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Food and Cakes

I HATE CATERED FOOD!!!!

What should I do? I hate catered food and I love my aunt's food who often cooks for our family gatherings, but not at the capacity of two large families and the turn out I am expecting for my wedding!  So with that said... How realistic is having her cook at least my 3 must haves (macaroni and cheese, spaghetti, & grilled chicken) for at least 350 ppl and still be apart of my big day, because she is still my favorite auntie!!!!

Re: I HATE CATERED FOOD!!!!

  • lol reading this it seems impossible but I hope not!!!!
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Has she even offered to do this?  If not it would be highly inappropriate to ask such a huge task from her.  Feeding 350 people is a lot of work and really should be handled by a professional.

    Why not do a home cooked meal for the RD (as long as your guest list is small) so you still have the yummy food you love and then just a hire a caterer for your wedding.  If you really look around there are some amazing caterers out there.

  • She didnt offer! No. But I am her favorite neice! She really enjoys cooking and she used to cater before. However 350 ppl is alot! I am just starting to plan, and I was just thinking of how much a waste I think the catering would be. I think I would have a natural fit if my guests didn't enjoy our menu (we are picky eaters), and if I'd find food in the trash!  I just dont know where to start, how will I find a caterer that actually uses real butter, real sugar, and real oil!?

  • Yeah, the big question is has she offered? If not, then I'd let it lie. 

    My aunts have offered to cater my reception, and, in fact, got a little put off when my mom told them I had talked to a caterer. They are also going to do the rehearsal dinner. They also cook for huge family meals, but they do weddings and social events for almost every cousin. This is all because they want to, told me they wanted to, and were pretty aggressive about doing it. If they hadn't offered (and even when they did I still wasn't sure for several days and we had many talks about everything), I would have hired and kept the caterer. You really just need to check around and find someone that you like and trust. I hate to say this, but even your aunt's food, if made for 350 people, may taste like caterer food since she'll have to multiply recipes. 

    I will also say that I'm nervous about people other than a caterer doing my wedding and we're probably only going to have 200, I can't imagine asking anyone but a professional to do it for 350. Also, you need to think about things like hiring servers as well, and a caterer can do that for you. 
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_food-cakes_i-hate-catered-food?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:23Discussion:f0a71c60-0bfd-422f-8ad5-cb3fb436b504Post:9a40ce18-01b9-4eb7-9c36-cec8890463e8">Re: I HATE CATERED FOOD!!!!</a>:
    [QUOTE]She didnt offer! No. But I am her favorite neice! She really enjoys cooking and she used to cater before. However 350 ppl is alot! I am just starting to plan, and I was just thinking of how much a waste I think the catering would be. I think I would have a natural fit if my guests didn't enjoy our menu (we are picky eaters), and if I'd find food in the trash!  I just dont know where to start, how will I find a caterer that actually uses real butter, real sugar, and real oil!?
    Posted by HISMICHELLEOBAMA220[/QUOTE]

    I love my niece to pieces and am a fabulous cook but no way in hell and I going to be working as her caterer when she gets married.

    How much catered food have you actually eaten?  Some (usually for corporate receptions) is truly horrible but a lot is really good.  You need to make appointments with caterers, ask them your questions and taste their food.  You can ask your local board for recommendations.

    Also, please keep in mind that the reception is a thank you for your guests so they should be first and foremost in your thought process when choosing your menu.  DH and I nixed some really delicious food our caterer made for our tasting because we knew most of our guests would not eat it.
    Proud to be an old married hag!! image
  • egm900egm900 member
    500 Comments
    Asking someone not used to feeing 350 people is a major deal, and if you are her favorite niece, even if she has qualms, she may try to do it and it not turn out well.  If she hasn't offered and she hasn't done a large event like this, I think it's inconsiderate to even ask.  A major concern is that if she isn't used to catering for 350 people, you could be dealing with unintentional foodborne illness.  Giving me food poisoning is a much bigger deal than giving me not the best tasting food.  The logistics of it would also be difficult, as I assume she wants to actually see you get married.

    To find a caterer that uses the ingredients you want to use, you point blank ask them if they cook with sugar, butter, and the type of oil you prefer, most are willing to make these accommodations if they don't do it already.  A lot of the caterers I talked to will even accept your family recipes, and offer them at the tasting you do in addition to the number of things they normally allow at a tasting without incurring an extra fee. As PP said, not all recipes multiply well, I know we have some family recipes that we've found cannot be multiplied and taste the same.
  • Cortney1982Cortney1982 member
    1000 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited June 2012
    I'm sure any caterer can make something as simple as mac and cheese, spaghetti and grilled chicken with real butter, oil, and sugar.  All you got to do is ask.  Our caterer said we could come up with anything we wanted and they could make it.
  • edited June 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_food-cakes_i-hate-catered-food?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:23Discussion:f0a71c60-0bfd-422f-8ad5-cb3fb436b504Post:1f97ea71-49f6-47b4-829b-0fea0d93035b">Re: I HATE CATERED FOOD!!!!</a>:
    [QUOTE]I'm sure any caterer can make something as simple as mac and cheese, spaghetti and grilled chicken with real butter, oil, and sugar.  All you got to do is ask.  Our caterer said we could come up with anything we wanted and they could make it.
    Posted by Cortney1982[/QUOTE]

    You can probably even give your caterer your Aunt's recipes.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • If your aunt doesn't mind, just give the caterer your aunt's recipe! That way your aunt can enjoy your wedding and you can enjoy her food...
  • Definitely don't ask your aunt to cater food for 350 people. She did not offer; if she wanted to cook for all those people, she would have told you. Favorite niece or not, that doesn't make it any easier to cook for that large of a group.

    PPs have had good suggestions. Post on your local board for suggestions on caterers. Ask your aunt if she minds giving the caterer her recipes. Ask the caterers up front if they use real butter, etc. I'm sure some of them could work with you to produce the type of food you want. Mac and cheese isn't that hard. I'm not saying your aunt's isn't delicious or special, but there are many great mac and cheese recipes out there, for instance, if she doesn't wish to share hers.


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    Vacation
  • If you are her favorite niece, she is not going to want to celebrate your wedding cooking for 350 people. Period.
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    The fact she has not even offered is a problem in itself.   

    Anyway,  you need to have the time and space to even do it.    For mac-n-cheese for example, depending on the recipe you might need up to 7 gallons of milk, 18 pounds of pasta.   Not many people have the refrigerator space to even hold that amount of stuff.  Let alone containers and ovens big enough to cook.  Then what do you do with it when it's cooked?

    Grilled chicken - you should figure 1-1.5 lbs per person.  That is 350-575 POUNDS of meat.  Where do you even store them?  How big is the grill?  Do you know how long it takes to cook chicken for 350 people when  you don't have staff and an industrial grill?

    Unless you are serving cold food or having one hell of a gap between the ceremony and reception i can't see how your aunt can cater and enjoy the wedding. 

    Who is paying for all this anyway?  

    My DH is a chef and loves his nieces, but he would not cook for 350 people for them.  No way.  He would be happy to consult with the cater to make sure eveything is good.








    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. 
  • I skimmed, so I didn't see this listed, but don't forget food safety issues.  Your venue may not allow someone who is not a caterer to prepare and serve foods.  The risk and liability may be too great.  I would provide a caterer with your aunt's recipes or consider a venue like a hotel that can provide the food from their convention center, which is used to accommodating large parties with elegant meals.

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  • This has GOT to be MUD. 

    Mac n' cheese, grilled chicken, and spaghetti are hardly groundbreaking; hire a caterer. Most will even use your aunt's recipes if you ask. 
  • Why not find a caterer who will use her recipes and even let her come on and supervise
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