This is the second part of a series on wedding planning on a reasonable budget. I hope you will join me on this journey of orchestrating the ideal wedding — without overspending.
If you’ll recall from my first MBFBW blog, I looked for venues that would allow us to bring in our own vendors, so my next step was to nail down a caterer.
I started with some basic internet research (The Knot’s caterer listings can get you started), and then sent emails to companies in my price range.
Believe it or not, some caterers failed to email me back promptly. Instead of stressing out about this, I just moved on to the next company.
Early on in the process I saw some menus from an Atlanta caterer online — and didn’t like them. But it was clear these weren’t the only options, so I emailed and asked for a menu specific to my wedding theme. I worked with the owner over a few weeks to design a menu and scheduled a (free) tasting.
As a side note, let me gently remind you to be respectful of business’ time, just as you want them to be respectful of yours. If your food budget is hovering around $25 a person, don’t request a free tasting from a company with $40-a-person menus.
What won me over at the tasting was the made-from-scratch dishes, because you could really taste it in the food. (I am now forever a convert to banana bread croutons.) I was also pleased with the friend-next-door attitude of the caterer, because I’ll have to continue working with her on the details until the day of the wedding.
Extra tips: Make sure that although you budget for your anticipated number of guests, the caterer writes the contract for a lesser number. Usually you can’t subtract from the contract (should more guests than expected decline), but you can add to it. Also, try to attend a public tasting by caterers you’re considering — you’ll get a better sense of what the food tastes like when it’s prepared on a larger scale.
Percent of budget spent so far: 48
How did you arrange food for your wedding — through a caterer or by other means? What steps did you take to save money?
Coming next month: Combining finances
– By Lauren Davidson, Atlanta Bargain Hunter