Post # 1
I had recently posted this on the knot and was literally attacked. No matter what changes I made to my ideas they called me rude and stupid. They criticized other aspects of my wedding that had nothing to do with this. I was nearly in tears when they told me that I should just elope and not have any guests. I actually left the site and I am hoping to find some constructive criticism here.
My FI and I are not very well off and paying for the entire wedidng ourself, we know we could manage a $2000 wedding. To get this out there now we got quotes from local vendors and restaurants for food, the lowest price was $900 for 30 people because it was so small they wouldn’t give us a reasonable cost per plate. I know a lot needs to be spent on food, but that is a large chunk of my wedding to go down the drain. Take out the licence fee of $140 and the officiant cost of $250 and there is about $700 left for everything else including our venue, clothing, rings, pictures and all that jazz. It just isn’t doable with such a high food cost, the food would be the only highlight of the day for anyone there and there would be nothing to remember our day.
I sat down with my mother and FI and we came out with a figure we thought was reasonable, $500. My mother offered to help prepare the food but options are still limited. I have priced things at my grocery store and feel confident this could be enough food. Everyone will have access to 3-4 small sandwiches each, two salads will be offered, pasta salads will be available, we will be able to provide each guest with one slice of lasanga (2 options) and some garlic bread. Not to mention the cake my mother has graciously volunteered to make.
To me this seems reasonable to expect as our friends and family know we don’t have that much money. But this is where the issues came up on the other site. Our wedding is set for a Wednesday (very important date to us, not willing to fight it for the sake of convenience) in the afternoon. My original plan was for the reception to begin from anywhere from 3:30 to 4:00 and continue to 5:30 at the latest, so that if my guests didn’t have enough food they could slip home for supper.
I would really like some input on how well this would be received by guests, any other affordable options I could consider that could be filling. I am not willing to move the wedding date and don’t feel an earlier wedding would be appropriate as then people would be further inconvenienced with work hours.
People said that if they were invited to a wedding like that they wouldn’t even go and if they did they wouldn’t want to be friends with the couple anymore for being so rude. I just cannot understand this, our wedding day is supposed to be a special day for us, and the guests are coming to celebrate that – not for a huge free meal. To me if I do the best I can that should be good enough for any guest if they actually have come to celebrate with us.
Post # 3
That is a full meal, lasagna, salads, bread,pasta salad maybe see if you can get some hot veggie sides or like fruit/cheese crackers/veggie dip trays and it is plenty.
Post # 4
How about having your wedding ceremony earlier in the day (in the AM) and then having a brunch reception?
This way no guests come in with the expectations for a full meal. Also, brunch is cheaper and everyone loves it! If you can swing it, you may be able to add mimosas to the deal.
I know there are some resturants out there that do a great brunch… maybe you could contact a few for price quotes and to inquire about a private room?
[ETA] BTW, the food you mentioned in your post sounds like plenty, and I wouldn’t turn my nose up at grocery store catered food… sometimes it’s better tasting than a reception hall’s food! If you plate it right, no one would know it was grocery store anyway (if that bothers you)
You may also want to look at local resturants to see if they cater. I know by me, the local pizza place caters (and it’s delicious) and the prices are by the tray. The local taco place caters as well… I think they do a build-your-own things. Yum!
[ETA] OK, re-read and saw you don’t want an earlier wedding. Sorry!
(I would have to miss work to make your wedding anyway in all likelyhood, so I think that you won’t loose too many people if you do think about doing it earlier.)
You can also try to cater your own food to save a bit of money, or do a combo of the two. Make (ahead of time if you can) something like a green salad, pasta salad, roasted veggies, maybe a quiche or something; and then cater the main dishes like lasagna and sandwiches.
It takes up a bit more time, but might leave you some wiggle room in the rest of your budget.
Post # 5
@JessicaJupiter: Another option is homemade appitzers for a cocktail dinner. I know for the super bowl we make tons of finger food that is super cool and cheap and most can be made the day before and reheated so you would just need tins to serve stuff in. Another option is a early wedding with a lunch reception or breakfast because people except less food for those meals.
Post # 6
Just curious as to when the ceremony is, if the reception is starting at 4pm? Also.. If the reception is only 1-5hrs long, and you say you don’t want the food to be the only thing the guests remember, what else will be going for that hour and a half besides eating?
Not trying to be snarky or anything, I’m just trying to get a better picture of what you envision for your day.
Post # 7
Sounds like enough food to me…
I recently went to a cocktail wedding and there was less food then that there, and I was STARVING.
Post # 8
First of all – Welcome to the Bee!!! It’s not all rainbows and unicorns over here, but I’ve found it to be much less aggressive than the knot (I also had a bad experience and never went back to that site).
Second – you don’t need to serve a full mean, especially at that time of day. In fact, you could just serve cake and punch! That’s probably what I would do. If you want to serve something additional, I would keep it to snacky/hors d’evoures kinds of things like the small sandwiches you mentioned, nuts, cheese and crackers, etc. This can be done DIY fairly cheaply. Also, you need some sort of beverage. Can be super cheap like lemonade from a mix. But something to drink.
I would actually stay away from the lasagna, because, to me, that seems more like you’re trying to serve a full meal as I think of lasagna as dinner food, not hors d’evoures food. But if I was given lasagna, would I be offended? Hells to the no! As a guest I’ll be happy with whatever you give me. And at that time of day I wouldn’t be expecting a full meal.
Post # 9
@JessicaJupiter: that sounds like a meal to me.
also, costco has some great fruit and veggie trays for appetizers. i would think about doing pulled pork on buns. pork shoulder is very inexpensive (it might cost you $30-40) and easy to make in the crock pot (even the day before). a few big bags of buns and you’re almost set. lasagna is a bit more expensive but can still be made ahead.
just so long as you offer your guests some food and drink, you should be good.
Post # 10
@JessicaJupiter: The food sounds fine, but I wouldn’t attend a weekday wedding. Are any of your guests traveling? If not, then that’s more doable, but if anyone has to travel, it can become a big hassle, especially for such a short event. Would it be possible to wait until that date falls on a weekend? That’s what FI and I are doing. By then, you may even be able to save more for the wedding if you wanted.
Post # 11
@CakeyP: The problem with this on a Wednesday is that people then have to take the full day off of work to come, instead of just leaving an hour or so early. I know that most of my guest list would decline if that was the case. I love the brunch idea though!
@chasesgirl: I was also considering those other trays as well, I want as many options available as I can get for the guests so no one can say there was nothing there for them. I myself had thought this was a full meal, it is certainly more than I eat for supper.
@excitedtobeMRSF: If I could get some friends to help out I guess that we could make an evening the night before of putting together some homemade appetizers.
Post # 12
I think the problem lies in that you are having your wedding during the week during working hours and you realize the date won’t work for people, but you don’t care. So no it’s not the food that is the issue- it’s your attitude. A host takes cares of her guests and scheduling your wedding on a Wednesday afternoon is self serving and frankly pretty rude. A Friday or a Sunday I could maaaaaybe understand but not a Wednesday because a bride refuses to move the date. You can have a wedding for $100 as long as you are a kind and gracious host.
Post # 13
A proper wedding reception does not even require the host to provide a meal, depending on the time of day the reception is held. A couple can host a perfectly proper reception of punch and cake after their ceremony and commit no social faux pas, as long as the event is timed in such a way that their guests do not need to forgo a meal during a meal time to participate.
What you plan to serve your guests is more than enough to be considered a meal. 🙂
As far as the date and time of your wedding, you and your FI are free to choose whatever date and time you wish. However, as I’m sure you know, by choosing the middle of the week, in the middle of the afternoon, some of the guests who may truly want to be with you to celebrate may not be able to attend due to work or other obligations. As long as you are understanding of that fact, and you are able to enjoy those who are able to attend without being too sad about those who cannot, you should be fine.
Post # 14
@JessicaJupiter: FWIW, I went to a wedding where the invitation indicated appetizers and drinks to follow the ceremony, so I knew there would not a dinner!! The apps were minimal as far as selection goes, but plentiful to feed all guests and make me ‘full’ – which, is relative per person.
It was ONE OF THE BEST WEDDINGS I have ever attended! We had so much fun dancing, and socializing, etc. I tend to not really care for or remember wedding food, so do whatever it best for you and within your budget. I truly do not feel the food selections ‘make or break’ this type of event! Just my .02 cents 🙂
Post # 15
@JessicaJupiter: Welcome to the Hive!
If I were invited to a wedding where the invitation clearly indicated the reception would start at 3:30 or 4:00 pm, I would not be expecting a full meal. You could indicate “afternoon tea reception immediately following” on your invitation. This makes it clear to your guests that your recption will be shorter and not providing a full meal.
Tea sandwiches, crudites, and some sweets are all you need. You can set uo a buffet or set up plates of goodies on each table.
Post # 16
I think the timing of your wedding makes fruit/veggie/sandwich trays completely reasonable. Will you be having the reception at a rented venue or a home reception? If you have it at someone’s home and are able to throw a couple appetizer type things in the oven M&M Meat Shop has a great selection of appetizers and hot dips you just pop in the oven to heat up if there is one near you.
I know the date is important to you, are your guests able to come to an early afternoon wedding on a Wednesday?