07 July 2009

I'll be here if you need me

{A caveat if you're squeamish about these sorts of things: I'm probably going to swear in this entry.}

I've been acting like the guy in the picture up there. Well, kind of. Actually, I think I've been doing rather amazingly well with the whole shindig-planning thing, considering where I started and how steep the learning curve has been. I've been coasting along, checking items off my list (or rather, the list in the book my mom gave me.) Dress: check! Venues: check! Invitations: check! It was all going so ... very ... well. Until.

Until the fucking caterers got involved. (Hey -- I warned you.) I don't know what the hell it is about caterers. My interactions with their kind prior to this was limited to about 4 gigs as a cater waiter when I was hard-up for cash. And nobody at those events was visibly insane. Well, there was one client, but I can hardly blame the catering company for her behavior. But getting back to my point: either it's time for some Primal Scream Therapy, or I'm going to just stick my head in the sand & wait for them all to go away.

Caterer #1: Mr. UB & I had a meeting/tasting with one catering person, who was recommended by our friend/informal consultant. We loved the food, but were a little put off by the amount of the quote. Granted, we had asked her to give us the absoloute highest estimate for what we want, with all the bells & whistles, so that we could scale things back if necessary. Still, she was about $1000 more than we want to spend, so we moved on.

Caterer #2: A friend of mine recommended someone she's used before, who happens to run a restaurant I really like. They were nice, but their quote included things like a $200 fee for bringing our own alcohol. I'm sorry, but if I'm bringing the booze, why the hell would I give you $200? We'd already be paying your bartender to serve it, so what, exactly, is that fee for? Because the alternative is to buy the liquor from you at $6 a beer. And that just isn't going to happen. Also, thanks for giving us a price for 12 hours of staff, when we told you we only need five.

Caterer #3: One of my students told me that a friend of hers who used to be in the film biz now works for a catering company. She swore that by using her name, this person would deal straight with us. The Mr. & I met her for coffee, where we explained what we're hoping to do (a casual buffet), for how many people, and what our budget is. She really seemed to get it, and we really clicked with her. Or so I thought. She emailed us today ... and somehow "we'd like to do this for between $3000 - $4000" got us a $13,000 quote.


I let Mr. UB email her back. I was afraid that all I was capable of writing was that little stream of invective above.

And bless him, not only did he manage to compose a letter that was beyond-polite. But he also sent me this text:

100 pizzas from CPK = $1500. Beer & wine only = about $500. No caterer = priceless.

Me'n the ostrich are staying put. He can take it from here.

photo source


elizabeth said...

ack! is it all the sugar going to their brains?!?!? these people are crazy! beer & pizza sounds like a stellar choice, especially if it saves you from the realm of these delusional over-priced caterers.

you're definitely not alone on this... our caterer called me the wrong name and sent a contract riddled with mistakes. oh, and we haven't gotten to taste the food! but she's the designated caterer for our venue, so hopefully all will work out well. unnervingly, i'm reminded about what they say happens when you assume...

(sqvergu: what the ancient Romans used to aid their endurance on long bicycle rides.)

Marie said...

Pizza, beer and wine. Sounds great! And also your caterers sound like a nightmare. Head in the sand all the way I say :)

Indie B said...

Dude, don't take that shit! Ugh, I hate how vendors try to take advantage of people just because they see the word "bride" plastered to your forehead. I hate the effing WIC--you should seriously go with the pizza and beer/wine!

anna and the ring said...

Yey, for your boy. A perfect text!

It's almost as if vendors don't need the custom. Grr the WIC! Er.. we're not stupid!

Bridechka said...

Haha, that tex = priceless!

kaitli said...

Been there, done that. We told our caterer $4K (that was when my parents were paying for the wedding) and they came back with $9K. Even though we told them. And they knew we told them. And they ignored it.


We're getting a friend to run the BBQ and help make salads/sides before hand. Drinks? They'll be in the cooler.