in "your" money, it will be a combined financial household the moment this party is over.  Whatever is spent on the wedding outside of your parents' contribution is coming out of the marital household even though you aren't married yet even if you keep separate accounts...no matter how you manage your marital household, that money will be deducted from it be it yours now or his.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from trex509. Show trex509's posts

    Re: Caterers

    Huh, Rap, I think you guys may need to have a conversation about that sooner rather than later.  It is easy to add on $500 here, $700 there when you think someone else it paying for it.  Since you know that you guys already have different expectations on who is paying for the wedding, I would nip that in the bud ASAP!
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from Rapunzel41. Show Rapunzel41's posts

    Re: Caterers

    He's got tunnel vision on some stuff, and he's acknowledged that.  I'm holding off on any further discussions about money until we talk to my parents this weekend.  In the meantime, I'll continue to get pricing and proposals so I can be prepared to talk to both him and my parents. 

    I have encouraged his ideas even while presenting him with the reality of the costs.  It's just all so overwhelming.  Blah.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Caterers

    Yeah, I hated the whole process, actually.  Take heart, it really does go by fast and then, poof, you're married!
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from CanadianBride. Show CanadianBride's posts

    Re: Caterers

    It will get better!

    At the very least, I can tell you that Vinwood is waaay cheaper. We're using them for our August wedding, we're doing stations (salad, pasta, chicken, fish, and dessert station) and it's around $40 a person. Hors d'oeuvres are extra, but only about $10 a person. I remember pricing out stations vs. sit down dinner and the prices were very similar.

    We had Vinwood recommended to us by tons of brides and we liked them the best out of the three caterers we interviewed.

    Good luck!
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: Caterers

    Hi Rap,  I went through the same thing with DH when we were planning.  For exampe, he wanted to do a champagne toast with Veuve Clicquot, so I told him that was fine, but he better start setting aside $$ now... Needless to say we did not even do a champagne toast. 
    I hated to feel like I was shutting down his ideas.  It was great that he was interested in the planning, but he just wasn't informed on these things and unfortunately I had to be Debbie Downer.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from BioGeekGirl. Show BioGeekGirl's posts

    Re: Caterers

    Because of our venue, we were limited to a few caterer options. However, I'm really excited about the caterer we've just booked : Celebrations Gourmet Catering. We're quoted $95/head for everything: 6 passed hors d'ouevres, a stationary cheese table, a plated salad, steak and salmon buffet with two sides and no extra charge for a dish for vegetarians, cake and coffee service, and all the basic linens/china, labor, tax and admin fees. Plus we went to the tasting and the food was AMAZING and beautifully presented. I imagine you could get this even lower if you cut a few things, ie no stationary table, fewer apps, etc. Not half the price, as some of the places mentioned earlier, but less expensive and better quality than many.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from Rapunzel41. Show Rapunzel41's posts

    Re: Caterers

    Fram, that's exactly it.  I love that he's involved and trying to come up with ideas, but he has NO concept of hte costs involved.  I think I finally got through to him on the string trip and the chair covers.  Now he's going to the opposite extreme - we can't afford a sit down meal so let's just do cocktails and apps.  Um, we have 20 people flying in from all over the country!  We have to feed them!  LOL!
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Caterers

    Rap, emtions about spending will settle down and you'll both be happy soon, I promise.  Right now it's just a very emotionally charged time of discovery.  He really doesn't want just drinks and aps, he's just reacting irrationally for the moment.  Be patient; he'll go through stages, the last of which is acceptance. 
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from katel. Show katel's posts

    Re: Caterers

    Hey Rapunzel! I don't remember where your venue is, but we used Periwinkles Catering out of Essex for our wedding, and the price was @$45/head. We had awesome food, and tons of it! We rented the tables, chairs and tent from a company in NH which was literally about a third of the price (including their travel fee!) than anywhere we looked at in MA. If you'd like the name, I'll be sure to pass it along. And check out Periwinkles Catering. Originally, the quote was $75/head or something like that, and the chef worked with us to get it down to what we could afford and still have great food. Good luck! And try not to get too frusterated with input from FI...at least now you've said he's understanding the costs! Maybe show him the breakdown of how much money you have to spend for each part...that may help to give him some ideas of what can be spent.
     

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