[photos to come…]
As I mentioned, all Mount Woodson Castle events are catered by Personal Touch Dining. One of our original thoughts when planning our wedding was to choose a venue that would allow us to bring in any caterer we wanted (we wanted Cavaillon to cater it, since we love their food and Luc’s Bistro AND they were super affordable), but this proved to be nearly impossible. I wasn’t willing to compromise enough on venue location and overall “feel” just to be able to bring in my own catering. I didn’t want to have to decorate a community center rec room and I certainly wasn’t going to get married in Marina Village where it smelled like, well, a marina when you walked outside.
Please note: I completely admit to being a snob about my venue “wants” and if we had serious budget limitations for choosing a venue, I probably would have been more open. We attended a nice party in Marina Village before our wedding and, while it did smell vaguely of fish outside, the room was well-decorated and we had a lot of fun. But I’m glad we didn’t get married there. If YOU got married there, I’m sure it was lovely and that you also had more patience and creativity than I do about decorating a space. We are not decorators. We’re two engineers living together. My improvement on Travis’ “design” of our backyard was to throw in curves and round patio areas because he had drawn everything with straight angles. That was about all the creative input we really have.
I also admit to having huge reservations about being tied to Personal Touch Dining, because the few reviews on Yelp talked about how awesome they were at providing burgers and tacos at someone’s wedding. You see how I might be concerned? We wanted short ribs (shut up, they aren’t too trendy; they’re delicious) and butternut ravioli and halibut. I wanted a gorgeous spring-seasonal salad and sides that were delicious. To me, the food was as important as anything else. I wanted a caterer I knew and I wanted reviews that sounded promising.
Let me tell you, Tracy and her team gave us an amazing wedding dinner.
We actually got to taste their food at an open house at Mount Woodson, a few months before our official tasting (who are you people who find caterers who do tastings before you book them??) Short ribs were there, along with some other items I don’t really remember because I had 2 glasses of champagne, some ice cream, and all on top of an actual dinner beforehand.
At our tasting, we had settled on short ribs, butternut ravioli, and halibut with a lemon-butter sauce (basically the menu I wanted from Cavaillon that we pushed to every venue/caterer we talked to). We had an asparagus salad and a fruit salad. Grilled veggies and mashed potatoes. The short ribs were delicious, which made me happy. We actually tried halibut and sea bass, but we didn’t really like either. The halibut was dry, the sea bass too mushy. I LOVED the fruit salad as our second salad choice, since it was way better than a second green salad.
We had picked a fish dish because we had vegetarian-ish people who didn’t eat meat but would eat fish. We decided to just let them eat their ravioli and be happy about it, but I didn’t want to serve chicken instead of fish. We ended up with a pork tenderloin that we didn’t taste until our wedding dinner.
Oh! We also had 3 passed appetizers during cocktail hour: chicken panko skewers with a peanut sauce, bacon-wrapped shrimp in a spicy remoulade, and tomato soup shooters with a grilled cheese point. All three were delicious, but the bacon-wrapped shrimp was my favorite. How they got the bacon nice and crisp without ending up with a rubbery shrimp is beyond me. But they did. After we tasted those, I almost wished we had done a bunch of appetizers instead of a full dinner.
All our table rentals, linens, chairs, blah blah blah came through Personal Touch Dining, too. Including the oh-so-expensive patio heaters. $90 a pop and we neeeded 5 to make sure no one would be in a cold spot. I wanted to cry when it turned out warm enough that evening that we didn’t even need the heaters! But, it was also better than worrying about whether our guests would be too cold. That was one of my mom’s concerns when I told her we were going to hold dinner outside on the lawn instead of inside where the ceremony took place. In the end, that turned out to be a great decision, too, because it would have been crazy for staff to tear down the ceremony, set up dinner tables, then tear it down for dancing. I’m very happy with how we ended up placing everything.
Our wedding dinner was fantastic. At least, that’s what people kept telling me. And, either Personal Touch Dining is spot on when estimating food amounts, or our guests ate a lot, because there were very few leftover containers that came home with us.
All along, I kept saying that I would be a bride who ate on her wedding day. We had picked out this amazing menu, we were sitting at our own little table by ourselves, and I told my sweet husband that people could wait for us to eat before we started being social. Despite all this, I barely took a few bites of food all night! I wanted to, I really did, I just wasn’t hungry! Not for dinner, not for wedding pie, not even for the mini donuts I had been so excited for! Okay, I did eat a bag of mini donuts, but that was out of sheer determination!
I highly recommend Tracy and Personal Touch Dining for catering. Not only are their set menus hugely affordable, but I consider our custom menu to have been more than reasonable, too. Plus, the catering staff was prompt, friendly, and efficient.