The Self-Catered Wedding

Photo © Flickr user Ismar Badzic

Fact of life: you can find basically anything on the internet. So when I search for something and few results come up, I feel this hipster frisson of delight: I am the very first person who thought of this.

When I googled “self catering your wedding” and nothing came up, though, I felt something that was more like a tingle of frustration. Ok, more like fear. I cried. A lot. (I find that wedding planning brings on a lot of tears.) It probably had something to do with the fact that we’d recently talked to several caterers who had quoted us around $13,000 for 80 people. I respect that this is their business and they need to make a living and that high-quality food is pricey, but damn we do not have that much money to throw at a single meal, even if it is a meal for the people we love most in this world.

I remember feeling that there had to be some solution that we were missing, that there was a point between a full-fledged catering company and serving our guests spaghetti with sauce from a can, but it just wasn’t clear. The world, and thus the internet, is full of smart, capable, kick-ass brides, and yet, there wasn’t a lot of advice for what I was looking to do.

One year later, we’re eking out that middle ground. I’m not cooking the whole thing myself (I might have tried, but my fiancée threatened to not show up if I did), but we’re not exactly hiring a catering company. We’re cobbling together food from a variety of sources, and we haven’t figured out answers for all our questions, but I feel like I’m starting to find the solutions I was looking for a year ago.

So, I want to carve out some space to talk about wedding food that isn’t incredibly expensive, but also doesn’t leave you slaving over a stove in your wedding garb an hour before the ceremony. I want to test some recipes, talk about my plans, and hear what you all are doing. I want to talk about food that tastes good, because your guests deserve that, and you do too.

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