An expatriate of New Orleans – and professional chef – who has lived in Los Angeles since her childhood, blogs about the journey from New Orleans to Los Angeles back to New Orleans, and points along the way.

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Brunch for a Wedding Reception? Part 1

By on Feb 15, 2009, 12:58 pm in Entertaining Trends, Food and Drink, Party Planning Tips, Pet Peeves and Rants, Reflections on the Catering Life, Seasonal Celebrations, Small Pleasures Catering | 0 comments

I have catered several brunches over the last few months. Sunday brunch has always been a favorite dining out experience of mine, and I happen to think brunch is a great idea for a party now that we are in times where everyone is watching their bottom line.

So when the topic of weddings came up yesterday while  having lunch with my mother (we were celebrating her 83rd birthday!), I naturally got on my shtick about other kinds of receptions rather than the Saturday night dinner. Mom was relating a story of a wedding years ago  she had been to some  years back where in an apparent attempt to save money, the bride had hired a caterer to bring food but had not hired servers. Mom said she and some other friends of the bride’s mother (who were guests) jumped behind the buffet line to help mete out the food because they noticed that people were piling their plates high with food she knew they wouldn’t finish.

“I just don’t get it” I said, “catering is more than just the food. The servers are part of ensuring the whole experience goes well, and people do tend to pile up their plates with food that will just get tossed out later”.

“Well, I’m sure they were just trying to save money” Mom said.

“I’m sure they were” I responded. “Believe me, I am not one of those people who thinks people have to spend a fortune on weddings. But they can have other kinds of reception- a brunch or lunch, or a tea party- that are more cost effective”

And Mom reminded me that those kinds of receptions were quite common in the past.

I remember them, too, and quite a bit more fondly I might add, than the many “cookie cutter” hotel banquet room “rubber chicken“ sit down dinner receptions that have become the norm-and in the process, have more than doubled the cost of wedding receptions.

I had just earlier that morning exchanged e-mails with a recent bride from New York regarding her Sunday brunch reception. I was put in touch with Lainie because I had put the word out that I was seeking out couples who had thrown out the Saturday sit down dinner model for more creative wedding receptions. As you may have gathered (ahem!), I have a strong bias against hotel banquet room receptions. I think they are the least creative, the most expensive, the least fun for your guests, and btw, usually have the worst food.

Okay, so enough for now. I'll chat more about Lainie's wonderful brunch reception next time.



small pleasures catering


P.S. Oh yeah! I am going to be a guest on Kara Oh's BlogTalkRadio show this Tuesday afternoon at 3 P.M PST. I'll be talking about planning a more creative and memorable wedding reception- and saving money in the process.

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