I can guarantee that good percentage of people that read this may ask themselves, "Where is Osterville?" It is a quaint little village in Barnstable, MA with heaps of "old money" and traditional Cape Cod charm. Although I have lived my entire life in Massachusetts, I had never heard of, let alone stepped foot in Osterville until last weekend when I worked at a wedding at Oyster Harbors Club; a private, members only club.
Let me preface this review by saying that it is based solely on my experience as an outside vendor working at the club - not as a member or guest. I work as an assistant for a boutique event planning and consultation firm, and we recently coordinated a wedding reception held at this venue.
The club itself is beautiful - tall ceilings, crown molding, beautiful carpets and hardwood floors, a large ballroom, a fabulous patio with gorgeous lawns and water views... even the bathrooms were gorgeous! It was easy to see why the couple fell in love with this venue. The bride's family had a close friend who was a member and offered to sponsor the couple (non-members) so they could have their wedding there.
It was apparent that the catering staff and management was not accustomed to working with outside coordinators, but overall, things went smoothly.
Here's my biggest complaint about this venue: During a wedding, vendors (wedding coordinators, assistants, DJ's, band members, etc.) are offered dinner. Vendors typically work a 10-15 hour day for a wedding and don't have another opportunity to eat, so many of them actually require a meal in their contracts; it is considered standard practice in the industry. They are usually fed whatever meal the guests receive, or a suitable, albeit less expensive alternative consisting of a protein, vegetable and starch. The hosts of the wedding are charged for each vendor meal that is ordered.
That being said, my colleagues and I sat down to have our meal during this wedding and were completely shocked when we were offered a lunch-sized portion chicken Caesar salad! We weren't even given bread or water to accompany the meal! Normally, I would not complain but since we coordinated the wedding, we were well aware of how much money the bride and groom paid for each vendor meal... and a chicken Caesar salad was simply unacceptable for the price they were charged.
While I would not consider myself an "expert" in the food service industry, but I have worked for a number of higher end restaurants, yacht clubs and catering companies in Boston and Martha's Vineyard over the last 10 years. Never in my experience as an assistant or even as a server was I ever given salad to sustain me through a 12 hour workday. I sincerely hope that Oyster Harbors Club does not make this practice routine, and I urge those who plan to hold an event at this venue to request a detailed cost breakdown for the guest and vendor meals from management.