How To Organise a DIY Wedding Buffet On a Budget
Wedding receptions can be unimaginably costly, but do you know you don’t need to spend a fortune to provide your guests with a spectacular meal if you cater your own wedding buffet? You can prepare a hearty wedding feast at a much lower cost if done right. This endeavor certainly has its share of obstacles, but with proper planning and a helping hand from your family and close friends, it can be easy peasy lemon squeezy to get the fairytale wedding you’ve always dreamed about. Below, you will find some tips and guidelines to consider when catering your own wedding.
- Create a Detailed Plan
Planning is the most important thing when opting for a self catered wedding. You want to save big on food and for that you will require a well detailed plan. So get your laptop, a pen and some papers because you’re going to need them to jot down your menu ideas. We suggest that you start by planning your menu in accordance to how the food will be served, so make a list for all of the categories and then select on what you feel would fit best on your big day
2. Menu Decision
Although the wedding reception is usually thrown for the guests, you should not forget that this is your big day; so scribble down all the things that you and your partner like to eat and second call up your guests to check if they have any food allergies.
Don’t forget to assess your resources, the number of guests and most importantly setting up of a realistic budget. Once you’ve come up with a great plan, be sure to test each of your recipes before the big day.
3. Keep It Simple
While having exotic ingredients and intricate dishes is attractive for such a special day, it is more advisable to keep the menu simple when catering for your own wedding reception. Keep in mind that you’ll be serving a significant number of guests, so now is not the time to try something new.. A simple menu with just a few crowd-pleasing options can save you stress and help ensure that your food comes out well on the day of the event. Remember, you need to stay within your budget and you also have other things to focus on. Below are some delicious, yet easy to prepare menu ideas that you can prepare in bulk.
- Garden Salads
- Charcuterie & Cheese
- Roasted Chicken Breasts & Potatoes
- Steamed Vegetable
- Saffron Rice
- Pumpkin Gravy
- Artisanal Bread
4. Tasks Distribution
Catering your own wedding is a great idea. You save a huge amount of money, you know how the food is being prepared and what ingredients are being used. However you need to remember that you are going to be the busiest person around the time of your wedding. From iconic and romantic photos to first dances, your wedding day will be filled with a frenzy of fun, but in order to achieve your DIY wedding buffet, you should do all that you can do in advance. For the tasks that need to be done on the day of the event, ask your family and close friends to help you out.
5. Iron Out All The Details
Now that you have already decided on your menu, thin down the list of ingredients and delegate tasks to your close ones, it’s time to start focusing on the ‘’operation plan’’. You should consider the following things once you start examining the logistics of catering your own wedding.
- Does your venue have cooking and serving utensils?
- Does your venue have a refrigerator?
- When will the food be cooked?
- How will you shift your supplies to your selected venue?
- What is the right temperature to keep your food for it to be safe to eat?
- Who will cook and supervise the food while you will be absent for the ceremony?
- Does your venue have a cleaning area for the dishes?
- Who will clean the dishes afterwards?
- Do you want to hire someone to cook and clean up after the reception?
Little tip: write down all the questions which pops in your mind while you are planning and make sure to answer all of them so that you don’t feel there is too much on your shoulders on the day of the event.
6. Create a Timeline for the Event
After you have your help lined up and the details ironed out, it’s time for you to plan a setup and cleanup time. If you are hiring helpers to clean up the venue, let them know when to arrive and when they need to start packing up. Many venues put limits on how long you’re able to occupy the space, so make sure everyone is aware of those restrictions. Schedule times for when to start the food preparations, when to put it out for the buffet, and when to clean up the food. Don’t forget to incorporate cocktail hour and dessert into your timeline. Having a plan in your hand would be easier for you to manage the reception at the same time you are celebrating.
7. Make Your Food Preparation Safe and Sanitary
This is not the time to forget food safety, so create a strategy in advance for how food will be handled and make sure to brief everybody who will be handing food in advance. Food must be kept at a proper temperature to avoid food poisoning, so remember to keep one or two thermometers in proximity on the day of the event. You should also make sure you buy gloves because you will be needing them for food handling.
8. Have a Plan for Your Leftovers
If you don’t want to waste leftovers, then you need to make a proper leftover plan. No matter how much planning you do for your wedding reception, chances are that you might have some food left. To stay on the safe side, you can bring disposal containers so that your guests can take some food home with them. Another alternative is to donate the leftovers. Look for a place you would like to donate the remaining food and inform them in advance that you might send someone to drop the leftovers after the event.
Catering for your own wedding can be a huge responsibility, but with proper planning and some help, you can achieve it and save big.