9.23.2019

Choosing a Caterer

Let's talk about the food at our wedding! Choosing a caterer was one of the hardest things we did during wedding planning... mostly because catering is insanely expensive. Upwards of $9,000 was not an uncommon quote for our 150 guest estimate. I love food and wanted to feed our guests well, but that wasn't going to cut it for us!

The first thing we did when planning our catering was decide what kind of food we wanted to serve, and we wanted to serve it. There are tons of choices across tons of price ranges. We wanted to serve barbeque at our rehearsal dinner for a more low-key vibe, and then wanted to up the ante just a bit for our reception. We decided to go buffet-style as it is much cheaper than a plated meal. Overall, we were looking for the right balance of style and price.

From there, we looked at the list of preferred caterers that our venue provided us with. We could have gone off the list, but would have incurred extra fees. Therefore, our first order of business was contacting each and every caterer (about 11) on the list for quotes.

With everything else, the "feel" of the catering service was important to us - we wanted vendors that complemented us and our day - but our primary concern quickly became price after receiving our first few quotes.


I created a spreadsheet with information on each catering service, including contact and phone number, overall price, price per guest, number of entrees, number of sides, etc. Moving everything from the PDFs that we received to a place where everything could be easily compared was key.

We had a few front runners, but ultimately decided to go with Old North State Catering. We actually went ahead and booked them before making it to a tasting because Hurricane Florence came through and changed dates. Crazy, I know, but it was on high recommendation from our venue and others!

The staff was incredibly friendly and kind, and truly wanted to tailor the meal to fit our day. They seemed to fit in perfectly with the very family-oriented style we had going. One thing that really impressed me upon talking to the owner was that they take a month off every year to feed others for charity.

We planned out our tentative menu, which included chicken, pork, 2 appetizers, 2 sides, salad, rolls, water, sweet and unsweet tea, plates and utensils, and late night chocolate chip cookies. I was able to attend a tasting in January and they graciously allowed both my parents and one of my sisters to go with me. Harrison wasn't able to make it as it was on a weeknight.

The tasting was phenomenal, and was more like a meal than a tasting! We got plates of food from a predetermined menu, most of which was on our tentative menu. Everything was wonderful and I was able to solidify some choices and change my mind on a few, as well. Finalizing our menu was truly difficult!

           


We ended up with the following:

Appetizers

  • Mango chutney cheese ball with assorted crackers
  • Jalapeno pimiento cheese hushpuppies with sriracha bang bang sauce

Dinner

  • Pecan encrusted chicken with NC honey drizzle
  • Brown sugar rubbed roasted pork loin
  • Roasted potatoes
  • Country style green beans
  • Spring mix salad
  • Rolls
If there was one thing I wish I could change about our wedding, it would be that I would have eaten! I heard stories all while wedding planning about brides who didn't get to eat at their wedding because they were visiting with guests, so I planned to make sure that didn't happen... and it didn't! The staff was wonderful and brought my and Harrison's meal to our table for us to make sure we got food. I was so hot, however, (and probably overwhelmed, too!) that I felt terrible during dinner and could only nibble. My second biggest regret is that we didn't take leftovers to-go with us to the hotel after we left!

Overall, I have nothing but fantastic things to say about our food and catering. Food seems to be something that people remember if it's bad, but forget if it's good. I wanted our meal to be memorable in a good way, and I think we definitely achieved that!

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Taylor Jenkins. Design by Berenica Designs.