catering my own wedding

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Joined May 10, 2013
ok, so the more and more i look online at caterers, the more i'm like, "why don't i just do it myself and save the hassle of paying an arm and a leg for fancy china and plates".

has anyone done this?  obviously doing a plated dinner creates a headache, so i'm assuming buffet style.  what entrees do you think lend well to holding for about 2 hours over a sternos?  ceremony starts at 5, dinner at 6, so i should have the food ready to go by no later than 430.  

you think its worth the stress?  i mean if successful, huge self pat on the back, if not, mushy/overcooked food.  timing is everything so just trying to get ideas of what works best in others' opinions.

thanks!
 
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Trust me, you do not want to cater your own wedding.  It will suck out all of the enjoyment of the wedding itself and you'll be too exhausted to even care.  If cost is an issue then ask family and friends to help like a pot luck.  Or ask help from your colleagues.  But seriously you cannot be getting married and serving food at the same time.  And guess what, when you do it yourself you have to put all your worries on that china and fancy plates yourself and you're still going to have to pay for it.
 
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Be sure the bride is sewing her own dress, your sister is taking the photos, your future father in law is baking the cake and your mother is handling the floral arrangements. 

I certainly hope that sounds silly because catering your own wedding is just as silly. Bridezilla, timing, stress, mushy food, exhaustion and so much more. 

Save your energies for enjoying the event. It's not just your fiancé who's having a big day. 

     I really like the pot luck idea. As serious foodies/professionals, we all know the importance we place on the preparation of food for others. What better way to share the day than by having others share a favorite dish as an expression of their love and support for the two of you. 
 
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She: -Listen Alfrede! You're the most greedy, miser, avaricious, stingy man i've ever met. I will never, never in my life marry you! Here you have the f*** wedding ring!

He: -Ok, but where's the ring box?

Good luck with the catering.
 
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What part of watching other caterers makes you think its no biggie, to just do it yourself? 

All I can figure is the ones you've watched are total pros....and pros by very definition always

"make it look easy". But there is more to catering than just putting the food out, then running

off to do other things. (like getting married!)  

At a wedding especially, be it plated or action-station, or self-serve buffet, it requires almost constant attention, 

or at least awareness, of the caterer, to immediately handle unforeseen problems before the become major ones. 

If this is truly a budget issue, either get married at a time between meals, or delegate something ELSE to relatives, 

because of all the tasks that hire out normally for weddings, the catering, the cake and the photography are THEE 

most important ones to NOT do yourself. Your guests remember the the food and the cake, and YOU remember 

the photos....forever, hopefully. 

I've heard/known of people successfully doing their own DJ-ing, their  own flowers/center pieces, even their own

invitations. But I've never known of anyone who did their own food that didn't live to firmly regret it.

Learn from history, and listen to the pros--that's what we're all here for. 
 
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oh man, catering your own wedding is way too stressful.  You need to enjoy the day and not think about working.  
 

pete

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A lot of great advice here-Don't Do It!!!!!  Way too much involved and you won't get time to enjoy it at all.  Yes, it is hard to think about paying that kind of money to a caterer when you are in the business and could handle it yourself, but really, is this something you really want to take on during your wedding?  If you really can't afford it, then I would do what KK suggests and do a Pot Luck dinner.  This is what my brother did.  He asked me to provide a significant amount of BBQ'd Pulled Pork and then asked all the guests to bring a dish.  It turned out great.

For my wedding, we were very hands on, doing a lot of things, and I even considered catering it myself, but my soon-to-be wife convinced me to let caterers handle it.  It was the best decision I made.  I was able to relax, enjoy our wedding and not have to worry about getting food prepared, getting it set up, etc.

Don't take that stress on.
 

cerise

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I might opt for Paella and a really big salad. Only one dish to clean.. but it's not my party, and I'm not cooking ;-)  What does the future Mrs. think (want to eat/serve)? What's the budget?

  http://www.halfbakedharvest.com/skillet-grilled-seafood-and-chorizo-paella/

Have guests/friends/family meet you in Vegas, and pay for an all-you-can-eat buffet.

I would relax and enjoy the day... and not ask folks to get dressed up and schlep casserole dishes around.  Just my opinion.
 
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Not a new or novel idea but why not hit up a few of the wedding forums and do a search?

See what others have to say and discuss it with them.

Then you can go in with your eyes open.

My personal advice?

If money is the issue get married with only family and very close friends then celebrate the day with brunch at a nice restaurant.

Then in a few months when everything has settled down have a big blowout.

mimi
 

kuan

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We didn't cater.  We just booked eight tables at a Chinese restaurant and ordered ahead the 12 course dinner.  :D  No dance nothing after. Just eat and leave already!  LOL!  Yeah I know, we were terrible but we didn't have money and the restaurant owner was a friend.  In fact the cake was also an industry favor.
 
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We had a potluck reception with aloha shirts, hammocks, and a wiffle ball softball game.

Can anybody here tell me what the menu was at wedding they attended 30 years ago?

We still have people fondly reminiscing about our wiffle ball recepetion :~)
 
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We didn't cater.  We just booked eight tables at a Chinese restaurant and ordered ahead the 12 course dinner.  :D  No dance nothing after. Just eat and leave already!  LOL!  Yeah I know, we were terrible but we didn't have money and the restaurant owner was a friend.  In fact the cake was also an industry favor.
One of our ED docs married a beauty queen from China.

The reception food was awesome.

mimi
 

cerise

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There are a couple of Chinese restaurants around town that offer rice and a noodle, and your choice of 1, 2, or 3 main dish combos and/or sides at a set reasonable price. For a large group or party, they cook it up to order in large aluminum trays. You can pick them up, or have it delivered. Call around and compare prices.
 
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Alright lemme say this then..... 

if you really want to save some....AND you're not doing a sit down plated affair...

(and BTW we still dont know how many people!) 

then you can buy from an established 'strant as suggested by Cerise above, bring it 

to the party and set it up.

BUT, you still need to have someone responsible and committed to monitor the feeding

operation from that point. Once you're off to participate in your own wedding, you need to

be OUT of the food op completely--and that means NO coming to the bride and groom 

to get this-and-that question answered. 
 
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Along those lines.... There is a "crazy chicken" chain that we used to cater professional society meetings (around 100 grumpy old men). Could buy just the food, or buy delivery and service with servers. All we ever had to do is show rhem where to set up, and tell them what we wanted to do with the leftovers. Generally all were satisfied. It all depends on how formal or casual the affair will be.
 
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oh relax you guys!  lol anywho, its for 20 of my closest family and friends.  and for the record, there is no bride in this wedding, just two grooms.  i'm thinking one entree and a few sides.  i'm thinking tamales, beef bourguignone or duck confit.  
 

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