(Closed) Food for low budget reception

posted 6 years ago in Food
Post # 16
Member
162 posts
Blushing bee

A lot of caterers are doing pizzas! That might be an option. Even breakfast options are available. Buffet styles also make things easier, salads; soup/stew; cheese spreads; fruit platters; roasted fish. Think holiday foods. You can also do punches to lower your alcohol costs (if any)

Post # 17
Member
1253 posts
Bumble bee

View original reply
jnd224:  But guests aren’t supposed to be vendors. They shouldn’t be serving/grilling food if they have been invited to celebrate with you. Wouldn’t you be sad if you traveled from out of state to see your family member get married- but oh wait!- you had to grill the chicken, set up the crock pots, serve the other guests – those who DID get to celebrate with the Bride & Groom.

Guests are guests. Vendors are vendors. 

Call local vendors to see the costs, if you haven’t already done so, you can’t know whether or not they’ll be in budget!

Post # 18
Member
10 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: April 2016

We’re having a brunch reception (the wedding is at 11am): chicken salad croissants, deviled eggs, cheese platter, muffins, veggie platter…

Post # 19
Member
494 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

My best friend just had a 2 day camping/picnic wedding and on the first night she had some big paellas and a food truck that served soft tacos and chips (you could do this yourself though!) And the second night she had BBQd corn cobs with boiled potatoes and chili. It was all vegan and all really yum and easy!

Post # 20
Hostess
1440 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I think it wouldn’t hurt to at least reach out to some caterers to see what they could do within your budget.  My family self-catered my sister’s wedding.  The food was great (smoked pork tenderloin, bbq brisket, pulled pork, ribs, pasta salad, coleslaw, baked beans) and they probably saved a little money.  But it stressed my mom out, and my sister, and her mother in law, and all of us bridesmaids who helped monitor the food.  

Post # 22
Member
864 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2006

View original reply
jnd224:  

What about serving a brunch or breakfast meal? 

Post # 23
Member
1720 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

how many people will you have? under 50 and this is very do-able …. 50- 100  it starts to get difficult and I would say over 100 it’s close to impossible (unless you happen to be a caterer or have one in the family that you can borrow things like chafing dishes, coolers etc from)

I think that the BBQ menu you are suggesting is great – I would throw in some big trays of mac and cheese, a green salad (lettuce, tomato, cucumber, olives and a few types of dressing) and maybe some corn (let the kids go at it and peel it the day before)

remember that cooking all the food is just one part of the plan… storing it the night before, re-filling plates as they empty, keeping things sanitary and cleaning up after is the bigger part in a lot of ways so make sure you are very realistic about this – how much are you willing to do and do you have family/friends who will really pitch in and do the ‘gross’ stuff (like dumping out trays of congealed fat or scrubbing down 10 pans in a row or changing wet drippy garbage) cause a lot of people say of couse I will help but when its time to actually get your hand dirty people tend to be a bit more scarce and you need to be ok with doing that type of stuff on your wedding day (in your wedding dress potentially)

Post # 25
Member
1720 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

also I would say forget about this idea of everyone doing 5 or 10 min of work – in order for this to actually work I would say that you need about 2 full time “workers” per 10 people at the wedding

so if you have 50 guests expect that 10 people will need to be full on working the whole time starting about 2 days before (ie making lists of what you need, shopping for supplies, prepping food the night before, setting up the morning of, actually grilling/heating food/filling trays, going around collecting used/dirty dishes, taking out trash, running to get more supplies when you run out of cups/ napkins etc, washing down the tables at the end of the night, putting away the chair etc)

 

Post # 26
Member
644 posts
Busy bee

BBQ restaurant in our place do catering for ~$12pp and theirs are awesome!

Post # 28
Member
202 posts
Helper bee

If you’re open to doing something a little less rustic, an afternoon tea could be beautiful. Have a table with different flavors of chilled teas, served alongside lemon wedges, cream, honey, sugar. Then a table of savory finger foods – cucumber sandwiches, chicken salad on croissants, savory cheese and chive scones with butter, miniature quiches, miniature ham sandwiches, a cheese tray. Also, a table of sweets – sweet scones and crumpets with clotted cream and jams, little cupcakes, cookies, a fruit tray, maybe a trifle or banana pudding. We’ve done this type of party for a crowd of about 30, and it was beautiful. 

Post # 29
Member
1441 posts
Bumble bee

I love lunch with salamis, cheese, fruit, etc.  However one of the things you intially posted was that you wanted people to be sure to have enough to eat.  And the charcuterie type lunch is one where people may not leave feeling as full as after a BBQ type meal. 

Both nice, just different, and very distant from what you initially said you wanted. 

ETA:  Agree with PP that you need to really plan.  How many platters, will they fit in the refrigerator space you have?  Can you prepare the platters at home and take them to the venue or will you prep at home and assemble at the venue?  Who will restock platters?  Who will slice fruit at relative last minute so it doesn’t brown too much.  Outside?  how to minimize ants/wasps/flies?  Will you need something to cover platters? Any salads that will need to be kept chilled?  How? chaffers or other bowls with ice?  It’s doable.  Just really plan each step, make great lists of who is doing what, and make sure you pay attention to food safety.   

Post # 30
Member
178 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

Something to think about… 

My aunt has a big estate house and she hosts extended family at Christmas and Easter, about 50 people. Normally she nominates people in the family to bring either a dessert or a side. Even with spreading the load, it is still a huge operation. She starts cooking two days before everybody comes, and on the day, she is in the kitchen almost the entire time. Fiance and I and various aunts and cousins will help, but there is still so much to be done. Moving food from the cool room, making sure there are enough serving utensils, cutting bread rolls, organizing cutlery, plates and napkins, timing everything to make sure everything is hot at the same time and not overcooked, and then washing all the dishes. It is exhausting and a huge effort by everyone involved. 

Keep in mind that you want people to be able to attend your wedding ceremony, not be working in the kitchen trying to get your reception ready. If everybody attends and then start cooking, that is going to be a huge gap between the ceremony and when people actually start getting fed. And that the people who are running around trying to organize everything won’t get as much of a chance to eat and socialize. I think having everybody contribute 5-10 minutes is a horrible idea, because it takes about that long to explain what has to happen next. 

I would definitely go with something more casual.. like a catered picnic with pre-made sandwiches, or a pizza party. Trying to organize a self-catered or potluck thing for this many people with no outside help is basically saying that either the meal is going to start 3 hours after the ceremony or people will have to miss your ceremony. 

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 8 months ago by missmunch.

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