Guest Post: How to Figure Out Your Wedding Catering & Food

Image: Leo Druker

Rebecca is back today with another wedding planning guest post – bringing you the tips, tricks, insight, and advice on how to choose the type of food to serve at your wedding. You will spend THE BIGGEST part of your budget on food (most likely), so it’s certainly one of the biggest decisions and can sometimes be one of the hardest. Unless you are dead set on a specific type of cuisine, I remember thinking only, “I just want something good that isn’t horribly fancy or expensive”. Not all that specific. So Rebecca is here to help you decide what to serve at your wedding!

How to Figuring Out Food for Your Wedding | By: Rebecca

If you are anything like me, food is an essential part of your daily life. For me, the best part of any vacation, party, or special occasion is whenever there’s something truly fantastic and delicious to eat. When you’re lucky enough to live in a city like D.C., you have access to some of the best food in the world. Don’t just take my word for it – ask Bon Appetit, who named us the Restaurant City of the Year in 2016!

It makes sense that food was at the top of both me and my fiancee’s “must have” list. It was important to both of us that our wedding have tasty food and plenty of it. We also knew that food would be a major part of our somewhat limited budget, so we wanted to find a solution that was both delicious and economical.

Here are a few things to consider when crafting your wedding menu:

  • What do you like to eat? You are going to be allocating a fair bit of your wedding funds to food (a good rule of thumb is 30%-40% of your budget) – you need to make sure this is food you’ll enjoy eating! Don’t worry too much about what the “traditional” wedding menu should be – if you and your partner enjoy eating it or it’s meaningful to the both of you, your guests will enjoy it as well!
  • Consider venue and time of day – Your reception time is going to dictate what will work best for menu. If you’re considering getting married earlier in the day, a brunch or luncheon style menu might work better than five course meal. Conversely, if you’re getting married later in the evening, you might forgo a buffet and stick with a cocktail-style reception. Also, your venue lay-out might lend itself best to food stations versus a sit-down dinner or have a great space for food trucks to park and serve.
  • Think about what’s seasonal and local. You’ll ultimately have fresher food at a better price point if you consider what will be in season when you get married and what’s local to the region. Talk to your food vendor about what their most popular items are – if it’s something they make and prepare regularly, it’s likely going to be priced economically.
  • Find a caterer/restaurant/chef you trust. This is true of every vendor you work with for your wedding but especially for catering. Make sure you’re working with a food vendor who is upfront about costs (including rentals and staffing), is willing to work with you as a team to craft your event, and is approved by your venue. We chose our caterer primarily because they were the first to actually read our initial email and make suggestions based on what we wanted, not on what they were trying to sell us.
  • To cake or not to cake? For some people, cake is a non-negotiable part of a wedding – but it can also be a costly addition. If you are going to have cake and worried about the cost, consider using a smaller cake for the cake-cutting and a sheet cake for serving to guests. You might consider doing a mini-cake bar with a selection of smaller cakes from your grocery store or Costco, to allow for more variety at a lower cost. And don’t be afraid to ditch the cake. There are so many wonderful dessert alternatives out there and your caterer will likely be able to help you find something that fits your style. For our wedding, that means doughnuts (District Doughnuts, of course!) and gelato!
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Jeff & Ali’s Super Adorable Proposal at Wayward Bar in Baltimore

Images: Sarah Price Photography

I‘m baaaaaaack. Did you miss me? Are you mostly just sick of my Iceland Instagrams? I am only a little sorry about that – Iceland is just so damn magical. If you haven’t been, GO and be on the lookout for an Iceland review coming to the blog SOON. But in the meantime, we’re getting back to the blogging schedule with this adorable, surprise proposal in Baltimore at a super cool looking bar. Here goes!

Ali and Jeff both attended the University of Delaware.  They were both athletes, sharing many mutual friends but somehow never met one another in college.  After graduating, Ali moved to Wilmington and Jeff to Baltimore. One weekend, Ali and her friends planned a weekend in Baltimore with a mutual friend of Jeff’s. Her friend invited Jeff and his friends to hang out.  While out at the  “Cowboys and Rednecks” bar in Fed Hill, Jeff was finally introduced to Ali.  He said hello, followed by, “Are you engaged?” after spotting a ring on her finger that her sister had given to her.  She said no, and they spent the rest of that night and the whole weekend dancing, laughing, and falling HARD for one another. They both knew they had found their person.

Lakshani & Aniket’s Multicultural, Modern Meadowlark Botanical Gardens Wedding

Images: Cynthia Shipp Photography

We’re bringing the beautiful today with a multicultural wedding that blends Hindi, Sri Lankan, and Westernized wedding details to result in one, gorgeous, affair. The couple kept some influences of their heritage, but wanted more “them” in the wedding day, so the combined a whole bunch of threads to make one, personalized, dream wedding day. Take it away guys!

Trying to balance a hindi/sri lankan/westernized wedding is as hard as it sounds! In my case it was so true that it was both families wedding to the fullest! We had some kinks along the way and even the day of but looking back at the day and what took place to lead it up to it, I wouldn’t change a thing. My husband and I did not want a typical Indian/Sri Lankan wedding, we wanted more of..US in there than our culture. We were able to combine a lot of culture and who we are to create our dream day!

Heena Shah is a henna artist from Virgina who did a beautiful job for my bridal henna. She uses all organic henna and has a million designs to show case. The amazing thing about her is that no design is the same. She creates a brand new design for you and only you and personalizes it for you and your husband. The tradition is, the night of your wedding, he must search in the design for the personalization before he gets the prize. (you)!

Guest Post: Advice About The Night Before Your Wedding

You guys! The one and only Kelsey is back for two more posts, sharing the BIG details on her BIG day. First up is today’s post on the night before her wedding and then next week we’ll share ALL the details on her simply stunning wedding back in February (how has it already been two months since the wedding?!?!) Here goes!

Advice About the Night Before Your Wedding | By Kelsey

Well hell, it’s the day before your wedding. Well, my wedding, because you’re along for my ride. It’s been a fun one, yes? A mix of the teacup ride, wooden roller coaster, and wine. You get it.

Ok, here we are. If you’re like me, you have zero things left to do, because I hired an amazing coordinator (props Bree…do people still say props?) and while I was stressed about incoming family, my fiancé was all…

So we go to the rehearsal. I would highly suggest making sure your officiant is down to officiate the rehearsal. Sure it’s practice, but when your mom/aunt/nervous dad ask 459 questions about where they should stand – because it’s their day – it’s nice to have someone who knows what they are talking about.

Once you knock out the run through and test your Snapchat filer (nailed it!) Make sure you run through the day of itinerary with everyone who needs to be aware of things. Sure I sent everyone personalized itineraries two weeks ahead of time, but let’s be honest, I don’t want to be Jessie on my wedding day.

Renee & Billy’s Harry Potter Themed Engagement Pictures in Maryland

Images: Kathleen Hertel Photography via Two Bright Lights

I was a very bad blogger last week. Correction, I was a really bad business owner last week all around. We haven’t had much down time over here and we had a sick kiddo last weekend that poured into the week and I was strugggggggling to stay afloat. Will try and make it up to you this week as we’ll be off next week as Andy and I take our first kid-less trip to ICELAND. But there is sooo much to do before then. Prepping for Evie’s 2nd birthday party, starting to get our house ready to sell (omg), and you know, all the other every day things going on, including gearing up for the insanity of May wedding season.

Well, we’ll sleep when we’re retired right? For today though, we are kicking the week off RIGHT with a Harry Potter themed engagement session. Marauder’s map, wands, a massive clock tower, and adorable house-themed scarves – love. Here we go!

We don’t really have a cute “how we met” story – we met via a mutual friend and Billy was actually kind of a jerk to me when we first met! Our engagement story is pretty cute though, so I’ll stick with that.

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