We are now in the stage of planning where I need to start thinking about catering.
And I am terrified.
For reasons unknown to me, I cannot shake this strange fear of choosing a caterer and everything that comes along with it. Everything else about wedding plans has been fun in at least some way. But the thought of sitting down with a professional and breaking down our menu just does not appeal to me. The oddest part is that Rose and I both LOVE food. However, even when throwing parties at our place, my biggest stress is always what to feed people, how much to get, how long it will take to make, how to clean it up and if guests will enjoy it. I can turn into quite the frazzled hostess!
I hate going anywhere unprepared. I never travel to a new place without my trusty GPS and a printout of the directions and having looked at the exact location on Google Earth so I am completely ready for anything. I’m the type of girl that shows up to an interview with three unnecessary copies of my resume “just in case.” Yes I was a Girl Scout, and I just so happen to still live by that motto.
But when it comes to caterers, I am absolutely clueless. I will be walking in the door of our consultations (if I ever get around to scheduling them) without any idea of what to expect. And the worst part is that it seems like everyone else is in a similar boat! There just isn’t enough information available out there. I am really scared that we will meet with these folks, tell them how much we can spend and then just get laughed at because it’s totally unrealistic. But then what do we do? We can’t just pretend like we have more money to put towards it.
And speaking of money, let me get real with you. We can spend absolutely no more than $3,000 on everything and all that is catering. This includes food, drinks, plateware, tables and linens. And I have no way of knowing if we are totally crazy or somewhat realistic. Most catering companies don’t even post their prices on their website, so we could very well waste an entire afternoon meeting with someone that really cannot make this work for us. And even though I know I shouldn’t feel embarrassed about being a budget bride, there is something especially nerve-wrecking about the fear that we will be turned away because we can’t shell out the funds.
We did also have a strange experience with the only caterer I have ever met with in my life, so maybe it has a little to do with my hesitations. When we were planning the wedding for last year, we met with a company that was associated with three local restaurants including our favorite sushi spot and a deli. From the start, the coordinator was far from “catering” to our needs (excuse the pun). She had an abrasive personality and as soon as we started describing what we envisioned: a mingling, serve-yourself atmosphere with heavy hors d’ouevres, she cut us off with a quick “No that won’t work.” She said with the limited funds we had, that our guests would be better fed with sandwiches, and lots of them! She proceeded to show us every sandwich platter ever offered and insisted that this was the only way to go. Instead of finding out more about us, she turned the whole meeting into a speech on the popularity of deli sandwiches, deviled eggs and cole slaw. And then when we asked about other services like table rentals… she responded with an abrupt “No” as if we should know better than to even mention it. I felt like I was being lectured the entire time!
When it comes to picking a caterer, I just don’t want to do it. It is forcing me to face my stresses about money… one topic I hate talking about. Please tell me I am not the only one putting off such a big step in our planning process because of some off-the-wall fear!