Hell yes, I can have BBQ at my wedding. What do you think the 6-ft train is for?

So it occurred to me the other day that we’re getting married in less than a year and have hardly anything planned. To remedy this (and procrastinate on a paper I was writing), I tried to get our caterer nailed down. Prior to moving to Cactus Land, I found this company in Sacramento (Hannibal’s) that offered reasonable prices on pretty good food. The representative was a delight to work with and they offered many unusual wedding amenities such as no corkage fees and free cake-serving. (Yes, in case you were wondering, if you don’t buy the caterer’s dessert, they can charge you up to $1-2/slice to serve your already over-priced wedding cake). Because I was in a hurry, I told T I wanted to hire them ASAP. Thank goodness I dusted off my calculator.wedding bbq

While they bid $14.93/head for the Asian-fusion dinner, a price I found completely reasonable, I noticed additional fees that made my blood boil. In addition to 8.75% tax (ugh), they tacked on a labor fee of $30/hour for 4 people for 4-5 hours, PLUS an 18% service fee. The per person cost went from $15 to $28… BEFORE liquor, cake and cutlery. Excuse me? I can understand the service fee to a point… insurance, time, liability, use of equipment. I get that. But an additional labor fee? Seriously? And don’t try to convince me that that 16-year-old you’ve hired is getting an actual $30/hour. I wasn’t born yesterday and in case you forgot, bride doesn’t equal idiot last I checked.

After trying unsuccessfully to negotiate (shocking in this economy if you ask me), I started working on plan B with my mom. Perhaps we’d start the shindig later and just offer snacks and dessert. Or maybe institute a cover charge? While mulling it over, I had an epiphany: Barbecue!

The original aviation museum idea popped into my head during a fundraiser last summer where they served a beyond-tasty BBQ dinner. I googled and up came JR’s Texas Barbecue. A quick call and convo with JR himself later, I found a caterer who offered DELICIOUS food for EXCELLENT prices and NO labor charges. To quote JR himself, “Why do you think I’ve been in business for 22 years now? It’s not by overcharging my customers.”

After getting tacit approval from T, my mom and most of the bridesmaids, I’m pretty darn excited about the menu. What could be better than brisket, chicken, grillers for my veggie friends, cole slaw, baked beans, tater salad and corn bread, really? And for $12/head? How can I resist?!

Now that I’m hungry again, I must bust back to my homework.


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