Six Is the Loneliest Number

I love food. It’s the reason I’ve struggled with my weight throughout my life. When I tell Mr. Wellies I love him, I say things like, “I love you more than I love sushi.” He jokes that the number one way I show him I love him is by sharing my food with him. After all:

joey

Image via Rebloggy

Consequently, I knew that food was going to be one of the most important parts of our wedding. What I didn’t realize, however, was how difficult it would be to find a wedding caterer for a party of six.

One well known caterer in the area politely informed me that “a small party” has a minimum fee of $3,500. After picking my jaw off the floor (if that’s for “a small party,” how much would “a large party” cost?!), I thanked them and continued my search.

Several caterers wanted to verify that the party was, in fact, for six people. “Is this a typo?” one wrote. Given that I had used the number 6 (which could be missing a zero or two), I started spelling it out in my subsequent emails to potential vendors. Sadly, this was still confusing. “Can you confirm the number of guests is six?” another wrote. “Yes,” I replied, “it’s six (6).” All of the caterers I contacted either had a minimum head count or a minimum fee, neither of which we could match.

I began to get excited when I read about a new trend in event catering: food trucks. A food truck enables catering companies to go mobile, serving freshly prepared meals on the road. It seemed like the perfect alternative for us. Fingers crossed, I contacted the limited number of food trucks in our area. While The Pizza Wagon was willing to cater a party of six, it had a fixed cost of $600. We love pizza—just not enough to pay $600 for it.

pizzawa

Image via Pizza Wagon Catering Company

Another food truck was very enthusiastic; the owner even started to discuss a possible menu. Finally, I thought. We found our caterer. Yet, after a week of emails, all contact ceased. Did they forget about me? Did they fall into Mount Doom? I’ll never know. I had almost given up hope when I received an email regarding “a caterer who’s available and interested in working with you.”

Was it easy or difficult for you to find a caterer?

BLOGGER

Miss Wellies

Location:
Philadelphia
Wedding Date:
February 2014
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  1. Member
    whitums 1006 posts, Bumble bee @ 9:38 am

    We had a very hard time finding a caterer we trusted, as there was no onsite kitchen or any rentals with our venue, meaning our caterer had to prepare and coordinate well beyond just food. In the end, our caterer was our least favorite vendor, and while our wedding was awesome, any and all hiccups went back to our caterer and their staff. It’s so hard to make the right call when all you have is your gut and a few reviews to go on!

  2. Member
    Dizbee 686 posts, Busy bee @ 9:53 am

    I’m confused. If there’s only six people, why do you need a caterer? I thought caterers were meant for large events where you need a lot of meals hot and ready at a specified location at exactly the same time. 600 bucks for pizza, good lord…100/person would pay for a really, REALLY nice restaurant, 125/person would pay for a six course gourmet meal at Victoria and Albert’s in Disney World! With only six people, I’d get married in whatever venue you’d like, then go to an absolutely gorgeous (non catered) restaurant, get a spectacular meal for everyone and tell the caterers to shove it!

  3. Member
    Dizbee 686 posts, Busy bee @ 9:54 am

    Also restaurants don’t have a ‘minimum number’ for your party, so no headache there either.

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    kiki, Guest @ 10:11 am

    umm.. isn’t 6 the ideal party size for a table at a restaurant?? you could even reserve the back room for some privacy. I just don’t understand.. Caterers are for events too big for ordinary food service venues (restaurants, bars, cafes..) to accommodate. And if you want to stay at the place where you’re having the ceremony, can’t you just order takeout?? If it’s an elopement you’re having, I don’t see what the big deal is..

  5. Guest Icon Guest
    lynnielou33193, Guest @ 10:15 am

    We are having the hardest time with this now… There are a lot of places that cater around here but they are “typical wedding food.” No flavor the temperature is usually close to cold. Our venue has an onsite kitchen but they only allow rentals to use it for warming the food or keeping it warm. With this we started to look at places that weren’t around here but they are all a little more expensive (that sucks :/) We think we found one though that is pretty good (as long as they can keep it hot on their travel) for less than $10 per person. I think this was probably one of the most important decisions we had to make and when we realized we can’t make everyone happy it was easier… so my figure is we will be paying approximately $2500 for food?

  6. Member
    lynnielou33193 666 posts, Busy bee @ 10:17 am

    Sorry I wasn’t logged in!!

  7. Member
    wellies 1425 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:42 am

    @whitums: I’m sorry your caterer was disappointing! It’s definitely hard to make the right call. Our venue has an onsite kitchen and rentals, so all the caterer needs to do is show up and cook good food (which we know he can, since he gave us a complimentary tasting). ;)
    @Dizbee: We considered having dinner at a restaurant, but we have our venue for the entire day, and we really want to use it as much as possible. If we hadn’t found our caterer, we might have reevaluated that decision. :)
    @lynnielou33193: I hope it all works out for you! :)

  8. Member
    snd485 606 posts, Busy bee @ 11:57 am

    We’re getting married at a hotel and their onsite restaurant handles the catering. Luckily, the food is great (my mom and I went there for lunch before finalizing the venue contract) and they have really good reviews.

    With such a small party, you should look at hiring a personal chef for the day! They could create an amazing custom menu for you and your guests at much less than the caterer minimum. Search Yelp for reviews of good chefs. Good luck!

  9. Member
    OnceUponATime 1683 posts, Bumble bee @ 12:08 pm

    Have you tried posting an ad in the paper? (Seeking private chef for party of six. Interested in serving x, y, and z. Will pay up to $300 for one day. Call 555-5555)

    I’m sure you’ll get some hits :)

  10. Member
    krislynn_sd 72 posts, Worker bee @ 3:23 pm

    I LOVE YOUR REFERENCE TO MOUNT DOOM!! :)
    You are my new best friend, for real. I watched Lord of the Rings non stop when I was younger. I was obsessed. And even as I am typing this, Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers is on TV and I am saying all the lines out loud.
    Anyways, on a wedding note – I love food trucks. We have like four or five here. We are self catering though, so that option is out for us.

  11. Member
    msliveoak 150 posts, Blushing bee @ 5:03 pm

    Did you end up hiring a chef to do a private party? I used to work in a store that hired chefs to teach cooking classes, and they would often do private parties as well. Are you doing a destination or semi-destination wedding? A farm sounds fun! I’m looking forward to hearing more about your story as it unfolds :)

  12. Member
    wellies 1425 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:47 pm

    @snd485: I’m glad you were able to try the food before you signed the contract! Our caterer was awesome and gave us a complimentary tasting. :)
    @OnceUponATime: Although I spoke with a private chef, we ended up hiring a catering company. Thanks for the tip! :)
    @krislynn_sd: I’m glad you got the reference! :D Sadly, we don’t have many food trucks to choose from in our area. I’m so impressed that you’re catering your wedding!
    @MsLiveOak: We ended up hiring a catering company that was willing to work with a small party. I guess you could call it a semi-destination wedding—the farm is an hour away from our house. :)

  13. Guest Icon Guest
    Shiny, Guest @ 8:51 pm

    Most elopers just go to a restaurant afterward. Is that not an option for you?

    Just saw you have a venue. What sort of elopement is this? My husband and I just picked a date went downtown, filled out papers, went back to work and went out for dinner afterward.

  14. Member
    wellies 1425 posts, Bumble bee @ 3:35 pm

    @Shiny: We’re having a Jewish ceremony at our venue, followed by a first dance, dinner, and cake. :)

  15. Member
    Miss Leopard 1992 posts, Buzzing bee @ 3:40 pm

    I find it so strange that you are catering dinner for 6 VENDORS.

  16. Guest Icon Guest
    Shiny, Guest @ 5:12 pm

    @Miss Wellies:
    Isn’t that just a small wedding then?

    @Miss Leopard: huh?

  17. Member
    jrzygurl 1879 posts, Buzzing bee @ 11:42 pm

    @Miss Leopard:

    Honey you need to read before you’re so rude. The 6 people are the bride, groom, and their parents.

    I came back to check-in on @Miss Wellies: because we haven’t had a post from her in a while.

  18. Member
    aeroplaneoverthesea 41 posts, Newbee @ 10:21 am

    @Miss Wellies: Just wondering if you’re still blogging about your wedding. I had really enjoyed reading your posts!

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