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

posted 8 years ago in Reception
Post # 78
22 posts


 When my brother “Mike” and his wife “Jane” got married last November my dad had remarried in September so he wasn’t able to help pay for Mike’s wedding because he had just paid for his own and Jane’s family wasn’t in a postion to be able to help pay for anything so the church that they were married in was the one we grew up in and a woman from the church who was acting as a day of planner (Honestly she were more trouble than she was worth and rude as all get out) but back on topic anyway she along with Jane’s family and my mom made all the food that was served at the wedding and no one had a negative thing to say and those who did were polite enough not to say anything. Besides if they’re really that hungry when they leave the can grab a pizza on the way home, Mike & Jane’s wedding was also a dry wedding which most people had more of an issue with than the lack of food, my dad actually ended up meeting me and my other brother “Greg” and our friends at a local pub down here so we could grab a drink and dinner lol.

Post # 79
389 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@JessicaJupiter:  Welcome to the hive!!! Hope your experience here is better then the knot. Ok I’ve read some of the comments and there are alot of those options you can go with so I will try not to repeat them. To your question, that some seem to be forgetting about and jumping on the day you choose to wed, That food sounds good to me and is a full meall salad, sammies, pasta salad, green salad, and cake …please remember alot of your food are starch and heavy so they tend to full people faster so that alone can full most people. You choose that day for whatever reason and I personally would be just like you and stick with the day I want… but you have to be fine with those who wouldn’t or couldn’t make it since it’s a weekday. For family or really close friends I would go and not make a fuse over it and since your guest list is so small I’m sure these are people who are close to you and want to be apart of your happiness and those who understand your situation so they might not be to shocked or even care to much of whatever food choice you made. I feel as long as the food taste good that what counts. Your trying to do your best with the amount you have and I respect you for it. Dont allow other people opinion change yours. We are strangers and tend to be more blunt about things but those who truly love you and are happy for you wont care much esp. if they understand the situation. Good luck ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Post # 80
3423 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

@JessicaJupiter:  People said that if they were invited to a wedding like that they wouldn’t even go and if they did they wouldn’t want to be friends with the couple anymore for being so rude. I just cannot understand this, our wedding day is supposed to be a special day for us, and the guests are coming to celebrate that – not for a huge free meal. To me if I do the best I can that should be good enough for any guest if they actually have come to celebrate with us.

It’s only a special day for you two if you don’t invite others.  If you invite others it is your obligation to make sure they are happy.  

The best you can do? for starters you refuse to not have your wedding on a wednesday which is an automatic “you muct take a day off for me” to guests.  That’s not a good way to treat guests IMO.  I donno how many days you have off in Canada, but I would probably not attend the wedding if it was on a wednesday since vacation is limited and I like to do other things with it.

Post # 81
2 posts
  • Wedding: June 2014

@JessicaJupiter:  I haven’t read all of the replies and someone may have suggested this, but what if you did an evening ceremony?  Maybe have the ceremony at 7pm or something?  People would have all ready ate dinner, then you could just serve some hors d’oeurves after the ceremony while everyone celebrated.  An evening ceremony may also allow your guests to still work the whole day too if you’re getting married on a Wednesday.

Post # 82
2389 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014 - Prague

Personally I think you’re offering guests a lot! And I agree, you are inviting them to join you in a wonderful event; people pissed off at not being fed “properly” or whatever are missing the point. Weddings come in all shapes and sizes and small and budget friendly is no less lovely than an extravagant affair.  Personally, I’d be happy to attend your wedding. I’d even take a half day. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Welcome to the BEE!

Post # 83
836 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2014 - Nazareth Hall

I think what you are planning to serve is plenty of food, especially for that time of day! However, I would try to steer clear of a fmaily member essentially catering the wedding because they will not get to fully enjoy the day.

Are you having the reception at your home or in a restaurant? If I may recommend, try looking into places that are like small Italian eateries or some other cuisine you and your Fiance enjoy, a la a rehearsal dinner. I don’t know many people who spend more then $15 a person on a rehearsal dinner meal and $15 a person for a salad and entree may be reasonable in your budget. Then you can have everyone over to your home for cake and coffee. 

I will say photography will take a HUGE chunk of your budget. Even with going cheap, me and my Fiance are spending $800 on photography. Do you know of anyone who is a photographer as a hobby or even an up and coming one that may not charge as much? Just because they are inexpensive doesn’t always mean bad photographs.

Also, check out some bridal fairs! I haven’t been to one yet but I do know that they raffle off a bunch of stuff where you can win money off a bridal gown, a full photography session and sometimes even a honeymoon depending on the fair!


Best of luck to you in your planning!

Post # 84
226 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

my photographer is going to cost more than your total budget so depending on where you live youll find it hard to fit a photographer in at all, maybe you could hire a local photography student to save money, they might even do it for free for the experience and to fill out their portfolio


for food id just do juice, cake, pie, sandwhiches, cheese and meat trays, a salad or two. stuff like that, finger foods you know? Not a full meal , maybe even a potluck wedding reception

Post # 85
2354 posts
Buzzing bee

@JessicaJupiter:  I wouldn’t be offended one bit by your menu ! When we started planning our wedding, we wanted to have ”tea party” as our theme and do something very simple in a garden. But we failed to find a place where to hold the event, so we changed our plans completely. But there are so many options with a 500$ grocery budget for food, especially if your family helps you prepare it ! As a guest, it wouln’t matter to me, at all. I would never judge your for serving this type of buffet. As others said, changing the time of your reception for lunch is a solution. 

As your wedding being a Wednesday, I would expect only your close family members to attend (such as parents, maybe siblings). I would do like another Bee suggested : get married that day because it means something to you, but send invites for the following Saturday for lunch ! Your guests will understand your meaningful date was not easy for a wedding, but they’ll appreciate to celebrate with a few days later where people will mostly be off from work and can all reunite. ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Post # 86
310 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@JessicaJupiter:  We are having the “reception” in our appartment. I was not willing to spend that much money on a party when I need to buy a house. That said, we are cooking our own food, just like you! We will have crockpots (I will borrow more) set on “heating” with food in it (meatballs, lentil dahl, etc) and vegetable dips, cheese and bread (baguette), and other finger foods. AND we make our own wedding cake! (cakes actually, one chocolate and one vanilla). 

A few weekend ago, we threw a party starting around 6pm and provided food for everybody (only 18 people, but there was a lot left). I called it the “practice” lol 

Where I am from, we don’t have sitting meals at weddings. We get married at 7pm and have finger food after. I moved away from home, and my Fiance comes from a place where they do have formal weddings, but since we are both in a new city, we compromised on our traditions with the home cooked food thing. We will also have about 40 guests who will come in at any time after the ceremony, so I don’t expect them all at the same time (many of them live really close from us, so they might go home after the ceremony and come later for the “party”, especially younger people). We will offer lots of local products (bought at farmer’s markets) and Canadian wine. You don’t have to buy into that whole wedding industry. It is NOT done the same way everwhere! There are lots of different traditions out there!

At the end of the day, we will still be married if we sign the right papers, and so will you! lol 

Post # 87
138 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

To be honest, if you are on a budget and there are only 30 guests, I would probably make the food myself (and by myself I mean my mom/siblings/aunts whoever can help) Our family dinners already consists of over 40 people and with that we’re able to fully feed everyone and have lots of left overs. It’s all about team work ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 89
379 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@JessicaJupiter:  I doubt you’ll get 30 people to come to a Wednesday wedding at 6pm. Why don’t you just court house it and have the reception next year. I know this date is special to you, but it just all awkward and doesn’t make sense.

Post # 90
2031 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

Honestly, I’d probably start your wedding later and only have a cake and ice cream reception.  It would make so much more sense for you, because even spending 500 dollars on food is a huge chunk of your budget and a ton of work for you mom (so sweet of her to offer though).  One of my bridesmaids was in another wedding that did that, and it was fine.  They let people know there wasn’t going to be a meal and people ate before they came (it had an evening start time to accommodate that).  It would make further sense on a week day.  People wouldn’t have to take time off work.  Personally there are only a handful of people (probably my sister and 2 best friends) where I would actually take time off work in the middle of the week to attend a wedding- my job, like many people’s jobs, isn’t very flexible.  However, I would definitely attend a 7:00pm wedding- grab some food on the way and enjoy dessert there.  

Post # 91
2265 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

@JessicaJupiter:  Unless I’m missing something, what you’re doing sounds reasonable. It doesn’t sound like you’re planning a reception at meal time but are providing a reasonable amount of food for the time of day. 

However, I can see where you might have got into trouble on the other board. A lot of brides take the “this is OUR day!” attitude to excuse being rude and inconsiderate to their guests. Yes, people want to celebrate with you. That doesn’t and shouldn’t mean they should expect to have their needs and comfort ignored. Not saying you’re doing that, just making a point.

I think too many brides with a strict budget do make the mistake of prioritizing things like the dress, venue or decor over being a good hostess to their guests. 

Set your budget, finalize your guest list and then decide what kind of wedding you can have. Maybe it’s an evening wedding for 300 with a sit down dinner and champagne toast or maybe it’s a morning wedding with a cake and punch reception in the church basement for 50 people.

Both are fine and neither are rude. As the hosts of the event, you are merely required to provide reasonable food and drink for the time of day. It would be inconsiderate to plan a reception at dinner time and only serve a few hors d’ oeuvres. 

In other words, when you have a limited budget, you may have to make some sacrifices but those sacrifices shouldn’t be your guests comfort.

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