Wedding Customs & Traditions Forum

Long Island Wedding in DC?

Hey Knotters - My fiance and I live in DC, but he and his family are Italian and from Long Island. This is new to me, but apparently Italian Long Island weddings involve what I would call "a feast." Cocktail hour isn't just passed hors d'ouevres like it would be here in DC. His family requires a full buffet at cocktail hour (think made-to-order pasta station, shrimp cocktail galore and carving stations). What I would consider the full dinner! Then it's on to a four-course meal with plenty of desserts. His mother is concerned if we don't have all of this she'll be judged. The food doesn't matter that much to me and I'm very happy to do this. However, since it's not the norm in DC it is VERY expensive, whereas in Long Island most wedding venues provide this standard. Any DC/Virginia brides marrying a Long Island man? Any suggestions on affordable caterers that could do this in DC? Any advice is appreciated!!

Re: Long Island Wedding in DC?

  • OBX2011OBX2011 member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 25 Love Its First Answer
    edited June 2012
    Seems like you have your work cut out for you!

    Try your Local Boards on the left side of the page.  They will be able to provide you with more detailed info on local caterers....these boards are international, so start with your Local first.

    And don't limit yourself to just the DC Boards....make sure you post on both of the VA boards due to proximity.

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  • RebeccaB88RebeccaB88 Figment of Your Imagination member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    Is she paying?  If that's what she insists on being served, then she should be stepping up to pay for it.  If she isn't paying, then she gets no say in the menu.  Period.

  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_long-island-wedding-in-dc?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:36Discussion:9d68c70a-2adf-4476-863e-bc85e79ed39bPost:22d9c54b-626e-4732-b3ad-90e1f3abf45a">Long Island Wedding in DC?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Hey Knotters - My fiance and I live in DC, but he and his family are Italian and from Long Island. This is new to me, but apparently Italian Long Island weddings involve what I would call "a feast." Cocktail hour isn't just passed hors d'ouevres like it would be here in DC. His family requires a full buffet at cocktail hour (think made-to-order pasta station, shrimp cocktail galore and carving stations). What I would consider the full dinner! Then it's on to a four-course meal with plenty of desserts.<strong> His mother is concerned if we don't have all of this she'll be judged.</strong> The food doesn't matter that much to me and I'm very happy to do this. However, since it's not the norm in DC it is VERY expensive, whereas in Long Island most wedding venues provide this standard. Any DC/Virginia brides marrying a Long Island man? Any suggestions on affordable caterers that could do this in DC? Any advice is appreciated!!
    Posted by katherinedw78[/QUOTE]

    That's her problem.  If she is that concerned, your FI can tell her that the two of you will trust her to book the caterer whom she will be paying entirely on her own.
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  • pkontkpkontk member
    500 Comments
    That's a heck of a lot of food.  I understand regional differences, but I think unless FMIL wants to pay for the catering bill she needs to keep quiet.  I'm sure your wedding will be lovely no matter what food style you choose.
  • Dang, that seems like a ton of food. 

    I'm a MOB and am all for a huge wing-ding and love a great party more than just about anything ... BUT, wow. 

    I think if she requires such a grand cocktail hour 'meal'l, MOG needs to be ready to put her money where her mouth is.

    Are they contributing financially or does she expect you and FI to pay for all of this? If she's not paying, she shouldn't be sayin' ... 
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  • Riss91Riss91 member
    Knottie Warrior 1000 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    Coming from the metro-NY area and I completely understand what you're talking about. Some of the weddings I've gone to are seriously out of control with the food. It truly has become a competition. And so much food is wasted, it is disgusting. I agree with pp, let you MIL know what the menu is that you can afford and then show her how much more it would cost to add on the additional food she wants. Tell her that if it is really important to her, you will need her to cover the difference.
  • Like others have said, you're really better off posting this on your local board. Also, this isn't a 'long island Italian' thing, this is a Tri-State thing. I'm not Italian & not from Long Island, but that is the cocktail hour we had. A large cocktail hour with multiple stations & passed hors d'oeuvres is expected because it's the norm. That is what's offered by most reception halls here. 
  • I'm getting married on Long Island, and I will say your FMIL isn't wrong - cocktail hours here are massive.  That said, in my experience, it's mostly because that's what basically all of the venues offer in their basic per person price.  To give you an example, I'm getting married at a venue here that's considered inexpensive, and our cocktail hour (with no upgrades whatsoever on our part) is going to end up including 9 passed hors d'oeurves, and a total of 10 different "stations" of food.  (We looked at venues that were as little as $50pp, and they all offered cocktail hours of this size).  It IS excessive, but it's what you'll get at pretty much any traditional venue around here.  

    Your FMIL probably just doesn't understand that it's going to cost you A LOT of extra money to recreate that in DC, since it's not the norm there.  I'd have your FI sit down with her and run the numbers, and hopefully that will help her realize that she either needs to kick in for what she wants, or back off and let you have the standard DC wedding instead.
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  • Yes that is the norm in our area. That type of cocktail hour is included in the venue price.  My cocktail hour could have fed a small country for a week.  (Anything that was not eaten was donated to a local homeless shelter)  If you can't afford it tell FMIL so.  Guests will know that you're not in LI and weddings are different in different areas of the country.
     
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  • random4180random4180 member
    500 Comments
    edited June 2012
    Good lord, I hope no one is expecting that at our wedding! I'm from Queens, born and raised, and I've never seen anything like this. I'll admit, the weddings we've been to are few and far between but I can't imagine doing all that! I guess it's one of the reasons we didn't go all-inclusive and also a pretty decent way to keep the costs down (food is the biggest expense!) 

    OP, I would use the regional difference to your advantage- remind your FMIL of the expense and like PP have mentioned, it does make a difference if she's paying. However, even if she is paying, the amount contributed does make a difference- for instance, if this type of catering will cost you tens of thousands of dollars and she's offering to help pay for much less (she is still being generous, not trying to say she should pay more) then her say is still limited to what that money can pay for, IMO. My FI and I have been lucky enough to get two Xmas checks from relatives towards our wedding before we'd even formally announced a wedding date (we greatly appreciated it and sent both a thank you note along with their STD.) But it was a gift and they would never expect us to consult with them regarding where their $100 went. 

    If she's willing to cover the cost, great! I'd probably let her have the extravagant cocktail hour. If not, you can try to find a compromise that is affordable for all involved (add a few more apps to your passed hor devours, have a pastries and desserts table, or consider doing some stations for the main meal too.) 
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  • I'm another LI bride yes that's the standard for LI weddings. Tons of food and open bar always. LI weddings are the most expensive weddings in the country.... And yes ppl will talk if you don't provide up to standard.
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  • I'm another LI bride yes that's the standard for LI weddings. Tons of food and open bar always. LI weddings are the most expensive weddings in the country.... And yes ppl will talk if you don't provide up to standard.
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  • lahlah12bklahlah12bk member
    10 Comments
    edited June 2012
    Oh yes, they are very much standard here. And they're fun, but you're stuffed by dinner. Im trying to find a nice way of saying this, but sometimes they are so over the top it's a little much, even for us long islanders. Your Italian fmil might ALWAYS be worried there isn't enough food - and I say that while fondly picturing the Italian-Americans in my family. Don't worry about this, throw a DC style wedding-I bet the LIers will sophisticated enough to know that the rest of the world is not quite so crazy with cocktail hours.
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