(Closed) Self catering ideas- need INEXPENSIVE food stations ideas

posted 5 years ago in Food
Post # 3
5660 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Baked Potato bar! YUM

Or taco bar

Post # 4
12247 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

Potato bar, salad bar…

Post # 5
251 posts
Helper bee

@brokeninnj:  Lettuce Wraps:

These are great, and fairly inexpensive. You can grill up chicken, put a little chicken, rice, and whatever else in a leaf of lettuce and let guests wrap em up and munch on em!

Imitation Crab Pasty Bites:
 These are also fairly inexpensive (and yummy) to make. Get imitation crab, this stuffing/sauce stuff (not sure what its called) and pastry bread. Wrap em up, cook em, and serve!

 Hushpuppies are YUMMY and a great finger food (and a lot of people like them). They are also really inexpensive to make too!


These are just some ideas I’ve seen done at weddings/family events, and have thought they are yummy!

Post # 6
147 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@brokeninnj:  Hmmmmm this sounds way doable! 


I would suggest an International Theme. 

1. Italian Station- Various Pastas 

2. American Station- Hamburgers, Mashed Potatoes w/ toppings, chicken wings 

3. Asian Station- (sky’s the limit!)

4. Dessert Bar


Make sure you have lots of help if you decide to go this route, though! 

Post # 7
251 posts
Helper bee

Another twist to an old favorte:
Fruit and Cheese Kabobs!

Put the fruit/cheese you like on a kabob, have a variety of scoopable sauces, and voila! Great finger food!

For a heartier option:
Grilled Spicy Chicken Tender Kabobs!

Post # 8
1319 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014 - NH

Gourmet popcorn station (you know…all of the tin goodness plus a few….butter, caramel, white cheddar, smoked paprika)

Empanadas (cheese, chicken, beef…super cheap and tasty)…you can do a spanish rice on the side too if you want, super cheap

A gourmet grilled cheese (can add in bacon, tomato, etc.and tomato soup station

You could do mini “gourmet” salads…strawberry/spinach, greens with feta, an olive and onion slice…greens with walnut, goat cheese and dried cranberries

Chocolate mousse shots and canoli cups

Hot chocolate bar with booze shots and pretty extras…whipped cream, marshmallows.






Post # 9
1777 posts
Buzzing bee

pork shoulder to make pulled pork sandwiches is inexpensive and can be done much earlier – and frozen – until you want to warm and serve it.



Post # 10
8576 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

We are doing a soup & salad bar, [3 types of soups, 3 types of salads, and an assortment of toppings & bread].

For our late night snack, we’re doing a nacho bar.



Post # 11
739 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Taco bar and salad bar would be my top picks 🙂

Post # 12
1835 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2012 - Oak Tree Manor

A nacho bar would be really fun and cheap!!

Post # 13
315 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

We’re doing the food for our cocktail hour ourselves, then having the meal catered. So far we have planned on:

A cheese display (we are doing an East Coast/West Coast theme with this one, with an assortment of California and New England cheeses, since he is from LA, I am from New Husband, and we met and live in SF), with homemade preserves, local honey, fresh grapes and figs, and a few different types of nuts with different seasonings

A charcuterie display with grainy mustard and various pickled vegetables

Crudites with a few different dip options (haven’t decided yet but I am leaning toward bacon-leek, smoked salmon, and basil pesto)

A miniature sandwich station with: biscuits with country ham and peach mostarda, loster rolls with homemade aioli, and peanut butter and jam with fresh berries on cinnamon swirl challah (it sounds out of place but it has personal meaning to Fiance and I as well as his family)

If you do pasta, I would recommend assembling baked pasta dishes well ahead of time and freezing them, or, for normal sauced pastas, making the sauce ahead, reheating it in a crock pot or chafing dish, and mixing in pre-cooked noodles just before serving.

If you are doing things like mini hamburgers, you will need someone to man a grill and assemble them. In that case you may want to expand your grill menu to pre-assembled skewers like @LynnSnow suggested.

Warm dips and fillings, like the lettuce wraps above or pulled pork as @fascinated mentioned, keep well in Crock Pots or chafing dishes also.

I am also very fond of fried turkey for large gatherings, but you would definitely need a fryer and someone to manage it.

I would personally avoid anything that would be high effort to serve and/or not keep well: chicken wings (unless served straight off the grill), mashed potatoes, grilled cheese. No one wants to eat lukewarm or gluey food, and you won’t want to have to worry about how service is being managed on your wedding day.


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