So I thought I had the food situation all planned out. I want it to be casual, light, not fussy, etc. It will be an outdoor wedding (unless it rains, and then the reception will move inside) and I am not sure that there will be enough FORMAL seating for everyone (around 100 ppl) to sit down and eat a big meal. So my idea was to have finger foods, and a lite dinner that people could eat while socializing.
We're on a budget, so we're trying to avoid going with a caterer for all the food options. Here was my initial thought for appetizers (which would be provided by us): fruit kabobs with a cinnamon yogurt dip, fine cheese trays with good crackers, veggies and chips with dip (my FI is obsessed with chips!!!). However, my SIL said she and my brother have been to many weddings and these dishes often go untouched, which would be a waste of money. She said people want different foods than they are used to at a wedding - speciality apps I suppose. What are your thoughts? I think if this were what was offered, people would eat it, but maybe that's just me.
I'm also struggling with the lite meal to go with. My first choice was a gourmet pizza place in town that also serves fresh gourmet salads. I was thinking a salad bar and hiring their traveling wood oven to make pizzas. Another thought was a lite German meal, but I can't seem to find someone who can make this.
In addition to all of this, my mother is insisting on paying for the wedding and she's also quite controlling. That said, every idea I come up with she poses an issue of money or inconvenience. She doesn't want people to have to wait long for their food; she wants something that will work inside in case it rains; she's pushing us to utilize our family's barbecue restaurant to save money but I don't want this... I see her points but it seems like she's steering me into a corner and I can't decide what would be best for our guests and for our wallets.
So given all these factors, can someone PLEASE give me some advice? What are some successful light & casual dishes that you've had? Did you or someone else do great food on a budget and how did you handle it?