Catering your own Wedding
Reception Planner

Pen and paper ready? Lots of planning to do:

Getting Married? Congratulations! We send you our very best wishes. Catering your own wedding is a way to a much brighter financial future.

Remember that by catering your own wedding you'll be saving up to 75% of a professional caterer’s charge, (just in case you get discouraged.)

Our Orange Chicken is delicious and easy to make.

  • How Many?

    The big question was, “Will you marry me?” Now the big question is, “How many people are coming to the reception?” When planning on catering your own wedding, always add 10%. So figure 110 for 100 of both people and things. Party-Recipes-and-Ideas recipes are written for 50 people, but they will easily scale up or down. Check out Menu Planning to get some good ideas. Be sure to read through the last one called "Elegant Dinner Party."

  • Where is the Reception?

    Where’s the reception going to be? At home? Home Kitchen helps you get started, whether the reception is at home or somewhere else. Away from home? Is it a simple room or an outdoor field? Does it have cooking and serving possibilities? Party Kitchen will give you lots of ideas if you’re going to be preparing the food at home and then serving it at another place.

  • Serving Alcohol?

    Serving alcohol? This section tells all about liquor, beer and wine. There’s a lot to think about, including insurance, how to serve, cost and more. Soft drinks, coffee and tea also need some thought and planning.

  • Buffet or Sit-Down?

    Buffet style or sit down dinner? Party-Recipes-and-Ideas recommends using buffet style, having your food displayed on a large table where people can take what they like. Catering your own wedding will be so much easier this way. You'll serve more food using buffet style than you would at a sit down dinner, but the labor costs and issues involved trying to serve a sit down dinner are too much for most of us to deal with.

  • How to Serve:

    We like to serve the buffet in courses, starting with snacks when people first arrive and are having a drink. Then appetizers come out, which are cleared away and followed by the dinner course, which includes salads and vegetables. Your wedding cake is usually served from another table, so a little food can stay out on the buffet in case people want to come back for more.

    Buffet style is a nice, simple way to serve your guests and make your reception a success. The buffet table itself can be beautifully decorated. Clean up spills right away and keep it looking great as more food is served. Buffet dining also brings people together, they talk with each other while waiting or serving themselves. You can always serve food to a few people who some special attention.

    Make sure your guests can use both sides of the buffet table at the same time. This will make things move much faster. If you have more than 100 guests, consider having two buffet tables, especially for the dinner course.

  • Rental and Shopping Tips:

    When catering your own wedding, chances are good that you'll be renting something - your dishes, glassware, place settings and linens, etc. The rental store will help you with quantities, based on the number of people and your menu. If you’re buying your own disposable tableware, we recommend buying twice as much of everything needed (plates, knives, forks, spoons, cups, napkins) except table coverings. See shopping tips for our ideas to keep your costs down.

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  • How to Get Helpers:

    You’ll need help to do this. Catering your own wedding probably isn't possible by yourselves. Read through Kitchen Crew to find a situation that compares to yours. This will give you an idea of how many people you’ll need to help, and what they’ll need to do.

    Plan your crew and work in such a way that you will be able to have few if any responsibilities on your wedding day. Party-Recipes-and-Ideas recipes are usually able to be made ahead of time, sometimes weeks ahead of time. Enjoy your day!, and stay out of the kitchen!

  • The Wedding Cake:

    Your wedding cake need not be your only dessert. You can have a small, nice wedding cake in the dining room, and a big sheet cake back in the kitchen. Cake for everyone, and that’s just fine.

  • What Do You Need To Know?:

    Do your homework. Carefully read Cooking For a Crowd, and, Catering 101 - all the pages. Most of what you need will be there.

    And we’re here too. Use the form below to ask.

    Check out this wonderful site about wedding receptions:

    A Wedding Reception is a first class website with well thought out ideas for each detail of a successful wedding reception.

    Ready to make your own Wedding Cake? Check it out:

    Want to do some Menu Planning?

    Questions about Planning the Reception? Need an idea? Use the form below to ask us about quantities, substitutions, whatever. We're here to help. Ask a Caterer is free:

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    2008 Wedding Reception Stats:*
    155 = typical number of people attending
    $85 = catered per/person typical costs for ONLY food, drink and cake**
    $13,175 = average cost for food, drink and cake

    We say, Why?

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    Party Food MUST! Food
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    Great occasional use,
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    Caterer's use real Bases
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    Amazon has all the
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    This disposable chafer
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    THE best caterer's cookbook
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    Believe it or not, you
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