Post # 1
I am reaching out to all you smart and beautiful brides out there because I have a pretty large challenge ahead of me.
My fiance and I are planning a casual cottage wedding for 40 people. I am happy to self-cater, but don’t want to have to put a lot of family to work the day-of (so things like a BBQ are a no-go). I do have a chef friend whose willing to help me out the day-of but he’s just one person!
Any suggestions? I’m pretty open to ideas! Especially if you have any that require little to no work day- of 😉
Post # 2
First, have you made sure your venue allows self-catering? I couldn’t tell by your post if the wedding was at your house or at a cottage you were renting out. Some venues not allow licensed caterers for liability reasons
What kind of equipment do you have to cook as well as keep foods hot the day of? Pasta is usually a cheap easy dish, that can easily be heated up the day of. Or you can keep everything separate and do a create your own pasta bar. I’ve seen this done at a luncheon before and it worked okay. Just have some salad and maybe garlic bread to go with it.
Post # 3
Have you checked out Costco? I know you can get massive salads, rolls, pasta dishes, etc. that are yummy and easy to put out. And you might be able to hire a waiter from a restaurant for the night just to replenish things/do some light clearing of dishes and stuff like that.
Post # 4
chili; mac & cheese; slaw; pasta-salad.. all of those should be pretty cheap to make.
I went to a wedding (not self-catered, but I can’t imagine how this could go wrong) where they served two types of pasta (spaghetti and penne) that had been cooked and probably tossed with a little it of oil so they wouldn’t stick.. then the next station was two types of sauces to choose from.. one may have had meat-balls? I don’t quite remember.. then there were some toppings like parmesan etc.
In general, I’d focus on items that you can cook well in advance (and freeze), thaw a few days before, and have your chef friend re-heat the day of. Then only do a *few* items that can be done the day before (e.g. the slaw and pasta-salad).
Or, you could easily order pizza for 40 people with $500. I would honestly seriously consider this one, personally. (I did in fact serve pizza at my wedding lol!)
Post # 5
- Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter\'s Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle
You can probably find catered BBQ or Italian food at $12.50 per person. Avoid self catering if at all possible x you’ll be stressed out about it all day and won’t enjoy your wedding day, plus there’s the liability issue if anyone gets food poisoning. Subway platters? Or the Costco idea is a good one.
Post # 6
I like the ordering pizza idea. It’s going to be much more simple and less work than any other option.
Post # 7
$500 for 40? I think your best bet would be Olive Garden Pasta Bar etc. And add your own stuff on the side to keep costs down.
Post # 8
Chipotle? It’s $12-13 per person but you may have tax and delivery charges too. They do burrito boxes too.
Post # 9
I’d see what you could order for delivery or pickup in the area. Ordering large quanitites at many (more casual or family style) restaurants can be surprisingly affordable if you skip the fancy catering part where they serve the food and keep it hot and all that. Even in NYC, I have ordered casual catered delivery for 40+ for not that much more than that.
If there are local restaurants you can talk to, see if you can pick up some trays of hearty dishes like lasagna and pastas, or if there’s Mexican food nearby rice & beans and grilled chicken and set up a taco bar with tortillas, salsa, guac, pickled veg, and other toppings. Mediterranean food is also a good bet (think big trays of rice, veggies, grilled meats, hummus & tabouli, pita etc.)
I’d start calling local restauarants and asking to talk to their manager to work out a menu. Don’t tell them it’s a wedding, though!
Post # 10
I’d go with mom and pop Italian joints (Mexican restaurants also tend to have inexpensive catering). The place closest to me offers pasta, meatballs, salad, and bread for $8.50 pp or with chicken parmesan instead for $9.50. The Mexican place closest to me offers enchiladas or tamales, rice, beans, and salad for $9.95 pp or a fajita bar for $10.95. There are lots of options if you stick with locally owned restaurants that happen to do catering or grocery store delis instead of traditional caterers (although you can find some deals with caterers, as well, especially those that might specialize more in corporate catering or funerals rather than weddings.