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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My daughter 21 is getting married in August. We are thinking about doing the food ourselves. Since she wants an evening wedding (6 pm ish) we are thinking about what types of food to have. My husband and I will be paying for the venue and the food. I am trying to keep the total cost at no more than 5,000 for 125 people. The place we are looking at having both ceremony and reception at is charging 1000. This includes use of the facility for the entire day and also tables and chairs for the reception.
We are going with a buffet meal.
The options:
1. We are contemplating getting various trays ( cheeses, meats, dips and various salads from Publix), various desserts. Iced tea, lemonade, coffee, water.
2. or doing a pasta bar with 4 different sauces ( meat sauce, marinara, alfredo, pesto), garlic breadsticks, antipasto, and tossed salad. Various desserts, Iced tea, lemonade, water, coffee.

What do you think of these options? Any other ideas?
 

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Congrats on her upcoming wedding!

Now, with that being said, I don't know where you are, but pasta may be a bit "heavy" for a hot August night full of dancing and merriment.

6pm is a "dinner" wedding, or so that's what has become the norm... people are going to be traveling before the ceremony and will be hungry after since it's a 'mealtime'. If she is not stuck on the time, you could even do a 7pm ceremony and get away with a much lighter fare, cheese/meat/veggie/fruit trays and a dessert bar.

I am sure others will have input too. - I got married on the hottest day of the year, it also happened to be August. We had a full out affair, there were several courses, but they were all 'light'.
 

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May I have the pasta, please?
 

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Congrats!

Out of the two options listed I like the pasta bar. You could add some big salads or a big salad bar for a lighter option since it is August- I think it is a good idea though- and inexpensive.

Some other options: BBQ- you can maybe get it catered for cheap from a BBQ place- pork sandwiches and sides. We know a family that did "home cooking" they had catered fried chicken and trays of mac n cheese and green beans and fruit. It was good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The venue will only allow champagne toast no other alcohol, which is fine. I wanted to do a mocktail hour with light appetizers while photos are being taken of the wedding party. Then a meal which would start around 730 pm.

I want to be able to make most of the food ahead and pay someone to help assemble during the ceremony.

I want it to still be sort of elegant, but within reason.
 

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We did a pulled pork for one that I helped with..Got the pork on sale and cooked it the week before and just had to buy buns ..I made 20 lb of potato salad and we made baked beans..Don't remember the cost but we feed 150 that night..At another one we got boneless hams and waffered them and had potato salad and beans too..Both of them we had a small wedding cake and the rest was sheet cakes ..
 

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Go to 'Home' in the left hand corner of FV. Type in search 'frugal wedding food' --pages from FV will come up & click away... Good Luck ..ps I did 2 of 3 dau's food for their weddings & the 3rd one I did her cake... It can be done! :)
 

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7:30 is kind of late for dinner. Folks will either eat ahead of time, or be starving when the buffet line opens. I would be tempted to keep it to non-alcoholic drinks (mock-tails sound fun) and snack type foods, like a cocktail party. That would be option #1.
 

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We had a similar budget, and our venue was roughly the same price. We had a taco buffet, which I cooked all of prior to the wedding.
 

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We borrowed roasters from family and friends -- and did turkey breast, mashed potatoes/gravy, green beans, hot rolls for a December wedding.

For an April wedding we did cold cuts, cheeses, raw veggies/dip - this was an outdoor, casual wedding.
 

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pasta for hundred people is a nightmare

roast turkey sounds good in the roaster ovens.

bread and butter
tossed green salad with italian salad dressing, croutons, purple onion, cucumbers, mandarin oranges, grape tomatoes for color
roasted pork loin with apricots, juices de-glazed from pan for sauce
green veg in season
roasted or steamed root vegetables with herbed butter or herbed olive oil
glazed baby carrots
wedding cake
sweet and unsweet tea, ice
punch or something for toast
nuts, mints

roast beef, same menu as above

beef bouginione (spelling?) same menu as above

all of these are sams warehouse food and are menus i have cooked for 100-250, including my sisters wedding. roaster ovens and pre-cooking are your friends
 

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pasta for hundred people is a nightmare
I agree. That would be might difficult to pull off.

We borrowed roasters from family and friends -- and did turkey breast, mashed potatoes/gravy, green beans, hot rolls for a December wedding.
This was our original idea, but I was running out of time to get things done, and turning the turkey into turkey tacos was easier.
 

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pasta for that many would be a nightmare and it is gonna be HOT. The Wedding is at 6.. I would stop a grab me a something before or on the way...cheese crackers, trays ect... I think would be the way to go
 

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I did our oldest DD1's wedding 3 years ago, it was all finger foods (her choice) with lots of fruit as well. Lets see I think we did little smokies in BBQ sauce, meat pinwheels, stuffed mushrooms, shaved meats, cheese slices, and cubes, crackers (about 6 or 7 different kinds), and just about any kind of fruit that you could imagine, with 4 or 5 different dips for them. And a veggie tray.Then we had sweet and unsweet tea, punch, bottled water, and fruit punch. It was all served buffet style. Good luck to you. I will say that I bought alot of stuff ahead of time, (just about anything I could) and froze what I could, made up what I could ahead of time as well. That way there was not as much going out all at one time for both energy or $.
 
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Having sliced turkey breast or sliced pork in its own gravy sounds good with a nice salad bar, maybe a rice salad with some dried cranberries, fruit, what ever veggies are in season that could be grilled then warmed up

Remember that sometimes it is just about assembling the simplest ingredients to get some elegant dining.





.
 

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We had food catered for both of my daughters' weddings. One was Sept, one was Oct.(different years) We had the same meal for both. A local lady did the catering for $10.00 per person. There was an appetizer table with nacho cheese sauce & tortilla chips, potato chips, cookies, veggie tray , cheese & crackers, pretzels etc. I didn't see it either time, but was told it was great. Also there was punch & coffee out at that time.

We had a buffet with two entrees. There was roast beef, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, mixed salad, rolls, Lasagna, another cheese & relish tray. She also provided the tableware, plates, napkins, salad bowls, small plates, plastic utensils,and cups. She wrapped the utensils in napkins & tied with ribbon. It had to be plastic because of the hall, which bothered me in the planning stages, but I got over it.

When I got married 15 years ago, I bought the food & my friends prepared it. They borrowed or rented the nice stainless chafing servers. We had baked chicken breast, ham, oven roasted red potatoes, carotts with apple pie filling, green beans, salad, veggie tray, cheese tray, fruit bowl, and rolls. That came out to about $5.00 per person back then. People still tell me they remember how good the food was at my wedding.

Ask your friends if any of them would be willing to help. (That can be their gift to the couple).This is the sort of thing I would LOVE to do.

As another poster mentioned, you can get all the food from SAM's or Gordon's.

It really makes it look nice to use the stainless servers for the hot food & to have matching bowls for the cold food. My mother in law prepared the food for a small wedding we attended & even though she bought all the food @ SAMs, she put everything in pretty glass bowl & it looked beautiful. You can get the plastic bowls that look like cut glass @ the party stores very inexpensively.

Sorry I rambled on, but I think it is so much fun to plan these meals & keep them affordable. Have fun @ your daughter's wedding. Make sure someone takes candid photos & make sure you are in them having fun, not prepping food!!!

Hugs...
 

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I was the wedding planner for our church so 15 yrs. ago when I got married at 2:30 on a Sat. afternoon, I did everything myself with help from my family and friends. There was going to be another wedding at 7 that night. She was a members of church so most of the guests would attend both weddings. I had all finger food fruit trays, veggie tray, cheese and crackers tray, relish trays, sausage balls, meatballs, olive balls, sweet and sour dogs, dips,cheese balls, spreads, meat and cheese trays, rolled tortillas, a natcho table, and a bunch of other finger food which I can't remember, a table with homemade breads, coffee and tea, a table where you could make your own natchos and all the fixings, another table had flavored water. Also had punch, ice tea, and cake. We spent alot of money on the food and everyone talked for years about the food.....the girl who got married at 7 "thought" we should have left all the food for her wedding!!!! She had cake and punch. No food...I really didn't think I needed to feed her huge family with food from my wedding...my guests were well fed before they attended hers!

For my son's wedding we did finger food...lots and lots...he had over 300 guests....we then had a buffet of bbq brisket, potato salad and baked beans. I had a bbq place smoke the briskets which I purchased at grocery store when they were on sale for cheap..They also sliced for me. I also purchased the potato salad from them. My daughter make the baked beans. I hired teenagers to serve and clean up.

Once I did a small wedding (24 people - there were only suppose to be 18 guests...they added 6 at the last minute....and I mean at the last minute....30 minutes before wedding!!) That was tough as I had to add a table at the last minute....I had extra china & silver but no extra chargers or glasses , I had to make another centerpc...I made do & it looked ok but sure wished they had called me the day before....talk about pressure!! and thank goodness I had enough food!!!! Lasagna, salad and garlic toast....punch and cake.

Please remember you must keep the cold food cold and the hot food hot.....sometimes that is hard to do...have plenty of ice....we went thru a ton of it for my son's wedding...it was inside but like 100 degrees outside...we are talking TX here.....

Oh yes, and the one wedding I will never forget.....my son in law had a friend getting married who asked my daughter and I if we would help with the wedding and my daugher said they could have the recption at her house...it was going to be a very small wedding...10 people at the most.....I spoke to the bride and asked her what she wanted to serve....she wanted Frito Pie....the kind where you put the chili over a bag of Frito's and walk around eating it....I talked her out of that one...she then settled on snack foods...cheese crackers etc. I told her I had tons of fancy platters she could borrow...she told me she let me know....day before the wedding she told me she got trays at the $ store...I'm thinking the plastic ones which really aren't too bad....welllllllllllll the day of the wedding she brings over the cheese and cracker tray she made up.....it was on a cookie sheet!!! She insisted it stay on the cookie sheet!!! She then puts out a plastic green cereal bowl of gum!!!!!! I had this beautiful table with the cake (which I purchased as a gift for them, even tho I did not know them) beautiful stem glasses, a bottle of champage chilling, candles, rose petals on the table.....and she wants to put this plastic green cereal bowl on MY table....I kept putting back on the food table...guests came to my daughters house after ceramony which was held at grooms apt. on the patio....she wore a short, short snakeskin dress & nothing else..... we were waiting 2 hours for the bride and groom to show up....need I say more????? They finally showed up happy & drunk out of their minds...The guy who married them got his license out of a magazine & he got rip roaring drunk....my daughter kicked them all out at 10 o'clock.... My daugher said NEVER again!!!! She nor my sil has ever seen these people again....true story!!!

You can do alot yourself very cheaply. I love preparing for weddings! Don't do it anymore as I am retired.. Now, I just attend weddings and sit back and enjoy..

Good luck...whatever you choose to serve will be delic!! Even if you purchase the food, present it in a beautiful serving dish and it will not only be good but will look beautiful....presentation, presentation.....no cookies sheets please :)

Sorry this is so long...
 

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My DD is getting married in June and we are having the wedding and the reception on one of the Navy bases in town so that keeps the costs down right there. We can't bring in any food except a cake.

We are having hot and cold appetizers for guests while we are on the beach having pics taken. Then a buffet with sliced beef, turkey, and pork with a pasta bar and a potato bar, a veg and fruit station. Also an open bar but it's very cheap or we wouldn't be doing it. We are not doing a champagne toast but a toast with whatever you have in front of you.

I wanted enough food but not too much since we can't take any of it with us ~ they have weird rules. Well, we can take leftover cake since we are bringing that in :)

What I like about the place we getting the cake from is that at their 1-year anniversary they will get a cake from them to celebrate so they don't have to freeze the top of their wedding cake. I never saw much sense in that :) I think there are quite a few bakeries doing this now but I had never heard of it before.

The whole thing is nerve-wracking to me, LOL!
 

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I got married September 11th, 2010 at our church. My parents went to Costco the morning of the wedding and picked up 5 mixed fruit bowls, 30 bottles of Sparkling Cider, punch mix, 5 Cesar salads, and 5 trays of rolled ham/turkey wraps. We paid $450 total, to serve 140 people. Plates, napkins, plasticware, cups were about another $100 or so. We live south of Seattle, WA. Even with going with Publix prices, I'm sure you can keep costs down below $5,000, even less than $1,000.
 

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My son is getting married this spring. We'll be doing the rehearsal supper. Have decided on ham/cheese/turkey sandwiches on the little dollar buns, chips, veggie tray, and cookies for dessert. That way we can do it all ourselves, and transport things easily, as this will be out of town. Mind you, this isn't the wedding supper, but I think it will work for a rehearsal supper. Will have bottled water to drink.

The colors are emerald green and silver. I'm taking advantage of St. Pat's Day to get some emerald green plates and decor.

Went a wedding last year that was an appetizer buffet. Delish! But the problem was that people took too many appetizers (it was self serve), and the last folks in line didn't get anything, or at least not much.
 
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