(Closed) Choice between two venues

posted 4 years ago in Reception
Post # 2
Member
1744 posts
Bumble bee

How many guests?

What estimates do the required caterer and bartender give?

What do you envision for food?  Prime Rib?  or BBQ pulled pork sandwiches?

Lots of questions, but do not underestimate the difficulty or logistics of self-catering.  Have you ever cooked or had a dinner party for say 40 people before?  Did that seem like a snap or were you nearly overwhelmed? 

Post # 4
Member
225 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

I second @fascinated’s questions – too many variables to help dictate if Venue #2 will offset #1.

Personally, based off what you have said so, I’d go for Venue #2 because of convenience and ability to bring my own alcohol in. You can load up on beer, wine, hard alcohol from Costco and then hire a caterer to prep and serve the meals at venue #2. Will that offset $2,400 difference? I’d contact 2-3 caterers to see how much it will cost, and please please please consider hiring a Day-Of Coordinator to handle the day-of logistics for you!

Post # 5
Member
7403 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

View original reply
mroses33 :  I’d never attempt to self cater for a wedding of 75 people. I’d definitely suggest a licensed caterer, gosh forbid something happens that falls back on you. People completely underestimate what it takes. Everyone gets really stuck on “food price” but they don’t take into consideration that the average person doesn’t have ANY of the items it requires to cater an event. Chafing dishes, serving platters, serving spoons, etc. There’s a lot more to it than just cooking. All of those things would be costly to buy or rent. By the time you do that, you’ll spend just as much on having it catered by someone who knows what they’re doing and already has the necessary tools.

I would vote for venue #2 out of convenience factor. I’d get quotes for caterers for a more reasonable menu, and get pricing for hiring a licensed bartender and providing your own alcohol.

Post # 6
Member
7679 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

View original reply
mroses33 :   Can you compare and contrast real #’s as far as catering and food costs? (Does option 1 allow you to choose between caterers?) Are linens, glassware, flatware and dinnerware included with the catering, or is that rented seperately?  

It sounds like both venues are beautiful, and to your liking, so does either need rentals of chairs/tables or porta-potties ?

Any other large decor costs for either, or is it the difference between food/drink and venue costs? Can you make a list as to what you need for linens, glassware, tableware, and flatware?

Do you have enough helping hands for Venue 2 to get set up and taken down?  

 

 

Post # 7
Member
2044 posts
Buzzing bee

Honestly, I’d be looking at third options here. 

Post # 8
Member
1744 posts
Bumble bee

You will almost have to get out a spreadsheet to line item compare what is included in each venue and what would have to be rented separately.  I’d assume a caterer will include plates/tableware etc in their quote.  Does their quote include tax/gratuity because those can come as a nasty surprise.  But then if you self cater you’ll undoubtedly have to rent your plates glasses etc.  

But to kind of start to compare:

Venue 1:  2200+6000 (no booze)  all day so relatively more relaxed set up / tear down.  8200/75 guests is ~110 per person (plus booze plus tax / gratuity)

Venue 2:  4600 (no booze, no food, no staff, no plates/tableware, plus probably some tax and maybe some kind of service charge)

Difference: 8200-4600=  3600 / 75 guests = $48.00 per person.  Sounds like a lot, sounds like a great way to save money.  

But wait !  Consider food costs.  When will you buy it? Who has enough refrigerator room to store things?  Renting chafing dishes, methods to keep hot food hot/cold food cold.  Food safety so that you don’t end up with sick guests.  What’s your timeline to make the food – who will do it?  Will you need to hire day of helpers (yes, you will! – no family member wants to be managing a kitchen rather than party with you on your wedding day.)  How will you transport food to the venue… what vehicles, how many trips, what time during that 7 hour rental when you’re getting ready and others are setting up.  Who will carry in all of the heavy crates of food, who will dish them up, display them, keep them full?  Who will carry in stacks of plates and glasses?  Who will scrape them and rinse them at the end of the night?  Who will get rented things back to the rental company?  Who will get food that needs to be heated into the oven at the right time?  How many ovens do they have – enough space with enough heat/output to heat though multiple trays of cold food (it’ll take longer than say cooking one pan of lasagne at home because you have lots of cold mass that needs heating.)   

Maybe think about your mom on Thanksgiving – cooking a dinner for maybe 10?  At the end of the day she’s probably ready to crash — started early, cooked all day, managed timing of food to pull it together at the right time, then had to clean up after it’s all done.   And she didn’t have to haul stuff to and from a venue load/unload it several times.  Self catering can be done (though it would be easier for someone who routinely throws back yard parties for large groups)  you do save money, but spend a lot of time and physical effort and worry to accomplish it.    Paying for the food is just a small part of what you’re paying for when you hire a caterer.  

The questions I’ve asked are but a few of the ones you’ll need to figure out if you decide to do this.

Because I like to cook, I’ve ‘catered’ several holiday lunches and birthday parties for 30-40 people.  It’s a labor of love I was able to do great food for minimal cost … but it was very physically demanding.   Cooking, storing, loading, traveling, unloading, setting up, refreshing, tearing down, cleaning up, loading,  returning home, unloading at the end of a very long day.       So on one hand, I can’t say “don’t do it” because I have.  But also understand I won’t be doing it again any time soon, and doubling the guests to 70 would have me saying no way.   

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