Post # 1
We rented an outdoor pavilion and we can do whatever we want from decor, alcohol, food, etc.
I’m going to have a couple different beers, wines, and maybe 3 different pre mixed drinks out for self service
I’m considering diy-ing the appetizers/desserts and getting different types of foods for stations. But I think it may be more work than I think?
I was planning on making the cheese/fruit/cracker platters which should be easy- just prepare it the day before (with help), put in a cooler, and have someone to set it out. Also set out platters of shrimp cocktail and make caprese kabobs. Is this enough for apps?? Would a stationary hot app be a good idea?
We were looking into having food stations and found wedding caterers to be soooo expensive, we are on a budget and trying to do as much as we can ourselves. Was considering getting maybe 3 different types of foods (ex. Indian, Italian, Mexican, Asian, etc) and doing or own stations. Would just have to hire a person for each station, I have a friend at a culinary school and thought that may be a good place to find workers.
I plan to hire a day of coordinator….But wondering if this will all be to much stress and too much to take on? Has anyone tried DIY for food??
This topic was modified 2 years, 4 months ago by Kerrierou.
Post # 2
So long as you work out logistics it sounds like a great idea.
Post # 3
Kerrierou: we did stations (Mexican, Italian, salad bar) and I couldn’t have imagined doing it ourselves. Our venue used a great affordable caterer and we didn’t do a thing! Maybe there’s a more affordable option you just haven’t found yet? Our local community college has their own catering dept in their culinary arts programs!
Post # 4
I did DIY for our food, but we kept it a lot simpler. The appetizer ideas sound good, but the food stations sound like a lot of work. Some things to think about:
How many pots/pans will you need to cook 3 different styles of food?
Once the food is cooked do you have enough space in your fridge to store it?
Who will heat it up and transport it to the site?
Do you have chafing dishes to keep it hot once it’s at the venue?
Have you included the costs of plates napkins etc in your budget?
At the end of the reception who cleans up? Even if your culinary students pack up all your serving dishes does the venue have a sink to wash them or are you going to come home to a ton of dirty dishes?
Have you talked to the culinary school about catering? A lot of them will give you very good deals because it gives the students practice, and they are supervised by their teachers so you still get a quality product.
if you do decide to DIY food I would keep it as simple as possible, stick with one style of food, preferably something easy to make and transport.
Post # 5
Thank you everyone for the replies!
If we were to do this we would get the food pre made from local restaurants and either picked up or delivered to the venue already in the tin serving trays. Would keep hot in stands with sterno. This would keep the cost down vs catering. Would purchase the disposable plates/forks/etc that look real. Would make the apps, desserts, maybe large salad ourselves (with help). I also did find businesses that just does service. $30/hr per server. For 4+ hours, 3 servers that would be $400-$500. They do buffet/table set up, plating, tray passing, seated food and wine service, clearing, maintenance, and clean up. I wouldn’t have seated service, but would use then for cake serving and champagne toast. I would have them put the left over food in coolers.
We don’t have much options besides a bbq catering company since its at an outdoor pavilion with no kitchen. I’ve found them for $30-$40+ per person but I doubt they will put out our apps and drinks.
Weighing our options
Post # 6
I would get a quote from the restaurants that you were planning to order from and compare it to your current diy option. Some small restaurants do catering even though they don’t advertise it, and often it’s pretty affordable. It could end up being the same price but without you having to do all the organizing work!