Monday, December 15, 2008

Getting Ready for a Wedding: Staging & Serving

Our talented day chef brought a talented helper, who spent several hours assembling the antepasto course.

Tick tock. As the weeks passed and our daughter's wedding drew closer, it became more and more apparent that no amount of advance work would prepare us to get through the Big Day without help. One of the wedding books stacked up on my bed table advised that good planning required a mental "walkthrough" of the events of the day, in great detail. When I went through this visualization exercise, I realized that, in fact, we required a small army. To process the food we planned to serve our guests (slicing, cutting, chopping, wrapping, defrosting), we needed three food preparation helpers for the day before the wedding. To handle the crowd of more than 150 on the day of, we needed a day chef, two sous chefs, two bartenders, and five servers. This was on top of the disk jockey, the volunteer parking attendants, a house helper in charge of clearing away rubble, attending to house guests, and locating items for the chef in the kitchen, and the teenagers assigned to watching over the babies and toddlers while their parents joined the celebration.
For those of you considering a do-it-yourself wedding to save money, I can report that the cost of this labor power for the final staging and serving (of drinks, appetizers, dinner, and dessert) cost as much as the food, cake, and wine we purchased. So, when you do your budget projections, make sure to take this into consideration. More on what I learned about wedding budgets is to come.

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