Food For Thought: DIY Catering

This entry is part 4 of 7 in the series Food For Thought

photo-05-09-2016-3-50-21-am For the majority of brides hiring a caterer for their wedding reception provides both peace of mind and a sense of security. Many brides however, for economic or dietary reasons, choose to take a “do it yourself” approach to the execution of their wedding day menu.

Because you will probably already be juggling many different details and timelines, catering (if you choose to go the “DIY” route) will require careful planning on your part.

Although you may find yourself focusing primarily on the details of your ‘ideal menu’ don’t overlook the behind the scene details that can make or break the experience for both you and your reception’s guests. These include organizing who will clear away the food at the reception, do the washing up etc. This may require paying out of pocket for some extra help so that your family members can focus on sharing their time with you. Depending on whether you decide to have servers to distribute plated foods or to dish out from a buffet, this may also be an added expense to keep in mind as well.

While on the topic of plates, whose plates will you be using? Don’t forget that glassware, containers, plates and cutlery will all have to be outsourced. You are going to want to factor in the cost of this mandatory component as well.

So, what about the menu?

The first thing to consider is the size of your reception. Work out the number of people you expect to be attending and then plan accordingly.

Next, what appetizers are you going to provide?

Choose options that can be made well ahead of time, frozen, and then warmed up at the reception venue. Simple and economical options include:

• Pastry wrapped sausages (Pigs in a Blanket)

• Deviled eggs

• Cold smoked meats/fish

• Pita chips and a savory dip (chokas are a great way to incorporate local cuisine here)

• Mini-sandwiches / Pinwheels

• Baked Brie rounds

Once the appetizer round has been decided you then have to consider the entree and dessert course. Because, as discussed previously, expectations and options for brunch and afternoon receptions are traditionally more relaxed and lighter than those for dinner affairs, I recommend that you consider one of those earlier options for your self-catered affair.

Reviewing the menu options for a brunch and afternoon reception you can easily see how, in many cases, you may be able to skip the entree option entirely. Focusing your efforts instead on a wider array of finger food options and then a  memorable dessert!


“Food For Thought” is sponsored by The Wedding Convention TT 2016. Click below to learn more!


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Series NavigationFood For Thought: Wedding Menu IdeasFood For Thought: How To Cater For Wedding Guests with Special Diets


Passionate foodie, founder of Trinigourmet and Caribbean Lifestyle Maven. Author of "Glam By Request: 30+ Easy Caribbean Recipes"

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