- 6 years ago
- Wedding: August 2012
When I started planning our 100 person wedding, I was hoping for the food to cost $20 per person, and for the total to come to under $10k. Gradually, I realized all the extra things that were necessary, like chafing dishes, but we finally came to something that we were happy with.
For months now, we have been planning on using the food service division of a local kosher supermarket/caterer. They also have a catering division, but the food service is much cheaper, even though the food is EXACTLY THE SAME. The core of the meal — an Indian buffet including chicken and beef is actually only $17 per person. But with food service, it comes to$48 a person (including waiters, supplies, drinks, etc.) versus $80 a person with catering.
The synagogue where we are holding the wedding — Adas Israel Congregation in Washington DC — is making a stink about this, and will not allow us to do it because they require approved caterers, even though it’s the same entity that is doing the catering. And now I feel like the caterer is going to take advantage of the situation, so I have to call up other caterers to ask for bids.
I so regret choosing this location. When we were looking for caterers, we thought that their requirement of “approved” just meant kosher. Which is fine because we keep Orthodox-standard kosher and are quite observant. But actually it really means kosher caterers that paid them $1500 per year for 2 years and $1000 security deposit. Way to reinforce stereotypes, synagogue! Meanwhile, some of the Orthodox music folks won’t play there because they are a Conservative synagogue, and one told us that he had to ask his rabbi because it might be “idolatry” (no joke).
Some of the other locations would have allowed us to have any caterer we wanted, so we would have been able to use this just-starting-out kosher caterer who came highly recommended. The crazy thing is that even if we paid the $4000 for her, she might be able to cater the wedding for less than the large corporate caterer.
And the crazy thing is that we called her up, and we may be doing that. At least we are helping a small woman-owned business, and the food will be way better, even if this is costing way more than we ever thought possible.