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Food and Cakes

Dinner or No Dinner?

Our venue is very rustic and my cousin is a caterer so we planned to do BBQ and side dishes since that's what she primarily serves. Our guest list has grown to 212 just family and 299 total with friends. Is it outrageous to try and have a full dinner for that many people? We haven't chosen a time so maybe an earlier wedding and appetizers instead of a full meal? I don't know what to do, but it's beginning to sound VERY expensive.

Re: Dinner or No Dinner?

  • Our venue is very rustic and my cousin is a caterer so we planned to do BBQ and side dishes since that's what she primarily serves. Our guest list has grown to 212 just family and 299 total with friends. Is it outrageous to try and have a full dinner for that many people? We haven't chosen a time so maybe an earlier wedding and appetizers instead of a full meal? I don't know what to do, but it's beginning to sound VERY expensive.
    Those numbers don’t seem crazy for a large wedding and if your cousin is a professional caterer with a staff they should be able to plan for that many. If your venue can accommodate that large of a group and has appropriate staff that shouldn’t be a problem. 

    If you want don’t want to serve a full meal then you need to make sure your ceremony and reception do not overlap with a meal time. Everything would need to start and be finished before/after/in between meal times. If there is overlap then you would need to provide food appropriate for the time of day.  
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Does your cousin actually own a professional catering company with employees that work for her? Or is she going to be tackling this all on her own?

  • She owns a company, but I'm unsure at this time how many employees she has. She has done events and weddings before.
  • MesmrEweMesmrEwe member
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Plan to pay your cousin "as-if" it's full price plus tax and gratuity, she's in business, not running a charity.  If 300 is too big for her, then you find someone who can do it, it's not personal, it's business, let her come and enjoy the day off instead of working your event as a vendor.  Next, our wedding was 400+ and we served a full catered meal that was hot-hot.  As others mentioned, if you decide not to serve a full meal, it is rude to have an event that goes across a mealtime and not properly host your guests.  Ceremony at 2, cake & punch to follow or ceremony at 8 cake & punch to follow.. 
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
    OurWildKingdomshort+sassylevioosaei34
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    Agree with PPs. You don't have to have a full dinner as long as the reception doesn't overlap a meal time. If you go with cousin, check at all the questions that @MyNameIsNot gave you.
    OurWildKingdomshort+sassyMyNameIsNot
  • ei34ei34 member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    It's not outrageous to serve a full meal to 300 people.  I've been to weddings that size and enjoyed five courses.  It is outrageous to ask guests to travel and not feed them appropriate meal for the time of day.  Ditto every last one of @MyNameIsNot questions to ask your cousin or any other caterer. 
    charlotte989875InLoveInQueensMyNameIsNotOurWildKingdom
  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Caterers are like builders. Some people specialise in bespoke back garden sheds, whilst others are building massive office blocks. Both are called builders, but their ability relies on their experience. You wouldn't ask a shed-builder to build a skyscraper. So I can't tell you if your caterer cousin can do this, without knowing what her background and experience are. Asian weddings usually have over 1000+ people and there are caterers that specialise in that. There are also caterers that focus on small intimate dinners for 30 people. 

    But if budget is such a massive issue, which I am hearing from your posts over and over again, consider having a 2pm wedding, and a celebration 3-6 with a light buffet and drinks. That way you don't have to do a massive bar, full meal and other costly additions. You will be just as married as someone who had a three course sit down. 
    charlotte989875short+sassyILoveBeachMusicOurWildKingdom
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