(Closed) Reception food is so stressful!

posted 5 years ago in Reception
  • poll: How should we feed 100 people?

    Send people off to have dinner (providing a list of our favorite restaurants near by) - no alcohol

    Catered hor d'ouvres and dessert - no alcohol

    DIY hor d'ouvres and dessert - possibly beer and wine

  • Post # 31
    Member
    488 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2015

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    AimeeHoag:  I choose option 2 but I feel like you need to change your start time.  If you are not providing dinner you either need to have an earlier wedding or a later one.  It isn’t right for people to come during dinner time and not be served dinner.

    Post # 32
    Member
    1848 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: April 2015

    Nothing is worse than being a guest at a wedding and being hungry. People will leave. And I know I’m a pretty chill guest, but if I’m going to be sent off somewhere, I’m gonna stay there. 

    $65/pp is dirt cheap here and I realize that is not the case everywhere. I’d rather go to a morning wedding with adequate food than an evening wedding where I’m starving. 

    Post # 33
    Member
    7528 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: October 2014

    Quality over quantity. Cut the guest list and give the smaller guest list a proper meal and some beer and wine. $65 a head for catering in Orange County is not all that bad. Don’t be so cheap that people end up wishing they’d stayed home.  If you want me to stay till 11pm you’re going to have to feed me dinner and give me some drinks.   If you send me off to get my own dinner, I’m not coming back.

    Post # 34
    Member
    1754 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2016

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    AimeeHoag:  I’m having a morning wedding and brunch reception partially due to costs of food! Just wanted to share that I’m looking for an all-day photographer who will stick around and meet up with us for “golden hour” shots. Most of them don’t have a problem doing that. 

    Post # 35
    Member
    3610 posts
    Sugar bee

    OP, didn’t you say that there were several different caterers permitted by your venue? Sorry if I missed this, but what were the other caterers’ quotes? Is $6,500 the absolute rock bottom quote you received from any of them?

    Post # 36
    Member
    1141 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2015

    It seems you already realize from the previous posts that you cant go without serving food to your evening wedding guests so I will offer a bit of advice here.

     

    We are doing an evening wedding and serving our food buffet style at about $21 per person by having it catered by a smokehouse, which is an often overlooked option, but smokehouses are usually very affordable! We are serving smoked turkey, brisket, ribs, baked beans, green beans, salad, and a grilled veggie pasta salad for our vegetarian guests and mini desert bites. There is no way we could have come close to this amount of food for this price from a typical catering company.

     

    You can still have an evening wedding, just look outside the box. If your venue is unwilling to allow a different vendor in then I suggest sucking up the loss of the deposit and looking elsewhere, specifically ask places if they have a list of caterers they allow or if you can bring in any vendor of your choosing. Community centers and schools are places people don’t really think about but they usually have large spaces to rent for weddings. You could also have your reception outside in a park, some parks have partially covered picnic areas that have electricity access, which can be rented fairly cheaply. Download the Nextdoor app and link up with your area and post asking if anyone knows of any hidden gems or unusual spaces that you could rent for cheap near you. Locals will have the best suggestions!

     

    Places that force you to use certain vendors are ALWAYS more expensive, because they know you have no choice but to pay whatever they want you to. When you are doing a wedding on a budget you have to look outside the “typical” vendors and rental spaces.

    Post # 37
    Member
    7199 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: October 2015

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    AimeeHoag:  Ok I didn’t vote because to me none of those options are acceptable. I’m a budget bride as well and I’m honestly horrified at that “rock bottom” quote. We’re getting married in San Diego- so I’d think prices in general would be about the same- and we’re feeding 250 for 3,000 including appitizers and a full buffet! 

    You said those caterers are the only ones that are allowed to use the kitchen. What if they didn’t use the kitchen and just brought everything in already prepared? My venue doesn’t even have a kitchen, so that’s what my caterers are doing. You would also then have the option of “self catering” by ordering pre-cooked food from a restaurant or something. Rent a few of those warming things and you’re golden. 

    Post # 38
    Member
    200 posts
    Helper bee

    My concern is about the booze! A dry wedding is fine if that’s what you and your Fiance want, but if it’s just for money then it just sounds like it wouldn’t be that much fun. I’d MUCH rather have a casual pizza and beer wedding then just a few fancy appetizers.

    I agree with PPs that without a real meal OR booze I wouldn’t want to stay until 11pm.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 5 months ago by  nothing.
    Post # 40
    Member
    3164 posts
    Sugar bee

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    AimeeHoag:  So are you thinking of finding another venue?

    Post # 42
    Member
    29 posts
    Newbee

    You may find catered hor d’ouvres will not save you much. For one you’re hosting at meal time so thats 10-12 bites per person and two making tiny appetizers, plating tiny appetizers is labor intensive and uses more dishes.

    To save money- cut your guest list. 

    OR- start your ceremony earlier or later to avoid a reception at a usual meal time. Ex. 2 pm ceremony – lunch buffet/ minimal dancing or 8 pm ceremony- snacks & sweets buffet

    If your venue allows you to bring in your booze you may find a champagne/ sparkling wine a great way to stretch the budget. Buy inexpensive champagne like Korbel and create a punch and serve it straight too.

    There are other ways to feed people on the cheap, but it may involve making your wedding super homemade with many hands helping you out.

    As a guest, I just want to know what to expect to determine if your wedding is something I really want to go to.

    Post # 43
    Member
    174 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: June 2015

    Do you have the venue for the entire day? You could also do a morning ceremony and a brunch wedding…that way you might be able to do pictures before it gets too hot out. Brunch buffets are generally pretty cheap. I went to a wedding with a 9:30 am ceremony and 10:30-1 reception. I thought it was beautiful.

    Post # 44
    Member
    7199 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: October 2015

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    AimeeHoag:  I’m using a venue that allows outside vendors, which was my primary concern because I didn’t want to end up in this exact situation! My caterer is Bekkers… but I found a few in that same price range. Message me if you want venue info.

    Post # 45
    Member
    15 posts
    Newbee
    • Wedding: August 2015

    If you really want pictures at the golden hour, maybe you could do a “first look” and your other photographs around that time.  Then have your ceremony at a little later time (after “dinner time”), and be able to do just hor d’ouvres.  

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