Post # 1
We are having a casual brunch reception at a private home (with a big kitchen). My mother and I were talking and we sort of think that we could cook for it ourselves–this is for about 100 people. Are we crazy, is the question or have any of you bees taken on a project like this before and lived to tell about it?
A few important details and some stuff about our thought process so you don’t think we’re TOO crazy!:
-We envisioned having a selection of stuff on the table and a buffett. Stuff on the table would be pastries, bread, cheeses, fruit, granola & yogurt.
-Buffet would maybe be things like frittata/quiche (which can be made ahead of time and frozen, then reheated), sausage and/or spiral ham (probably purchased from Costco), a selection of salads, (caprese, caesar, green), roasted potatoes, crepes (also can be made ahead of time and reheated), smoked fish…We also have a close friend who always drops off like, 40 tamales every Christmas and she offered to make a bunch as well (which can also be frozen and reheated).
-My mother is NOT a caterer. But she has cooked at home for a party of 75-80 people.
So. Possible or insane?
Post # 3
Fact is … its not insane to cook for a wedding of that size. I’ve known plenty of people (usually due to tradition or religion) do that for their wedding and its turned out great!
If you choose to do it, the way that you’re doing it is the best way. Premaking things is perfect. But, there will need to be a person to watch the food making sure that nothing runs out or low enough to displease guests. And I don’t think that person should be you.
On your day, you should be stress-free. You shouldn’t have to worry about anything other than enjoying your day with your Hubby because its the start of lifetime to be cherished. (my gushy opinion lol) That being said, someone else should worry about the responsibilities while you smile the night away.
If you can designate, then go for it! If it ends up being someone that won’t be happy about it either – you may want to consider an alternative. Good luck with what you decide. 🙂
Post # 4
I really had my heart set on doing the cooking for our wedding–which was a full Thanksgiving spread for 50 people. I was talked out of it by my Mother-In-Law, who has a friend who’s a caterer and ended up catering our wedding. Mother-In-Law and Darling Husband sort of took the decision away from me, deciding I didn’t need the extra stress on our wedding day.
What you’re thinking of doing sounds *much* more doable (as opposed to a full TDay spread), but I would try to recruit other family members/friends to help, and just to keep the amount you would be doing to a minimum. You want to be able to enjoy your day and not worry about cooking.
Post # 5
i went to a wedding once where the couple asked close friends to contribute, like a potluck. the couple obviously brought food as well. my friend, the bride, asked me to bring a fruit platter and i did no problem! i was happy to. (and i was not in the bridal party – well she didn’t have one besides her sister Maid/Matron of Honor, but even if she did, i would not have been asked to be a Bridesmaid or Best Man, and i was still happy to help).
so instead of you and your mom cooking EVERYTHING, i think it would be okay to ask people you are close and who would understand/not judge to help!
Post # 6
I think that the casual brunch/buffet is doable (many weddings in my FI’s family are family/friend catered) but I don’t think that it should be you and your mom. You especially will have a lot going on that day, and you will most likely want your mom to be with you for special moments and just relaxing and enjoying the special occasion. Are there some aunts or cousins (or your tamale friend) or church/religious group ladies that do food prep? You would still have the homemade food with the at home/casual feel, but not be the one worrying about the quiche or fish, etc.
Post # 7
That is doable! My mother and her sisters cook Christmas dinner every year for the full family and we always have about 100 people over every year. She has a huge formal dining room and usese the morning room for tables too. I have even thought about having my family cook because *I* know the food would be awesome.
Have you ever read Sara’s blog at 2000dollarwedding.com? She had DIY food and her wedding was amazing!
Post # 8
It sounds like a lot of your food options can be done ahead of time, so I think it is completely do-able (as long as you work well under stress). Just make sure you have a couple of extra hands on deck. I wouldn’t leave all of that responsiblity on just you and your mom. You want to enjoy your wedding day rather than feel like you are working it. 🙂
Post # 9
We are! Well, sort of. FI’s mom regularly cooks for more than 100+ for church dinners (father’s day, mother’s day, etc). So she has friends that have helped her, and she has a friend who actually is a cook. So while they’re not caterers, they’re experience, and I personally probably won’t do much except pick what they make! Our guest list is also only 80 so I don’t think it will be that bad. You just have to pick things that sit well and lend themselves to family style. I think the buffet options you have sound great. Also, you need to recruit help. While you can certainly cook it ahead of time, do you really want yourself or your mother to miss socializing and chunks of your day to refill the sausage from the kitchen when the buffet pan goes empty? Not a big issue at all, just little things to think about. Good luck!
Post # 10
Thank you for all your suggestions! And the encouragement! And if anyone else out there has some words of wisdom, do keep ’em coming!
Post # 11
Are you having friends/acquaintences help set up, serve refresh platters and clean up? That all takes much more work than you would think!! Unless you are planning on using disposable items. I (MOB) was packaging up food and decor at the end of the night at the venue we rented (65 guests) and found 2 of my brothers washing dishes in the kitchen! Unexpected of them to pitch in. They were sweet. My aunts also helped out clearing tables. But that is how my family is. I really hadn’t planned on (needing) all of that help-but if you don’t think they’d mind, and you are okay with it-then it’s okay, but if you are the type of person that would feel bad that family members pitch in at the end of the night-and if you’re not okay with or don’t have family or friends to help, I would see about hiring college or high school students. If you want an idea for something else you can do ahead of time-I <3 muffins 🙂
Post # 12
Totally do-able! : ) And it’ll save you a TON of money!
The only tip I have for you is to prepare as many things as you can in advance (ex. make crepes & stick ’em in the fridge; pre-mix quiches in baking pans & stick ’em in the fridge to bake later, etc.), and try to buy some things packaged (obviously yohgurt, etc.).
We were going to self-cater for our original wedding plans (picnic wedding on labour day long weekend), but when our overall plans changed, so did that. It’s one of the things I’m going to miss!
Post # 13
Absolutely doable with your spread! We are having a finger-food and heavy appetizer spread with a sandwich bar and DIY ing but I have a friend’s mom who is going to handle the putting out and upkeep during the reception. We have tons of help and are keeping things simple so that is going to me key. Here is the BEST resource if you want to DIY a large cooking event of any type-SERIOUSLY my DIY catering bible!!! Spend some time on this website and it will help you a ton! Good luck! 🙂
Post # 14
totally doable. My wonderful mom and i will be making food for 100 people. We’ve cooked for large groups of people before so that has helped us get the hang of it and we’ve learned what to do and what not to do.
Post # 15
I think you could do it; however, I don’t think you would have as relaxed a time at your wedding, if you did it yourself. Do you really want to be preparing food on or near your wedding day? And what about your mom and anyone else that might be helping? Do you really want them to have to worry about setup, cleanup, and preparing food on a day that should be just spending time with each other and enjoying each other without having to worry about all the stuff involved with the food preparation? We are only having 50 or less guests for our wedding and I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.
Post # 16
I totally agree with Noritake. You could completely do it. But before you decide on that route, make sure that you really want you and your mother to spend a good part of your wedding day heating up and setting out food, and then cleaning up. And that might be perfectly fine for you…just be sure to really think about it.
Is there any way you and your mom could do the cooking before hand, and then hire a few people (a trusted coworker or church member) to come the day of and be in charge of heating, picking up food from costco, setting up and cleaning? Granted, if you and your mom are control freaks that won’t work, but if you are willing to trust someone else it might be a good compromise…you still get to cook together to prepare for the wedding, but you will have the day to concentrate on yourself.
Just my thoughts, but whatever you decide it sounds like it will be a wonderfully yummy wedding!