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Budget Weddings

Pasta Dinner

So our family loves pasta. We are thinking of doing pasta for out meal at the reception. Diff types of noodles and then white sauce, red sauce, meatballs, chicken to go on top. Also doing salads, garlic bread, and some other types of apps. Does this seem kinda cheep to do for a wedding dinner. I don't want people to look down on it but we are doing the wedding ourselves so were on a budget. Any input would be great. Thanks
spockface

Re: Pasta Dinner

  • I am having a pasta buffet at my wedding. I don't think it looks cheap, but it was on the cheaper side. I love pasta though.
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    sounds good.    I would add some veggies to go on top too.  I like squash and zucchini with pasta for example.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    lc07
  • I love pasta and I think it sounds wonderful!
  • Excellent idea. 
    Cheap be damned. If I'd be happy to serve it to a guest in my home, it's good enough to serve at a wedding. And I'd be happy to serve these things, and have done so, many times.
    Your guests know you. They don't think that because you're getting married you can suddenly afford filet and lobster for 50. Good, well cooked, and filling is enough for anyone.

    Also, the only time I've seen a DIY catered wedding really work smoothly and easily was with a similar menu. 

    Hints- to avoid the whole boiling/straining pasta during the reception, cook it beforehand, al dente, cool it, drizzle it with olive oil and store it in large ziplock bags. This will keep several days in the fridge without losing firmness. Then it just takes about two minutes to stir it into the hot sauce, and it's reheated. Or throw the whole bag in for a couple of minutes in the microwave.

    Simplify. Two types of noodles, maximum. The more choices, the more nuisance for you. 

    Consider lasagne. This can be assembled ahead, even frozen many days ahead, and thawed the day before. It goes in the oven during cocktail hour, comes out thirty minutes later, and you're done. One red sauce with meat, one vegetarian or chicken with white sauce (depending on your crowd) and you're good to go. 

    It's work, but not impossible. But before you commit to the work and organization involved, sit down and do the math. Add up the cost of ingredients, call a few Italian restaurants or the local culinary college, and compare the price. You may be genuinely surprised. Pasta can be catered very cheaply, and save you a lot of work.
    [Deleted User]wrigleyvillealexcaseKatieinBkln
  • doeydodoeydo Southwestern Ontario member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    I love pasta, I can only eat gluten free ones, though.  As long as you offer a wider variety of sauces, I think people will be happy with it.
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    lc07
  • Ditto the suggestion to add veggies. This will take care of any gluten free folks as well. Maybe add a pesto sauce? As long as it's not gross baked ziti, I'd be happy with pasta at a wedding.

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  • I love pasta! I recently attended a wedding that had a pasta station, and it was not executed well by the caterer. They ran out of things and it just took way to long for people to get their food. They had a chef, two burners, and just not enough time to make food for 130 people. 

    My recommendation is to have different types of pastas dishes pre-made. Maybe trays of baked ziti, cavatelli and broccoli with garlic and olive oil, a vegetarian lasagna with a bechamel sauce, and some sort of chicken dish. Like @ohannabelle mentioned, have it reheat during your ceremony or cocktail hour so that it's ready to go. 
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  • blabla89blabla89 Atlanta member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    I love pasta, as long as it's tasty. If it saves you money then that's awesome. Put it in a pretty display on the buffet table and no one will give a second thought to how much it cost.

    I second the PPs' suggestions to offer additional sauces or veggies to choose from.
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  • wandajune6wandajune6 Chicago-ish member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    I agree on the veggies. Otherwise, I love the idea!

    You might also think about pasta shapes that are easy to eat nearly. I always avoid things like fettuccine and angel hair when I'm dressed up- and imagine that other people have the same concerns!
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  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    As a person with a wheat allergy, I'd love you forever if you had gluten free pasta. If not, maybe another option in addition to veggies and salad.

  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Just because it may be a less expensive route doesn't mean that it isn't damn tasty! I agree with others to have a wide variety of toppings from seafood to poultry to veggies. I would also offer a gluten free pasta for anyone who has allergies.

  • Nope. I love pasta and would never think, "How cheap!" I'd be too busy licking garlic bread off my lips. 
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    [Deleted User][Deleted User]
  • I love pasta! I recently attended a wedding that had a pasta station, and it was not executed well by the caterer. They ran out of things and it just took way to long for people to get their food. They had a chef, two burners, and just not enough time to make food for 130 people. 

    My recommendation is to have different types of pastas dishes pre-made. Maybe trays of baked ziti, cavatelli and broccoli with garlic and olive oil, a vegetarian lasagna with a bechamel sauce, and some sort of chicken dish. Like @ohannabelle mentioned, have it reheat during your ceremony or cocktail hour so that it's ready to go. 
    DEATH TO BAKED ZITI!

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    image
  • I love pasta but I would want a gluten free option (preferably gf pasta, but could also do rice or potatoes or something). HOWEVER, we had a spot for dietary restrictions on our response card. If none of your guests indicate that they can't eat gluten then you don't have to worry about it :). We have about 90 guests and 2 other than me can't eat gluten.

    And don't worry about seeming cheap! Everybody loves pasta :).
  • beetherybeethery So sayeth the fuckin' Pope. member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    This is such a good idea, to the point where I'm on the phone with a local restaurant about to find out of they cater. Fresh pastas for the wedding meal. OMNOMNOMNOM

    (plus GF for those that'll need it)


    You can do a lot, fairly inexpensively, with pasta to make it come off more upscale too.
    --

    I'm the fuck out.

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    [Deleted User]
  • I wanted to chime in since we had pasta at our wedding and it was amazing:)  We had 4 types of pastas, 3 types of chickens and mixed veggies.  It was catered by a local restaurant for $11 per person.  We decided to have them do appetizers too so they added caprese salad and prosciutto e melone for $2 more.  It was all so delicious.  My family friend who is a chef also said it was great.  

    Since we did a buffet, we also put rolls on the tables so people would have something to munch on while they're waiting.  

    Also, by doing the wedding yourselves, does that mean paying for it or making the food?  I would caution against making the food yourself unless you have a very small guest list.  I considered it, but since we invited 200 people, I realized that would be crazy for me.  
  • iI have to laugh at add veggies because my dream was about having ice cream as our meal and everyone complained about no veggies, lol. we are also having a pasta bar. we ard also having pulled pork sliders, iI never thought about garlic bread. what do you think since we are having buns for the sliders?? 
  • You could do an assortment of breads... I am doing pulled pork with the sauces on the side. A lasagne and I want to do a couple more pastas. I am going to have my breads on the side.
  • I love pasta, but please make sure the sauce is good quality and homemade.  I have no problem with a pasta dinner, I just have a problem with you trying to serve me a $1 box of pasta and $2 sauce from a jar.    

    Get it catered from a good Italian restaurant.   The only way pasta will come off as "cheap" is if it's poorly made.  
    Ohmygod. That had never occurred to me. Agreed. Sauce from a jar is the eight deadly sin. 
  • I think pasta sounds fabulous, I just want to caution against doing this work yourself/family helping. 

    I helped with a wedding where they self-catered and we got few pictures of us as a family (actually, not one as a whole group) because we were so busy and couldn't really enjoy the reception. You can prep everything, but absolutely rent chafing dishes and hire (pay!) people to take care of it once the ceremony begins. 
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    I love pasta, but please make sure the sauce is good quality and homemade.  I have no problem with a pasta dinner, I just have a problem with you trying to serve me a $1 box of pasta and $2 sauce from a jar.    

    Get it catered from a good Italian restaurant.   The only way pasta will come off as "cheap" is if it's poorly made.  
    Ohmygod. That had never occurred to me. Agreed. Sauce from a jar is the eight deadly sin. 


    SITB - All the yes. Had H and I written our own vows, I would have included something about never making him eat sauce from a jar. 
    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
  • As the rare person who hates pasta and sauce I would also give 1 non pasta option, or at least 1 side dish that could go well with the meatball or chicken toppings, such as mashed potato's. I would be much happier with chicken, mashed potato's and salad then not really having anything to eat then going through a drive though on the way home.
  • Any tips on how to do a self-catered pasta bar? I want to cook the day prior, and reheat the day of the reception. Who should be in charge of this?
  • Another vote here to add a hot veggie and also to add pesto sauce.
  • KatieinBklnKatieinBkln (NO SLEEP TIL) Brooklyn! member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer First Anniversary
     
    liasimone said:
    Any tips on how to do a self-catered pasta bar? I want to cook the day prior, and reheat the day of the reception. Who should be in charge of this?
    Honestly? Someone you pay. Even if it's just a little. (Think teens from your church or school, for example). It would kind of suck to be the MOB or cousin who's put on "pasta duty."
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    This baby knows exactly how I feel
  • I think it sounds yummy, but would not try to self-cater unless it's a very small wedding and you've fed that many people successfully before.

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