(Closed) caterering your own wedding to save money

posted 8 years ago in Food
  • poll: Which is better?
    good photographer and own catering : (32 votes)
    48 %
    ok photographer and caterer : (35 votes)
    52 %
  • Post # 3
    Member
    1074 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    Well….I haven’t seen a venue yet in my area that will allow us to do our own catering.  If your venue does, I would go for a great photographer and cater it yourself.  People wont remember the food, but you’ll always have the photographs.

    Post # 4
    Member
    1981 posts
    Buzzing bee

    Here are some questions you need to ask yourself: Who is going to heat the food? Who is going to put it out? Who is going to check to make sure it stays warm, the area stays clean? Who is going to bus dishes? Who is going to do cleanup? Who is going to serve drinks?

    Honestly, I’d downgrade on photographer or guest list before trusting that catering will just “work out” or putting my fam to work if they just want to relax… but that is me, personally. At the very least, if you don’t hire a caterer, pay for a wedding coordinator to do everything.

    And finally, don’t discount catering from restaurants, or unconventional caterers. My caterer runs a culinary program at a school… he’s not an official caterer.

    Post # 5
    Member
    8353 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: March 2011

    I think that you should continue to look. We have a good photographer and are still looking for a caterer. If you are having a backyard wedding and your family and/or friends will help out with the bar-b-que, then that might be an option for you. We are only having up to 50 guests and I don’t think it is worth the headache to have to worry about all the logistics of doing it ourselves. Your pictures are something that you will want to look back on over the years and if you decide to have children, you will want them to be able to look at your pictures too and show them to their children.

    Post # 6
    Member
    2207 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: July 2010

    Catering your own event strikes me as really stressful. It makes me think of when I have a house party, I never really relax until the end, because I’m fussing the whole time over the food and the bar. That’s with 30 people, even. Have you done similar things? Were you able to relax? Do you have enough know-how to pull it off? Can you rely on the people who would help you? Would it only be the VIPs, like your mom and Future Mother-In-Law, etc., helping? I think those are the big concerns, not the photographer issue. Answer those questions first.

    Post # 7
    Member
    1147 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: January 2011

    I don’t know about your situation, but I’m all for catering yourself. One thing to consider is that you could make all the food yourself and then hire a few people to serve it and/or keep the food platters full. It would be major savings over the company. We catered my FI’s niece’s wedding last August. Total probably 7 or 8 people did all the catering for it and while most of it was hors d’ouerves (sp?) it was still very nice and everyone loved the food. I’d opt for a photographer you like as that will be what you have to remember everything by.

    Post # 8
    Member
    518 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2010

    I have been to several weddings with DIY catering and it went great. I’ve seen on the boards some had a not so great experience with it, ie-rushing around the morning of as a bride to get food out…but that is obviously not the way you would want to do it. My parents along with a couple others helped out a friend’s wedding where they had a buffet. They helped out before the wedding getting the food ready and storing it, and then they slipped out before all the guests got to the reception and had it set up. So, if you are going to DIY, DELEGATE! Have some friends who are willing to set the food up and handle that aspect for you.

    We are doing our own food and having a baked potato bar. We will bake all the potatoes before hand and store them in coolers until an hour or so before the reception when our “helpers” will put them out, along with all of our toppings and goodies that we’re serving with them.

    It’s definitely doable, and I think that it is a no-brainer because Photography is soooo important! The pictures will be all you have left along with  your memories once the wedding is over. I myself would want a great photog to capture the day’s events.

    Here is the link I used to help us figure out the potato bar:

    http://www.ellenskitchen.com/bigpots/plan/potabar1.html

    Post # 9
    Member
    1147 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: January 2011

    @marci When you bake the potatoes either do it directly on the rack or bake them in a pan of salt. It keeps them from getting that icky dark spot on the bottom.

    Post # 10
    Member
    518 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2010

    @ Toffee, thanks!

    Post # 11
    Member
    257 posts
    Helper bee

    dont add unnecessary stress on yourself/bridal party/groom/family so close to/on the day of your wedding. just book the caterer.

    Post # 12
    Member
    518 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2010

    I have to disagree… In My Humble Opinion, I don’t think that it would add stress to the bride/party/groom/family close to. Like I already mentioned, I’ve been to several weddings where it has worked totally fine. We are enlisting some of my parent’s friends and it’s not rocket science to set up a buffet in a timely manner. If you are prepared, it shouldn’t be stressful for any of the parties involved.

    Post # 13
    Member
    257 posts
    Helper bee

    @marci 607— but these people are GUESTS at your wedding. In My Humble Opinion, you just don’t do that to your guest. Let them enjoy the wedding.

    Post # 14
    Member
    518 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2010

    Actually, they are my parent’s friends, and know me well enough that they were willing to help. Even if they were guests, guests are people you invite because they love you and want to be a part of your wedding day. They are not there for a show or presentation or to be catered to, but to show their love and support.

    You could always hire someone to help serve the food you prepare…

    Post # 15
    Member
    5984 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: June 2010

    if it comes down to either a professional caterer or professional photographer go with the photographer. that is what will last forever!

    GOOD LUCK….i wish you the best.

    Post # 16
    Member
    348 posts
    Helper bee

    We are self-catering…kind of.  By which I mean, we are making all the food in advance, but hiring people to come in on the day and heat it up, serve it, and wash up.  I don’t want to be doing dishes at my own wedding reception – and I don’t want my friends to have to do that either, although they might try to volunteer.  We are in a high-cost area, so I estimate we’re still saving at least 50% by doing it this way. 

    If cost is your major concern, though, you might first look in to getting someone to come in with simpler food.  You can get BBQ pretty cheap for an event (sadly, this works less well for vegetarians like me).  Or you could schedule a later wedding and just do desserts. 

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