How to Cater Your Own Wedding and Save Big

Looking to save money on your wedding? Think about doing your own food — depending on the size of your guest count, that is. Learn how to cater your own wedding while knowing when (and if) you should.

How to Cater Your Own Wedding and Save Big

Should you cater your wedding?

As a bride, you may be asking yourself questions like, “Should I cater my own wedding?” “How to cater your own wedding?” or “Is it cheaper to cater your own wedding?” However, one thing you need to consider is the size of your wedding reception.

Weddings have become smaller and smaller these days. As a result, more couples opt to cater their weddings, but handling all the food and drinks for a large wedding would be crazy and way too stressful.

Consequently, if you’re having a more intimate wedding with, say, 10-20 people? That can be done if you have a plan and are prepared. If you want to save money on your wedding day and cater your own wedding, here are some tips to help you pull it off.

Wedding Catering Menu

4 Tips on How to Cater Your Own Wedding

1. Plan a simple wedding menu.

You’re probably not a professional chef. Conversely, if you are, you still might not want to be worried about high-end meals on your big day.

For your wedding menu, stick with something simple and crowd-pleasing that is easy to tackle or that others can help you with. You don’t want something that is too time-consuming. It also should be dishes that you have prepared before.

You can even go with a few store-bought bag salads or things that require little prep to make it easier while still saving on the cost of your meals.

A sample wedding menu could be:

  • Hors d’oeuvres: Homemade flatbreads and a charcuterie board
  • Salad: Simple garden salad and veggie tray
  • Main Dish: Crockpot short ribs and roasted potatoes

Wedding Charcuterie Board

2. Write out your catering preparations.

Unless you are getting married in your own home, you will need to think about how you will transport, cook, and store the food. If you are traveling with your food, make sure you choose dishes that will travel well.

If you are cooking the food at the venue, make sure you have the supplies needed to make all of it. Also, ensure that you have a place to store all of your food once it is prepped, as an apartment-sized fridge might not be enough room.

3. Ask for help catering your wedding.

Ask family members or friends to help out with the food prep or even help you heat it up on the wedding day. There may be family members looking for ways to help. Therefore, this could be a great opportunity for them to be involved in your big day.

You don’t need the entire wedding party in charge of food. As a result, just assign a small group dedicated to preparing the food or setting out on your special day.

Mini Wedding Cakes

4. Hire extra servers to help during your wedding reception.

More people power will be an additional cost. However, hiring people to serve your food or handle the drinks can help you avoid crowds and ensure everyone gets fed and served.

Extra hands are especially helpful during cocktail hour, where everyone will be gathered in one area. For a small wedding guest list, you may only need one or two servers at most.


Save how to cater your own wedding!

If you are planning on catering your own wedding, there are many things you can do to make it easier for both yourself and your guests. You don’t need to spend hundreds per person on a small wedding on a budget.

Additionally,  with a little prep work, you can easily enjoy a special meal with your closest friends and family. And it doesn’t have to cost a lot of time or money.

How to Cater Your Own Wedding

Photos: Josh Kobayashi, Tara Winstead, Kamil Kalbarczyk, Tima Miroshnichenko

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