Post # 1
So, a little bit of back story, my dad is an AMAZING cook and is planning on starting a wedding catering company when he retires next year. A few weeks ago he very kindly offered to cater my wedding. At first, I wouldn’t even entertain the idea because I want him to be involved and enjoy my wedding day but, the more I think about it the better it sounds. He could prep almost everything the day before and I would more than likely hire a few people to tend to a buffet. This would save us several thousand dollars and I know that it would make him so happy to cater for us. So, am I crazy to let my dad cater my wedding?
Post # 2
Ultimately it’s up to you, but I think it will take more of his time the day of than you are imagining. I feel like our caterer was the most important vendor in terms of guest experience and everything coming together, and we didn’t even have a large wedding. If he has a good team that knows what they’re doing and can take over for him that’s one thing, but I think it will be a bit chaotic and stressful without a lead person in charge and experienced staff monitoring, refilling, etc.
Post # 3
I wouldn’t want my dad working at all on my wedding day. And the caterer is a HUGE part of the day. I don’t see how he would realistically be able to do a good job caterering and also truly enjoy and be a part of the day with you.
Post # 4
No, I would like my Dad to enjoy a stress free wedding
Plus, he has no experience. Being a good cook doesnt.make you a good caterer automatically
Post # 5
- Wedding: September 2017 - Poppy Ridge Golf Course
It was a generous offer but wanting to start a wedding catering company and being a professional, licensed caterer with experience are worlds apart. I wouldn’t want to put this type of major responsibility on any of my family or friends, rather have them enjoy the entire day. Maybe he could cook for a small rehearsal dinner if you have one? I’m sure his hearts in the right place but it sounds like catering your wedding might be more stressful than its worth for both of you.
Post # 6
Rehearsal dinner is a great idea!
Post # 7
1. Of the…three, I think – I may be forgetting one off the top of my head, weddings where a “friendor” catered it – they have all been failures. Like hit the Taco Bell drive through on the way home kind of failure. In fact the very worst one I went to, the friend was even a chef in restaurant business for two decades and had opened his own restaurant with two partners a couple years prior doing the wedding for cost of food only and everyone was starving and ordering in pizzas by the end of the night. I can expand on this if need be, but suffice it to say you generally get what you pay for and while people mean well, having a contract with a professional vendor who knows what they are doing is worth it.
2. Is he in the restaurant business now? How many people are we talking at this wedding? Liking to cook and even cooking for a large family holiday are WORLDS apart from professionally catering an event. There is no “Oops, mashed potatoes will be along in 5 more minutes because I forgot to turn the burner on” – it is impeccably timed precise work. And it is HARD work.
3. He may love you enough to offer this as a gift, but you should love him enough to want him to enjoy the day.
Post # 8
I think it depends on your style and desires for the day, and how casual you are comfortable having the day be. And whether you’re the type of person to be anxious about any glitches that happen!
My mom essentially self-catered my sister’s wedding. She made big catering pans pastas (marinara and alfredo, etc) that just needed to be warmed, and made big bowls of fancy salad, and had nice rolls, and maybe some other things that I’m forgetting (it’s been >10 years!). She even made the cake, and it was AMAZING! Mom prepped the food ahead of time, and then a bunch of her church friends ran the kitchen and staffed the buffet line during the dinner. It saved thousands of dollars, which allowed my sister to spend more of the wedding budget on things that mattered to her more (really talented photographer, videographer, etc). My sister is super artsy, and she knew that having gorgeous photos would matter to her for a lifetime, but she’d forget the food pretty quickly, so it made sense to allocate the budget that way.
However, it was a LOT of work, and when it came time for my wedding, we chose to use a caterer for the dinner, and Mom just made the cake! (We chose a great local restaurant’s catering service, rather than a specialized wedding caterer, and the price was incredibly reasonable.) I appreciated having a lower-stress wedding for my Mom (and me, since I’m the type of person who would have been stressed if my Mom was stressed!).
Post # 9
Being an amazing cook and a caterer are two very different things and unless he has experience doing catering, he may be way in over his head and it may not turn out as great for you and the guests. Doing catering for a lot of people is hard and food prep, making sure the temperature of the food and it’s all ready to go at the right time is difficult. I’d leave it in the hands of people who have worked with that venue before and have years of experience. It would be stressful for you and your Dad if things went awry and I’ve read a few horror stories on here of friends catering going wonky and ruining the evening.
I’d consider the few thousands dollars to have peace of mind for catering that will go smoothly, worth the expense.
Post # 10
PS – I should have added that my mom had no experience in catering, and no desire to start a catering company. If she can do it, your dad can definitely do it!
Other Bees have pointed out the potential drawbacks (and I do agree about that the stress is higher for self-catered weddings), but on the other hand, it could be a really neat experience for you and for your dad. Having him cook might be more meaningful than choosing some random caterer, and could create some great memories to let him share his passion for cooking with all your nearest and dearest at the wedding.
Post # 11
How many people would be attending the reception?
Post # 12
My mom is an amazing cook and although we prepared everything at least the day before my sister’s wedding and had a buffet, there is hardly any photo of me or my mom together with my sister, as all we did was running around making sure, everything worked out just fine.
It was amazing food and we had a lot of fun preparing it, but instead of concentrating on the wedding or my sister, we were busy with the food. So no, if you CAN afford it, don’t let your dad do the catering.
Post # 13
I definitely would want my dad to come as a guest. I’m sure he is an amazing cook, but ultimately he will be spending the day away and I would be upset he didn’t get to relax and enjoy it. What if he misses out on pictures and special moments because he’s so busy? Even if it did save me lots of money I don’t think it would be worth it, it’s a ton of work.
I agree though that the rehearsal and the bridal shower sounds great!
Post # 14
You’re only crazy to let him if his cooking stinks. 😉
Post # 15
When you say he’s planning to start a catering business next year- do you mean planning as in he’s actively learning the business, buying professional equipment etc or do you mean planning as in he’s just talking about it in a hopefully-in-the-future kind of way?
Because your dad might be an awesome cook and I’m sure his heart’s in the right place wanting to do this as a labour of love for his daugher- but there are so many logistics. If he hasn’t actually started his catering business yet, does he have the equipment to keep hot food hot and cold food cold? We had a professionally catered buffet and the equipment they brought in to set up the buffet wasn’t stuff even an avid cook would have, though they could always be rented. Ditto plates, cutlery etc.
I do agree with others who’ve said he is likely under-estimating how busy he’ll be with this on your wedding day. I’m an avid cook myself and I’ve cooked for 20i-25 people (family event) on a handful of occasions and it’s tons of work, even if you enjoy what you’re doing. I’m happy to do it if I can spend time in the kitchen then mingle in a tank top & capri pants with my hair in a ponytail etc, not overly caring how I look- but for a close family member’s wedding I’d want to take my time to look my best.
I like heavenlyflower :
‘s idea of catering the rehearsal dinner. My daughter, the bride’s mom and I got together and did this for the rehearsal dinner for my son & DIL’s wedding, including a full meal and a dessert table, and it was a labour of love we enjoyed doing- but we were still free the day of the wedding to focus on the bride and groom and enjoy it as guests.