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DIY Weddings

Informal Reception Meals..

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Re: Informal Reception Meals..

  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Oh for gods sake. Please do not make your bridal party serve the food. That is so insanely rude. Do they have to bus the tables and wash all the dishes too?!
    I can't imagine ever treating my relatives and closest friends as hires help.

    [Deleted User]MGPnovella1186
  • I've cooked & served food for groups of 80+ before.  It sucks.  A LOT.  It's hard, sweaty work.

    I think the DIY and making your family's freezer-ready recipes are a great idea.  It might save you money, it might not depending on the recipe.  DIY doesn't always save money.  You will make up the difference in cash in time, but only you can decide how important that is.  Also, do you have the freezer space at home to accommodate that much food from the time that you make it until your wedding?  It also will eat up a lot of time the day before & day of.  Personally, I don't think I'd have time with everything else.  

    Please DON'T ask your friends & family to help prep food & serve it the day of.  They're supposed to be your nearest & dearest and the reception is a thank you for attending your wedding - don't ask them to work it.  I'll echo PPs and suggest hiring a church youth group, student organization or scout troop for an inexpensive day-of prep, server, & clean-up crew.

    Formerly known as flutterbride2b
    image
    staceydearestchibiyui
  • grace082915 said:Cooking for our family is part of how we celebrate. In my case, I'm designing the menu. I'm having a big food prep day the day before our wedding and then leaving it to my aunts, etc. to actually cook the day of. We're doing a family-style meal and the bridal party will actually serve it. To me, that sounds fun. Really really fun.

    The best advice that I can offer is that if this feels to you like you are putting somebody out or like it will add a layer of stress to your day, don't do it. It's worth spending the money to avoid being stressed and overwhelmed about soup the day you're supposed to get married. But if this is something that sounds nice to you and your relatives, go for it! It wouldn't be acceptable to ask anybody to take this on for you, but if it's something that they've offered and want to do, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Only you know your family and what is polite/acceptable to them in this situation.
    I agree with this, except the bridal party serving food. I feel that is too much on them, generally.

    My family and friends, as well as my fiance, are incredibly hands on. We all pitch in for events- helping set up decor and food prep on many things, even setting up a cold buffet (mid morning wedding with pastries, fruits etc.) 

    However, I feel that if it is work at the actual reception, your guests shouldn't be involved. Pitching in before hand can be fun and rewarding, but at the actual party, your friends and family should be able to relax and party. Perhaps you're picturing one of those dinner parties from the french riviera or something, like in Chocolat or 100 foot journey- which are charming and I genuinely love. I can even see that for a rehearsal dinner. Those were not wedding receptions, though.

    As I mentioned, my fiance and I have very hands on family and friends who all pitch in for other people's celebrations. In every case, we don't ask any guest to work AT the party the helped with.

    His grandmother volunteered to cook for the rehearsal (we quickly shut that down as she is very old and takes on way more work than she could.) My mother is catering my wedding (she's a professional caterer), but all of the food is prepped well before the wedding and the day of hired help will be reheating and serving. She won't have to enter the kitchen the day of the wedding, and I wouldn't want her to.

    So, while I agree that there are different levels for each person- and it's up to us to know what's considered rude- I feel that asking anyone to be a server at the party is too far, even for me. Sorry!

    TO THE OP:
    I work catering, and I can tell you, prepping food for people takes hard work, especially when it's something that needs to be served up to temp. 

    I may have missed it, but I did not see a guest number for your reception. That should greatly effect how you do this, and what your menu is.

    The bigger the guest number, the harder it is to cater.

    I love the idea of soup and sandwiches and think that can be quite elegant and 'tea party' like, if served on the correct platters and tureens. I think it will be VERY hard to cater this on your own if you do not have experience. 

    If you have a local culinary school, I'd suggest giving them a call and see how to get some students to heat, do some plating and minor assembling, and serve your food. You could do food prep ahead of time, and they could do final heating and assembling of food. They'd be affordable, get experience to add to their resume, and be pretty reliable when it comes to food safety standards.

    If you want to truly DIY it, no help, I would not prep my own food the day of (including heating soup) and keep that menu. It is a menu that takes about 5 hours of work minimum for 50 or more guests THE DAY OF. You'll be busy getting ready for the wedding, and shouldn't be slaving in the kitchen- nor should your family. 

    Sandwiches must be assembled the day of to preserve freshness- and anything soggy needs to be added not long before service. 
    Soup is yummy, but not an easy thing to serve to larger crowds.

    If you would be so kind as to give us more details about your culinary background, guest list, and plans for help/service- I think we'd be more able to give you advice on this.

    As I said, I love sandwich and soup for the reception- I just want to help and make sure you're not biting off more than you can chew when it comes to prep and service that day. :) 
    [Deleted User]vaughan11715polly212

  • cambryn said:
    grace082915 said:Cooking for our family is part of how we celebrate. In my case, I'm designing the menu. I'm having a big food prep day the day before our wedding and then leaving it to my aunts, etc. to actually cook the day of. We're doing a family-style meal and the bridal party will actually serve it. To me, that sounds fun. Really really fun.

    The best advice that I can offer is that if this feels to you like you are putting somebody out or like it will add a layer of stress to your day, don't do it. It's worth spending the money to avoid being stressed and overwhelmed about soup the day you're supposed to get married. But if this is something that sounds nice to you and your relatives, go for it! It wouldn't be acceptable to ask anybody to take this on for you, but if it's something that they've offered and want to do, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Only you know your family and what is polite/acceptable to them in this situation.
    I agree with this, except the bridal party serving food. I feel that is too much on them, generally.

    My family and friends, as well as my fiance, are incredibly hands on. We all pitch in for events- helping set up decor and food prep on many things, even setting up a cold buffet (mid morning wedding with pastries, fruits etc.) 

    However, I feel that if it is work at the actual reception, your guests shouldn't be involved. Pitching in before hand can be fun and rewarding, but at the actual party, your friends and family should be able to relax and party. Perhaps you're picturing one of those dinner parties from the french riviera or something, like in Chocolat or 100 foot journey- which are charming and I genuinely love. I can even see that for a rehearsal dinner. Those were not wedding receptions, though.

    As I mentioned, my fiance and I have very hands on family and friends who all pitch in for other people's celebrations. In every case, we don't ask any guest to work AT the party the helped with.

    His grandmother volunteered to cook for the rehearsal (we quickly shut that down as she is very old and takes on way more work than she could.) My mother is catering my wedding (she's a professional caterer), but all of the food is prepped well before the wedding and the day of hired help will be reheating and serving. She won't have to enter the kitchen the day of the wedding, and I wouldn't want her to.

    So, while I agree that there are different levels for each person- and it's up to us to know what's considered rude- I feel that asking anyone to be a server at the party is too far, even for me. Sorry!

    TO THE OP:
    I work catering, and I can tell you, prepping food for people takes hard work, especially when it's something that needs to be served up to temp. 

    I may have missed it, but I did not see a guest number for your reception. That should greatly effect how you do this, and what your menu is.

    The bigger the guest number, the harder it is to cater.

    I love the idea of soup and sandwiches and think that can be quite elegant and 'tea party' like, if served on the correct platters and tureens. I think it will be VERY hard to cater this on your own if you do not have experience. 

    If you have a local culinary school, I'd suggest giving them a call and see how to get some students to heat, do some plating and minor assembling, and serve your food. You could do food prep ahead of time, and they could do final heating and assembling of food. They'd be affordable, get experience to add to their resume, and be pretty reliable when it comes to food safety standards.

    If you want to truly DIY it, no help, I would not prep my own food the day of (including heating soup) and keep that menu. It is a menu that takes about 5 hours of work minimum for 50 or more guests THE DAY OF. You'll be busy getting ready for the wedding, and shouldn't be slaving in the kitchen- nor should your family. 

    Sandwiches must be assembled the day of to preserve freshness- and anything soggy needs to be added not long before service. 
    Soup is yummy, but not an easy thing to serve to larger crowds.

    If you would be so kind as to give us more details about your culinary background, guest list, and plans for help/service- I think we'd be more able to give you advice on this.

    As I said, I love sandwich and soup for the reception- I just want to help and make sure you're not biting off more than you can chew when it comes to prep and service that day. :) 
    I agree, I have a very tight knit group of friends and family and we have all pitched in at some point or another before the wedding to set up/decorate/prep foods (not full meals mind you but like a slightly larger cocktail type food) ect.  In fact, my future cousin in law works as a cake decorator at a grocery store where she lives and offered to make the cake for us as I was preparing to ask her if she would be willing to make the cake.  She was thrilled that we had thought of her in the first place. 
    I agree with someone else who said that some families are like that and they would be offended by not doing so.  I am not much on Emily Post though so, que sara, sara is what I say.  I had posted previously about food options and practically got crucified on here so I feel ya on the rudeness factor.  OP if you need opinions feel free to send me PM's and I would be happy to give you my 2 cents, nicely of course.
    Oh, BTW, I think soup and sammy sound wonderful, I would be all about some tomato soup and grilled cheese but I think that would be too much work needed during the actual reception and I can just imagine the nightmare that tomato soup could turn out to be, lol.
  • MGPMGP member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    edited November 2014
    I'm new to these posts, so I don't know how to get those boxes in from previous posts. Please forgive me for just copying and pasting.  You, lady who started this post, mentioned something interesting. You said:
    "Would it be rude of us to tell them that we would prefer to break our budget by hiring out a catering company when grandma's mashed potatoes are better than anything I can get from Costco?"

    I'm having a big food prep day the day before our wedding and then leaving it to my aunts, etc. to actually cook the day of. We're doing a family-style meal and the bridal party will actually serve it. To me, that sounds fun. Really really fun.



    Grace and "Lady Who Started This Post" - please explain to us why you believe your guests time is better suited cooking and serving food than enjoying your wedding. 

    And FYI don't expect people to do things for you that you wouldn't do yourself. So get ready to wash dishes and bus tables in your wedding gown.
    novella1186
  • chibiyuichibiyui The Boring Part of MD member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers



    cambryn said:


    grace082915 said:Cooking for our family is part of how we celebrate. In my case, I'm designing the menu. I'm having a big food prep day the day before our wedding and then leaving it to my aunts, etc. to actually cook the day of. We're doing a family-style meal and the bridal party will actually serve it. To me, that sounds fun. Really really fun.

    The best advice that I can offer is that if this feels to you like you are putting somebody out or like it will add a layer of stress to your day, don't do it. It's worth spending the money to avoid being stressed and overwhelmed about soup the day you're supposed to get married. But if this is something that sounds nice to you and your relatives, go for it! It wouldn't be acceptable to ask anybody to take this on for you, but if it's something that they've offered and want to do, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Only you know your family and what is polite/acceptable to them in this situation.

    I agree with this, except the bridal party serving food. I feel that is too much on them, generally.

    My family and friends, as well as my fiance, are incredibly hands on. We all pitch in for events- helping set up decor and food prep on many things, even setting up a cold buffet (mid morning wedding with pastries, fruits etc.) 

    However, I feel that if it is work at the actual reception, your guests shouldn't be involved. Pitching in before hand can be fun and rewarding, but at the actual party, your friends and family should be able to relax and party. Perhaps you're picturing one of those dinner parties from the french riviera or something, like in Chocolat or 100 foot journey- which are charming and I genuinely love. I can even see that for a rehearsal dinner. Those were not wedding receptions, though.

    As I mentioned, my fiance and I have very hands on family and friends who all pitch in for other people's celebrations. In every case, we don't ask any guest to work AT the party the helped with.

    His grandmother volunteered to cook for the rehearsal (we quickly shut that down as she is very old and takes on way more work than she could.) My mother is catering my wedding (she's a professional caterer), but all of the food is prepped well before the wedding and the day of hired help will be reheating and serving. She won't have to enter the kitchen the day of the wedding, and I wouldn't want her to.

    So, while I agree that there are different levels for each person- and it's up to us to know what's considered rude- I feel that asking anyone to be a server at the party is too far, even for me. Sorry!

    TO THE OP:
    I work catering, and I can tell you, prepping food for people takes hard work, especially when it's something that needs to be served up to temp. 

    I may have missed it, but I did not see a guest number for your reception. That should greatly effect how you do this, and what your menu is.

    The bigger the guest number, the harder it is to cater.

    I love the idea of soup and sandwiches and think that can be quite elegant and 'tea party' like, if served on the correct platters and tureens. I think it will be VERY hard to cater this on your own if you do not have experience. 

    If you have a local culinary school, I'd suggest giving them a call and see how to get some students to heat, do some plating and minor assembling, and serve your food. You could do food prep ahead of time, and they could do final heating and assembling of food. They'd be affordable, get experience to add to their resume, and be pretty reliable when it comes to food safety standards.

    If you want to truly DIY it, no help, I would not prep my own food the day of (including heating soup) and keep that menu. It is a menu that takes about 5 hours of work minimum for 50 or more guests THE DAY OF. You'll be busy getting ready for the wedding, and shouldn't be slaving in the kitchen- nor should your family. 

    Sandwiches must be assembled the day of to preserve freshness- and anything soggy needs to be added not long before service. 
    Soup is yummy, but not an easy thing to serve to larger crowds.

    If you would be so kind as to give us more details about your culinary background, guest list, and plans for help/service- I think we'd be more able to give you advice on this.

    As I said, I love sandwich and soup for the reception- I just want to help and make sure you're not biting off more than you can chew when it comes to prep and service that day. :) 

    I agree, I have a very tight knit group of friends and family and we have all pitched in at some point or another before the wedding to set up/decorate/prep foods (not full meals mind you but like a slightly larger cocktail type food) ect.  In fact, my future cousin in law works as a cake decorator at a grocery store where she lives and offered to make the cake for us as I was preparing to ask her if she would be willing to make the cake.  She was thrilled that we had thought of her in the first place. 
    I agree with someone else who said that some families are like that and they would be offended by not doing so.  I am not much on Emily Post though so, que sara, sara is what I say.  I had posted previously about food options and practically got crucified on here so I feel ya on the rudeness factor.  OP if you need opinions feel free to send me PM's and I would be happy to give you my 2 cents, nicely of course.
    Oh, BTW, I think soup and sammy sound wonderful, I would be all about some tomato soup and grilled cheese but I think that would be too much work needed during the actual reception and I can just imagine the nightmare that tomato soup could turn out to be, lol.


    It's Que Sera, Sera. And I'm mobile so I'm not going to bother trying to find out what you posted before, I'm just going to reiterate that bad ideas get poor reception. Just like bad food.
    image



    Anniversary
  • MGPMGP member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    edited November 2014
    @chibiyui‌ if I remember correctly she wanted to self cater and voluntell people to "help". Also she wants a honeymoon jar.
  • mikenbergermikenberger In a f'n cornfield member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer

    I'm new to these posts, so I don't know how to get those boxes in from previous posts. Please forgive me for just copying and pasting.  You, lady who started this post, mentioned something interesting. You said:
    "Would it be rude of us to tell them that we would prefer to break our
    budget by hiring out a catering company when grandma's mashed potatoes
    are better than anything I can get from Costco?"

    That's a valid, important point because it highlights the drastic differences in attitudes towards food. In some families, preparing food for that many people would be seen as an burdensome, overwhelming, daunting task. Most people do not have experience with that volume of food prep and a wedding is no time to try something new. For those people, it makes sense to hire a caterer or buy from a grocery store or restaurant. For other families, food is just what you do and it only makes sense to do your wedding food yourself. In my own nutty family, for example, it would be seen as an affront to serve my guests food from costco rather than let my aunts/grandmother/cousins/whatever cook the food that we all know and love. To them it doesn't feel like work. Cooking for our family is part of how we celebrate. In my case, I'm designing the menu. I'm having a big food prep day the day before our wedding and then leaving it to my aunts, etc. to actually cook the day of. We're doing a family-style meal and the bridal party will actually serve it. To me, that sounds fun. Really really fun.

    The best advice that I can offer is that if this feels to you like you are putting somebody out or like it will add a layer of stress to your day, don't do it. It's worth spending the money to avoid being stressed and overwhelmed about soup the day you're supposed to get married. But if this is something that sounds nice to you and your relatives, go for it! It wouldn't be acceptable to ask anybody to take this on for you, but if it's something that they've offered and want to do, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Only you know your family and what is polite/acceptable to them in this situation.

    As someone who was the MOH in a wedding where the bridal party seserved/cooked all the food along with the aunts etc let me tell you how awful it was. Awful. Nothing like lugging around steaming trays of whatever liquid concoction to a table while people tapped their feet waiting on you to restock the buffet (it wasn't that bad, but I felt like an employee and NOT a guest.) And by the end of it, my hair went flat from all the steam and heat, my make up had all but melted off and I just wanted to go home. I know its fun to have family help and it doesn't seem like a huge deal now but the day of... Its just miserable. You don't get to participate in the reception and when you do, you're tired, you smell, your dress is sweaty and its just not pretty.

    Don't do it. Love your bridal party more than you love your bank account (on this particular topic. And pretty much as just this topic.)

    image
  • JennyColadaJennyColada Awesometown, CA member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    edited November 2014
    I feel like anyone who thinks that it would be a good idea to cook/serve food on your wedding day has never cooked or served food at a large event before.

    There is a reason that people hire caterers, and it isn't just because they don't know how to cook or don't have good recipes.
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