I’m one of those people who is terribly indecisive when it comes to food; I can tell you what I don’t want, but when it comes to what I want there’s no point in asking. That being said, our decision on which caterer to use was basically as easy as me standing there hungry in a grocery store trying to figure out what to cook for dinner—yikes. Luckily, our venue narrowed it down to seven “preferred caterers,” which helped a little bit. From there, Cruise and I chose two, simply on price. He has this theory that if they don’t advertise price, they’re probably expensive. What he didn’t realize is the two that do advertise price add up rather quickly, so I crossed one completely out, kept the other on the back burner, and kept searching. Partly because of price, mostly because neither of them felt right. Both were helpful; neither I felt good about.
Now, here’s the second thing. We had no idea what kind of food we wanted served at our reception. It’s not that I hadn’t thought about it; I definitely had. It’s more I’d just thought about it too much. I thought, wouldn’t it be cool to have a Southern BBQ? Or maybe a lobster bake to incorporate my New England roots? Should we do the traditional beef or chicken? Is that too boring? Are stations the way to go? Buffet? Plated? Do we scrap the whole think and just do heavy hors d’oeurves? There are just too many options! It didn’t help that caterers don’t offer a menu—they simply say, “Give us what you want, and we’ll tell you if we can do it.” Thanks for the help.
By that point we had decided we want a simple, elegant, but casual (possibly a little Southern?) feel. I inquired for a quote from Dining Innovations based on some pictures we saw, hoping the lack of pricing on their website didn’t mean $$$$. Later that same day I received an email back from Emilie outlining two recent menus they had recently done with that feel—we were off to a great start. I told her our “budget” for catering, and she spoke with Chef Dan and emailed me back with still another menu they had customized for us, keeping all of my requirements in mind.
Source: Dining Innovations Facebook
The menu they sent wasn’t exactly what I was looking for, but we were definitely on the right track. With the three menus combined we have finally officially decided what we will eat at our wedding!
- Passed – Grilled cheese w/ tomato soup shooters
- Passed – Pimento w/ bruschetta
- Stationary – Fruit skewers w/ dulce de leche
Entree – Plated with Choice of Protein
- Herb roasted chicken or fried catfish
- Fried green beans
- Sweet potato
- Bread service with butter on tables
- Chicken tenders
- Mac ’n’ cheese
- Fruit salad
- Pre-poured water
- Sweet tea service
- Lemonade service
Dessert/Late Night Snack
- Assortment of donuts
The best part? For 80 people, service/tax included, we’re coming in at just under $3,000! We were throwing around the idea of a late night snack, and after receiving the quote we couldn’t pass it up! I could not be more pleased with Dining Innovations so far, and am so pleased that I stuck to my gut feeling and kept searching for a caterer I was comfortable with.
What was your deciding factor for catering? Cost? Taste? Reputation?
This article was originally posted on the Weddingbee.