(Closed) DIY Food?

posted 11 years ago in Food
Post # 3
20 posts

We’re doing our own food for our Oct. 2, 2010 wedding.  We are two months out and to be honest I wished we had just found a way to save/borrow/steal the extra money it would take to have a caterer come in.  Caterers come with fancy things like plates!  Silverware!  Glasses!  Serving spoons! 

Our guest list is about 120. 

If you are DIY’ing the food, be prepared to LOVE on the details.  Hopefully you are super organized, love spreadsheets and spending hours working on things like where to rent a commercial coffee maker and exactly how much coffee you need and how many spoons, cups, sugars, creamers etc. etc. etc.  Personally, this is not working for me and now I would like to poke out my own eyes AND my fiancees eyes so we don’t have to look at my stupid spreadsheets anymore. 

You also will want to make sure you have an army of friends to help out.  Someone to help set up, serve, cook, clean up, refill, transport food etc.

This can TOTALLY work, but so far my experience has led me to believe that it’s not for me.  I’m medium on the organizational scale and really would rather be doing something else than spending all my time charting costs and timing and do we have someone who wants to wash 120 wine glasses before and after the event.

Anyway, just my opinion.  Maybe I’ll change it after it’s all over.  I HAVE heard that the 2 month mark can be stressfull no matter what.

Good luck!


Post # 4
858 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I have done this for other people (for non-wedding events) and it is a ton of work. You will not have time to do this yourself and your family/friends won’t be able to enjoy the wedding (including the ceremony) as the other guests will.

If a regular wedding caterer is too expensive then call up your favorite local restaurant. Most offer off-site catering at a fraction of the price and you get extras thrown in for free or very little money that a regular caterer will nickel and dime you for. Some examples of places to check out: Boston Market, local pizza/Chinese/Mexican restaurant, KFC, Popeye’s, etc.

Post # 5
1722 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

My cousin did it for her wedding and she told me she and her family were totally exhausted. She felt like it would have been worth it to just pay for catering. Most restaurants will cater food if you ask, and if you pick it up yourself instead of delivery, you can save a lot. Even places like Cheesecake Factory aren’t too bad of a deal!

Post # 6
9 posts
  • Wedding: October 2010

I think it depends on what you’re serving. If you did a full dinner, even as a buffet, it would be a ton of work.

But if it were more of a cocktail reception, where you could put out lots of pre-done things (like an antipasto platter, cheese tray, vegetables, etc.), it’d be less work. I’m not catering my own wedding reception, but I did do my own engagement party, which had about your number of guests. I made WAY too much food, but if I had made less (read: the appropriate amount), it wouldn’t have been bad at all.

Also, read some of the barefoot contessa cookbooks- she was a professional caterer that now has her own FN show. All of the cookbooks (esp. the Parties! one) tell how many people they’re serving.

Post # 7
9 posts
  • Wedding: October 2010

Also, if you PM me, I’ll send you what I served. We spent about $200 on food for everyone.

Post # 8
2414 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

I have to agree with the above posters.  It all depends on how formal you want it and what kind of foods you want.

My Fiance is a caterer (hobby, more than profession) and he’s catered to that many before.  In fact, our wedding is going to have around 130 people (including kids).

We’re having dips, appetizers, chips, and basic party-food buffet style.  There will be plenty for vegetarians and diabetics to enjoy. 

His secret: Costco and Sam’s Club.  Buy in BULK and make foods that are simple and yet filling. 

Also, you can get the creamers, salt, pepper, etc. for REALLY good prices there and won’t have to worry about not having enough.  Sam’s Club, I know, has really amazing silverware and plates that look fancy but are actually plastic.  If you want to go that route.  (which also means you don’t have to worry about washing them afterwards!!!).

Good luck!!!! 

Post # 9
1585 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2010

I would suggest calling a local restaurant- Here is what I wrote on another DIY food thread 

A friend and I just did the food for someones wedding that they DIYed. We were there the day of to heat, plate and put out food.

For drinks they filled up a small wooden boat with ice and put beer and other beveages in it I thought it was very cute!

The Food


  • Chicken Wings- her brother cooked and traveled (pretty sure they were cold)
  • Chips and dip ( 2 kinds cute bowls)
  • Fruit Platter (came out good)

I want to say there were a few more things but cant remember!


  • Shrimp Salad rolls
  • Potatoe salad
  • coleslaw
  • Ham
  • briscit (sp)
  • Salad Bar with about 15 topings ( like real salad bar style!)

Her parents cooked most of the food a few days before and all morning. I was there for 6 hours preping and mixing salads and putting stuff into serving dishes. We were so busy runnng around and preping I didnt even get a chance to go pee!

It is VERY expensive ( renting everyrthing) and takes a LOT of work- I had never been so tired in my life! I also have worked in food service for 10 years.

I would suggest looking into a place you like to eat (or a few places if there is stuff you like from many places) And seeing if they cater.

Sorry for the long post!

Post # 10
190 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

i did mine for 50 people, full dinner buffet:


is your venue letting you use the kitchen? that would be perfect!  neither my family nor my hubs and i were exhausted/didn’t get to enjoy the day.  i payed a caterer $200 to bring steam pans and just set up and manage the buffet for the reception, heat up the food, etc… but i made the actual food the week before and froze it to reduce day of and day before craziness.  also sliced good fruit and snacky sausage the day before for appetizers.  it turned out great,

definitely check out grocery outlets, discount clubs and restaurant supply stores, these are great for bulk ingrediants and serving supplies.  i actually bought good quality, pretty disposables for the utensils, some of the plates, and all cups.  some people think this is tacky, but you know what?  they aren’t the ones doing all those dishes!  make sure you have a lot of fridge/freezer room for whatever you are making.  if you manage all the details in advance and cover all your bases this is not impossible.  just make sure you choose food that does not need to be fretted over, stuff that stays good in a steam pan, doesn’t burn or overcook easily, etc…

good luck!


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