DIY wedding catering options are a much cheaper way to feed your guests.
If you’re planning a wedding, like me, you know how expensive every little thing is. It costs extra to have tap water on the tables, extra for a cake knife and extra for tablecloths. When it comes to a wedding, it’s all about saving as much as you can where you can without things looking cheap or tacky.
Catering can be a huge expense on the day. If you keep it small and intimate, then you could probably get your catering under £1000. But if like me you’ve gone mad with the guest list and have 90 day guests to feed, the cost can and will shoot up.
So how can you bring down the cost of your catering without going too cheap and nasty?
FIRST THINGS FIRST
If you’re planning on DIYing your catering, it’s important that you have the right equipment. Often, our attention goes straight to what we’re going to serve with less consideration for how we’re going to serve it.
The first thing you’ll need to find is something akin to stainless steel catering tables that can stand the rigour of kitchen labour and the substantial weight of the food you’ll be serving. You’ll also want to consider how to keep the food warm. As an example, if you’re serving a buffet with pulled pork as a feature, then slow cookers (also known as crock pots) are a great way to keep the food at a safe temperature without any need for human interference…and most of your friends will have one lying about somewhere at home!
Irrespective of the challenge, catering your own wedding is a great way to save money so here are three simple and cheap ideas you can use for your wedding as a sit-down alternative.
A RUSTIC BUFFET
A rustic themed wedding can open the door to a more relaxed and collaborative effort. Some weddings even encourage guests to get involved with bringing a particular dish like a street party.
The great thing about offering a rustic buffet is that the food tends to be cold, meaning all you need to do is keep it chilled and then have people set it up in less than thirty minutes. In terms of equipment, a few paper plates and large serving spoons is all you’ll need.
If you’re planning a summer wedding, what better way to celebrate than with a barbecue? The smells, the tastes, the camaraderie of it all. Gas barbecues are by far the easiest and it offers a very convenient way to cater larger weddings. All you’ll need are a few tables of interesting salads as a buffet, a variety of sauces, and a few cooler boxes packed with meat to be grilled in the afternoon. This DIY wedding catering option is one everyone can get involved in.
I suggested the idea of afternoon tea to Jay and he loved it. We’re having this as our evening buffet option. There will be a mixture of finger sandwiches, wedding cake in a variety of four flavours, and scones with jam and cream. We also decided to add a cheese board to this option as well.
This is the sort of buffet you could prepare yourself a few days in advance if you wanted. Sandwiches can easily be made at home, scones can be ordered in, and obviously wedding cake is an obvious way to serve dessert at no extra cost.
FISH & CHIPS & ICE CREAM VANS
Okay, technically this isn’t catering your own wedding. But it’s a low-cost equivalent that will save you heaps of time and is quirky. Whilst many brides might turn their noses up at the thought of tucking into fish and chips on their wedding day, others will embrace the unpretentious and relaxed vibe that allows everyone to focus on what’s really important.
Now, this is your wedding day so there should be consideration for hiring a food truck and perhaps a boutique ice cream van rather than the local chippy and Mr Whippy. But in a pinch, this could be positioned as a genius idea that brings people closer together.
The key point to remember on your wedding day is that this is your wedding day. It’s a celebration of the love between you and your partner. Choose whatever you want. I preferred to have a more formal sit-down meal but this option isn’t for everyone, and is the more expensive option too. It’s your day, have what you want and everyone else will enjoy it too!