We visited two places today and talked over their sites with the banquet managers. One was the Stardust, where we ate Saturday night. The other was the Waterford banquet center at Fair Oaks. I think we had already made up our minds to go with the Stardust when we went to the Waterford, but though we should at least see one other place. The Waterford had a nice all-inclusive package that originally attracted us. It’s quite a good deal, however, the center really didn’t have the personality of the Stardust.
We had visited Marco Polo last week to see if we liked it as a reception site. The food was good, if out of our normal eating-out price range, so I arranged to meet with the banquet manager today. However, after seeing the Stardust Restaurant last weekend, we decided to cancel that meeting, and meet with the Stardust manager instead.
A few points we talked about:
- They’ve been in business almost 6 years, and last year did about 10 receptions and closed down the restaurant for other meetings several times.
- They were available Sept 19 or Oct 2; sadly, not Sept 26, which is the date I was shooting for. Oh well…it’s not like I was set on that date; it just seemed like a good compromise between having the wedding late enough that Dave and Jen’s baby will hopefully be old enough to travel and early enough that it doesn’t run into the Minnesota reception.
- Our party would probably have 3 servers plus, maybe, one more for the bar or to just help out where needed.
- Parking is usually not a problem on Sundays. In fact, she described that part of town as a ghost town on Sundays.
- They don’t require a deposit, though neither do they have a contract. In some ways this is a little worrisome, since we have no guarantee that they will hold the restaurant for us. On the other hand, they don’t have any hidden fees — no cake-cutting fee or corking fee, etc.
- We’ll choose 4 entrees from the menu, and guests will be able to choose what they want when they reach the reception — there will be no foisting entrees on guests that they had to choose a month earlier.
- We can choose to have a few appetizers out for the guests for the time before Andrew and I arrive.
Overall, I think we quite liked the manager. When I asked her to tell me about something that’s gone wrong, she admitted that sometimes there is a delay in getting the appetizers out, since they don’t want to have them just sitting out when only one or two people has arrived. They are working to solve this by hiring a sous chef who is better at managing people than the chef.