Food ideas

I've been a bit distressed about the cost of feeding so many people, but just wanted to dump some of the ideas floating around in my head right now:
  • Have a morning/early afternoon wedding and serve brunch + mimosas (A Practical Wedding on her morning wedding)
  • Have it be a potluck: we make a bulk main course, like lasagna, locals bring appetizers/pies, out-of-towners bring drinks (2000 Dollar Wedding on potlucks)
  • Jersey shore diner theme (more breakfast for dinner)
  • Make your own pizzas/rent a pizza truck--The Google smiled upon me today and I found two pizzerias that cater with trucks!
    • Nomad Pizza (local, organic, seasonal ingredients--hooray!)
    • Jiannetto's Pizza (catering info not directly on website but I found this Time Out article on alternative catering for weddings, which also lists a beef burger truck, a waffle truck, and an ice cream truck!)
  • Shake Shack (I actually emailed them on Friday...and I bet I'm not the first)

    Mountain Lakes House

    Third and final place we visited this past weekend.

    Mountain Lakes House

    We're not going to visit any more. The four we've seen could all work, it's a matter of figuring out the tradeoffs between location and facility convenience and such. There's a new tab on the vendors spreadsheet to comparing the three from this weekend.

    Prallsville Mills

    The second place we visited last weekend, located in Stockton, which is on the Delaware River and is very charming.

    I took over 100 pictures, so this album is actually quite edited down. The inside of the mill is just so architecturally interesting! And I very much like the water nearby. The site rental fee for the mill is actually tax-deductible, because it's a donation to the society that takes care of its upkeep.

    [edit] I forgot to mention that I was very impressed by the information package Brillman's Rental Barn put together for us. Nice glossy folder with all sorts of additional info inside, not just the rental application forms and such but also other local vendors, a floor plan (with the supporting beams in the middle of the floor marked out too), etc.

    The Woman's Club of Englewood

    This is the first place we visited last weekend. It's the best value, by far, I think, and the rental agent for the place, Maria, is impressively well-organized and prepared.

    Woman's Club of Englewood

    (I've switched to Picasa because I'm nearing my 200 photo limit on Flickr. 200 photos! Oh Yahoo.)

    Casual and stylish backyard wedding.

    Via A Cup of Jo, full details at Once Wed. I think I just really love lights on strings, the greatest consolation against winter for me is seeing the poor bare trees all lit up.

    Rutgers Gardens

    And we're back in the game! (name that movie reference)

    Dan and I spent our day off today doing our very first venue visit! Rutgers Gardens has been the only one on my list to visit so far for reasons that are threefold (I just like the word constructions of '# + -fold,' even if I may not be using it correctly):
    1. They had the rental prices posted on their website a few months ago and it was under $2000 to have a ceremony and reception area for 10 hours
    2. Beautiful gardens backdrops for photos (see here, here, here, here, here and here--these are all the photos I could find in the first few pages of results for a Google search on 'rutgers gardens wedding')
    3. They'd have the combo of experience and casualness that would fit. Pretentious this place is most certainly not.
    January is a dismal time to visit an outdoors place, but luckily it was a pretty nice day today, warm and sunny. I could definitely see us getting married there. It is quite rustic but it would set the tone for the event overall in a good way, I think. I think the gardens would be really pretty and I also like the pond/lake views at the back of the log cabin.

    Dan is concerned about logistics like parking and chairs and all that, so I'll call up their office this week and scope out what their responses are. Internet research thus far suggests that it's pretty no-frills, advised to get there early in the day for cleaning and setup, though it also looks like they've inserted a required caterer now (testimonials here), so maybe they've got a tighter grip on running things. It's one of the questions to ask.

    It's probably a good idea to do a little bit more research (leads to be collected from here and here), so we'll visit a few more next weekend once I do some initial contacting this week. Dan wants to get some quotes on more conventional hotel venues. I'm leaving him to do the work on those since my preliminary research was that the cheap end of those sorts of places ran $85-$130/person, which means $10,000 easily hit with our guest list coming to around 90 people.

    I'm leaning towards late May/early June for a date right now, though Dan is concerned about bees (allergic). The problem is that times of the year when you are guaranteed not to have bees about is also when everything is dormant or dead so...that's a difficulty.

    We expect that most of our fights in this wedding planning process will revolve around some problem where Dan's lower threshold of hassle acceptance has been exceeded because I want something more interesting (sign #286 that we've been together a long time: we can predict where our conflicts will be and we know ourselves well enough that we know we can't really change to avoid it anyway).

    The more cheerful part of our discussions today was that perhaps our theme should just be 'pie,' as I am attracted to the idea of make-your-own pizzas for food. We'd be able to accommodate both those who prefer more traditional pizza styles but also go more gourmet if you'd like. There could be a buffet of other sides and appetizers set up to tide you over while you wait for your pizza order. Anyway, with a pie theme, we could also have chicken pot pie (one of Dan's top 5 favorite foods of all time), shepherd's pie (eh), quiches (Dan's mom make good a mean quiche), and of course, wedding pies.