Hi y’all! I’m planning my wedding for October 2020, but want to get going with booking vendors before it’s too late. I was wondering if anybody has advice or experience on what would be better, hiring a caterer or doing a DIY buffet table or “grazing table”. It’ll be an evening reception. I just want to do what will be most cost efficient (& least stressful) 😅
I would encourage you to save money on your budget in other ways. Most DIY projects can be made months in advance and set up several hours before the event Keep in mind that food is tricky because very little can be prepped in advance. And it has to be set out on the buffet just before serving. Bringing hot foods to temp will be tricky and if you serve just room temp foods you have to be sure to keep them cold enough for food safety. I have heard quiches freeze well and if you serve them room temp with salads you escape the problem of heating up the food. Unfortunately, salads need to be prepped the day if or the night before, which is not how I’d want to spend the night before my wedding if I could stretch my budget elsewhere, such as doing DIY paper flower bouquets instead of fresh flowers. Good luck and I hope you have a lot of fun on your wedding and that you are able to find ways to stay within budget. It’s amazing how expensive they are!
DIY food is going to be stressful for you and your guests.
If catering is too expensive see if you can move your ceremony and reception to after a meal time and just do cocktails and app (for after dinner), brunch food (between breakfast and lunch), or a cake and cocktails reception for between lunch and dinner.
When I started wedding planning, I planned to do the catering and music myself. I then realized how much work I’d have to do on the day of my wedding, as well as my family. I hired a DJ and caterer. You really don’t want to run around in your gorgeous dress reminding people to get food or worrying that you’ve forgotten something. The extra cost is 100% worth it.
I'm with everyone else here - definitely get a caterer. BBQ can be a cheap and popular way to feed a ton of people if that sounds appealing to you. The best way to know if you're getting a good deal is to compare prices, so get quotes from chains and local joints to find someone competent who can get things done at the right price.
Definitely cater. My caterer also took care of rentals, set up, and tear down, receiving our cupcake delivery, and setting up the cupcake stand for us. He also made sure he timed when each course came out to make sure everything was matching our schedule. I also gave him a list ahead of time with all dietary restrictions for specific people and he was able to adjust their individual meals no problem.