According to The Knot, one of the nation’s leading wedding websites and magazines, most couples end up spending roughly 48% of their total wedding budget on their wedding reception. While this figure takes into consideration the cost of renting and decorating the venue, a large portion of it is actually spent on feeding the guests. Even for a semi-small wedding of 100 people, you can easily end up spending thousands on having your wedding catered by a company.
Preparing the food and catering the wedding yourself is an inexpensive alternative to hiring a catering company, but like doing most things yourself, it can be strenuous and a lot of work. In your attempt to slash your budget, you may also end up sending your stress level through the roof. Here are some easy ways that will lessen the stress of catering your own wedding and make the entire process a more enjoyable experience.
While it is by no means a requirement that your wedding party help you prepare the food for your wedding, many will likely help you out willingly. Politely ask your bridesmaids, as well as other close friends and family members if they would mind helping you in the kitchen in preparation for the big day. Having 10 people prepare the food for the wedding will be a much easier feat to tackle than trying to take the entire job on solo.
Once you have friends and family willing to help you make the food, split everyone into teams and assign them each a specific item to make in their own home, if possible. Having the sides made in one home while the entree is prepared in another will save time and minimize tension, as there will not be as many people fighting over the kitchen.
Choose Foods That Are Easy to Make in Bulk
While you may have your heart set on a seated, multi course meal, realistically this will be a near impossible feat when catering yourself and you may have to settle for a buffet. A buffet style meal is much easier to make for a large group of people, as you can prepare each item in bulk. Homestyle sides, like macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes are both extremely easy to make in bulk and can be stored, heated and served easily in large buffet pans.
Choose Foods That Are Easy to Store
Sometimes it just isn’t possible to keep everything at the right temperature when catering yourself. Without access to a refrigerated truck might make storing dishes that spoil quickly undoable. For example, in the book Bridal Bargains by Denise and Alan Fields, it was reported that one bride made a large batch of potato salad for her outdoor wedding, only to have her guests get sick from food poisoning as the mayonnaise went bad in the heat. Choose food that will stay at their necessary temperature in the buffet pans to avoid any mishaps.