I know I said I wasn't going to blog about wedding planning. It turns out that this was a lie. The economics of the thing are just fascinating.
First rule: there are no awesome bargains, particularly in DC. If you want to save money on the catering, you have to rent a venue . . . and the venues price accordingly. No one in DC has a back yard which serves as reasonable competition for a wedding, and hello, price inflation!
(Why are you getting married in that pricey hellhole, I hear you cry. My hometown is Manhattan. Peter's hometown is on Florida's Emerald Coast. These are not noticeable price improvements, particularly when you factor in travel to, like, meet vendors and taste the food. Now, if one of us had been born in Topeka, we could have a slammin' hometown wedding on a thin budget, but there you are.)
Second rule: transparency is not at a premium in the industry. They strenuously try to hide their prices from you until you they can get you into the shop and strenuously imply that a wedding without 4,000 calla lilies won't make you feel really married.
Since Peter and I are a) journalists and b) in agreement with each other and our families that we are not going to spend any sum that might reasonably function as the downpayment on a house, I don't want to waste time talking to vendors who cannot deliver on our budget. So especially in the case of caterers, if you don't have a menu--with prices--on your website, you don't get a call from us.