(Closed) catering vs. DIY – PLEASE help!!!!

posted 11 years ago in Food
  • poll: What would you do?

    Figure out some way to budget in catering.

    DIY food at a venue you don't love.

  • Post # 3
    Member
    436 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: July 2010

    HUGS!!!  I’m so sorry.  Definitely do the math, and consider the amount of effort/stress you’re going to be putting in to making all the food yourself (how are you going to serve it, replenish it, clean it, etc?)  if it’s still better than paying for the catering at a place you love, then I would say change the venue.  I”m sorry I don’t have better advice than that, but hang in there and keep your spirits up!!  You guys will figure this out!!!! 

    Post # 6
    Member
    436 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: July 2010

    what about catering just hor dourves??  do any of your places let you do that??  that might be more budget friendly?

    Post # 7
    Member
    374 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: June 2010

    I agree- what about heavy hor dourves?

    Post # 8
    Member
    2280 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: April 2011

    Why don’t you go back to the venues you loved and find out what their cheapest catering option is? Do any of the venues offer customizable plans? Do you have any idea where your final guest list will fall between 100 and 150? You may be able to get some sort of discount there too.

    Post # 10
    Member
    240 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2010

    I agree with the other posters. Go with a venue you like and be creative with the catering. Just desert, or just appetizers, or maybe brunch.

    Post # 11
    Member
    6593 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2010

    My BFF was going to get her family to do the food at your backyard wedding and it actually turned out to be cheaper to hire an outside company to do it! So I would definitely do your research before ruling out your fav venues!

    Good Luck!

    Post # 13
    Member
    8027 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: October 2010

    100-150 people sounds like a lot to feed DIY to me.  It would be really stressful to me to have people who are guests (even if they are family) have to kind of work at my wedding.  But you know your situation- they may be really happy to do it and completely capable!

    Post # 14
    Member
    7975 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper

    I think trying to DIY food AND sacrificing on your venue would just cause heartache and stress in the end. 🙁

    Have you checked with local cooking schools? Locally owned restaurants? Advertised in church bulletins looking for that lady who caters out of her home for cheap? Craigslist?

    We too are on a budget, and also have a sizable guestlist, but I figured out I can do an awesome spread of soups and hearty sandwiches, with sides and soda, through our venue’s catering for just $13 a head (typical catering costs are $30-45 a head where I live). It means we have to have a lunch reception, but that’s okay with me ~ we’ve already had to cut out alcohol for cost reasons, so I don’t think it would be too rockin’ a party anyway, haha.

    Post # 15
    Member
    2457 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: November 2010

    My FH and I are paying for our wedding as well and weddings are ridicuolously expensive.

    We opted to have less guests we are only inviting 60. This has meant we can have our reception at a fantastic venue with great food.

    I was worried at first that people may be offended but then I realised if you only invite a small amount because that is all you can afford, people do understand.

    In our situation we felt that our guests and ourselves would probably have a better day if the food and the venue were quality as opposed to having all extended family and friends that we rarely see at a lesser venue.

    Everyone has different ideas though, but it might be an option…

    Post # 16
    Member
    3098 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: November 2009

    We are paying for ours as well and have a limited budget ($5k) and FINALLY, after months of searching and disappointment, found a venue that we both love AND allows outside catering. The place was off the beaten path, and most have never heard of it, so it took me about 6 months into a one year engagement to find it and I was just as frustrated as you are. So I know exacty how you feel. When I finally found the place, I only had 6 months left to plan the wedding.

    Okay, so we finally found the place of our dreams and can afford it (yay!) but after researching all of our options, we came to the same conclusion – we can’t afford to cater. So we decided to do a dessert buffet with other stuff like fruit, cheeses, cubes of bread with rosemary olive oil, etc. We are catering it ourselves (With some help from friends and fam on the baking/arranging side) and we have about 100 people to feed. The cost is SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper (for us – Atlanta is stupid expensive) and without this, we would have had to charge the catering (we didn’t want any debt for the wedding) and I wasn’t happy with any caterer I spoke with. We’re going for an Amy Atlas style for our buffets, starting the big show later (7pm ceremony) and worded it correctly in our invitations, plus posted it on our website, along with restaruant recommendations in the area. Everyone has told me they’re really excited about it, because they’ve never been to anything like it before.

    I will say that it has come with it’s share of obstacles, though. No catering = no plates, etc. Yup, we’re using the nifty “real look” disposables. You have to work within your means… and that fit mine, and I’m okay with it. Since my wedding is all geometric and modern, I bought the white square and triangle plates that look retro. No catering = no one to clean up, bus tables, etc. I hired a friends mom and a friend of a friend to bus tables, replenish the buffets, light candles, whatever needs to be done.

    So you CAN DIY it – especially with the help of friends and family. But it does make it harder – both logistically and mentally (stress) in some regards, and easier in others (cost). I can’t really offer advice on the venue, but I can on DIY – you could do huge bowls of salad (2-3 different kinds), bread and rolls, baked brie with fruit, a fruit display, a crudite, a dessert buffet with several cakes and pies or cupcakes, tea sandwiches, a gourmet olive display. tomato, mozzerella and basil skewers, etc. It doesn’t have to be full meal type stuff. Like you said, all things that can be refrigerated and pulled out during your ceremony. I don’t know if that was any help at all, but I wish you luck with everything!

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