Food and Cakes

Coffee Service Dilemma

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Re: Coffee Service Dilemma

  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair
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    So our wedding venue is a beautiful farm in Southern California that doesn't provide any "services". We are opting for a taco station for food however it just dawned on me that we should serve coffee with the cake. This means either making coffee early on (at like 3:30 before the wedding) and leaving it out in hopes that by cake time there is still enough for everyone to have a cup and hoping that it is still hot when we cut cake at around 8 pm, or hiring a vendor JUST FOR COFFEE (which will undoubtedly be expensive). I have sent a request out to a coffee truck to see what they would charge me to set up at the venue. My question is in everyone's opinion would the coffee being out at the venue during the whole reception length be the better option (if you were the guest) or would you rather walk up to a coffee truck where you are either treated to one regular coffee from the bride and groom or have the option to purchase a fancier coffee, such as a mocha? We are not doing a cash bar, however to minimize costs we are allowing him to place a tip jar. I would hate for people to tip him heavily not knowing that they may need money for coffee later on. If I do go with the truck what would be the best way to address this with the guests?? Has anyone had this problem before?? HELP!!!!
    You need to provide drinks- coffee, water, pop, etc.- for the entire duration of your reception, or at least the vast majority of it.

    You need to hire a caterer that will do this on site.  Guests will be uncomfortable and pissed if they can't get a drink when they are thirsty, and your guests should not be paying for these drinks.

    If you can't afford to properly host the reception- provide food and drinks to your guests for the duration- then you need to cut costs elsewhere or postpone and have a longer engagement.

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


  • edited February 2015
    Due to low budgets we are not using a traditional caterer, we are using a taco lady who sets up for 2 hours only, they will not serve coffee after food has been served.

  • Dreamergirl8812Dreamergirl8812 your closet
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    Random thought: I think the thing that REALLY bothers me the most about a tip jar at the bar is that typically your 18% service fee (aka gratuity) gets divided up among the staff at the wedding. Why the fuck are bartenders so special that they get more on top of that, and therefore more than the servers, etc.?

    That seriously bugs me.

    Also, now I want tacos.



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  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair
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    Due to low budgets we are not using a traditional caterer, we are using a taco lady who sets up for 2 hours only, they will not serve coffee after food has been served.
    What about basic drinks like water and pop?  Who is providing that and for how long?

    How long is your reception?  If it's 5 hours, then you need to provide drinks for 5 hours.

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


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  • cakemurderercakemurderer
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    edited February 2015
    FFS. You go to a party rental store and pay 25 goddamned dollars and rent a good coffee maker, and you spend maybe 20 bucks for quality coffee, cream, sugar and stupid flavored creamers for people who don't appreciate good coffee, and the bartender or whoever flips the effing switch on ten minutes before cake time. 

    There.  How hard was that?  I've done this probably 100 times in my life, and it just isn't that difficult. It's coffee. You can buy a whole pound for ten bucks.

    Amen. This was my first thought when I started to read this thread. This is a perfectly viable, easy option. I hope the OP wades through the outrage and ridicule to see the good suggestions in the replies. You're making this more complicated than it needs to be (I have the same tendency so understand), but there are a lot of good ideas in the replies.

    OP, have you talked to the bartender to see if he/she is willing to turn a coffee maker on for you shortly before cake time? I hate the idea of having the coffee sitting around already brewed for hours since fresh is best, but that sounds like a good suggestion that you should pursue. That way you could set it all up beforehand and all he/she needs to do is turn it on. At least contact the bartender before dismissing the idea.

    Honestly, as a guest, I would completely understand if the couple's on a budget that no coffee is served. It's not a typical expectation of a wedding guests, so no one would bat an eye if none was offered. It's sweet of you to want to provide it to perk your guests up, but if it's not in your budget then it's an easy non-essential item to cut out. I've made many drives late at night, tired as heck, and there are other ways to stay alert and awake. If you're on such a tight budget, definitely skip the coffee truck. Honestly, I would give you the side eye if you were asking guests to tip the bartender but I turn around and there's a coffee truck at least partially paid for by the hosts. I'd seriously question your budgeting choices and would resent the tip jar all the more.

    I'm also in the camp of those who wouldn't come prepared with cash to tip the bartender. I carry only the essentials in my clutch and, while I would feel guilty, the bartender wouldn't be getting a tip from me. Definitely something to consider when you get to the end of the night. An additional tip might be in order from you.


    PrettyGirlLostchibiyui
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    Having coffee is seriously worrying you this much? Why don't you just not serve it? I know, crazy idea.

    Also, it's a really shitty thing to pass the cost of tipping onto your guests. 
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  • edited February 2015
    Oh hell, just have an ATM put in somewhere. 
    ChemFanatic25themuffinman16
  • Oh hell, just have an ATM put in somewhere. 

  • Seriously, are you having a stress stroke? We're trying to get you from point A to point B and you're careening off to point Q and point Banana. I don't even know where your head is anymore.


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  • omg really i was on a very very tight budget for my wedding and i managed to cut corners and pull it off. granted i got married in a church and had a banquet venue reception. i went with less expensive flowers which happened to be my favorite flowers. my venue offered an add on package that included dj cake and centerpieces for 895. If i went with an outside dj my cost would have been around 1500 cake around 300 and centerpeices at least 150-200  if not more. we really wanted good food and drinks for our guest so we spent a little more on that. 

    you were given great ideas in terms of the coffee and you didnt like it. infused water id probably not drink it unless it was lemon water, i only drink water and i am not huge on flavored water. why not offer just one infused water.  and i dont drink coffee so if you were serving me cake id want water to wash it down 

    can you work something out with the coffee truck to offer like one signature coffee and a regular or decaf coffee.? 

    and if you cant afford to tip him then dont do coffee at all 

    you guest should not have to open any pockets at your wedding for anything 

    the wedding is hosted by you to thank your guest for coming and celebrating your life together and husband and wife 



  • sarahuflsarahufl New York
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    My only suggestion is to also get bottles of Bailey's for the coffee station. Ours were quite popular.

    Oh, and I should add- I rented urns and bought coffee/tea/sweeteners/milk AND the Baileys AND rented mugs for less than $200.
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