Seriously considering Papa Murphy's pizza for dinner- thoughts?

posted 2 years ago in Food
  • poll: Is all of this work and planning worth it?

    No. Skip the photobooth, DJ, and second shooter, and let the professionals handle the food.

    It could work. Making room in the budget could be worth it.

  • Post # 2
    323 posts
    Helper bee

    To me, feeding guests a good meal is essential; a second photographer and photobooth are not. There IS a taste difference between Papa Murphy’s and a pizza truck, there really truly is.

    Post # 3
    8392 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper

    Cut the second shooter and order real pizza. Splurging on something so unncessary but cutting out something major from the guests is backwards IMO. 

    eta – $15 per head is $1650 incl vendors. You’re already spending $1320 on your DIY idea. I would seriously try to cut $300 elsewhere and avoid this for the hassle and your guest experience. 

    Post # 4
    9561 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: October 2013

    i had 1 photog for 120 guests and it was fine.  he got every shot i wanted. 

    if you are really pinching pennies, a photobooth and 2nd photog are not neccessary. 

    you can do a DIY photobooth.


    or how about pizza from costco?  i hear it is pretty good. we use them to cater sometimes but haven’t done pizza yet.

    Post # 5
    1180 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2019

    This seems like a lot of work and possible hiccups. I would cut the photobooth (this is something you could DIY), the 2nd photog, and possibly the DJ. How much does your DJ cost? Could you DIY this also and make your own playlist?

    Post # 6
    2227 posts
    Buzzing bee

    A couple things:

    1) You always need more help than you plan on. 2 ppl doing the in/out of baking, cutting, running pizzas in and out of a back room might be too much for just 2 ppl and you run the risk of a pizza getting left behind haha. So, I’d budget for another set of hands and delegate who does what and at what times. Person A is nothing but cleanup and refills of trays, Person B assembles, Person C is on oven and miscellaneous tasks duty or however you decide to split that out

    2) One thing I’ve learned with Papa Murphy’s is that my oven cooks a pizza differently from my sisters oven to literally any other oven– so I’d test out the 4 pizza theory and get the timing down perfectly, or as close as possible so you know really if it’s that lowball 12 minute oven time or closer to 20 minutes. If it IS closer to 20ish minutes per 4 pizzas, maybe go ahead and have a batch made and look at renting or using some warming lamps. 

    As far as app suggestions outside of the usual cheese, crackers, grapes is maybe some hummus and pita stations, a serve yourself salad bar with some pasta salad or fruit salad options, too.

    Post # 7
    2175 posts
    Buzzing bee

    Food is the wrong place to DIY here. So many other things you mentioned, you could DIY for a larger cost savings.

    1) Photobooths are (or at least were when I got married!) expensive and are super easy to DIY. That DIY can be done in advance and makes it more personal. Also, I’ve been to a lot of weddings. I also think this is a thing no one will really care about if you cut it entirely.

    2) If your venue has a good sound system, you can really get away without a dj if you have a great playlist set up. Most weddings I’ve been to have done this and as long as you have someone who can announce things and press play on the computer, it works decently well.

    3) You can stil DIY apps without DIYing the whole meal if you want a compromise option. You’ll still need someone to put these out and you’ll have to manage getting them from the store, but it’s much lower risk than cooking your own pizzas.

    Post # 8
    4961 posts
    Honey bee

    Besides taste and quality and doing it professionally for a living – the main difference between your plan and those trucks is that pizza cooked in a quality wood-fired oven takes about 90 seconds.  So they are churning those suckers out to keep up with demand.  Those ovens run around 800 degrees and they are professionals – they can likely churn out at least 3 times as many pizzas in the same amount of time you take to cook 4 Papa Murphy’s pizzas in an oven.

    I have been to those DIY weddings (one even helmed by a guy in the restaurant business who should know better) and they have been horrible.  Food was poorly timed – we were waiting in line for 45 minutes and the food came out piecemeal, etc.  One wedding, the bride and groom finally gave up and called three separate pizza places to get as much food as possible asap (which was appreciated, but sucked because they had an awesome heavy apps menu planned that just failed miserably due to poor planning, too little cooking space in the venue and not hiring enough catering help. 80% of their food never even it made it onto the buffet.)  The other one, guests left early. Really early.  I saw many of them in Taco Bell, which is where we all stopped on the way home. 

    Food is not the place to skimp.  There are three things people remember about weddings – good food and drink, good music, and good surroundings (as in everyone has a seat and it isn’t too hot, cold, rainy, windy, or hilly).  People don’t care about photo booths if they are hungry.  Your wedding will be remembered for all the wrong reasons if you don’t have well-organized food and plenty of it.  

    Post # 9
    1989 posts
    Buzzing bee

    I think food is one of the most (if not the most) important parts of the reception. Nothing kills a party faster than hungry people. The best DJ or photobooth in the world won’t make guests have a great time if they’re hungry.

    I think you are discounting how much work baking/serving pizza for 100+ people is. You’d need all the pizza to be pretty much ready at the same time and be hot. Guessing it takes 15 minutes for the pizzas to bake, you can make 4 per batch and about 16 per hour, for about 130 slices per hour. I think you prob need to assume 2-3 slices per person, which means you’d need about 2 hours to bake all the pizzas. I don’t know how you would keep the first 4 pizzas hot while the rest bake. Plus, you will start running out very quickly on the buffet line and you will need more than 2 people to be running new, hot pizzas out to refill the line. 

    Plus, if only 2 people are helping, one person is running to a cottage to get the other pizzas while the other one is doing all the apps, serving the food, baking the pizzas….I just don’t see how it works.

    If dinner ends up running long, because they are still baking/putting out the pizzas, you’re wasting DJ time and DJ money. I don’t think most people would dance while they waited for dinner, they’d probably just sit at the tables or stand in the buffet line. 

    IDK if any of your guests are GF/DF, but that could also be an issue. 

    My best suggestion would be find more money in your catering budget by cutting somewhere else (DJ, photobooth, etc). 

    I think a vegetarian pasta from somewhere local (even like a papa romanos) with salad and breadsticks could be a really affordable option that requires 0 prep and can just sit in warming ovens/on bunson burners or in the fridge while you wait for dinner. It’s easy to refill a pan of pasta or salad or put out a new bread basket (bread baskets could even be on the table to eliminate that part). 

    Post # 10
    2359 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: August 2018

    I love pizza, especially Papa Murphy’s actually but it sounds like a logistcal nightmare. a DJ and photobooth are not necessary, I’d cut them and do something different for food. 

    Post # 11
    159 posts
    Blushing bee

    You’re better off just buying frozen pizzas if you’re going that route. It’ll be cheaper. I would not be pleased if I got any sort of pizza at a wedding, especiazlly delivery pizza.

    Post # 12
    2780 posts
    Sugar bee

    We didn’t have a low budget wedding, but we skipped the second shooter, photobooth, and DJ anyway. IMO they’re all totally unnecessary. I’d certainly cut those things before you cut back on food.

    Our photographer didn’t have a second shooter and he got every shot we wanted. It wasn’t even a compromise on our part, he just said, “normally I shoot by myself” and we trusted him. He came through 110%. 

    We opted not to do a photobooth — but if you want one you can DIY a selfie station easily and cheaply. 

    We DIY’d our playlists and borrowed professional speakers. One person was in charge of setting up speakers and queueing up the music. It all went smoothly. 

    Post # 13
    1522 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2018 - Location

    No this is not acceptable. Is your only food option pizza? 

    I have never seen photobooths even be used that much at the weddings I’ve been to, it is a waste of money if you can’t properly feed your guests.

    Post # 14
    2617 posts
    Sugar bee

    I loove pizza, but as another poster said – it sounds like a logistical nightmare. 

    Serving over 100 people ANYTHING all at the same time requires a lot of coordination and specific timing. 2 people with no catering experience is not going to cut it. It’s not about it being tacky, it’s about it being cooked properly/still warm/served in a timely fashion etc.

    You can still go with something cheaper and simple, but let professional caterers handle it. The other extras (emphasis on the word extras) you mentioned are much easier to DIY than the food. 

    Post # 15
    9388 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2016

    Love pizza. Did pizza at my wedding. Hire professionals.

    No one will care about a second photographer or photo booth. Dj would be nice.  But a lack of timely food?  Really problematic.


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