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I'm a 23 year old Business Systems Analyst planning a DIY-heavy wedding to the love of my life on 9 . 10 . 11. Other then wedding planning, I spend most of my time trying to stay in shape or playing with my 3 dogs...Gabby, Dudley, and Tyson. I hate cleaning and almost never go a day without wearing something purple, and I hope you can keep up with my ADD blogging style!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

First Planning Meeting with the Caterer!!!

So, if you remember from my March Calendar, yesterday fi and I met with our caterer, Rania Harris, to do our menu selection.  Now, Rania isn't any ordinary caterer, she's what I'll call a caterer on steroids.  Because she also works directly with the rental company to plan basically everything with you.  So, when I say 'menu selection' I actually mean 'preliminary menu selection as well as deciding all of our rentals because she actually has examples of everything in her office' haha.

So, fi and I got there a little early, and she actually does "gourmet take-out" so she has a little diner like area and we got to hang out in there while we waited.
Cute little place, right?
The Fiance - he hates having his picture taken!
The happy couple!
Then, once she was ready for us, we got to go back to her office to start discussing details.  She is such a caterer on steroids that she basically has a showroom in her office:
Table Settings Anyone?
We started with linens.  Rania and I basically gabbed back and forth while Bryan looked slightly confused and we finally decided on having all the tables in the reception room will be eggplant (except for the cake table which will be lilac) with lilac napkins.  Then in the lobby (which is where cocktails will be held) the bar, escort table, and gift table will be cardinal, and all the "cocktail tables" will be eggplant.

Choosing place settings was actually a lot easier than deciding which linen will go where.  We decided on the following:

This silverware only with normal length handles
And all of our glasses will just be the least expensive option.  But it just so happened we could get fancy martini glasses for the same price as basic martini glasses, so our martini glasses will have a purple stem:

And then it was finally time to actually talk about food.  We went over all our different options and settled on the following:
Passed Hors D’oeuvers:
-Goat Cheese and Roasted Red Pepper Crostini
-Vegetarian Spring Roll Halves w/ Chinese plum sauce
-Sesame Beef in Fillo
-Tequila Shrimp skewers with texas red sauce wrapped in bacon
-Chorizo Pastry puffs
-Baby Bella Mushrooms stuffed with crab

First Course:
Mixed Greens with Seasonal Fruits #1
Salad with blackberries-strawberries-raspberries-red Bermuda onion-roasted walnuts-gorgonzola cheese with a balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing

Entrée Options:
-Grilled Filet Mignon with sauce Au Poivre
Filet served on a smashed potato cake with Boursin cheese and asparagus

-Grilled Lemon and Olive Oil Marinated Salmon Filet
Topped with fresh tomato, basil, red Bermuda onion, caper and organic olive oil relish served with roasted asparagus with lemon confit and sweet onion risotto cake

-Spinach and Asiago Ravioli
Finished with a light cream sauce infused with fresh spinach and roasted red peppers and freshly grated Parmigiano

-Kids 12&under
Mixed fruit bowl for first course.  Chicken fingers served with French fries and carrots with ranch dipping sauce.

Cake layers:
Yellow cake/fudge filling/chocolate cake/raspberry filling/yellow cake

We get to go back at the end of the month to try everything and decide if that is 100% what we want.  All I know is it sounds freakin' delicious!

She also works with a liquor distributor who (for whatever reason, I don't know why) is required by law to sell hard liquor and beer at cost, but can up charge for wine.  He'll purchase everything, deliver it, and we don't have to pay for it until afterwards because he'll take back any un-opened bottles.  Sounds amazing to me!

And our 2 and a half hour long meeting ended with her explaining a bunch of worksheets that she was going to send to me including:

The Meal Choice Seating List -
so waiters know where to bring which dish

A Vendor List - so she can hunt people down if they aren't
 doing what they should be doing the day of
Bridal Checklist - so she knows everything is being used
that should be the day of!
And we should be getting a CAD image of how the space will be set up sometime soon!

Basically, Rania is freaking awesome, and although it was a long meeting, it was also super productive!  And we're going back March 30th (have to update my March Calendar!!!) to do a tasting...yummmm!  Oh, and everything worked out right within our budget!!!  HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN!?!?!?!  And that is under the assumption that most people will order the fillet and it is including all the servers!  Best wedding-related meeting ever.  If you're getting married in the Pittsburgh area, I 100% recommend using Rania, she's just so damn helpful!

How did your meetings with your caterer go?

Apart from the Personal Photos, images taken from All Occasions Party Rentals


  1. Sounds great! I love all of your selections, from the linens to the food. Isn't it great to work with people at the top of their game who really know their stuff?

  2. Makes me soooooo jealous. We are stuck with a hotel banquet hall and I'll be VERY surprised if the planner turns out as amazing as yours! And it made me hungry reading your menu!!!

  3. Your menu sounds delicious!! Our food tasting is in two weeks. I cannot wait! We just picked what to taste last week.

  4. Rania sounds amazing... And so does that salad!! Mmmmm :) Everything you chose looks beautiful. Congratulations!