Let me start by saying John and I have been incredibly blessed. John's first job was with Ralph, who has now become the events manager of a bar and grill in town. The awesome thing about Ralph is that he is an amazing chef so our options were literally endless.
Our scheduled taste-testing was December 27. Unfortunately, we did not get to taste test because he ended up having to cover an event with 1300 people and did not have the chance to cook us anything. However, this ended up working out for the better! Before our meeting, John and I looked over the menu online and what their packages include. After looking at their menu, we narrowed it down to three package choices. The first package was their basic Italian which included 2 entrees, a side, a veggie, and a salad. John and I were expecting this to be around $15 per plate because they include the serving ware, the dishes and other tableware, drinks such as water/tea/coffee/lemonade, and 18% gratuity for the waiters. The second package we decided on was their Premium package. This included appetizers, 2 entrees, 2 salad choices, a veggie, 2 sides, and bread. The Premium we were guessing would be around $20 per plate, which is over our budget but we were being hopeful. The third option was one that John and I customized. We wanted to combine the two packages because we liked select options from both packages. We asked that if instead of having 2 entrees, we could add an appetizer. After talking over what we wanted, we told Ralph that this is what we hoped for in our dinner and cocktail food:
An assortment of appetizers including Salmon Toast Points, Sesame Ginger Meatballs, and Parmesan Spinach and Artichoke Dip.
Casear Salad and Garlic Cheese Bread
Au Gratin Potatos
And the veggie dish is to be decided.
With our customized package, we expected it to be more expensive than the basic but cheaper than the premium so we expected around $18, which was still over our budget.
Now, it was time to talk numbers. Ralph quoted us $12.99 for the Basic Italian Package which was cheaper than what we guessed and budgeted for. The Premium Package was quoted at $28.99 which was way more than we thought it would be. This then had us worried for what our customized package would be. However, Ralph will do our customized menu for the price of the basic. At first, John and I were thinking it was such a great deal, why wouldn't anyone else do this? Since we budgeted way more, we were able to put more than half down that day.
The reason that not having a taste-testing turned out to work in our benefit is that now we can taste what we will actually be having and not have to deal with tasting more than we need to. We will be meeting with him to taste our customized menu within the next couple of weeks.
After leaving the meeting, John and I both realized that there was no way that was the original quote for what we wanted. Ralph was definitely cutting some strings for John and we are so grateful.
I am really excited. How can the wedding be a little over 2 months away!?