DIY catering, also known as self-catering, is a topic that keeps on surfacing as more and more couples look for ways to make their budget stretch further. But in the end, is it a good idea, and do you save money?
You might think this is the way in which you will save the most money, but before you can make this very important decision, you need to understand all of the factors that are involved. Once you take a long hard look at all the cost and time requirements, never mind the planning and management and risks, you might want to reconsider your DIY wedding catering idea.
What is self-catering?
Essentially, it is exactly what the name implies – the bride, groom, family, or friends handle every aspect of the food.
This can typically include the following:
- Planning of the menu
- Gathering of recipes, then enlarging them for the guest numbers
- Sourcing and purchasing the ingredients
- Preparing the dishes
- Transport of the ingredients as well as the finished dishes
- Setting up
- Breaking down
- Cleaning up
- Taking everything back
- The hiring of the needed serving ware and possibly crockery and cutlery
- Hiring and managing the serving staff
Some couples even take things further, adding a DIY wedding cake to the already extensive list above.
What to consider when planning on doing a self-catering wedding
Doing your own food, i.e., DIY or self-catering, involves more than just preparing the food – much much more.
You most probably will have to provide all the cutlery, crockery, and serving ware, meaning you will either have to buy, hire or borrow. This is a timely and expensive process, and often leads to missed items, not having enough of something, or having items that are mismatched.
You might be responsible for bringing in your own serving tables, linen, and décor for the serving stations (or you might even consider doing your own décor and flowers for the entire wedding!), as well as staff to help serve, clean, and breakdown.
Where will you prepare the food, and how will you store it safely? Do you and whoever is making the food have the necessary food safety knowledge to ensure nobody contracts food poisoning? Have you thought about transporting the food to the venue, while staying within the safe temperature range? Do you even have enough space to transport everything?
Should you consider self-catering for your wedding?
Before you make the final decision, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I really want to be spending time planning, organising, and worrying about the food in the build-up to the wedding, including the day of the wedding?
- Am I comfortable putting that pressure on family and friends?
- Am I willing to take the chance that we will be successful in working out the numbers and quantity of the food that we need, as well as preparing it?
- Do I know we will be able to handle and store the food safely?
- Have I considered all costs to work out exactly how much this will cost? And have I compared that to existing catering prices?
- Do I know exactly what we will need in terms of serving ware, crockery, cutlery, etc., and where I will get this? Also, the costs involved?
- Do I have reliable waiters etc. who will work on the day?
- Will we have the space to prepare all the food?
- How will we transport it all to the venue?
Before making a final decision, contact Laughing Chefs for a quote. You will be surprised at how much pain, frustration, and extra costs you save by trusting the experts. Plus, you get to relax on your special day. Get in touch for a transparent quote.