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Newbie February 2022 Alberta

Self catering?

Victoria, on January 10, 2022 at 14:23 Posted in Plan a wedding 0 6

Self Catering - did you do it? How did it go?

We are postponing our wedding reception - still having our micro wedding with our bridal party and families but our big celebration for after we are moving out a few months due to rules around omicron. We are using our original venue - a brew pub to have a meal with everyone after the ceremony.
Because of this, we have booked just a little town community centre for our after party in October. The hall has a full commercial kitchen and bar. I feel like the stress of logistically planning a whole day from ceremony to end of reception is reduced and that we could creatively look at catering options to save us some money!
Has anyone self catered an event or got creative with food to save some cash?
What did you do? Who helped? Would you do it again, what would you do differently?
We are expecting about 60-75 folks
We haven’t made any plans, we could serve buffet, family style, likely not plated. I’m just looking for peoples experiences and ideas!


Latest activity by Vinod, on February 5, 2022 at 17:51
  • Vinod
    Top August 2017 Ontario
    Vinod ·
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    You can inquire about catering from supermarkets to fit your budget about platters and cake to have it done in one place if that works for you. Bakeries or small caterers can also be helpful to provide what would like to have served.

    A personal chef would really get expensive for the total guest count you have if you really want good food and a bartender to serve drinks at the community center. Best to compare 3 best choices to see who would best fit your budget.

    Look at the differences of the supermarkets, bakeries and professional chefs to see who can come to you best deal for you dollar.

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  • Hank
    Featured September 2021 Ontario
    Hank ·
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    Making a meal for 65+ people is a lot of work. With that number, I would avoid making meals that are cooked in individual portions like steak or anything that needs to be temperature controlled. Instead, I would go with one pot meals like stews or roasts that you can stick in the oven at once. That style of food is perfect for February. Pre-cut and marinade everything beforehand (preferably the day before) so that all you're doing when you arrive at the kitchen is throwing the ready to go ingredients together and shoving it over a stove or into an oven. Bagged salads from Costco can cut down the prep.

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  • Liberty
    Featured May 2022 Alberta
    Liberty ·
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    I'd recommend making things that can be prepped about a week or two in advance so you just need to reheat them on the day off. We originally were going to order the meat from a local restaurant then ask like 4 family members to make side dishes so it wasn't too much work on one/two people. I'd also highly recommend hiring someone to manage the food on the day of (like a buffet attendant) so your family/friends isn't worrying about that and can enjoy the reception!
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  • Tunisha
    Super October 2021 Ontario
    Tunisha ·
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    For my wedding we had a plated dinner with a catering - Ottawa Missions. As for the cocktail time, my aunt and mum helped with that and it saved us a lot of money. It was so great, she did everything and prepped it the night and day of event. We had fruit sticks, meatballs, cucumber with figs & goat cheese, etc…

    Also, my mum catered her own wedding and prepped majority of the items. She disliked it and always bring it back up and how she did a lot of work.
    Try to see if others are open and show that they are available to help. My mum wanted to cater ours but she’s always cooking (since she is a part time caterer) but I wanted her to enjoy the day rather than stress herself.
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  • Jacquie
    Frequent user August 2022 Alberta
    Jacquie ·
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    My aunt did this for her wedding in 2019. She had about 50-60 guests and like you in a community hall.

    The night before/morning of was kind of a nightmare. I remember being up till like midnight just shredding cabbage for coleslaw and icing cupcakes. I think my aunt and her husband did nothing but cook and cut roast beef until hours before their wedding. They did an assortment of salads, buns and roast beef. Do not do this if you don't have anyone to help you.

    The actual service of it during the wedding went very well though. They had some friends that have worked as waiters/bartenders who came and did set up, take down and bartended. They did this for free (tips) and without them her wedding would have been a bit chaotic.

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  • C
    Super December 2020 Ontario
    Carmel ·
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    So my husband was a groomsman in a wedding that did this. All the partners had to help to. We also did the florals... It was A LOT of work for everyone (family, friends, etc.). We had to take time off work and the wedding party all sat down an hour after everyone else to eat (they served). No one really all ate together (I'd set this up differently like consider hiring servers - I know in Ottawa you can hire the college students for this. My brother in law does it for all of our holidays). Just something to consider.... The community feel of it was great and you have the benefit of not borrowing equipment (they broke our BBQ and didn't fix it) so that helps! I would just definitely find a way to be as organized as possible and not have it feel like working at your wedding if that makes sense. The bride was hella cute in an apron though!
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