The Accidental Bride on Catering

You asked for it: New to Last Girl Standing, a few notes now and then on planning for my upcoming nuptials, along with regular communiqués from the nightlife front. Hey, I’m not settled down yet.

For a girl who’s spent her adult years attending and writing about lavish openings and parties, you’d think this wedding planning stuff would come naturally.

Think again…

You asked for it: New to Last Girl Standing, a few notes now and then on planning for my upcoming nuptials, along with regular communiqués from the nightlife front. Hey, I’m not settled down yet.

For a girl who’s spent her adult years attending and writing about lavish openings and parties, you’d think this wedding planning stuff would come naturally.

Think again.

We had our first meeting with a caterer on Tuesday night. There are a few things I’ve learned so far about kosher catering, including lesson number one: There aren’t many choices out there since some hotels no longer work with kosher caterers (Four Seasons), and most of the hotels that do have exclusive contracts with Danziger Kosher Catering, which isn’t cheap. Harrumph.

We’ve been looking into having the wedding at the new Spertus Institute, one reason being they use Wolfgang Puck kosher catering, so you know the food is good. I fell in love with the ultramodern space and its breathtaking view of the city, only to find out that the capacity for a sit-down dinner (225) didn’t match our guest list (significantly upwards of that), and that kosher catering means a kosher bar, which means no Effen Black Cherry vodka—or any other flavored vodka, for that matter, anywhere. I can kiss Red Bull goodbye, too.

That was the closest I’ve come to tears so far. Some girls cry over cake; I know the value of a premium open bar. I’ve belabored the point so extensively that I think my mom is this close to calling AA.

But some things are non-negotiable, so I’ve learned there’s no use in losing sleep over them (don’t call the producers of Bridezillas, just yet). In our case, the wedding has to take place on a Sunday since both of our families observe Shabbat; it has to be kosher; and attendance won’t be less than 300 (the Fiancé’s family is huge, and I’m way too social).

After checking out Danziger in Lincolnwood, we headed straight to Wrigleyville Tuesday night for the grand opening of the new Harry Caray’s Tavern (look for a full review in my “Nightspotting” column in the June issue of Chicago magazine). Once there, conversation went from stuffed chicken breasts to toasted ravioli in about five seconds flat. There’s nothing kosher about chowing down at Harry Caray’s. As for the sculpture of Caray’s head—rendered in ice and doing double duty as a vodka-martini luge—as long as the vodka’s not flavored, it qualifies as kosher. Though not necessarily wedding material.

Caray’s widow, the adorable Dutchie Caray, was at the party, and after we were introduced, we got to talking about marriage. She told me she was married to the late Cubs announcer for 25 years. Twenty-five years! I had to ask for marital advice. “Stay close and love each other,” she said. OK, that’s the easy part. Now let’s get back to the bigger issues, like how I’m going to sneak a case of Effen Black Cherry into my wedding.

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