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Grocery Catering

So it looks like we may be blowing our budget on booking our venue (church included!)  As such, we are trying to cut down on costs on food and I had a few questions.  First, as long as we make it clear on the invitations our intentions, will there be major problems with serving only hor d'ouerves and cake at a reception starting at 8:30 or 9pm?  Keep in mind that 75% of our guest list will be from out of town.

The big question I actually have is about caterers.  Our most likely site has 5 preferred caterers and all of them are out of our price range.  The site itself is a vineyard so there is plenty of ambience.  We are seriously considering using a specialty grocery store like Central Market or Whole Foods to cater the reception.  We have done a rough estimate on price and it looks like even with the fee for not using a preferred vendor they may come out cheaper.  In case they don't, has anyone had experience with convincing a reception site to remove the non-preferred vendor fee?  Has anyone  used grocery catering for their wedding?  What was your experience?  Thanks!

Re: Grocery Catering

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    FairTitaniaFairTitania member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Ooops!  Sorry, I meant ordering prepared foods from a grocery.  The groceries we are looking at seem to have quite a few selections, but we will need to look into how they do/handle delivery and set up.  We'd hire attendants and bartenders separately most likely.  The only food I may make myself is some baked goodies favors I can make a week in advance.
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    edited December 2011

    I think it's fine to have hors d'oeuvres for a reception that's 8:30 on. Just be clear as to what people are getting on your invites!

    As for the removal of the preferred vendor fee, I haven't heard of people successfully removing it, so I'm really curious about success stories!

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    edited December 2011
    Nothing wrong with that and I am sure the food ordered from those places will be fine. I've been to several weddings who had the meal, cake, etc catered from a local grocery store and it was amazing. We have HyVee's in our area and they do a great job and actually specialize in catering for events. I am sure the local stores would be more than happy to meet with you and allow you to taste the items you would order.
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    edited December 2011
    I doubt anyone will expect a full meal at 8:30, I know I wouldn't.  Like the moderator said, as long as your ceremony isn't at 6:00, everyone will have plenty of time to eat dinner before your wedding.

    As for catering, I've seen grocery catering done well from specialty stores, and pretty bad catering done by other grocery stores.  FI and I went to a wedding in Kansas City a few years ago catered by Hy-Vee, and it was pretty bad.  We all went out for steaks afterward, probably 40 of us.
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    LizdcLizdc member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I am doing my food from whole foods. I am picking up the food the day before they have a lot of great options for my beach wedding. ESP since I am veg. I may decide to hire a server for like $10-15 an hour to set up, serve, and clean up. I get prepared foods from them all the time and had a friend cater a sit down dinner for my 35 bday entirely from prepared foods from whole foods. People loved it. My reception is on a beach in a fancy gazebo in the afternoon.
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