Post # 1
We are getting married on my parent’s property and will need to figure some way of dealing with food for the reception. There are not that many catering companies in town. Originally my idea was to get food from a few of our favorite places (a local taco/mexican place for FH and an Italian place for me, BBQ for my parents) Now I am trying to think of the logistics of keeping 3 types of food warm in September. Is this gonna be possible? Should I just go with one catering company that will come and set everything up?
Post # 3
Hopefully some of the "we did the food ourselves" brides will weigh in. I know this can be done, and I haven’t heard of any logistic nightmares, but I don’t really know.
Maybe you can contact the restaurants you were thinking of and see what they suggest?
Post # 4
At home bride here! We’re having our wedding catered because although we want the relaxed feeling of having everyone at a family home, I don’t want my Mum elbow deep in some pasta salad, ya know? Doing food yourself is totally possible, but it depends entirely on your expectations for how much free time you need to devote to other things the day of and the day before. Do you have someone you could allocate to warming and managing chaffing dishes for you, or would you have to arrange your "getting ready" time around food prep done by you? Do you or anyone in your family actually enjoy hosting meals, and are comfortable with the responsibility? You’d have to rent a bunch of catering supplies, like chaffing dishes, cutlery, dishes, serving utensils, and then you’d be responsible for cleaning all that stuff after the fact. I personally thought it was eaiser and worth the expense to use a caterer rather than having to do it all myself.
Don’t discount the possibility that one of those favourite restaurants might do catering too. Most restaurants will, they just might not advertise that fact if it isn’t part of their core business.
Maybe try doing a bit more planning, investigating, budgeting of DIY food and see how you feel about all of it.
Post # 5
Caterers often use metal frames, with food trays placed inside and oil candles underneath to keep everything warm – maybe you could rent some of these chargers from a rental company or caterer that has plenty.
Post # 6
Hello! We’re not having our wedding at home, but we’re having it at a golf course which is owned by friends of the family, and it’s a nice place but doesn’t have a full-service commercial kitchen or anything so we’re kind of in the same boat. We’re hiring a local BBQ place to cater everything, just because I don’t want to worry about the food being cold, etc. It is actually pretty comprable to what we were going to pay to self-cater, so my suggestion would be to see if you can work with any of those local establishments that you mention to see if they can come up with something that fits your budget.
We called around and gave places our budget up front — we told them we want to feed everyone and cover service for this price, and let them work on quotes to those specs. That way, we’ve avoided the awkward "We’re too poor" conversation (), and have also avoided having to haggle.
That said, I do absolutely think self-catering is possible. I’ve known brides who’ve done this, and the way they’ve made it work is to choose cold side dishes (i.e. chips & salsa, different salads, etc) and one main hot dish, which simplified things because there was only one dish to worry about heating. If you do self-cater, I would suggest that you simplify, simplify, simplify so as to avoid having to worry too much about it on your wedding day.
Good luck! You’ll have to keep us posted.
Post # 7
Perhaps you could use a caterer for the main meal, and then you could do the hors’d or apps yourself, along with some side dishes? Just remember that you and your family are going to have a much bigger role on the day of the wedding. You will be hosting people and your family will probably need to spend more time with guests than they do in the kitchen. If you can afford it, using one catering company might help save you from some headaches.
Post # 8
Will your food buffet be inside or outside? If it’s inside (or if you can logistically find a way to put it in some sort of building, tent, shelter, etc…) you may not need to worry too much about it. But if it’s outside you’ll definitely need chaffing trays.
My brother and SIL had Qdoba cater, and they didn’t use chaffing trays, as it was an indoors buffet. It was a November wedding in Colorado, and it worked perfect! The food came in large aluminum trays, which they kept in the oven on warm until the reception. Then we all set out the trays and dug in!
Post # 9
Jon and Sherry at This Young House DIYed their catering for their 2007 at-home wedding. Check it out! it was a gorgeous wedding and looks like those involved (even the guys on the grill) had a great time!