suggestions for great wedding caterer?
I'm looking for a great caterer for my wedding in June and was wondering if anyone had suggestions? Our budget is not huge, I am looking into the 30$/per person range, no "corkage" fee on the alcohol we bring and preferably with their own dishes. But the most important is that the food be delicious. I am so tired of dry, boring chicken at weddings!
Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated!
Your budget is very unlikely to be do-able with high quality food. As other have suggested, if food is important to you, you'll have to economize in other areas (e.g. photographer, music) and maybe do a cocktail, cocktail-dinatoire, or afternoon tea instead of a full sit-down meal. No corkage fee is also not very realistic unless you're hiring a bartender separately. I would suggest that you look into trimming your guest list a bit and using the saved money to increase the per-person budget (e.g. 100 people down to 75 would give you $40pp). A smaller group of people means that you'll be able to really have time to spend with everyone too. I found that having an afternoon reception at a restaurant who handled all the food, set-up, etc, was much cheaper than hiring a space and caterer (and potentially dishes and tables) separately. People still rave about the food we had and having a cocktail-dinatoire meant that people interacted more than if they were all seated at tables. The only time I've heard of food costs like your target is when there's a lot of extra fees not included, so that by the time you're done it's more like $45pp anyways (e.g. when charges for tea/coffee and set-up are not included).
We got married Oct 06 and after an extensive and often frustrating search settled on Malibu Gourmet on Monkland. We also had a very small budget and she accommodated us beautifully. Although I must say she did mention a few times how we were her "cheapest" wedding. No matter, I bit my tongue because the food was really amazing. Every single thing was delicious. She even made the wedding cake (banana chocolate) and it was, again, amazing.
Here is the website; http://www.malibugourmet.com/catering...
I think you are facing every brides dilemma. I had a 100 person wedding 10 years ago so benefit from some facts i found out when i investigated. Reception halls will charge you a prix fixe and run a bar tab should you opt for open bar. Few venues allow you to bring your own alcohol. Consider a cocktail as opposed to a large meal as expectations are better to be surpassed rather than appear "cheap" cut corners with photographer ( friend did ours) plus place disposable cameras on tables. Buy and arrange your own flowers and don't spend tons of money on a dress that will be worn once consider getting one on sale (ebay) or splurge on a classic suit that can be worn for other occassions. If I were to marry again I would do the food myself and have friends and family pitch in. good luck and don't get sucked in to spending a fortune and lose sight of the real significance of the day.
Being in the food business, I can tell you straight off that you will have a very hard time (read nearly impossible) finding a reputable caterer to do a wedding for $30pp. You don't mention how many people you plan on inviting - that can affect the price per meal also. You don't say anything about venue - does the place have a commercial kitchen suitable for a caterer? Have you even found a place? Some rentals can actually refer you to a caterer that has been used there before.
I suggest you do like the other poster suggested and cut down on other things - if you really want to have a delicious meal.
Good luck and Congratulations!!
We had Agnus Dei do our wedding, and it was truly spectacular food and service. I don't know if you have started looking yet, and I don't want to dampen your spirits, but I can't imagine what $30 per person will get you other than dry chicken. Our overall budget for the wedding was not huge, but we cut back on the cost of pretty much everything else (friends did the photography and video, dj instead of band, no limos, etc) in order to have a great meal, and in the end felt it was more than worth it. For a glimpse of their food--www.agnusdei.ca.