Looking to save money on your wedding? Think about doing your own food — depending on the size of your guest count, that is. Learn how to cater your own wedding while knowing when (and if) you should.
Should you cater your wedding?
As a bride, you may be asking yourself questions like, “Should I cater my own wedding?” “How to cater your own wedding?” or “Is it cheaper to cater your own wedding?” However, one thing you need to consider is the size of your wedding reception.
Weddings have become smaller and smaller these days. As a result, more couples opt to cater their weddings, but handling all the food and drinks for a large wedding would be crazy and way too stressful.
Consequently, if you’re having a more intimate wedding with, say, 10-20 people? That can be done if you have a plan and are prepared. If you want to save money on your wedding day and cater your own wedding, here are some tips to help you pull it off.
4 Tips on How to Cater Your Own Wedding
1. Plan a simple wedding menu.
You’re probably not a professional chef. Conversely, if you are, you still might not want to be worried about high-end meals on your big day.
For your wedding menu, stick with something simple and crowd-pleasing that is easy to tackle or that others can help you with. You don’t want something that is too time-consuming. It also should be dishes that you have prepared before.
You can even go with a few store-bought bag salads or things that require little prep to make it easier while still saving on the cost of your meals.
A sample wedding menu could be:
- Hors d’oeuvres: Homemade flatbreads and a charcuterie board
- Salad: Simple garden salad and veggie tray
- Main Dish: Crockpot short ribs and roasted potatoes
2. Write out your catering preparations.
Unless you are getting married in your own home, you will need to think about how you will transport, cook, and store the food. If you are traveling with your food, make sure you choose dishes that will travel well.
If you are cooking the food at the venue, make sure you have the supplies needed to make all of it. Also, ensure that you have a place to store all of your food once it is prepped, as an apartment-sized fridge might not be enough room.
3. Ask for help catering your wedding.
Ask family members or friends to help out with the food prep or even help you heat it up on the wedding day. There may be family members looking for ways to help. Therefore, this could be a great opportunity for them to be involved in your big day.
You don’t need the entire wedding party in charge of food. As a result, just assign a small group dedicated to preparing the food or setting out on your special day.
4. Hire extra servers to help during your wedding reception.
More people power will be an additional cost. However, hiring people to serve your food or handle the drinks can help you avoid crowds and ensure everyone gets fed and served.
Extra hands are especially helpful during cocktail hour, where everyone will be gathered in one area. For a small wedding guest list, you may only need one or two servers at most.
Save how to cater your own wedding!
If you are planning on catering your own wedding, there are many things you can do to make it easier for both yourself and your guests. You don’t need to spend hundreds per person on a small wedding on a budget.
Additionally, with a little prep work, you can easily enjoy a special meal with your closest friends and family. And it doesn’t have to cost a lot of time or money.
Photos: Josh Kobayashi, Tara Winstead, Kamil Kalbarczyk, Tima Miroshnichenko
Ntensibe EdgarHhhhmmm…I didn’t even imagine this was possible. Planning a simple wedding menu shed some light unto my doubt. Thanks for sharing this.
pooja MalkaniWedding is a event of lifetime for many and one should save money for it. The D day deserves all kind of attention
Mayi agree, it’s better to have more servers and have trouble attending to what’s needed attending because of lack of manpower. it can ruin a wedding.
khoingn | The Broad LifeVery good tips to couples who are going to have wedding. I just want to know this earlier to apply for my wedding haha.
ChristineWhat a great way to save money and to make the wedding small and intimate. I like that idea.
KimberleyThese tips are great! My husband and I decided that getting married was really about just the two of us and we got married on the beach with only 4 guests. We went to a restaurant after and partied all night and spent less than $1000. It was still the best choice we made!
Ntensibe EdgarOh yes, writing a simple wedding menu is the biggest key! Many weds complicate these things and end up spending so much for less!
Maria Niezgoda AzanhaThis is such a useful article! I am actually going to share it with my bride clients! I notice more and more brides go on budget now- so these tips are super! And Catering and flowers are usually the most expensive elements right? Great article!
MonidipaWow, this article on catering your own wedding is a real game-changer! I never thought it was possible, but the tips and advice given here make it seem doable and even fun. Kudos to you.
Sonia SeivwrightThese are really good tips. I will use some of them while planning my wedding.
AlitaWow, This will help a lot of people who want to save money. Wedding can be so expensive and Im looking for ways to save money from it.
Rose Ann SalesImagine saving a lot. This is a really great and very helpful post! Thanks for sharing this with us
Neely MoldovanI honestly feel like the food at weddings like this is so much better! Love this!
Dynamic Agentseverything in life should start with coffee. lol great read. got a lot of good tips for our special day