Guess who’s back? Back again? … Kelsey’s back … ok I’ll stop now. But really we do have our fabulous bride-to-be guest blogger, Kelsey, back on the blog today sharing her thoughts on picking your wedding caterer and attempting to navigate the DC catering scene.
Or as she called it: “Food, Glorious Food”. Ahhh a fellow musical lover :) Take it away Kelsey.
Food Glorious Food – How to Pick Your Wedding Caterer | By Kelsey
So we booked the venue. Nailed it. Here’s the thing about having a wedding that isn’t at a country club or restaurant, you have to feed people and you have to figure out how. Luckily the DC area is chockfull of caterers and they all want your business. Where do you start? Food is food, right? Wrong. So wrong. You couldn’t be more wrong.
Google ‘DC caterer’, you will come up with 643,000 results. Literally. So there’s some work to be done here. We started with a smaller list than what google provided because our venue had a preferred caterer list. These are companies that the venue trusts and has worked well at the venue in the past. So we started with them and realized wedding food is really fancy and bordering on unrecognizable.
What happened to normal food? Just delicious, easy, and yummy food. At some point, something terrible happened and caterers decided adding things like avocado foam and essence of arugula was a great idea. I mean what really is frisee? I’ll tell you what it is; it’s a waste of money.
We decided that we wanted food that we could spell, recognize, and most important was delicious. So when caterers we contacted gave us selections like ‘yuzu ricotta toasts with edamame pesto’ and ‘celery bite with blue cheese mousse’ we pushed back. We told the vendor – here’s what we’re envisioning and here’s what we don’t want. Some replied with ‘of course, yes, how cute!’ and gave us options like ‘honey poached gala apple cup’ and ‘quinoa stuffed peppers’ and one replied and said:
Well maybe not in those exact words, but she got us. And then the most delicious contract was signed. The moral of this story is stand up for what you want! There will be no spinach straws at my wedding. If you want pear vinaigrette, you shouldn’t come. Find a caterer who understands what you want and can deliver! These people exist. It doesn’t have to be chicken or steak. It can be chicken and waffles or steak sandwiches. You do you, girl.
Once you find your caterer, you will go back and forth to outline the menu for the evening. This includes cocktail hour, dinner, and dessert. Pick and choose what looks delicious. We were provided with some amazing hors d’oeuvres so we asked if we could make them into an entrée. Think outside of the box and ask for items that are some of your favorites. Love pancakes? Do a mini skewer of them during cocktail hour. Are mashed potatoes jam? Try a loaded potato bar for a late night snack.
As you know from my first post, food was on my top three most important things list (technical term), so finding the perfect caterer and then developing the perfect menu was high priority. I was not willing to accept the ordinary.
Want to know what I picked? Sorry, I don’t want to ruin the surprise for everyone, but I’ll give you a hint: there will be tater tots.