planning a party (a little off topic)

Discussion in 'Food and nutrition' started by Julia Altshuler, Feb 19, 2004.

  1. My brother and I are planning a 50th wedding anniversary party for our parents. Among the first
    things we have to decide is whether to have it at his house with a rented tent and tables in the
    backyard or whether to have it in a hotel or restaurant. Any preliminary ideas on which would be
    less expensive for a comparable party, having the caterer come to the house or having the guests go
    to a hotel? I want some idea before I hit the yellow pages.

    --Lia
     
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  2. Dawn

    Dawn Guest

    Julia Altshuler wrote:

    > Any preliminary ideas on which would be less expensive for a comparable party, having the
    > caterer come to the house or having the guests go to a hotel? I want some idea before I hit the
    > yellow pages.

    Based on what I learned while planning my wedding, it's really going to depend on who you call and
    what you want. You could spend just as much on both. You can get inexpensive tasy local restaurant
    catering like barbeque, or you can have some high priced chef and catering service come out and get
    all Martha Stewart on your house.

    Is price your main concern for this party? Or is something else involved, like seating space at the
    house, or desire to not have to clean up, or wanting to use a favorite restaurant menu?

    Dawn
     
  3. Peter Aitken

    Peter Aitken Guest

    "Julia Altshuler" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]_s52...
    > My brother and I are planning a 50th wedding anniversary party for our parents. Among the first
    > things we have to decide is whether to have it at his house with a rented tent and tables in the
    > backyard or whether to have it in a hotel or restaurant. Any preliminary ideas on which would be
    > less expensive for a comparable party, having the caterer come to the house or having the guests
    > go to a hotel? I want some idea before I hit the yellow pages.
    >
    >
    > --Lia
    >

    I don't think you can generalize - one or the other may be more expensive depending on a host of
    factors. Don't forget restaurants - many have private rooms that are perfect for this kind of thing.

    --
    Peter Aitken

    Remove the crap from my email address before using.
     
  4. Dawn wrote:

    > Is price your main concern for this party? Or is something else involved, like seating space at
    > the house, or desire to not have to clean up, or wanting to use a favorite restaurant menu?

    That's a good question. We're not arguing over price, quite the contrary. We've both said we can pay
    for more than half. I think my brother and I are using price because we don't have much else to base
    our decisions on. We know that I like smaller parties best, but our parents like big affairs. We
    know we want to appear generous and entertain in style, but we also know the guests will mostly be
    in their 70s and 80s, which would mean less food, less energetic dancing, little or no alcohol,
    earlier in the day rather than later. On the other hand, the guests might not want to be treated
    like old folks. They might want the appearance of youth and energy. I see more advantages in
    entertaining at a hotel. My brother likes the idea of using his house. We're both agreeable. Neither
    of us has any real experience. With all that in mind, I thought I'd look into price to see if that
    swayed us one way or the other.

    --Lia
     
  5. "Julia Altshuler" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]_s52...

    > We know we want to appear generous and entertain in style, but we also know the guests will
    > mostly be in their 70s and 80s, which would mean less food, less energetic dancing, little or no
    > alcohol, earlier in the day rather than later. On the other hand, the guests might not want to be
    > treated like old folks. They might want the appearance of youth and energy.

    AAARGH! Depends on the "old folks"! My children gave me a 75th birthday party, catered at my home.
    The guests were, for the most part, of "retirement age" but the range was from 6 months to 84 years.
    It was the best damned party I've ever had! Never underestimate us oldies, especially when we're
    surrounded by youngies.

    Recommendation: a good caterer, in their home if space permits. I'm sure they would enjoy selecting
    their favorite foods and having all their friends in their own familiar surroundings.

    Felice
     
  6. Dawn

    Dawn Guest

    Julia Altshuler wrote:

    > We're both agreeable. Neither of us has any real experience. With all that in mind, I thought I'd
    > look into price to see if that swayed us one way or the other.
    >

    Well then I would suggest picking a date and calling a couple of hotels, clubs and caterers and
    telling them how many people you expect and ask them to suggest something. Some of them very likely
    have information packets or can schedule a meeting with you to discuss options. You may also be able
    to sample their food and determine if it is something your family will like.

    After a couple "interviews" with potential caterers you'll have clearer choices to pick from.

    Dawn
     
  7. The Ranger

    The Ranger Guest

    Julia Altshuler <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]_s52...
    > My brother and I are planning a 50th wedding anniversary party for our parents. [..] I want some
    > idea before I hit the yellow pages.

    Set up your budget, first. Once you place the numbers down on paper, you'll have a better idea of
    how many guests you can invite, where you'll be able to throw the event, what time of day, and all
    those other account-draining decisions.

    From personal experience, I would recommend staying away from hotels. It's easy to sink large sums
    of money into an event of this type on room rental alone. Some hotels will also not allow outside
    catering, only providing exclusive lists of over-priced catering services. These same hotels do not
    allow private* catering.

    Check into VFW or Elk Lodges, community centers, and municipal parks. Some churches (and synagogues)
    also have facilities that they're willing to lease out for events of this nature. These have their
    own problems (alcohol limitations, fer example.)

    It all ties directly into how much you want to spend and where you're willing to sink the largest
    portion of the budget.

    * This is where everyone brings a dish, potluck style.

    The Ranger
     
  8. Hahabogus

    Hahabogus Guest

    "Peter Aitken" <[email protected]> wrote in
    news:[email protected]:

    > "Julia Altshuler" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]_s52...
    >> My brother and I are planning a 50th wedding anniversary party for our parents. Among the first
    >> things we have to decide is whether to have it at his house with a rented tent and tables in the
    >> backyard or whether to have it in a hotel or restaurant. Any preliminary ideas on which would be
    >> less expensive for a comparable party, having the caterer come to the house or having the guests
    >> go to a hotel? I want some idea before I hit the yellow pages.
    >>
    >>
    >> --Lia
    >>
    >
    > I don't think you can generalize - one or the other may be more expensive depending on a host
    > of factors. Don't forget restaurants - many have private rooms that are perfect for this kind
    > of thing.
    >
    >

    Don't you first need a ball park on the number of people and the different types of
    plates...diabetic, lo sodium, vegen etc. I'm not sure that a home catered dealie could handle all of
    those. A hotel can also provide rooms for out of towners and a person to help you plan. They also
    offer several meal deals...chicken, beef plates etc...

    --
    Once during Prohibition I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water.
    --------
    FIELDS, W. C.
     
  9. Nancy Young

    Nancy Young Guest

    Julia Altshuler wrote:

    > That's a good question. We're not arguing over price, quite the contrary. We've both said we can
    > pay for more than half. I think my brother and I are using price because we don't have much else
    > to base our decisions on. We know that I like smaller parties best, but our parents like big
    > affairs. We know we want to appear generous and entertain in style, but we also know the guests
    > will mostly be in their 70s and 80s, which would mean less food, less energetic dancing, little or
    > no alcohol, earlier in the day rather than later. On the other hand, the guests might not want to
    > be treated like old folks. They might want the appearance of youth and energy. I see more
    > advantages in entertaining at a hotel. My brother likes the idea of using his house. We're both
    > agreeable. Neither of us has any real experience. With all that in mind, I thought I'd look into
    > price to see if that swayed us one way or the other.

    Here's what I'm thinking. A tent in the yard? How are the people going to handle walking through the
    grass? Once they've done that, what are the bathroom facilities going to be? More trekking across
    the lawn to get to the house to use the bathroom?

    I recently hosted a small luncheon for not such a happy occasion, and even having the bathrooms on
    different floors was a problem for some of the people who attended. All I'm saying is, consider the
    logistics when inviting people who are aged.

    My personal opinion is that you parents might be proud that you rented a room for them (laughing,
    that sounds bad), but I mean to look good in front of their friends. But I'm not them, I had other
    people in mind when I thought that. If it's going to be at home, I really can't see holding it in a
    tent. Just my you know what.

    nancy
     
  10. In article <[email protected]_s52>, Julia Altshuler
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Dawn wrote:
    >
    > > Is price your main concern for this party? Or is something else involved, like seating space at
    > > the house, or desire to not have to clean up, or wanting to use a favorite restaurant menu?

    > We know we want to appear generous and entertain in style, but we also know the guests will mostly
    > be in their 70s and 80s, which would mean less food, less energetic dancing, little or no alcohol,
    > earlier in the day rather than later. On the other hand, the guests might not want to be treated
    > like old folks. --Lia

    Unless you have estate-like lawns and gardens with uniformed servers, hotel speaks to me as more
    lavish and stylish. JMO.
    --
    -Barb, <www.jamlady.eboard.com> updated 2-10-04.
     
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