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Kosher Catering under $60/pp

Good afternoon all,

I know this gets discussed all the time on this board. My fiance and I are getting married, summer 2011 and we need a kosher wedding. We are having about 175 people and would like to spend no more than $60/pp (including venue and catering costs).

So far we have looked at 2 places. Rockwood Park Jewish Center at $40/pp and Crest Hollow Country Club at $60/pp. $60/pp is the top of our budget.

We are looking to get married in the greater New York area and would like to not have our Brooklyn people driving more than an hour-ish. Which means Crest Hollow is about as far out on Long Island as we would want to go. We would be willing to look at Westchester/Jersey if it's around an hour's drive.

We also need a place that allows three things, mixed seating, mixed dancing and for us to use our own rabbi.


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  1. You may also want to look into the Vanderbilt in Staten Island. If you are interested you can have your chuppah on the beach and I believe the prices are comparable to Crest Hollow.

    My son looked into the Vanderbilt as well as Crest Hollow and Rockwood Park for his wedding last May and ended up at Crest Hollow. Crest Hollow does a great job -- beautiful location and rooms, very good service (especially from the maitre d and the bridal attendant) and good food (especially at the smorg.) The only downside is that it has several affairs running at the same time and that is obvious.

    One thing we learned, is that a quote of $60 pp is actually closer to $90 pp once tax, gratuities and all fixed costs are added in. (We also had 175 people.) We found this roughly 50% increase to be basically across the board no matter what the price. Rockwood Park might be more willing to negotiate some of the additional costs but most other were not. (I am not sure how flexible the Vanderbilt is -- my son and daughter-in-law decide on Crest Hollow before negotiating more with the Vanderbilt.)

    1. Just went recently to a party at Rockwood. Perfectly fine for $40 a person - but not comparable to Crest Hollow (food or facilities). The one thing that was particularly an issue at Rockwood Park is that there were no parking facilities. Was able to find a spot 2 blocks away but not sure how easy that always is and for a wedding, I think if you can go up slightly, it will be well worth it. Also the dance floor at Crest Hollow is bigger than Rockwood.

      6 Replies
      1. re: sl96

        I recently went to a wedding at Crest Hollow . . . first time I had ever been there. Have to say I was unimpressed, particularly about the food.

        I have also never--and I really do mean NEVER-- been to a hall where more than one event was taking place at the same time. I just found it odd.

        Also, it was a very, very hot day, and having the shmorg and the chuppah outside was brutal. It meant being outside in the heat for close to 2 1/2 hours, far from restroom facilities, no place to splash some cool water on my face without walking so far that by the time I would have gotten back to the shmorg or chuppah, I'd be all sweated up again. Obviously not a consideration for certain times of the year, but late spring, all of summer, and a lot of the fall are all potential times for very hot days. I don't know how late one can switch from outdoors to indoors, if at all.

        Others have to make their own decision, but I would never consider Crest Hollow for a simcha myself.

        1. re: queenscook

          You can use a variety of caterers at Crest Hollow. Their in-house kosher caterer is the least expensive and may not be as impressive as others that can cater there (Mauzone etc.). As far as having the shmorg outside - I have never seen that before. Sounds like poor judgement to have food outside. I have been to a few outdoor weddings there. Some were unbearably hot and some were lovely. That is definitely the option of the bride and groom. I know you have an option to switch at one point duting the day - don't know till what point you have until you can change your mind. Personally - I am not an outdoorsy person and I don't care for outdoor weddings whatever the venue (went to an unbearably hot one at Rye Town and went to a chilly one at Marina Del Rey - both beautiful places, but would have preferred an indoor ceremony).

          Having more than one simcha at a time at Crest Hollow is a disadvantage and one reason why I didn't get married there many moons ago.

          I do think that for an affordable hall it is nice.

          Another suggestion for Sara could be The Sands. I think I have seen ads there for a similar price. Perhaps from Schick? That place is nice and there is usually one affair at a time. Nice sized rooms for shmorg/chuppah etc. I find the dance floor to be small but should be fine for your sized wedding.

          1. re: sl96

            Sands is my first choice, but being from Far Rock the close proximity prejudices my choice

            1. re: berel

              Sands was asking $50/pp but they may have mins close to 400 people. Check out http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5685...

          2. re: queenscook

            Since this thread has resurfaced, I just wanted to say that I was at another wedding at Crest Hollow about a month ago, and it was far nicer than my experience the previous year. The shmorg was better (not amazing, but far, far better than the previous time) and the chuppa was indoors on another very hot day.

            One thing I find incredibly odd, and a big negative, is that the restrooms are on the main floor, while the dinner is upstairs. And they're a pretty far walk from the elevator. It's a schlep for anyone, and a real problem for handicapped people (and there were a few at this past wedding I attended).

            I still wouldn't choose it for myself, but I now see that there are different levels of catering.

          3. re: sl96

            Has anyone been to Ohel David and Shlomo in Brooklyn?

          4. You can try the Hewlett East Rockaway Jewish Center. They have a caterer (new to the place) that is willing to work with customers in different budget ranges.His name is Gabby Abikzer (former exec. chef of Sephardic Temple.) 516 593 3663.

            2 Replies
            1. re: aaronsja

              I went to a wedding there a few months ago, very nice place and tasty food.

              1. re: aaronsja

                I echo MartyB's response. Wonder if we were at the same wedding.

              2. hi , im new to this site and didnt know how to start a new discussion, but Im from toronto and engaged, me and my finace are looking to get married in monsey..in either the atrium or charna...does anyone have any idea what the prices are like? if there are any packages? if the venues are nice? thanks in advance!

                14 Replies
                1. re: chavzie

                  Chavzie...you are much better off contacting both caterers and getting a quote directly from them - as a starting point.

                  1. re: vallevin

                    I realize this started in 2010 so prices have gone up but the cheapest I've found for catering for a sit down dinner is$60pp not including the venue. When you guys were talking about $60pp did that include venue and bar or just venue? For venue, open bar and food the lowest I've found is $100. Does anyone know of a better deal? Also, Crest Hollow wouldn't give me a quote. Does anyone know what the prices are like this year? Does anyone know caterers who would do a nice, but simple (mini burgers, kabobs, nice chicken or salmon, o ice sculptures and sauces I can't pronounce) cocktail and sit down dinner for around $50-60pp?

                    1. re: AllyMcnally

                      We were charged $62/pp at Crest Hollow for our wedding ~5 months ago. The food was excellent, but we found them difficult to work with. Their default kosher wine is Alfasi, and my family and I really like wine, so we wanted something a little better, and we had to keep asking about it, and they gave us a hard time. Also, we had asked for a couple of rooms for various wedding things, and they said they we would have them, but then on the day of the wedding, they didn't have one of the rooms ready, and they scrambled to get it ready. I (the bride) had to wait around in the hallway until the room was ready, which was annoying. (I am normally not a high-maintenance person at all, but when you're paying tens of thousands of dollars, you don't want to be left hanging like that.) In the end, everything worked out fine, everyone had a great time, etc.

                      1. re: dckosher

                        Did you have a sit down dinner, cocktail hour and open bar? If so, what caterer was it?

                        1. re: AllyMcnally

                          We had a sit down dinner and shmorg. I think a shmorg is basically the same as a cocktail hour. We also had an open bar. It was the in-house kosher caterer. I don't know if I ever knew their name.

                          1. re: dckosher

                            Do you know if the in house caterer are glatt kosher?

                            1. re: AllyMcnally

                              I never asked, but I am sure they must be.

                              1. re: AllyMcnally

                                They are. Do note that the 62pp probably didn't include service charges, which definitely adds a good amount.

                                1. re: masteraleph

                                  That's a much better deal than most places we've seen. Do you know of any other venues that have a similar price?

                                  1. re: AllyMcnally

                                    We also considered Temple Torah in Little Neck. The caterer there is Colbeh, and we love Colbeh's food. The problem I had with that location was that the bridal suite smelled like cigarette smoke.

                                  2. re: masteraleph

                                    True, it doesn't include service charges, but all places charge service fees, and people generally compare costs they don't include the service charges. I can't speak to all wedding halls, but for the couples places we looked, the service charges were about the same.

                                    1. re: dckosher

                                      Quoted prices never include servce charge and tax. That seems to be the norm.

                                      1. re: AllyMcnally

                                        Palace Royale in N. E. Philadelphia would not be right for you for several reasons: location, and size of party. OUr daughter had a Bar Mitzpha party
                                        there two weeks ago, on the lower price range for sit down, served dinners,
                                        mixed seating permitted, Glatt Kosher. It was fun and wonderful. She had 120 guests, and it was crowded, but fun. Price range, no kidding: was $20-$60 pp, and it was wonderful at the lower end.

                                        You could use your own Rabbi, I don't know about mixed dancing. Dance floor is small if you have a large crowd. But, they do have Russian musicians
                                        on site.

                                        1. re: Bashful3

                                          Thanks, but I'm looking for a place in the NY area. I think I'm going with Ohel David and Shlomo.

                    2. When you went to a party at Ohel Dovid & Shalom who was the caterer?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Bug613

                        Zami. I went to check out the place, I wasn't a guest. It was a bar mitzvah and the people seemed very happy with the food. Have you heard anything about Zami?

                        1. re: AllyMcnally

                          DO NOT USE ZAMI!!! I had my wedding on March 18th and they had their servers take away untouched plates of food while guests were dancing. Almost none of my guests had a chance to eat the appetizer and half didn't get a chance to finish the entree. I HAD PEOPLE GO HOME HUNGRY. Pay for food that your guests will actually get to eat. They also didn't do a bunch of other things they said they would. Avoid Zami.

                      2. My wife and i had our wedding at crest hollow and got a great price for 270 people. we had sushi trays / 6 stations etc.

                        We dealed with Eric I believe

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: wpix1234

                          I am wondering if you found that noise from other weddings to be a problem. I heard that since they do several weddings in one day, there might be some spillover of music into other weddings.