That's right, we finally crossed off the item on the list that haunted us for the last six months (Has it really been that long?). As soon as Ellie got back from her summer job, we started in on the short list of five caterers who met the venue's standards for sustainable food service. It only took two months for Ellie to give up and put me in charge of catering, when we found out that the list had grown from five to nine.
We winnowed the numbers down. The kosher and vegan caterers were out because we'd be paying extra for things we didn't need. Another became gradually less responsive as we discussed our low budget with them, until eventually we gave up on them. One changed management, dropped off the radar for a while, came back but we'd already moved on. We were down to one from the original list, and set up a tasting; everything was great, and very much in line with what we were imagining serving our guests. We were all set to go with her but then - we got four additions to the list.
All of a sudden we were back where we started - worse, because we didn't have those easy cuts. We couldn't ignore them and go ahead - that wouldn't be doing our due diligence in the catering search. We contacted all of them. We crossed one off quickly because it felt like their contact form was asking us to do all the planning. We met with three, and had extensive phone conversations with the fourth (we had previously tasted their food at another wedding). Eventually we narrowed it down to one additional contender. We met with her - not for a full tasting, as this was in February and those pesky snowstorms were limiting their ability to receive deliveries. Nevertheless, what they were able to serve us was delicious, and we were impressed with the transparency in their costs (which did not include a mandatory gratuity). Oh yeah, and there was the fabulous, local goat cheese. So, after a week or so of stalling, reluctant to say no to either caterer, we stepped up and signed a contract with Bon Appetit Catering. We haven't finalized the menu yet but we're looking forward to doing a full tasting to pin that down...as long as there's more goat cheese!