Post # 1
So my FI and I are planning on having a low-key, somewhat casual, outdoor wedding in spring 2015. We are on a pretty tight budget compared to many people (hoping to keep it all under $8000 at the absolute most, though I am hoping for under $5000), and we have realized that having a caterer is a humongous expense we aren’t really interested in incurring.
So, we are planning to do food by splitting the cooking between our parents and ourselves. Because of this, we need to cook something that can be frozen for a few days and still be delicious. The solution my mom and I, and my FI and I, came up with in totally separate conversations is lasagna! With a salad of local greens, maybe some kind of simple, Italian-style appetizers, and cakes made by me (I worked as a baker for 4 years and I know I can pull off making the cakes).
How does this sound for food options for ~80 people:
antipasti or other simple appetizers
Green salad made with local fresh veggies ($$, I know, but salad is important to us)
Veggie lasagnas (most of the people coming are happy to eat vegetarian food, and we are vegetarian)
A couple meat lasagnas
Gluten/dairy free option
Would you be happy with this menu? Suggestions for good gluten and dairy free things that are super yummy but easy to make ahead?
If you don’t like these ideas, do you have suggestions for other mostly vegetarian food we could do ourselves?
My FI’s family lives near us, and we’ll be having the wedding possibly in the field by our house, so heating food up won’t be a problem (3 ovens available within 1/4 mile of the wedding site).
Post # 3
Where in New England do you want to get married? I know your question is about food but do you have a venue? Like if the field doesn’t work out…?
Anyway, we got married in Portsmouth, NH. For our rehearsal dinner, we rented the big pavilian at Stratham Hill Park, in Stratham, NH, for $150 for the entire day. Their policy is basically just clean up after yourself — you can bring anything, including alcohol. They had electricity, so you could plug things in if you wanted, and bathrooms right there.
For food for that, we had Moe’s Italian Sandwiches and Mini lobster rolls from the Beach Plum…total cost for food was about $400 for 75 people.
Post # 4
I think this sounds like a great idea.
I am on a small budget, higher than yours but definantly still a budget. [we’re hoping to spend under 22k, with rings, honeymoon & all parties/festivities].
We are actually having the bulk of our dinner catered by fazolis, our menu consists of :
cherry apply almost salad
classic ceasar salad
[salads will be buffet style, and have an assortment of toppings & dressings]
classic chicken noodle
itailian style wedding
[there will also be an assortment of bread bowls & buns available, as well as a bowl of breadsticks on every table]
toasted ravioli [kid friendly]
cheese stuffed pizza sticks [kid friendly]
twice baked lasagna
chicken brocolli penne
baked chicken penne & pepper
for dessert we’ll be having wedding cake & a dessert/candy buffet.
Post # 5
@Creiddylad: I think our menu sounds great. You can get 4 large pans of lasagna in one oven, 12 in 3 ovens if you don’t need the space for the other option. Each pan would serve 8 people so that is 96 pieces of lasgana.
I would make sure to hire someone to do the baking/ reheating and transport of the pans of lasagne. This is not a job that should take any of you away from the wedding.
You could do a veggie chili recipe for a gluten free option.
If you are trying to keep costs down, I wouldn’t even bother with the meat lasagne.
Post # 6
@peachacid: We’re meeting with a guy who’s in charge of a summer camp with really nice grounds and a lovely, rustic dining hall, a few miles down the road from us in northern Vermont, in a couple weeks. So far that’s our other venue alternative if it’s comparable in cost to renting a tent and bathroom things for our field. We’ll find out if that’ll work soon. . . honestly I’d rather have it at the summer camp, but if they charge more than $500-1000 we won’t be able to do it.
I guess another food alternative for us is seeing if the local food coop could do food for us, which I forgot to mention before. I don’t know how much that would cost.
Post # 7
@jenilynevette: I like your idea of doing buffet salads with different toppings. I will be remembering that. 🙂
@julies1949: We will be hiring a couple of people to help with food logistics/serving, so I guess they can be in charge of heating up the lasagne.
I’m waiting for people to come and say they wouldn’t be happy without a meat lasagna. . . it’s nice to hear you say you don’t think it would be necessary!
Post # 8
@Creiddylad: Tent rentals can be VERY expensive…I would check into that now so you can easily do cost comparisons when you meet with Summer Camp Guy. I AM SO JEALOUS YOU LIVE IN NORTHERN VERMONT by the way. Also I know it’s not Northern Vermont but I went to Camp Farnsworth in Thetford, Vermont, for years…it’s near White River Junction.
I think the idea of an awesome, veggie rich salad sounds great. You could add some sort of local cheese… That doesn’t involve a lot of cooking, either. Then you could have the lasagna you mentioned. If you have a tent, you could get those trays with those little blue fires under them. And then some growlers of Hill Farmstead and some cans of Heady Topper and…I’ll PM you my address so I can RSVP immediately. =)
Post # 9
@Creiddylad: Most people wouldn’t even notice the absence of meat in a really good veggie lasagna. Meat is what drives up the cost of the dish.
Post # 10
@peachacid: HEEHEE!!! I love that you remembered our conversation about beer from a month ago. 😀 We will have to get some of Hill Farmstead’s beer. 🙂 And yes, I love living in VT! The job market is not so good though. . .
The local fire department actually owns some big tents, which usually get used once a year by Antiques and Uniques, this big antique and craft fair that happens on Craftsbury Common (2 miles from our house) each summer (it’s fun! You should come sometime if you’re into that kind of thing 🙂 ). So I think the tents would not be hugely expensive, and I would try and borrow tables and chairs from the school or church rather than renting those. I will inquire about the tent rental and setup/breakdown before meeting with Camp Guy. And yes, keeping the food hot might get interesting, I like the idea of the trays with flames underneath!
@julies1949: Good to hear! And yes, meat would be pretty expensive.
Post # 11
I think that is an EXCELLENT menu. We did lasagnas for our rehearsal dinner. DH’s mom got all her “ladies” to volunteer to make a lasgna or salad. It worked out really well.:)
Post # 12
@Creiddylad: I know you want to keep costs down, and do it yourself, but some things being done for you make everything SO much easier. Also, you have a lot of time to plan. You can save another couple of thousand dollars between now and your wedding…so to me, it makes sense to plan to have things done for you to make the day easier.
For example…I planned to do all my own flowers. We ordered them online, and I thought — great, when they’re at my parents’ house, I’ll snip the stems and put them in the jars I painted, and it’ll be awesome. Um…no. What actually happened was the boxes of flowers arrived, and I froze. I told my mom or my best friend or SOMEONE something like, “I cannot do the flowers. I just can’t.” If I had had to do them myself, at that point, there would have been no flowers at the wedding. So, my maid of honor/best friend, other best friend, and this random girl I invited at the last minute stepped up and put together all the centerpieces and bouquets, and even made boutonnieres for my dad and grandfather. Having someone do things for you will seriously make everything easier!!
Oh…there always seem to be a lot of teaching jobs available in Vermont. Are you interested in that at all?
Post # 13
@Creiddylad: This is one of my favorite weddings ever. This was a budget DIY wedding that was featured in The National Post (Canadian Newspaper). They borrowed their tables and chairs from the local community hall and built their palette around the chairs.
Post # 14
@peachacid: Yeah. . . I guess we’ll have to figure out what we can manage to do ourselves, and what needs to be done by others. It’s still 18 months away or so. I was thinking my mom and I could do the flowers ourselves, but it turns out that my parents want to pay for the flowers. So we might get flowers from a wonderful florist my FI knows, rather than doing them ourselves.
I’m presently a graduate student with about $300 in savings, and a temporary job, so saving is hard. I’ll soon be done with classes and will be able to work more though. I hope I can save $2000 before the wedding!
I used to be interested in the idea of teaching, but I’m not great with kids and I’m a field botanist/ecologist by training and inclination (and will have a Master’s in that by the time we get married). I’m hoping for a job that uses my ecology and botany skills, looking for rare plants all over the state. <– My dream job! I guess if I taught, it would have to be at a community college or something, and I don’t have enough experience for that right now. Maybe in a few years. 🙂
Post # 15
@tentwelvethirteen: Yay for lasagna!!
@julies1949: Wow, they did a beautiful job!! Thanks for the inspiration!
Post # 16
@peachacid: Beach plum is SO good. Great choice!