(Closed) Can't Afford to Serve a Full Supper

posted 8 years ago in Reception
Post # 3
5538 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2011

That is a full meal,  lasagna, salads,  bread,pasta salad  maybe see if you can get some hot veggie sides or like fruit/cheese crackers/veggie dip trays and it is plenty. 

Post # 4
2529 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

How about having your wedding ceremony earlier in the day (in the AM) and then having a brunch reception?

This way no guests come in with the expectations for a full meal. Also, brunch is cheaper and everyone loves it! If you can swing it, you may be able to add mimosas to the deal.

I know there are some resturants out there that do a great brunch… maybe you could contact a few for price quotes and to inquire about a private room?

[ETA] By The Way, the food you mentioned in your post sounds like plenty, and I wouldn’t turn my nose up at grocery store catered food… sometimes it’s better tasting than a reception hall’s food! If you plate it right, no one would know it was grocery store anyway (if that bothers you)
You may also want to look at local resturants to see if they cater. I know by me, the local pizza place caters (and it’s delicious) and the prices are by the tray. The local taco place caters as well… I think they do a build-your-own things. Yum!

[ETA] OK, re-read and saw you don’t want an earlier wedding. Sorry!
(I would have to miss work to make your wedding anyway in all likelyhood, so I think that you won’t loose too many people if you do think about doing it earlier.)

You can also try to cater your own food to save a bit of money, or do a combo of the two. Make (ahead of time if you can) something like a green salad, pasta salad, roasted veggies, maybe a quiche or something; and then cater the main dishes like lasagna and sandwiches.
It takes up a bit more time, but might leave you some wiggle room in the rest of your budget.

Post # 5
881 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

@JessicaJupiter:  Another option is homemade appitzers for a cocktail dinner. I know for the super bowl we make tons of finger food that is super cool and cheap and most can be made the day before and reheated so you would just need tins to serve stuff in. Another option is a early wedding with a lunch reception or breakfast because people except less food for those meals. 

Post # 6
1845 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Just curious as to when the ceremony is, if the reception is starting at 4pm? Also.. If the reception is only 1-5hrs long, and you say you don’t want the food to be the only thing the guests remember, what else will be going for that hour and a half besides eating?

Not trying to be snarky or anything, I’m just trying to get a better picture of what you envision for your day.

Post # 7
3941 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Sounds like enough food to me…


I recently went to a cocktail wedding and there was less food then that there, and I was STARVING.


Post # 8
9538 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

First of all – Welcome to the Bee!!! It’s not all rainbows and unicorns over here, but I’ve found it to be much less aggressive than the knot (I also had a bad experience and never went back to that site).

Second – you don’t need to serve a full mean, especially at that time of day. In fact, you could just serve cake and punch! That’s probably what I would do. If you want to serve something additional, I would keep it to snacky/hors d’evoures kinds of things like the small sandwiches you mentioned, nuts, cheese and crackers, etc. This can be done DIY fairly cheaply. Also, you need some sort of beverage. Can be super cheap like lemonade from a mix. But something to drink.

I would actually stay away from the lasagna, because, to me, that seems more like you’re trying to serve a full meal as I think of lasagna as dinner food, not hors d’evoures food. But if I was given lasagna, would I be offended? Hells to the no! As a guest I’ll be happy with whatever you give me. And at that time of day I wouldn’t be expecting a full meal. 

Post # 9
11259 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2012

@JessicaJupiter:  that sounds like a meal to me.  

also, costco has some great fruit and veggie trays for appetizers.  i would think about doing pulled pork on buns.  pork shoulder is very inexpensive (it might cost you $30-40) and easy to make in the crock pot (even the day before).  a few big bags of buns and you’re almost set.  lasagna is a bit more expensive but can still be made ahead.

just so long as you offer your guests some food and drink, you should be good.

Post # 10
2113 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

@JessicaJupiter:  The food sounds fine, but I wouldn’t attend a weekday wedding. Are any of your guests traveling? If not, then that’s more doable, but if anyone has to travel, it can become a big hassle, especially for such a short event. Would it be possible to wait until that date falls on a weekend? That’s what Fiance and I are doing. By then, you may even be able to save more for the wedding if you wanted.

Post # 12
2861 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I think the problem lies in that you are having your wedding during the week during working hours and you realize the date won’t work for people, but you don’t care. So no it’s not the food that is the issue- it’s your attitude. A host takes cares of her guests and scheduling your wedding on a Wednesday afternoon is self serving and frankly pretty rude. A Friday or a Sunday I could maaaaaybe understand but not a Wednesday because a bride refuses to move the date. You can have a wedding for $100 as long as you are a kind and gracious host. 

Post # 13
11535 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

A proper wedding reception does not even require the host to provide a meal, depending on the time of day the reception is held. A couple can host a perfectly proper reception of punch and cake after their ceremony and commit no social faux pas, as long as the event is timed in such a way that their guests do not need to forgo a meal during a meal time to participate.

What you plan to serve your guests is more than enough to be considered a meal. 🙂

As far as the date and time of your wedding, you and your Fiance are free to choose whatever date and time you wish.  However, as I’m sure you know, by choosing the middle of the week, in the middle of the afternoon, some of the guests who may truly want to be with you to celebrate may not be able to attend due to work or other obligations.  As long as you are understanding of that fact, and you are able to enjoy those who are able to attend without being too sad about those who cannot, you should be fine.

Post # 14
1332 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@JessicaJupiter:  FWIW, I went to a wedding where the invitation indicated appetizers and drinks to follow the ceremony, so I knew there would not a dinner!!  The apps were minimal as far as selection goes, but plentiful to feed all guests and make me ‘full’ – which, is relative per person.

It was ONE OF THE BEST WEDDINGS I have ever attended!  We had so much fun dancing, and socializing, etc.  I tend to not really care for or remember wedding food, so do whatever it best for you and within your budget.  I truly do not feel the food selections ‘make or break’ this type of event!  Just my .02 cents 🙂

Post # 15
47420 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@JessicaJupiter:  Welcome to the Hive!

If I were invited to a wedding where the invitation clearly indicated the reception would start at 3:30 or 4:00 pm, I would not be expecting a  full meal. You could indicate “afternoon tea reception immediately following” on your invitation. This makes it clear to your guests that your recption will be shorter and not providing a full meal.

Tea sandwiches, crudites, and some sweets are all you need. You can set uo a buffet or set up plates of goodies on each table.




Post # 16
2562 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I think the timing of your wedding makes fruit/veggie/sandwich trays completely reasonable.  Will you be having the reception at a rented venue or a home reception?  If you have it at someone’s home and are able to throw a couple appetizer type things in the oven M&M Meat Shop has a great selection of appetizers and hot dips you just pop in the oven to heat up if there is one near you.

I know the date is important to you, are your guests able to come to an early afternoon wedding on a Wednesday?

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