How to Cater Your Own Wedding for Cheap

How to Economically Self-Cater Your Wedding? While this might not be as simple as it appears, continue reading for more details on how you can successfully achieve this.

Weedings can be a tough and expensive job to pull off with more than half of the cost going to costly venues and food catering. And catering your own wedding and serving around 250 or more guests does sound like a bad idea. But with weddings now becoming more intimate and people becoming more interested in budget weddings, more and more couples are considering catering their weddings themselves. If you are also thinking to do so, then this article will guide you through the steps to catering for your dream wedding!     

Advantages and Disadvantages of Self Catering

While catering your wedding may save you a huge part of your wedding cost but amateur planning and implementation can also lead to some hidden costs and extra hassle ruining your big day. These hidden costs may lead to increased expenses and ultimately curb the main purpose of doing self-catering in the first place- that is cutting out some costs. 

That’s why it’s important to know the advantages and disadvantages that self-catering comes with.

Advantages of self-catering your wedding

1. Gives It a Personal Touch

It gives you more scope to choose things according to your own taste, preferences, or customized themes. This adds more of a personal touch to your wedding making it more significant for you and your partner. 

2. Cost-effective

It will save you almost half of your wedding cost. You can spend the saved money on other areas of your wedding such as a higher-priced venue, decoration, wedding dress, etc.

3. Memorable

As you are being involved with arranging little to little things of your own wedding, it makes your wedding more special and memorable to you. 

Disadvantages of self-catering your wedding

1. Added Stress and Oressure

Weddings usually include a lot of work from shopping for necessary things to inviting guests to mentally preparing yourself for the wedding. With all these things already creating stress for you, when self-catering is added to the list, it can sometimes become unbearable on your part.

2. Increased Cost

Most of the couples who plan to cater their wedding are not professional caterers and don’t have any previous experience. That means not having proper knowledge about what needs to be done and when. This confusion and inexperience may lead to buying and spending on unnecessary items, wastage, and increased cost.  

3. Time-consuming

Ensuring success in catering your wedding entails different steps from planning the tasks, distributing them, and ensuring proper execution. This whole process can take out a lot of time from your timeframe making you sacrifice time for other important things. 

How to Cater Your Own Wedding for Cheap

Setting up the menu for self-catering depends on many things like your budget, culinary skills, storage space, and kitchen facilities at home, and the reception center. 

Here is a rough idea of the wedding menu with which you can go about serving around 250 guests. 

Small Cheese and crackers Veggie and meat skewersTacos and tequilasFried chicken french fries10 p.m to 12 p.m
Buffet Different types of salad (green salad, potato salad, fruits salad or pasta salad) BreadMeatballs Mashed potatoes coleslaw Roasted chicken, pig, or turkey shrimp12 p.m. to 3:30 p.m
Drinks Plain/flavored water Iced tea Coffee3:30 p.m to 4:30 p.m
Desserts Cake CupcakesIce cream cookies Brownies4:30 p.m to 5:30 p.m

This is a general idea of the menu. You can modify, eliminate or add new items to the list based on your own need and preference.

Consider Ordering from Restaurant

If you lack culinary skills or don’t have enough storage space or kitchen facilities, you may consider ordering the food from a restaurant. It will save you time as you don’t have to spend time cooking and all you need to do is serve the food ordered from the restaurant. You’re also saving yourself some money because professional caterers can be a little bit expensive.  

Be Aware of the drinks

Adding some drinks (champagne, wine) can set up the mood and can be a great way of celebrating the wedding. But while deciding what drinks to include in your wedding, it’s important to consider some facts.

  • Keep two or more kinds of drinks on the list because people have different preferences. You might like doux champagne but someone else might find it too sweet. That’s why try to mix different kinds of drinks on the menu.  
  • Hire bartenders where each one will serve drinks to 35 to 40 guests. Having the self-serving option in case of drinks can be a bad idea as guests may end up drinking too much!
  • When deciding the drinks menu, take the weather into account. Most people get married in fall and spring. Choose the best drinks for your wedding depending on the season you’re getting married in.  

DIY the Wedding Cake

If you are confident enough about your baking skills, you can go on to making your own wedding cake. Consider asking for help from baking experts among your close friends and family if you don’t have prior baking knowledge. Apply the appropriate wedding theme to your DIY cake. However, before starting all the planning and baking, one thing you should be careful about is asking the venue if they allow homemade cakes because some venues have their own rules and regulations. So, be cautious about that!

Tips to Cater Your Own Wedding at Cheap

Now considering all the pros and cons, plans and processes, if you have finally decided to cater your own wedding and get your hands dirty, then here are some tips for you that can come in handy.

  • Prepare a detailed plan covering all the tasks, timeline of the tasks, and task distribution
  • Create a simple and feasible menu considering your resources, budget, and number of guests
  • Follow food safety protocols to ensure the foods served are safe and hygienic
  • Make sure there is enough storage and refrigeration capacity at your selected venue
  • Allocate the tasks properly so that everything is done on time without much chaos
  • Make sure you have enough kitchen facilities and catering equipment


A wedding is a long-cherished moment in every person’s life and everyone wants to make this big day a special one. Whether you are planning on self-catering your wedding or considering handing the responsibilities over to a professional, it entirely depends upon your budget, available resources, and time. But if you are thinking of handling your wedding on your own, we hope that this article helps you to understand how you can cater your own wedding at cheap.    

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