Post # 1
Hi all, this is my first time posting, mainly because I feel like I need the advice of people who will be objective with me… This is going to be TL;DR, so the main point is: would you feel comfortable having an unexperienced family member cater your wedding with 100 guests if they had offered to do so?
My fiance and I are paying for a wedding ourselves. We have the resources to do so, even though I am finishing my last year of grad school. This is due to us being very lucky in having prior support from our families for tuition, etc, and also due to us having been good about saving money and managing our finances over the past few years. We both realize that having a wedding is a somewhat frivolous expense, but we feel strongly that it would be worth it to spend the money to host a modest wedding as our first act of hospitality as a married couple.
My parents are very thrifty, and I have inherited that trait from them, generally speaking. When my mother saw the estimated price of catering in our area, she freaked out about my fiance and I paying that much for food, and she offered to cook all the food and cater the wedding for 100 people herself. I accepted the offer because it was really sweet of her and I knew this was how she wanted to contribute, even though I had some doubts about her ability to do so…
Fast forward a few weeks, and the more I think about it, the more I’m positive that it would be very likely for things to go wrong if she tried to cater the event. She’s a great cook, but not the most organized person in the world. She’s always late to her own parties because she thought of things to do at the last minute. I’m scared that she wouldn’t get the food put out in time and that all our guests would have to wait hours for dinner!
So: my question is, am I being ungrateful for feeling this way and having doubts about her doing this? My fiance and I could afford a caterer (we’ve gotten quotes), so there’s nothing stopping us from hiring one except for the fact that I don’t want to hurt my Mom’s feelings…
Help! What would you do? Am I being a brat for wanting to go back on accepting her offer to help?
Post # 3
perhaps ask her to provide appetizers or something, and get a caterer for the main meal?
Post # 4
I would def get a real caterer. Not because she can’t do it and do a good job, but because you want your mom to enjoy your wedding. Moms dream about their daughter’s weddings just as much as the daughters dream about their own weddings. You want her to feel pampered and destressed on the day of.
Is there something else she can make? Rehearsal dinner? Wedding cake?
Post # 5
@oldtown613: Tell her you’ve thought about it and that you want her to be able to enjoy the day rather than fret about cooking, however, you’d love for her to help out with the appetizers as the pp suggested or to make some desserts that can be done ahead of time. That way she’s contributing without it being something risky. Hopefully avoids hurt feelings.
Post # 6
No. I would never let someone with no catering background cater my wedding, especially my mother (or anyone else who would otherwise be a guest). She should be enjoying herself, not worried about food prep.
- How will she handle prep for 100 people?
- How will she store enough food for 100 people?
- Who will be in charge of setting it all up?
- Food will need to be cooked the day of, and put out just before guests arrive. Who will do that?
- Refilling everything as it gets low?
- Cleaning it up?
I think people have grand ideas of self catering, and if you were having a small 30 person or less party I think it would be feasible. 100 people? No way!
If you’re super worried about the cost, consider scaling it back with less people or going with a less expensive food option.
Post # 7
Don’t let her do it! She’d probably pull it off, but then the wedding would be ruined for her! No way is she going to be able to enjoy it at all if she’s in the kitchen stressed out the whole time.
Post # 8
@oldtown613: I think you should hire a caterer, completely putting aside your concerns of late food, cooking for 100 people is an unreasonable amount of work for any one person — especially the MOB. You won’t hurt her feelings if you explain to her that you want her to enjoy the day of your wedding including getting ready with you beforehand, rather than cooking for days and and being stressed out. Let her know that she is to be a guest of honor at your wedding and you and your Fiance do not want her to be working it.
Post # 9
Agree with pp’s. Her intentions are wonderful, but there is no way she could enjoy the experience of being the brides mom of she was also catering. And you also don’t want to be in the position of being frustrated or disappointed with her if something doesn’t turn out right. I like the idea of suggesting she bake the cake or cupcakes instead.
Post # 10
Wow! Your mom sounds exactly like mine. I’ve had a few offers of help from friends and family members even though we havent even started planning yet. FI’s mom even wanted to bake the cake and when I told her no she got pretty offended.
The story I spun is this:
“I want my wedding to be as stress free for the people I care about. I do not want anyone to have to do anything on the day of the wedding except to get all dressed up and have fun. I know you are offering because you care for us but I know it will stress you out because you want it perfect and I refuse to let anyone be stressed out on the day.”
Post # 11
don’t doit! ithis sounds like a recipe for disaster (hey-oh!) i dont think it will hurt her feeling if you stress that it is because you want her to be with you that night. tell her you need her emotional support in this case rather than the financial bump they would give you by covering the food.
could you also get maybe a few more qotes and find something a little bit cheaper so that everyone feels you’re getting a good deal?
Post # 12
No matter how great of a cook your mother is, I don’t think it’s wise for her to cater your wedding. There are SOOOOO many issues with this!
First, and foremost, she needs to be with you and very present during your ceremony. She can’t be up to her elbows in catering activities while her daughter and new SIL are exchanging their vows.
She will need to feel and look fresh at the wedding and reception so that she can enjoy herself and look great in pictures. She doesn’t need to be wiping sweat from her brow, dealing with her hair frizzing from slaving over a hot stove or running around filling up the buffet tables.
Also, cooking for 100 people would be nothing like cooking a big family dinner. The timing involved, the quantity of things that would need to be done simultaneously, trying to keep hot things hot and cold things cold for that many people would be impossible for one person to do all of this well, and safely.
Finally, it’s very likely that your venue will have restrictions about having any food served there prepared in a licensed kitchen by a licensed caterer. If things do not go well, it would reflect negatively on the venue, even if the venue is not providing the caterer.
I would thank her for offering, but insist that she be free to play only her vital role of MOB that day.
Post # 13
When you said a family member, I thought maybe a cousin or something . But your mother? NO she needs to be there to help you get ready, photos, greet guests, ENJOY THE DAY.
I totally agree about having to refill containers, clean up etc.
Ours is a secondtime around wedding, and were going to have his brother & g/f do the food, but now are rethinking that for the same reasons. Or will “hire” a couple of responsible college kids we know to do the refilling, checking trash bins and putting up food when dancing starts… etc.
Post # 14
Oh my gosh, thank you all for chiming in. I agree with what so many of you have already said, and I neglected to state earlier, that an even bigger reason I don’t feel comfortable with her doing the job is that I want her to be present with us and enjoy the day! I like the suggestions of assigning her a smaller job, like just a cake. That would be totally within her abilities and hopefully would still make her feel like she was contributing something important… Really all I want is for everyone to enjoy the wedding, especially her!
Post # 15
As someone who has catered parties for 30 people before, despite not being a professional caterer, I would say no way! Working with a home kitchen, it is super hard to time everything correctly, keep food at safe temps and even find containers and pots large enough to cook and hold everything. Plus it is über stressful even under the best of circumstances. Tell you mom you want her to be able to enjoy the day without the inevitable stress and worry and work.
Post # 16
I agree tell her it wouldn’t be fair and absoluetly insist! She has to walk down the aisle and look fab and buy a dress and get her hair and makeup done too! The caterer is preping your meal WHILE the wedding is going on so its hot and ready! what about pictures? and introductions in to the reception? she may miss out on too many things absolutely not!