Post # 1
Ok, so our wedding is at 2pm with a short reception following, and we’re in Southern California.
Simple outdoor ceremony and reception in a large room at our church. I’m going to make my own cupcakes (because I have a recipe that’s amazingly easy to make and super yummy).
What I’m concerned about is the other food. We really don’t want much food. Certainly not a sit down dinner. We just want light hors d’oeurves for about 120 people, maybe 10 pieces per person–not a full meal. We plan to be out of there by 5 and most of our guests aren’t coming from more than an hour of two away so we don’t think this is a big deal.
Anyway, our budget for the hors d’oeurves is like $900-1100. Is it completely ridiculous for me to come to a basic caterer with that kind of budget? We want really simple food (sliders, quesadillas, fruit, deviled eggs, mini pizzas, mini egg rolls, etc.), not fancy lobster skewers or anything.
Would it make more sense for me to just plan on making it all myself or is it worth it to try to haggle with a less fancy caterer with that type of budget? Anybody have experience or advice on this?
Post # 3
We considered doing it ourselves too – we had heavy appetizers as well. We ended up paying a caterer about $3,000 (225 people to do it.)
I am SO glad we didn’t do it ourselves. I can’t even tell you how crazy the day of the wedding was, there would have been no way on Earth, LOL.
Post # 4
What if you spoke with a restaurant? Many offer a catering service but don’t have that high charge. We looked into this in the VERY early stages of planning it was so much cheaper.
Post # 5
Check with a caterering school or cooking school in your area they might be able to help for cheaper. I think a lot of that might be possible to just pick up from costco. I’d check with supermarkets or even deli’s about the items you just listed rather than an actual caterer. I think you could find help with that menu, especially if they just drop the food off and go. I’m having a full buffett for 150 and our caterer is 5k with 2 waiters, 2 bartenders, and a captain. Also it would depend on how many people you have coming.
Post # 6
I think you could talk to a local restaurant about doing the catering especially if you just want it buffet style. I had a girlfriend that owned a local bar and she used to do a ton of these kinds of things and at a much smaller price. I really don’t want the stress of having to do our own food. I just want to sit back and enjoy the day.
Post # 7
DO NOT attempt on doing this yourself. You cannot imagine how hectic that day can become and taking on that task is just too much…especially since you are supposed to enjoy that day as the bride. Let caterers handle that and I do think that you can most definitely find someone in that price range.
Post # 8
If you have reliable team of friends who will help you do this and who have xperience with food then you should be ok. But do you seriously want to be stressed out with catering on your wedding day? I think taking on the cupcakes is enough, you should let someone else do the rest
Post # 9
We did do all the appetizers, and I had aunts and my mom and some family that helped. It was a really great bonding experience, and made it a really great DIY boasting point. 🙂 I would say go for it!! (oh, our appetizers were for 300+ people)
Post # 10
Shop around and ask. You may end up getting stuff pre-made from an italian restaurant (like anitpasta platters etc). Many caterers will give you appetizers per head or per piece which can range from $5 per head for a cheese table to $1 per piece. That very easily adds up and often it doesnt include the plates, silverware or tip.
Post # 11
Maybe you could get premade things at a place like costco and just hire a few people to set up, help serve and clean up.
Post # 12
Costco and maybe making a few small things is what I was considering. I’ve had quite a few people offer to help me (a couple who’ve done non-professional catering before). So it wouldn’t just be me slaving away in the kitchen all night the night before :). That would be cheaper too.
I’m just worried about it being too tacky and if I can get something like that for that price it would be a whole lot less hassle.
Anyway, I’ll look into some local restaurants and see if they have anything similar to what I’m wanting.
Post # 13
@kala_way:It may be a godn DIY task for the ladies in the family. You will have to decided if it’s more important for them to enjoy the day or replenish, reheat and serve the food. It’s not difficult but it does require some work to make sure everything is appealing to the eye and is served promptly to remain hot/cold.
Post # 14
I think it would be doable if you had friends/family who would be willing to take charge of it for you, especially the day off (stores like Costco and gordons have great premade appetizer sorts of things that just need cooking).
We just did desserts for our reception and I had family and friends who made them for us. It wasn’t the fanciest thing ever (though I’ve seen people who have done that and made it way fancy, so that was just us), but it worked.
Post # 15
I considered doing excatly what you were planning, and THANK GOODNESS I didn’t! Even though you think you will have time, things get so hectic days leading up to the wedding, you will be crazed!
My suggestion is to look into markets, like a Central Market or Whole Foods. They have a great selection of appetizers, and to save money you could have ppl pick the food up vs. being delivered.
Post # 16
most things can be made ahead and refrigerated/frozen, then heated up the day of. that would certainly be doable. i’d also pick up some fruit and cheese trays from costco.
you can definitely do this yourself if you choose things that can be made ahead, and assign someone to be in charge of heating up/setting out the food. you definitely don’t want to be in the kitchen on your wedding day though!