Post # 1
I need help! Still over a year away and I am already stressing out . We originally wanted a location that has a barn, and tent set-up. We planned on doing a pig roast, and bbq chicken? I have no idea how much food I would need to buy. We are trying to cut costs so that we can keep this location but I am having trouble with how much food I would need for around 350 people? Cheap sides corn on the cob, mashed potatoes, salad, beans? Our other issue is that this location does not have a kitchen. No money in the budget for a caterer. Any thoughts from diy brides, or anyone that has done a bbq reception? thank you!!
Post # 2
I think the main thing you have to consider is how you are going to deal with no kitchen? When and where will the food be made? How far away is the venue? How will you keep food hot/cold? Who will serve?
you need to be very careful with these things so no one gets sick.
Post # 3
I catered BBQ with a really similar menu for 200 guests for around $1000; providing our own plates, silver ware, linens, and drinks.
No it matter what you do, unless you have a potluck, it is not going to be cheap to feed 350+ guests.
Is the barn an actual venue or is it private property that you have access to? If it is a venue, I would ask the staff what other brides have done. My concern would be the timing of the event from a food safety perspective. If you have to cook it off site, be sure it doesn’t have to sit too long after it arrives. Especially any potato salad or salad dressings if refrigeration is not available. The rest you should be able to keep warm with chaffing stations. But still, I wouldn’t let it sit more than 1-2 hours tops.
Post # 4
Me again! Would you roast the pig on site? That’s a fun touch! How far away is the nearest kitchen you have access to?
My other concern is that 350+ people is a huuuuuge number to cook for. Like you would need to have a ton of kitchen space to store the first 20 batches of everything cooked while the second 20 were cooking etc.
For that number of people, I would price different BBQ restaurants in your area and juggle your budget to make it work.
If you really want the barn but can’t afford the BBQ dinner, would you be open to a cake and punch reception instead? there are so many rustic/charming ways you could DIY this (assuming you are going for the rustic look since you want a barn?).
Or, if you are super attsched to the BBQ but can’t afford that and the barn, could you find a les expensive venue like a local church or event hall and DIY the decor to get the rustic look? That’s what I’m doing!
Post # 5
What is your budget for food and drink?
Post # 6
Why not get the BBQ catered. Even going through a caterer, BBQ will be cheaper than a sit down dinner or most other types of cuisine. It might be nice to cut down on the stress of having them worry about the food logistics. Or, just get a QUOTE for an order, and they’ll let you know how many trays to get, and then do it yourself, if you find the price unreasonable, and you REALLY don’t want to use a caterer.
Post # 7
- Wedding: May 2015 - St Peter\'s Church, East Maitland, and Bella Vista, Newcastle
Honestly it sounds like a massive logistical nightmare. Do you really want to spend your wedding day worried about how you’re going to keep the meat warm, the salads cold and make sure no one gets food poisoning? And who will staff it – carve the meat, replenish sides etc etc? I would think you’d have to rent a chiller trailer, portable ovens and a generator which is likely to push your budget out significantly. Can you look into a spit roast company – they do this kind of thing all the time and will take all the worry out of it for you.
Post # 8
Do you live anywhere that could do like, BBQ food trucks? The ones around here are like $10 a head, and you don’t have to worry about keeping the food safe.
Post # 9
I’ve been to several events where they had outdoor BBQ for catering, and they all involved hiring some kind of company to do it. If you want to do a pig roast, for example, you need the spit and everything and have to keep it at a certain temperature for things to cook correctly. Who’s going to do that? It may not be as expensive as you imagine.
Post # 10
I agree with previous posters. There’s a barbecue place near me that will come to your event and roast a whole pig with two sides. They say it feeds about 100 people and costs $800 – I think . A lot of that is time and labor though. Have you asked local BBQ places what the cost would be for a buffet style meal with pulled pork and chicken? We got quotes for that near $12-$15 a person including sides and drinks.
Post # 11
If you are doing your own barbeque you can rent big grills or smokers. Cheapest way to make sides for that many people is to go starch heavy. Macaroni salad is super cheap to make, as well, as potato salad. It’s a lot of people to feed. Also, going to need a lot of coolers with no refrigeration. Need to figure if you are going to have to rent those as well.
Post # 12
We had 38 people, ourselves included. My husband roasted tri-tip, bread and potatoes. The potatoes didn’t cook through and had to go in an oven where somebody burned half of them. It was work, work, work all morning to prepare meals. I wouldn’t have had it any other way, but I also would never do it for such a huge number of people. You will lose your mind if you don’t hire help.
Things we did that could help you: buy prepared lettuce and bags of other veggies. Slice them all into bowls and let people do their own salads for a starter. That bought us some time with cooking the rest of the meal and also made better salads because people didn’t have to pick off everything they hated.
Keep it simple: do the chicken or the pig, but not both. Get rolls, make sandwiches with the pork. Pick one or two sides, not three+. Obviously this was easier for our smaller group because we didn’t have any dietary restrictions to worry about. With 350, I guarantee that you will. Slice up your potatoes, roll them into foil with seasonings and toss them into the piggie fire or something. The more you can do all at the same time, the better.
Don’t have food that spoils. You’re basically outside. No mayonnaise based products unless you want someone to get sick. Also a good reason not to do the chicken. You don’t want some kind soul helping you prepare and leaving something in the sun.
Get your nearest and dearest to bake cookies or something for dessert. We did that for our rehearsal dinner and used the leftovers on the wedding day, plus a strawberry shortcake bar.
Good luck, but really you’d be better off seeing if your budget can take a hit somewhere else to get a caterer. That is such a large crowd to do unprofessionally. I was pretty high strung for our small crowd!
Post # 13
For 350 people I would seriously prioritze having someone else do the cooking.