Food is very, very important to Greg and me. We love to cook, we love going out to eat, our TiVo is full of food network shows...we care about food.
Our love of food makes it extra tragic that one of the most appalling areas of this wedding planning business is catering. I haven't planned or attended many weddings in other cities, but in Omaha, there is one caterer who dominates the scene and it is...not pleasant. I will not name the catering company because I don't want nasty emails, and also there are many people who had to use this company for one reason or another and I think they have suffered enough. I will just refer to them as the Big Bad Catering Company. Many fabulous venues in the metro area have exclusive catering contracts with the BBCC, which is the main reason we passed on many venues that had initially appealed to us. A look at their menus reveals tired old dishes that are VERY expensive and (experience has taught me) don't taste very good. They're not terrible, per se, but if I'm eating something that cost my host $30+ a plate I expect something pretty damn spectacular. Call me picky. I just think that when you're charging that much for a chicken breast you could afford to spare some salt.
Anyway, we wanted to avoid the BBCC at any cost, which is one of the main reasons we went with the Scoular, because they gave us a choice of many caterers and price ranges. In addition to our culinary preferences and budget issues, we wanted a somewhat...unconvential menu. We wanted a menu that was comfortable, casual and fun, much like our wedding. Also, we knew people would be eating in costume and I think prime rib might be a little messy for fairy princesses.
So we wanted soup and sandwiches. Fancy soup and sandwiches, but still.
We looked at the list Scoular gave us, eliminated anyone whose menus started ridiculously high or whose websites discouraged menu tampering, and emailed a few candidates.
Catering Creations emailed us back almost immediately, and their enthusiasm has persisted throughout the process. Before our first meeting we perused their sample menus and pulled out some soup and salad choices that sounded appealing with our sandwiches. However, when we sat down with Jeff, the head chef, he said:
"Okay, I know you guys said you wanted the wild mushroom and creamy onion soups, and I can make those for you and they'll be very good, but if you're doing a Halloween wedding you have to have a roasted pumpkin soup. You just...you have to."
And that, friends, is when I decided that Jeff was my favorite.
So here is our menu. Those of you who are coming to the wedding, look forward to it. Those of you who will not be coming to the wedding...um...you can dream.
White Bean, Parmesan, Roasted Garlic with Sundried Tomatoes (I have tasted this one in person and boy howdy was it delicious)
Tomato, Basil, Artichoke and Olive Tapenade
Fresh Guacamole & Hearty Salsa
All Dips Served with Fresh Tortilla Chips
(these will be left out and replenished through most of the dancing time as well for snackers and late comers. I love me some guacamole, I really do.)
Soups and Salads:
Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Dark Pumpernickel Croutons
Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup
(Both made with veggie stock to appease our vegetarian friends)
Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Chile-Lime Vinaigrette
Classic Caesar Salad with Parmesan Croutons
Smoked Beef Sandwich on Foccacia Bread with Caramelized Onions & Arugula with Red Pepper Feta Spread
Blackened Chicken Salad with Blue Cheese, Golden Raisins, with Alfalfa Sprouts and Avocados Served on Ciabatta Bread
Doesn't that sound AMAZING?
And super bonus--they also catered Nick and Erika's wedding in August, giving us the opportunity to see them in action and it was spectacular. The service was great, the set up was clean and pretty, and the food was super tasty.
So we got the menu we wanted, with the price we wanted, with people who actually seem happy to be serving us. Count our catering amongst the victories over the big nasty wedding industry!