Gowns and Guests

Cater Your Own Wedding: It’ll Save You Tons of Cash (and It’s Not That Hard)

It might sound crazy to think you could cater your own wedding, especially one that’s even 50 people or more. It may even sound downright impossible.

But why write that expense off as something you “have to do?” There are no rules when it comes to wedding planning in 2020! Any task that could be done by a willing family member or friend should be done that way. There’s no reason to spend money on something like catering if you or someone close to you has a passion for food.

The average cost of catering for a 100-person wedding is about $7,000. Can you imagine all the things you could do with that extra money?

Gowns and Guests had the honor of speaking with Ashleigh Hauffman, a former event planner who married her husband in 2017. She and her spouse took a very unique approach to catering in order to save as much money as possible.

That’s right: They cooked for each and every guest!

Cooking for your own wedding

“Catering my own wedding was the best because it was dirt cheap and way better than most wedding food,” Hauffman told Gowns and Guests. “Well, it’s always a gamble with wedding food.”

Having attended many a wedding, I can certainly agree with that note!

The way it worked

Hauffman explained the way they approached this daunting task:

  • Hauffman and her brother, an experienced cook (bonus if you have one of those in the family!) planned the menu
  • Hauffman’s brother and uncle ran the kitchen on the day of the wedding
  • About seven other people, including Hauffman, volunteered to help prepare

It’s perfect for ‘planner’ personality types

“I like planning events and I have experience with it, so I didn’t mind running around prepping a salad until the last hour before my wedding,” Hauffman said. And yes, we can confirm: She did, in fact, continue helping prepare the food until the last hour before her wedding.

“This led to me speedily getting ready,” she said. “For me it was thrilling and awesome, but probably not ideal for someone who is looking for a chill pre-wedding vibe.”

Certainly, if you’re a mimosa-with-the-girls-and-spa-day type, you don’t want to be the one in the kitchen. But if you like to have your hand in all the action, cooking your own wedding food is a fun way to keep your mind off all the nervous excitement. Let family and friends help out, tell Alexa to play your favorite playlist and make it fun!

So, can you do it?

Of course, this part is up to you. If you have enough people willing to help, there is no reason this can’t work for you, too. But especially if you have people in your family or friend circle who love to cook, this is something you should really consider if you want to save serious cash.

Remember, you don’t have to do anything too fancy. You’re not obligated to provide guests with a Michelin-level dining experience, just something yummy and filling to keep them dancing through the day and night. Splurge on the open bar instead – your guests will remember that a whole lot more than dinner, anyway.

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