Vendor Review – Caterer

(note: this review is absolutely separate from the cake/cupcake review)

Vendor grade: D

We were really struggling with the menu for the reception. We wanted something nontraditional and delicious. We wanted roasted vegetables, meat and something other than potatoes. We wanted a meal that our guests would remember.

We decided to work with Miel y Leche for our reception meal.



I approached Sheela with a price that we were comfortable with (with room to wiggle in either direction, we were completely ready for a counter-price) – a price that was right in the range of their catered meals – and she accepted the price.

I presented my thoughts on the menu:
chicken skewers —– beef skewers
roasted vegetables —– fresh fruit
bread and butter —– couscous
(no drinks were included and we provided our own dishes)

When we met, Sheela suggested we add:
eggplant rolls with mint and chili
quinoa with fruit and nuts

I was all for the additions — how delicious!

When we presented the quote, we were anticipating 150 – 160 guests and MyL was to plan for those numbers, accordingly.

The day of the wedding, dinner started late. The catering team arrived late, so we gave them a little slack. Dinner was supposed to begin at 5, and they pulled up to the reception site at about 4:50 – and started to unload.


Our DIY Photobooth

We (well, I) really like the idea of having a photobooth at our reception. I looked into renting one, for about 30 seconds. I cannot stomach the thought of spending $2,000 to have someone haul in a fun prop for 2 hours.

My sister has friends in art school, one of whom is a photographer. We’ve contracted her work for 2 hours for a low fee. We’ll provide the backdrop and props, she’ll provide the photos. even if they aren’t smashing, how can you complain at a pricetag of less than $150?

Here’s what we’ve got so far:
disguise glassesblond braids wigsombrerobackdrop_dwell_studio_curtain

Of course we’ll have more props (to be shared in a future post). Here’s hoping our guests enjoy and take advantage of it!

Here are just a few of the photos we got out of the photobooth.

p.s. if anyone wants the name of a photography student who might be willing to help out with your DIY photobooth, and you live in Minneapolis or Saint Paul, drop me an e-mail.

Shoes for Sale!

J. Crew has one of the best, wearable, gorgeous, trendy-yet-classic wedding/party/work shoe collections.

Bonus: right now, all their full-price boots and shoes are 25% off.

I’m in!

The code is “SHOESALE” and it lasts through November 19.

Limitations On Reception Halls

Why oh why can’t all reception halls have the same rules?

In a perfect world, they’d be somewhat inexpensive, yet beautiful. That’s a negotiable though. Higher price? fine
Not-so-pretty? fine, as long as we can decorate

It turns out the hardest things about choosing a site are in the details.

Do you have to use their caterer or can you choose your own?
Do they charge cake cutting fees/corking fees?
Can you bring alcohol or must you hire a caterer to do so (and charge over $300/keg?)
Can you decorate?
Can you bring in rented chairs?
Can food be (partially) prepared on site?
Can you have candles?
Are there furniture items that must stay in the ballroom?
How many people are you allowed in the space? what happens if they guest list exceeds that number?
Do the bartender/caterers/band/off-duty officer count?
Is it handicapped accessible?
Is there a room where kids can escape the party and color/watch a movie?
What happens to the (substantial) deposit if you cancel?
Is there ample parking?
Are there hotels nearby?
Is there an area outside where guests can go to get some fresh air and/or smoke?
Is there air conditioning/heating? Do windows open?

The worst thing is, once you like a place, you discover all these little stipulations that can make or break your decision.

And — what happens if you discover something that is a deal breaker, after you’ve signed the contract. Sounds foolish, but it certainly happens.