October 2014 Weddings

Catering SNAFU

Okay so I have all the "BIG" things taken care of EXCEPT for the catering!! As soon as I had told my parents that we were engaged they offered to help pay for catering and I am so thankful for that. But part of the contract for our venue states that we must have one of the preferred caterers booked within 90 days so that would be May 31 for us. Well I got one quote back and it was for 5200 dollars!!! And that was for 150 guests and it would include a chicken entrée with a salad and dinner roll and to pay for the staff was 1000 dollars alone! Are they nuts!? And my parents told us that they can't really afford to pay for anything until July! I know my parents offered to help pay for it but geeze I don't want them to have to drain their retirement to pay for this wedding!! Just feeling a little stressed out about this part of the planning =(

Re: Catering SNAFU

  • Could you explain the situation to them? Maybe say I really appreciate your offer but would it be okay if maybe we helped pay for some of the catering? (if you can afford it).  Also, do you have to pay the entire 5200 up front? usually it's some up front and the rest X amount of days before the wedding.  Are there other caters on the list you could call and get a price quote from?? 

    Good luck! 
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  • labrolabro Hotlanta member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    Yeah...it seems like you should only need to pay a deposit. With my caterer we are paying in thirds. The first third was due when we booked. The second third is due with our fiinal count in October and the final payment is due on or before the wedding. They'll also make any adjustments to the third payment if we have an unexpected change in the number of people attending from what we stated in our initial contract.

    Can you or your parents afford just a deposit right now? Honestly, the quote they gave you seems sort of reasonable for the # of people...but not so much for the amount of food being offered. Are you limited to just this one caterer or do you have other options? You still have just under two months to book someone so that's plenty of time to do a little shopping around!



  • JennyColadaJennyColada Awesometown, CA member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    Maybe just explain to your parents "hey, thank you of the offer, but your financial contribution isn't necessary"? That way you can just book what you want and not have to take into account what they can afford, only what you can afford.
  • Dignity100Dignity100 Northeastern Ohio member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    At $5200 for 150 people, that's around $35 a plate, which for a wedding seems pretty reasonable.  Of these 150 people, are there any kids that you could help cut costs and provide a kids menu?

    I'm not 100% sure what the issue is here from reading everybody's reply.  Here's what I understand: You got engaged, your parents offered to help pay for catering - after this arrangement you booked your venue.  Your venue says you must choose one of it's preferred catering vendors.  Is the issue that your parents really cannot afford the catering?  Is the issue that you feel guilty handing over a large bill to your parents?  Are you able to afford to cover any of the catering expenses?

    What other vendors are available to you?  Are they able to give you a better price?  Instead of a plated meal, is there a buffet option which would help reduce the $1000 staff bill.

    If you are just worried about how much it costs for your parents, why not work out some kind of interest-free loan deal if they can cover the $5200 now?

    The elephant in the room to me is: Did you discuss budget with your parents before?  It just seems that if your parents said 'We'll cover catering' the next thing should have been a 'thank you' followed by 'what do you imagine the budget to be?'.  I would have imagined if your venue has preferred venues they would have also had a guess on how much their vendors charge, did that ever come up when you were booking the venue?


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    Anniversary
  • That's pretty in-line (actually on the low side) of the bids I've gotten for 125-150 guests. None of the caterers I looked at required full payment until 7-10 days before the wedding, but had varying deposit requirements. The one I went with only required $1k deposit to book the date.
    PrettyGirlLost
  • Sorry y'all this was more or less a bitchfest I was having lol! I just felt bad for parents offering and then not knowing what they were getting into! Everything is looking up and we were able to book a caterer!! Can't believe how fast time is flying by!!! 6 months eekkkk!!!
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    At $5200 for 150 people, that's around $35 a plate, which for a wedding seems pretty reasonable.  Of these 150 people, are there any kids that you could help cut costs and provide a kids menu?

    I'm not 100% sure what the issue is here from reading everybody's reply.  Here's what I understand: You got engaged, your parents offered to help pay for catering - after this arrangement you booked your venue.  Your venue says you must choose one of it's preferred catering vendors.  Is the issue that your parents really cannot afford the catering?  Is the issue that you feel guilty handing over a large bill to your parents?  Are you able to afford to cover any of the catering expenses?

    What other vendors are available to you?  Are they able to give you a better price?  Instead of a plated meal, is there a buffet option which would help reduce the $1000 staff bill.

    If you are just worried about how much it costs for your parents, why not work out some kind of interest-free loan deal if they can cover the $5200 now?

    The elephant in the room to me is: Did you discuss budget with your parents before?  It just seems that if your parents said 'We'll cover catering' the next thing should have been a 'thank you' followed by 'what do you imagine the budget to be?'.  I would have imagined if your venue has preferred venues they would have also had a guess on how much their vendors charge, did that ever come up when you were booking the venue?
    This exactly.  That is a hell of a deal!

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


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