(Closed) A DIY "1950s" "Rockabilly" "Pinup" Wedding with a $1,500.00 budget

posted 6 years ago in Themes
Post # 61
Member
586 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

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sbaire:  I’m not going to say you can’t do this on $1500 or that volunteers are a bad idea, don’t get me wrong. I just would urge you to consider food handling and storage carefully with a plan like this – if you are cooking for 100+ people in small ovens, having to cook early and in batches, and food has to sit for a while (or overnight) make sure that the food is stored appropriately and kept at the right temperature (don’t overfill crockpots, make sure you have enough fridge space, reheat to appropriate temps, etc).

It’s easier than people think to cause a foodborne illness outbreak when self-catering for a very large group. People often think they’ve prepared for 20-40 at a holiday before, so it will be fine, but there can be a huge difference in preparing for 100+ (especially if you get into deep pans of food that are not uniform in temperature throughout the pan) – we see outbreaks ALL the time at church picnics, family reunions, potlucks, etc. and we recently had a multi-state outbreak involving a backyard wedding. Caterers carry permits, licensing, thermometers, and knowledge of handling large quantities of food to avoid issues like this – you can certainly do it without a caterer, but you have to pick up the responsibility to your guests to protect them.

This is not to disuade you at all, it’s certainly possible to have a self-catered wedding without a hitch. Just something to keep in mind that it might be a good idea to do some research into techniques for temperature checking, or ensuring that the food integrity is maintained. Norovirus is probably not the wedding favor you want your guests to go home with ;).

Post # 63
Member
560 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Not sure what you are doing for tables anD seating. Chairs can be expensive anywhere between 4.00 for a folding white 8.00 for Chavari. In stead you can use hay stacks covered with white cloth. Tables are cheap to rent about 7.00 per table. (Canadian prices) You may want to rent about 5 to 10 trash cans. As it sounds like you will be using paper plates and cups. Your family won’t want to be emptying trash on your wedding night And over flowing trash cans is not something you want to deal with the night of or the next morning. 

You also may want to look into pre cooked burgers  m&m sells them. You just basically have to grill them for the marks, warm them. This way you don’t have to worry about uncooked meat being served and helps with time when cooking for multiple people.

You can rent a large grill and fridges to store food and beer from any tent party rental place

You may also want to hire a grill man and one server to restock plastic plates, napkins, empty garbage etc.

You also may want to look into renting some portable toilets, if this barn is on a septic bed it may not be able to handle large amounts of people using the toilets. If it backs up no one will get to use the toilets. Just something to consider.

Post # 64
Member
1117 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I just want to add a little bit to what some people have already said. It sounds like you have some pretty good ideas for keeping costs down, but it will still be very difficult to feed that many people with your budget. My dad is a caterer and I know a fair bit about the cost and business side of things. Even a meal like what you’re describing can easily add up to $10 pp, which doesn’t seem like a lot but for 100 people thats $1000! And thats before buying any crockpots, spoons, plates, serving utensils etc. (All of those lilltle things you need can really be surprising at first!)  My suggestion is that you decide how much of your budget you can spend on food, and see how much it breaks down to per person. Then do your research into what you can buy with that. Look for stores in your area where you can buy in bulk. Costco is great if you have a membership, but even better in my city is the Wholesale Club. Look around for something like taht and check out their prices!

Also, I noticed that a few people were suggesting potato salad. I really think that that is a bad idea for a self-catered event, unless you have access to a way to properly store it until right when it is being served. The eggs and such are just too dangerous if they aren’t kept cool. I would go with a regular salad instead, something that is not as likely to accidentally cause food poisoning. 

I think that you have some challenges ahead of you, but if you really work at it I think you can make this a lovely wedding. Don’t forget to think about the timing of events since your family and friends will be helping out. My dad catered my wedding and we built our schedule around his needs. He was able to be involved in everything and still put together an amazing meal. Make sure you take food preparation time into account when planning your schedule for the day!

Post # 65
Member
1744 posts
Bumble bee

I don’t know how far you want to take the 1950’s theme, but … jello salads and casseroles are classic ’50’s food.  Also EtA:  Meatloaf; Mashed potatoes, and Mac and Cheese.

http://www.foodtimeline.org/fooddecades.html#1950s

With realistic menu,  OCD planning, Voluneers, and not having to buy/rent tables, chairs, silverware, etc you may be able to pull it off.  

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by .
Post # 68
Member
1413 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

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steen425:  I love your ideas!!

Post # 69
Member
9275 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

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sbaire:  That thread was from 4 years ago so you have to account for inflation as well before you get too carried away.

Of course you can have a wedding for $1,500 but you will really need to lower your expectations. For example with such a small budget are “will you be my” gifts/boxes a good use of money? I mean this in the nicest way possible but why does there need to be any ado other than just simply asking these people to be in your bridal party?

I echo pp that said check out unique vintage for your dress. Sign up for their newsletter as they often have sales. I got my birdcage veil off etsy for $10.

Now I am going to say somehting that you will probably consider bashing. I have attended 2 really bad weddings in my time and one of those was one where I volunteered (after the bride dropped plenty of hints) my time to help out. I had a miserable time and most of all I didn’t get to see the wedding and spent the rest of the wedding feeling stressed out, angry and annoyed. I felt like a slave, not just because of the things that the bride and groom expected to be done by the volunteers, but also by the other guests who were enjoying the wedding. I really did not want to be cleaning up rubbish and spills in my best dress and heels and really wish I had of just worn my old waitressing uniform of black pants and a white shirt. I have vowed never ever to offer to help again and if asked to I would be saying no straight away. Please respect your guests for what they are- your loved ones who want to enjoy your wedding and not the hired help.

Post # 70
Member
5 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: October 2016

For my BM’s I asked them with a glitter bomb egg. VERY INEXPENSIVE, I simply wrote each of them a personalized letter asking them to be in my bridal party, I poked a hole the size of a dime into the egg and another hole on the other side with a needle. You blow the yolk out of the egg and stuffEd the egg with the letter and glitter. I patched up the hole with tissue paper and put them in a cup cake box with a note saying smash me on top! All the ladies loved it and in total spent 20$ on the supplies, and I had 7 of them to make! 

Post # 72
Member
78 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

Are there bathrooms on site? Does the barn have power? Do you need warmers for like a buffet or is everything being served and by whom? Are you planning a multi tier cake or a few little ones? Are doing an iPod for music? Is there a dance floor? Do you have an officiant? Do you have to rent tables and chairs? Linens? Plates? Utensils?

I looked at a barn at the beginning of planning but getting power and port a potties was a big turn off for me. 

Post # 73
Member
78 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

And to echo some oyhers opinion, asking your guests to cook and set up is nice in theory but… my sisters wedding was so miserable for me and my family as we were just like hired help the whole day. I made the cake the cupcakes, decorated, cooked in the kitchen and had her toddler all day. I missed the whole ceremony and my parents and grandparents and myself spent 90% of the day in the kitchen or cleaning up after people.

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