Post # 1
We are on a budget…. we are looking at getting married on the bay and then having the reception in a hall that faces the bay…..was able to find pricing that wasnt that bad for this. Its the food that is killing my budget. We are having 120 people ( venue’s max). Was thinking about doing El Pollo Loco. We like Meixan food and for the $6 a head cost on their catering menu can not beat it. It comes with 240 pieces citrus grilled chicken, salad, beans, rice, salsa, chips, churros, and tortillas…. I thought about having my mom help with pre making cheese enchilladas because real easy and can be frozen up to 3 mos…. can be thawed out night before and baked for 30 min to serve day of or can just cook frozen an additional 15 min for the vegetarians …. anyhow is this tacky or cheesy? They provide those disposable chaffing trays…. but we found (4)8 Quart metal chaffing dishes on EBAY for $72.00 Total including shipping…..so would use those instead…
We would still need to cover appitizers and would try stay with the “mexican” theme … I figure could use churros on deseert table, and the chips could go to a much larger nacho bar for cocktail hour ….. not really sure what other appitizers to add really or if that will actually work ….the venue has a kitchen….. we will need to hire someone to maintain the buffet table for us ( restock etc) …….. either way the cheapest ACTUAL local catering company I found was $10 a head and that was just BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, potatoe salad, mac and cheese, rolls and salad buffet style with styrofoam plates. if you want the heavy duty plastic plates they upcharge 1.50 pp. And then they up-charge 20% labor/equipment + 8.25% tax + 15% tip at mininum on top of that.
El Pollo loco will deliver all the food to venue and will have an employee set up the food buffet style ( they will provide their disposable kits to use– would use are real ones– they also provide plastic black plates and flatware—) all for $6 a head + 8.25% tax. We would tip the driver of course….
In going this route, we would save a good $1000
I just dont want to do it if will look cheap or tacky… I also dont know since its a wedding on the bay if Mexican is the best option….want a fun wedding but also not super casual….
I am on fence with this. My future Husband says do it. But he likes theirfood and wants to eat there on a monthly basis anyways and is all about saving money.
Post # 2
I would absolutely LOVE Mexican food at a wedding. Just be sure to have enough vegetarian options if you have any vegetarian guests (would be super easy to do enchiladas verde or bean-based burritos)
Post # 3
If I went to a wedding and they had Mexican food I would be thrilled. And TACOS!!! Forget it. I’d die. I say do it! It’s your wedding, who cares. I personally would think it was fun! Beats BBQ any day of the week.
Post # 4
we get el pollo loco catered to my office and it’s pretty good! I don’t know if it’s really….Mexican though….I feel like the sides are Mac and cheese and gravy and stuff, more like Boston Market.
Look, I think it’s ok, but I think it would be better if you went to a local Mexican place or something. Or, reset your expectations for a formal affair. At the end of the day, it IS fast food, and I just don’t see how you can get your wedding catered by a fast food place and not expect it to be casual.
Post # 5
I would not choose fast food for my reception.
Honestly, if that’s the only option in your budget, I would consider seriously scaling back your guest list. That, or postponing until you’re able to save enough money to afford to feed your guests something other than fast food.
Post # 6
I think it’s alright if you’re having a chill wedding but have to agree that at the end of the day it IS fast food and may not match the vibe if you are trying to have a more formal wedding.
Nothing wrong with it, but buffets tend to be more casual than a formal plated dinner. Also keep in mind you’re really only offering your guests fast food roast chicken or possibly cheese enchiladas that may have been frozen for months. Personally, I don’t care for the style of food El Pollo Loco serves so I probably wouldn’t eat at your wedding and would just grab something afterwards (not a complaint, im a picky eater so I wouldn’t be upset!) You know your crowd, would they be into something like this?
Post # 7
We are also having Mexican food! But we are Mexican so it was a no brainer. That being said is pollo loco the only place you’ve looked into? It’s good I can admit I enjoy it but the quality isnt the best.
Post # 8
I had a courthouse wedding so this might be a lot of a different vibe I was going for but we had family on the beach and I hired a “taco guy” as they call them in southern California. Everyone LOVED having food that wasn’t traditional. But we were also wearing jeans and sneakers to the “reception”.
In short, I would LOVE having that kind of food served.
Post # 9
I am not familiar with el pollo loco as we don’t have them. I’m sure we have similar though – we’ve got pollo campero.
I am not a food snob so long as it is served timely, tastes good (although you seem like you are pretty meh about this option), and there is plenty of it. I have been to some casual weddings with delivery pizza and I had a good time. My SO would gladly attend a wedding with chicken fingers and fries. But where I do side eye a little is pretending it is something it is not. Fast food and disposible plates are casual. It just is.
And everyone has a budget. This is your first post so I don’t know any other details about yours, but I will side-eye if it looks like expenses go to other things rather than guest enjoyment or tries to be more formal than what they are willing/able to host. For example, I see an expensive venue, large floral centerpieces, and/or you rented a limo, but skimped on food or went with mediocre fast food. Or people who put black tie or formal on their invitations because they want their guests to show up in formalwear for pretty pictures and then have cash bar or only serve light apps in a budget venue during dinner because they blew their budget on expensive designer wedding outfits. Maybe that isn’t fair, but if everything is sort of consistent across the board it isn’t really noticeable. It really only comes into play when things are wildly mismatched and it becomes apparent it is the unfortunate circumstance that they cared more about their aesthetics than guest enjoyment. Not saying that is what you are doing – there isn’t enough info – just telling you the thought process so you can judge if that is the case here.
Post # 10
Just no…but I don’t eat fast food.
Post # 11
I love great Mexican food.
That said–if you don’t want a casual reception then fast Mexican and plastic/disposable ware are not the way to go. That’s the epitome of casual. You either need to adjust your vision and guest list or adjust your budget/offerings.
Post # 12
I think Mexican food is a nice idea but personally I would not go with fast food style food for a wedding reception. Would it be possible to do a taco bar with a regular caterer? It also sounds like there would be added cost factored in via the chafing dishes, appetizers, sides, and other add-ons you’d have to purchase to make it work. In the end, it might be more cost effective to go with a more traditional caterer.
Post # 13
I think this sounds great! And it won’t break the bank, which is most important in the end. Honestly, when I go to weddings, I remember the ceremony/venue space and I remember what dress I wore (and any other details that were really pretty or unique) haha. I never really remember the food. It’s totally not worth spending a fortune on.
Plus, who doesn’t love tacos?!
Post # 14
I LOVE EL POLLO LOCCO. I would be excited about this as my meal!
Post # 15
Mexican food isn’t inherently casual, but as some PPs have said, the real issue is that El Pollo Loco is fast food. If it’s not branded it might not be a big deal, but I’m sure the quality might be noticeable to some. Like a real burger place versus Wendy’s or something. It depends on the vibe you are going for.
ETA: Where are you located? You say the venue is on the bay. Is that as in the Bay Area or somewhere else in the country? I ask because proximity to quality Mexican food could be an issue. If the sd in your user name refers to San Diego I don’t think that’s going to fly…