Post # 1
So, my fiance and I went to go look at a reception hall yesterday..it’s pretty enough, only $500 to rent and $15 pp for catering, with $1.15 pp for unlimited soft drink refills. Not bad. On the plus side, if we book before Jan. 1st, those prices are locked in. He promised is that in 2014 that would be raised. And as another plus, he’s throwing most of the decorations in. The only thing I want that they don’t have are little touches of gold here and there and napkins.
The thing is, that’s $3700 alone, not including entertainment ($900), photography ($900) and other things we want/need. We’re already over our $5,000 budget.
On the other hand, nearby is this gorgeous cabin, with a fireplace..it’ll fit our 200 people, it has indoor and outdoor, $300 to rent. They provide tables and chairs, have a full kitchen and grills, but we’d have to bring in tablecloths, napkins, and dinnerware. Plus we’d have to bump up the time by an hr (reception would have to be 4-9) because cleanup has to start at 10 and everyone has to be out by 10:30. But if I can save at least $2,000 I’ll be a happy camper.
Oh, just fyi, I wouldn’t be making the food. Nor would I be cleaning up. We had been planning on an outdoor wedding so I’ve already talked to the women (mothers, aunts, etc.) and they’re willing to cook while the men are willing to grill. And then cleaning afterwards.
Post # 3
I’d go with the venue that includes catering if I were you. It’s an amazing price and then your family and friends can have more time to enjoy the wedding instead of having to cook and clean. By the time you rent all of the items you need and pay for food, I don’t think you’ll save that much money. Will your families have to serve the food too?
Post # 4
@snd485: Well, the problem is we’ve already gone over budget with things that we need because of the food. Plus we wouldn’t be renting, we’d be buying for a pretty good price and selling it after. And no, they wouldn’t, it would be on a buffet table.
Post # 5
@snd485: Go with catering. As PP said after renting all the stuff needed to cater your own event you will come out only saving a few hundred dollars in the end. I was looking into doing this for a long time but instead found a cheap catering option. My catere cost 11/ per person.
Post # 6
I’m big on being frugal, and like to cook. I’ve carried in full meals at work to say “thank you” for one thing or another (about 50ppl). Most of what I can cook will be as good as most caterers. After having done that – $15.00 pp seems like a bargain. Just think of how many liters of soda you’ll have to buy at the store and transport and carry in for unlimited soft drinks. I’d say conservatively you’ll need 1/2 ltr per person(honestly probably more for a june outdoor wedding lasting 5 hrs – probably more like a ltr per person). That means someone has to buy and cart at least 100 ltrs of soda. Not having to do that is worth something.
200 people is not a small undertaking. Just renting the dinnerware (unless you’re going the disposable route) and having people carry in all of the dishes, as well as set up the facility for tables, chairs, napkins, etc will take more tham than you imagine.
If you’re very organized with the planning, it can be done and hopefully you can avoid the situation where everyone says they’ll help, but on the actual day people either just drop off the food, or don’t chip in and make sure that pans are refilled, and hot food is hot enough to avoid food borne illnesses etc.
I’m not sure what I’d do – as I said I love saving money, but the logistics for 200 is a LOT.
Hope you can plan/problem solve to come up with the way for you to have the most care-free day.
ETA: What is the physical layout for the facility? Is parking close? Is there a loading dock? Are people going to have to park a little ways away and then carry in all the stuff needed, load after load? Are there stairs involved?
Post # 7
You would still need people to replenish the buffet, keep extra food hot/cold, monitor the sternos, clear dirty plates, clean up things if people drop food…etc. You’ll still need servers, just less than for a plated meal. I think it’s a bad idea, especially if your family isn’t used to doing catering, but that’s just my opinion. I’d try to cut back elswehwere or see if you can find a cheap place to cater the event at the place that costs $300 to rent…maybe a local restaurant.
Post # 8
You should have the wedding you can afford. As a guest, I’d rather someone just have very tasty cake and punch and maybe some Sam’s Club veggie or cheese trays, than for someone to cheap out on the catering and hire amateurs who (while well meaning, obviously) may not have the experience or equipment to handle various contingencies.
I have never been to a self-catered wedding where the food was good. Not even when they brought the big silver takeout boxes from restaurants. The closest thing I have seen to good DIY catering was 6′ Subway subs. If you’re going super casual anyway, you might consider that.
Though personally, I’d just go with the $15pp at the hall. That’s half what we are paying, and it seems what we are paying is half again of what most bees pay.
Plus….would you really feel comfortable making your family members work the entirety of your reception, when they should be celebrating with you? I couldn’t bear to do that to people. Even if they promised it would be ok or seemed excited about it.