Every detail of your wedding day should be planned with care, and that includes the wedding catering! If you’re on a budget, don’t worry! You can host your own wedding without going broke by using these five tips for DIY wedding catering.
Save up your money
By spending a little money at first to find out what you’re going to like, you can save yourself a lot of money in the long run. For example, some couples think they will love exotic foods, but end up choosing something simple when it comes time to plan their wedding. It may be worth it to spend a little money now on food samples or small portions of things you’re thinking about adding to your menu so that you can figure out if they are right for your event. Doing small trials also allows you to plan around any food allergies guests might have so that everyone is safe and having fun.
Calculate Exactly How Much Food You Need
In general, it’s usually best to order slightly more than you expect people to eat. But don’t forget that drinks and desserts factor into your serving size, too! Use the serving calculator tool from the internet to estimate quantities based on guest count and menu items.
Ask your family friends
See if anyone in your network has had a catered event (you might be surprised). Ask them about their experience—what they liked, what they didn’t like, and whether or not they felt it was worth it. It’s also a good idea to get quotes from several local caterers so that you can compare prices. Remember, though, that price doesn’t always dictate quality. It may just mean that the vendor chose not to markup menu items as heavily as others. To read more about making those decisions look here.
Decide on the Menu
The first thing you’ll need to do is decide on your menu. Figure out what flavors and themes you want to feature and make sure that they fit with your wedding plans and any food allergies or preferences of your guests. Once you’ve decided on a menu, get a sense of how much each dish will cost so that you can include them in your budget. Moreover, don’t forget to add in costs like linens, disposable cutlery, etc. In general, it’s recommended that newbie caterers stick with something simple. Food stations are great options if you have enough volunteers willing to help, and a buffet or passed hors d’oeuvres is another option.
One of your biggest costs as a wedding caterer is labor. While you might have some friends and family who are willing to lend a hand or two. It’s not ideal to have guests making canapés. Instead, hire professional wait staff. This will make sure that they are on hand throughout your event. So they can help ensure you and your other vendors aren’t caught short with platters of food or drinks at any point during your day. If you don’t want to spring for complete wait service, consider hiring a bartender or someone experienced in running bars at events like yours. Anything to relieve yourself from having to deal with distributing drinks at busy times!