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Oct 2, 2008 03:17 PM

HELP! Food+wedding advice?

I live in Seattle and I recently got engaged. I am WAY more food-y than wedding-y, so I really want the food to be unforgettable. For me, this get-together is just an excuse to eat. Does anybody have either a great caterer, or a venue that came with great food?

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  1. I can' tell you who any good caterers are, but I can tell you what we did for our wedding last Aug.

    We hired all of our favorite chefs and restaurant staff to work the event:

    The bartender was Eric Witsoe from Tavolata,
    The passed hors d'vouers were by Shannan Galusha of Veil,
    The roast pig was by Eric Banh from Monsoon,
    The sit down plated dinner was by William Belickis of Mistral,
    The dessert buffet and wedding cake were from William Lehman of Bakery Nouveau,
    The post-dessert gelato cart was by Holly Smith of Cafe Juanita,
    The entire front of house wait staff was run by MIchael Don Rico of Branzino (the best front of house guy in Seattle!)

    I would HIGHLY recommend going with chefs you know and trust for such a special occasion where food is an integral role. This was especially a concern for us as food is such an important element in our lives and how we found each other. The one problem we had was finding a venue that would allow outside caterers. They exist, but are few and far between. If you want to go this route, your options are very limited, so I'd book early! Hope this helps.

    3 Replies
    1. re: hhlodesign

      here i go again. another vote for herban feast. i have folks ask me all the time what the name was of my caterer for my wedding. they were perfect from minute one. professional, on time, prepared, and unobtrusive. all of the entree protein was cooked onsite(the house in Marymoor Park) and just delicious. all thier staff was praised by my guests. be sure to get the mini crabcakes as an app. yumm.

      1. re: hhlodesign

        If you don't mind my asking - what's the ballpark cost per guest for doing something like this? In my mind, it would be prohibitively expensive...

        1. re: HungWeiLo

          Actually, it is not. We spent around $150 a head including all the food, drinks, servers, bartenders, chefs, wedding cake, and rentals (plates, glasses, cutlery, tables, chairs, linens). I think we were only able to accomplish this price point by not going with a caterer and hiring all components on our own. Just as a home owner saves money by not hiring a general contractor when they remodel their home, but have to spend lots of time coordinating the different sub-contractors. I'm sure that were we to have a "real" caterer price out a -four-course sit down meal, numerous passed hors d'vouers, a roast pig, tons of Salumi meats, open bar, dessert buffet, and unlimited gelato cart, the cost would have been much higher. We saved money by renting items ourselves through AA Party Rentals (no caterer markup); Stocking the bar through Costco and offering only 2 specialty cocktails (along with beer, wine, and soda); buying cases of wine through our local wine shop and getting a volume discount; hiring the servers and bartenders ourselves; and helping with the setup and cleanup.

          Not sure why the powers that be saw fit to remove my last response to this question, but I would think the preceding information is very pertinent to the discussion at hand.

      2. We had a great experience with the folks at Herban Feast,

        1. I was just in a wedding where the food was done quite well by Ravishing Radish. After doing a lot of tasting (Herban Feast couldn't even impress us at their own tasting, in their own venue!) we went with RR. They impressed me doubly from the tasting to the event. Extrememly good. I was a little dissapointed with their professionalism--they were a little bit late--but it was totally worth it to have actually good food at the wedding.

          2 Replies
          1. re: dagoose

            I had the exact opposite experience! RR had a pathetic tasting (hummus and chicken skewers and mixed greens were the bulk of it) and badmouthed the venue I chose, while trying to talk me into their own venue (which is basically underneath I-5 and was much bigger than we needed). Herban Feast had a great tasting, tons of food so you could try a lot of things, great customer service, and was really enthusiastic about our venue, which admittedly had challenges.

            I have heard good things about Dupar and Company, which I believe is THE high end caterer in town.

            But I do think that all caterers have their limitations, especially if they have to transport food to a venue, which most do. If you really, really want this to be about the food, I'd consider having the reception be a sit down dinner at a restaurant's private dining room that you know is great (unless of course you can afford to do what hhlodesign did--that sounds ideal!).

            1. re: christy319

              I have been to several events that Dupar and Compnay has catered and was impressed each time. It was hard to believe that some of the meat and fish wasn't cooked on site. Very tasty.

          2. I was married this August and we were very very impressed and pleased with Tom Douglas' catering outfit. I am totally overwhelmed by HHlodesign's amazing all-star line-up; it is totally impressive and probably was amazing but there was no way my fiance and I could have ever pulled off such a complex logistical structure. Tom Douglas's team was professional, the food was local and fresh and outstanding, and our guests loved it. I am sure the other caterers are great, but Tom Douglas's staff and chefs were wonderful, and I would highly recommend them. PS: depending on the size, the Palace Ballroom downtown (his catering facility) is also great. We also got cake from Macrina, and many of our guests told us it was the best wedding cake they'd ever had. They were professional and easy to work with too (no surprise)

            1. I've used repeatedly, both Lisa Dupar ( and Joanie's Catering ( Both have repeatedly been outstanding. They aren't afraid to flavor their food, no blah banquet food trying to offend nor impress no one, and will work with you. They've helped to build menus and even gone off personal/family recipes of the bridal couple.

              Joanie's is far less $$ than Lisa Dupar. Speaking to either of them, they should be able to give you a list of venues they can work in. Unconventional, but you can work from the caterer to the venue.