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Wedding food and drink panic! help!!!!!

(9 Posts)
6inchnipples Mon 29-Jun-09 22:26:00

We are planning a low budget wedding.

It was supposed to be a small affair but then we thought ' lets just have a party, invite everyone, no sit down meal etc, just music and a buffet'

It now seems to be getting bigger and more expensive than i'd really hoped for.

Any suggestions how to cut it down??

I'm now hoping the majority of my family decide not to come blush

Should we try and cater for it ourselves (so far inviting 78 people altho almost half of this is kids which is making me think maybe i should re think this.)

I hate this wedding planning, it can be so stressful which is what we wanted to avoid but its just spiraling out of control.

It doesn't help that before the invites were even printed my mum couldn't help telling some of our family about the wedding and how they'd be getting an invite... who said that?? hmm

We just can't afford for this to be a big affair.

Any suggestions, esp re food as we are already saving on things such as

No wedding cars

Doing small amount of flowers myself

No bridesmaids

No posh hotel (just village hall start to finish)

Invites done for 20 quid (was well pleased with them too)

Buying some booze but BYOB on invites

Anyone know how to get lots of ice for a do like this. There is no freezer in the hall only a fridge. I'm sure there must be a simple way that i just can't see in my panic!!

Help help help!!!!!!!!!! Pleeeease!!

thumbwitch Mon 29-Jun-09 23:47:25

Hog roast?
Giant chilli?
BYO picnic as well as bottle?
Every guest bring a dish? (except that will still require some co-ordinating so you don't get 40 bowls of rice salad and no pud!)

Ice - well, who needs it really? You could buy a really cheap cool box and pack it with either bought bags of ice cubes or make up loads of trays of ice beforehand. Then have a big tub of icewater with bottles/cans in to keep cool and just add more ice as necessary.
Also, a fridge will still slow down the ice defrosting and you can still cool beers/ wine/ fizz in a fridge.

Congratulations and don't let anyone else run your wedding for you - good luck with it!

nippersnappers Tue 30-Jun-09 00:12:26

When DH and I were planning our wedding I wanted a meal of bangers and mash for everyone (veggie sausages for those who prefered them) it worked out to be quite a cheap option if you can find a small local catering firm or even a local cafe owner who will let your family/friends loose in their kitchen for an hour or so before the reception, another option would be a bbq, depends on the wedding date though. Buy bags of ice from local supermarket and dump it all into a large tin bath or clean oil drum and let your guests drop their beers in.

nippersnappers Tue 30-Jun-09 00:14:32

Another idea would be a fish and chip van if you have one in your area that would be willing to pitch up outside your village hall for a few bob!

stoppingat3 Tue 30-Jun-09 11:07:58

Does the village hall have a kitchen? if so sausage and mash would be a good idea, esp if you know any young adults who would help out for a bit of cash. Or if its summer think Salads, cold meats, new pots. We catered a christening for 100 (blooming large families) this way and it was fairly cheap in the end. I think the food came to about 300, although members of the family did help out with speciality bits (my FIL did two large lasagnes and two whole salmons. We get our puddings for family events from a company called Simmons, they are in herts and make the most fantastic cakes/gateux. usually for around £10 and they serve 10/12.
You can get the ice fairly cheaply from Tesco and they hire glasses for free too (although the waitrose glasses were nicer for my sisters wedding)
Re the alcohol, some off licenses and maybe tesco will do a use or return deal.
Hope this helps and enjoy the run up,

PortAndLemon Tue 30-Jun-09 11:15:36

For my sister's wedding we did big bowls of rice salad, potato salad, etc. plus plates of cheeses, cold meats and so forth, baguettes cut up, and laid it all out on a couple of trestle tables in the middle of the village hall for people to help themselves as a buffet. The student son of one of my mother's friends, along with a few of his friends, put all the food out while the ceremony was going on and acted as waiting staff for clearing stuff away, bringing out new bottles of wine, etc. We hired glasses free from Tesco.

We didn't have a freezer either but I don't think we did anything about ice (mind you, that was in October -- if it's an August wedding that might be more of an issue, but still I doubt you'd need much -- just a few bags would do).

CMOTdibbler Tue 30-Jun-09 11:27:44

Talk to some friends - I've done food for friends weddings where we worked out a list of Iceland food, divvied it out between freezers (also means you don't have to buy it all at once), then cooked it at home/ at village hall. We got some new dustbins, filled them with cold water and ice (bought from Tescos or whereever) and then put the drinks in them (one for beer, one for soft drinks, and a couple of plastic storage boxes with wine in).

Preorder coleslaw and stuff from a supermarket like Sainsburys then it can just be picked up in the morning by someone. Their platters are good value

Make a cake - just plain white roll out icing with some flowers plonked on top looks great. Silk flowers mean you can make an arrangement ahead of time

We decorated the hall in the morning, put the drinks out plus crisps etc (done night before), then picked up cold food on way back from ceremony. Took it in turns to be in kitchen heating up food for buffet, but actually very social

slug Tue 30-Jun-09 12:01:51

PortandLemon has all the right ideas. To add to those can I suggest:

If you want a wedding cake, they can be aquired quite cheaply from Tescos or M&S. We managed a three layer one on our very tight budget.

If you know of teenage boys, at least one of them will probably step up to be a DJ. They will probably be able to provide their own stero as well. Just be warned, it's probably worth creating your own playlist or you may well be subjected to the latest in indi drivel from your DJ. We created two CDs of our own music for our wedding which, to this day is more evocative of our wedding than any photos.

Ask friends to take wedding photos. We asked my SIL who is a press photographer and an ex-boyfriend of mine who was a semi professional photographer to take the 'official' ones. They did them on digital cameras and gave us CDs of the photos.

For the ice. Don't panic. Get a couple of large plastic rubbish bins. Put the ice in those. The more ice you have, the slower it will melt. You can buy big bags of the stuff at the supermarket. I've seen a bathtub of ice used to keep bottles cool, it lasted two days.

Balloons and silver curling ribbon are a cheap decoration option, and have the added advantage of keeping the children amused.

And finally, congratualtions. These sorts of weddings are, IMHO, much more fun than the orchestrated photo opportunities that cost a mint.

6inchnipples Thu 02-Jul-09 08:21:07

Thank you for replies everyone.

Been so busy trying on wedding dresses that i've not had a chance to check in grin

Who would have thought finding a wedding dress with a sleeve would be such a difficult task, it would seem women these days prefer the strapless look, even the bingo winged variety!!

All suggestion great and have made me feel more relaxed.

Did think about 'bring a dish' for guests but 90% travelling 200miles to wedding and staying in hotels/lodges so bity difficult.

Wedding in october too port !!

Thanks again everyone!

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