Two weeks ago – with a signed contract, a hefty deposit check, and a firm handshake – Derek and I secured our wedding caterer.
Woo hoo. One more thing I need to mark off of my planning to-do list!
- Venue – Check!
- Caterer – Check!
But, let’s back up and see how we got there.
First of all, I <3 WeddingWire.com! Seriously, the best review site out there.
Before I even started planning my own wedding, I read a great tip on a local wedding planner’s blog that suggested, when researching wedding vendors, to look for ones that are already familiar with your venue and have worked with weddings there before. I thought this was a great piece of advice that made perfect sense – this way the vendor is already familiar with set-up and take-down procedures and know their way around the venue. Perfect.
So when I first discovered Birdsong Barn last month, I began researching Birdsong Barn on sites like WeddingWire.com and began tracking down brides who were married in Bridsong in the past and researching which caterers they worked with. I also spoke with Birdsong’s owner and got her recommendations as well.
Some brides had worked with local restaurants (which is a great tip for saving money!), but since I was saving money already on the price of the venue, I wanted to splurge a tiny bit with the hands-on approach that a full service caterer provides. I wanted a caterer that would do their own setting up and taking down of the buffet area, provide a bartender for the open bar, and not tack on a million ‘hidden costs’ on top of everything (i.e. no cake cutting fees).
I spoke with three local caterers, but there was one that really sold me on her bubbly personality and what she had to offer.
A Chef’s Touch is a local catering company located just down the road in Port St. John and came highly recommended by two previous Birdsong brides I had emailed back and forth with. Her prices were reasonable, the menu options were extensive, and she prided herself on having ‘no hidden costs.’ Exactly everything I was looking for.
I spoke with the owner, Robin, on the phone before Derek and I had even officially signed with Birdsong and it was really her ‘we’ll take care of everything for you, so you can enjoy your day’ attitude that sold me not only on her as a caterer, but on Birdsong as a venue. With Robin, I knew pulling off an almost-from-scratch wedding at Bridsong would be possible.
However, when I called Robin a couple of weeks later to book her for our wedding, she informed me she had just booked another event for that exact date. Seriously? Man, things book quickly in the wedding world!
Luckily, Robin also informed me that her company had enough resources to have two events for that date, but – that’s it – no more than two, so we had to move quickly to make sure our wedding was the second event and not the outed third.
Derek and I weren’t comfortable officially booking a caterer without at least trying the food first, so we pulled out our planners and booked a tasting for the Thursday before Ben’s wedding at 11:00am. We were instructed to come hungry.
And I’m glad we did. Robin fed us well.
Since we really have no idea what we would like to serve for our wedding just yet, Robin had us taste some of the dishes she was working on for a family reunion event that evening. We sampled a stuffed chicken, maple glazed carrots, roasted zucchini and yellow squash, twice-baked potato, and eggplant parmesan.
The tasting experience was interesting.
I made the mistake of trying the maple-glazed carrots at first and – blah – didn’t like them. Panic began to set in as I feared I wouldn’t like any of it. Then I tried a zucchini and swooned. The roasted zucchini was cut in a chunky style (instead of sliced) and was amazing. Zucchini and yellow squash is so easy to overcook, but these roasted chunks were perfect. In fact, everything else on the plate was simply amazing. I’m just not a fan of the maple flavoring in general, which is why the carrots didn’y taste right to me – everyone else loved them.
For dessert, Robin treated us to an assortment of petit fours.
While we ate, Robin gave another overview of the services her catering company would provide on the day of the wedding and explained the process of how everything would work. She continued to sell me on her “we’ll take care of everything for you attitude” and I began to feel confident in what she had to offer. I was sold.
By the end of the tasting, Derek and I handed over a deposit and crossed ‘find a caterer’ off of our list. Sweet!
Now all we have to do is figure out our menu.
Which is a task that sounds so simple, but it’s not. We want something seasonal that fits in our winter theme. Anyone have any suggestions or ideas of what that could be?!?!