Congratulations! I applaud you for embracing diversity and equality. You should also derive great pleasure from your contribution to the special day of a happy gay couple who have until recently, only dreamed of being given the opportunity to wed. This is not only a significant step towards acceptance of gay men and women in our society, but is a fantastic opportunity for you to make money as a caterer.
I’d like to share some tips with you for a successful event. You should be aware that many gay weddings will be composed of the same elements as those of straight couples. But, there are some inherent differences in the celebratory habits of gays and lesbians and knowing this in advance will help you to make the event a hit, and contribute to your bottom line as a food professional.
GAY MEN'S WEDDINGS
1. THE BAR
Let’s begin with stocking the bar. This is going to be the most important element of this wedding. Gay men judge the success of an event not by the buzz exchanged between the guests after the party, but rather by the buzz the party gives them. This means that you must stock top shelf liquors. Do not try to be cheap because the client will know immediately. Gay men demand quality cocktails and will inspect the seals on your bottles to ensure they have not been watered down. Allow ample space at the venue for your bar set-up, and recruit handsome servers. As for mixers, you won’t need to go overboard. I suggest stocking only lots of cranberry juice. You’ll need more cosmos at your gay wedding than you’d get by wringing out Carrie Bradshaw over a bathtub. Don't overlook sliced limes, oranges, berries and mint leaves needed for proper garnishes.
2. THE CAKE
A wedding cake at a gay man’s wedding is a lot like Reichen Lehmkuhl, fantastically gorgeous but without any real purpose. If it's a big wedding, a large wedding cake is symbolic if nothing else and should not be overlooked. However, you should understand that gay men don't eat wedding cake, especially before hitting a dance floor. Plan on allowing only enough cake to serve to the parents of the grooms, children, and any token straight couples. Anything more is a waste. You may wish to rent a realistic styrofoam cake to display, and for picture opportunities. Later you can wheel the cake into the prep area where you will slice up a real sheet cake for serving.
3. THE DINNER
The fact that dinner will largely be ignored is a good thing (see reasons above for not eating wedding cake). Be sure to charge your clients the full premium for each guest and realize that food is the cash cow of any gay men's wedding. You need to only plan about one-fifth of the usual food allotment when serving a crowd of gay men. Don't worry about the small number of men who won't be dancing. Those not on the dance floor will be busy flirting with the bartenders. Food and flirting do not mix.
4. THE SHIRT CHECK
No, I did not mean to say, “coat check.” Gay men will likely wish to check their shirts and hang them properly before hitting the dance floor. Provide racks and wooden hangers for this purpose. Charge a minimum of $4 per item checked.
5. BATHROOM ATTENDANTS
Gay weddings require bathroom attendants to offer hand towels to guests as they leave. This is also another opportunity to make a good deal of cash by stocking the sink areas with lots of menthol cigarettes, gum, breath mints, and pads of paper and pencils for exchanging phone numbers.
If you are to make your lesbian event a success you need to understand a few basic differences. You will need to focus less on the bar. Stock the bar heavily with white wine and mojitos and don't skimp on pretzels and peanuts to snack on. As for food, you cannot serve the same menu you might offer for a male crowd; lesbians will likely be disappointed with boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Instead, you should plan on large pans of spinach lasagna and garlic bread. Your female parties will also appreciate artichoke dips, hummus, and chicken livers. The same goes for the wedding cake—make it spectacular and plentiful! But we aware that lesbians favor environmentally friendly events. You must make sure that the cake’s height does not become a problem when transported in a Prius. Also, be sure to designate an outdoor relief area for the many dogs and cats that will be in attendance.
You are now ready to dive into the burgeoning world of gay weddings! Gays are a loyal group of people. Once you have demonstrated your ability to razzle dazzle, you will have clients for life. Be sure to distribute professional looking business cards to your clients and to their friends. Before long your calendar will be booked full with weddings, showers for babies (and their donors), and gay divorce parties.
*ON A SERIOUS AND JOYFUL NOTE!*
While writing this post, I was completely thrilled to learn that CONGRATULATIONS go out to Matt & Adam for officially tying the knot today! Many of you may know Matt from Mattbites. Ed and I have shared a few meals with Matt and Adam, and there is no denying their infectiously warm, engaging, and amiable personalities. I can't help but smile to realize that our government now recognizes their love for each other as being no more, or no less valid, than the love exchanged between any other two people in a committed, loving relationship. This day is so very long overdue! I am so happy for Matt and Adam. I wish you both continued love, health, and happiness in your married life together!