Down-home BBQ

Before we were engaged, Brian and I didn't really spend too much time talking about our future wedding. I think we both knew it was going to happen, but since he's not a big planner and I've never been the girl to have every detail of my wedding planned since age ten, we only had brief conversations here and there about what we wanted our big day to be like. Fortunately, we each had two things that were important to us and they happened to be the same: outdoors and BBQ.

Okay, so probably not the first two things that come to mind for most people. But we knew it was important to us. The only thing I have had planned since age ten (and probably long before) was that I wanted to be married outdoors. Maybe that stems from camping for the first time at seven months... I don't know. I have just always known that was what I wanted. The BBQ idea came up later, but seemed like the perfect way to incorporate our love for the outdoors and love of good food. We want this day to be all about love, fun, and family- what says that more than pulled pork and a backyard wedding? Not much, we think.

Even more important to Brian was that we didn't have just any pulled pork- he wanted a full blown pig roast. So we set out looking for companies that offered this slightly odd wedding menu request. In the end, it came down to two companies, just like our DJ selection. Maybe 2 is the lucky number? One company was more of a one-man show than a company- while he had a small staff it was a very personal catering company with limited choices. The second was a larger catering company/restaurant with a lot more options and higher prices. Since I'm trying to cut down on how long my posts are (and preventing you from utter boredom), I'll cut to the chase: while we love supporting small business, we ended up going with the larger catering company. But since I'm an over-sharer, I'm still going to tell you why:
  1. The company is called Uncle Bub's. Okay, that isn't really why we chose them, but how perfect is that name?
  2. Way more options. The other company had a great menu, but it was pretty limited- we would literally have had pork, chicken, salad, and two sides. The rolls would double as buns for the sandwiches, and when I asked if we could add something like cornbread for an additional charge, he said probably not but we were welcome to bring our own. Hmmmm. Bub's not only provided more side dish options, but they also provide rolls, tortillas and cornbread- you can't really have a BBQ without cornbread.
  3. They can do a taste test. Granted, we've already paid our deposit since our schedules didn't work out and we wanted to secure the date, but they are making everything on our wedding menu AND a few extra sides in case we taste something we like better than what we've chosen. When I asked the other company if we could do a taste test, he said that we were more than welcome to attend any public event he was the caterer for. I don't want to knock him- he was very nice, but I'd like to be able to try our food and make sure we don't want to change up the menu.
  4. Uncle Bub's was only a few hundred dollars extra. They really worked with us on keeping costs down, including reducing the cost of the chicken and suggesting a few other money-saving alterations that wouldn't change the appearance or taste of our meal. So when the estimate still came out over $600 higher than the other company, I was pretty bummed. But then I realized Uncle Bub's already had their gratuity included while the other guys didn't- after some quick math we realized we were only saving about $200 if we went with the company with less options. And we'd much rather save that money somewhere else than risk having our food not turn out amazing.
We have our tasting scheduled for next week- they actually do pig roasts in the restaurant on Thursdays so we'll be able to taste exactly what we'll have on the wedding day. Jay, our coordinator, is also having them make a few extra sides just in case we want to switch our menu around. For now, it looks like our menu will look a bit like this:

Roast Pork (pulled pork sandwiches, etc).
Marinated, grilled chicken breast
Red potatoes with butter and parsley (or potatoes au gratin if we like them better!)
Kernel corn (unless I can convince Brian to go for green bean almondine)
Baked beans
Tossed salad with Ranch, French, or Raspberry Vinaigrette
Gourmet sandwich buns, mini cornbread muffins, flour tortillas
Pickles, honey, butter

The pig will be roasted whole and for the last hour and a half it will be smoked on site. Then the "pit crew" will do a carving presentation where they will answer guest questions and allow everyone to try different parts of the pig. Well, by everyone, I pretty much mean anyone who dares. I'm still not even sure if I'll be able to watch, but I'm certainly excited for all of the piggy goodness which will follow! 

This past week has been so productive on the wedding front- I hope this trend continues! And get ready, my Filofax friends, tomorrow's post will be all about how Mr. Malden can't stay out of the wedding planning action!