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Wedding Dilema

(51 Posts)
NannyOggsKnickers Sun 15-Jan-17 14:28:23


DP and I are getting married this Summer at our local church with a reception afterwards a the beautiful village hall. The wedding service is late afternoon and we are trying to do everything low key and on a tight budget.

The dilema is this:

Do we pay for caterers and have someone else serve, clear up and make the food. But not have a band or invite as many people?

Or do we ask guests to bring a dish instead of a present, hire a few waitresses for the afternoon/evening, invite everyone we want and have a great band?

I'm torn really. Both plans have their plus points. I'm worried about giving myself too much to do. Catering would be hot and cold buffet anyway but would eat up a massive chunk of budget. Any ideas?

LooksBetterWithAFilter Sun 15-Jan-17 14:35:55

On mumsnet you will get told you invite 3 people and serve them like kings but that's nonsense the real world isn't mumsnet.
The answer depends on a few things. Who are you inviting? We had 70 at our wedding and there wasn't one person there that I round say we couldn't have had a bring a plate wedding with but I couldn't have done it because most people were travelling and staying the night before so taking food wasn't practical. If it's close family and friends you feel you can ask there is nothing wrong with a potluck supper but think about how local they are.
A great band or even dj do make a difference they can keep a room moving but so can an iPod play list and a requests section on your rsvps.
If you do ask people to bring food you'll need to get someone to coordinate what they are bringing so you don't end up with 45 salads.

NannyOggsKnickers Sun 15-Jan-17 14:41:24

Thanks! We've got about 50 people- a mix of really local and fairly local (most driving over on the day). They're all close friends and family. Most people have offered to help so far- making decorations etc.

I'm trying not to over complicate things. We just want something fun with all the people we love.

Bobbybobbins Sun 15-Jan-17 14:59:33

We had a simple do but did pay for caterers who did a cold buffet and provided dishes, cleared up etc. we saved money elsewhere. We hired a hall and the clearing up was quite hard work anyway without worrying about dishes and food so I would say get the caterers in but try to save elsewhere. Will also help with range of food etc. xx

kel12345 Sun 15-Jan-17 15:04:41

We had a buffet at our wedding (our reception was in the function room of the pub where my dh was working at the time. So it was all ready when we got there.
I'd say get someone to do the food for you, saves you and your guests having to worry about it.
We had a dj for music, worked fine. He did the announcing when needed (when it was time for the speeches he asked everyone to sit down, and handed over to the next person).
Also people may not know what to bring, also they'd have to take the food to the reception before the wedding surely? Else they will all be sat there with plates and bowls. May not be ideal.
But good luck

FrankAndBeans Sun 15-Jan-17 15:06:55

Pay for caterers. A BBQ is cheap, or a buffet. You will be stressed otherwise and there's lots to go wrong.

NicknameUsed Sun 15-Jan-17 15:11:39

I think food is more important than a band. Why can't you hire some speakers and set up a playlist on a laptop instead of paying out for a band?

PurpleDaisies Sun 15-Jan-17 15:15:25

I've been to three weddings where the buffet has been provided by guests. It's worked really well at all of them. People liked the collaborative part if it. The only thing you need to de careful of is that everyone labels their dishes so you don't end up with loads of unidentifed crockery and there are little signs saying what everything is. You don't need waitresses if it's buffet style.

PurpleDaisies Sun 15-Jan-17 15:16:40

Forgot to say, I'd ask for volunteers to bring food and allocate them a category such as plate of sarnies, green salad, quiche etc.

Underthemoonlight Sun 15-Jan-17 15:20:25

If people are travelling I would be putting food on, if you do ask people to bring a dish then I would put no gifts as they will be eating up the costs for attending,new outfit and I'm assuming they will have to bring their own alcohol if your not providing food?

Ahardmanisgoodtofind Sun 15-Jan-17 15:20:43

Can you not have both? We get married in September on a TINY budget, we wanted to do similar to you but couldn't find a decent premises so have gone for hotel instead. When people have asked what we've wanted as gifts we've asked for favours, one guests wife runs bouncy castles, my dbil has a mate who DJs and has hired him on mates rates, we have two singers ones an acquaintance the other is a friend of another guest. The cold buffet is being provided by the aunts on both sides of the family,it was lovely getting DM dmil and their sisters and friends together with some of my friends,few glasses of wine and sorted out who does what on the day. We've got the glass collector from our local to tidy up the function room after (he cost us £20 the venue knocked off £100)

NannyOggsKnickers Sun 15-Jan-17 15:21:45

Thanks for all the responses. The hall is already set up with a PA system. So we can play music from an iPad. I'm just worried that it will be less fun and atmospheric. We went to a wedding in December with a pretty cheesy DJ and no one danced confused

You're probably right about catered being easier. I just want everyone to have a good time.

PotteringAlong Sun 15-Jan-17 15:22:50

You don't need a hot and cold buffet. Hog roast? Fish and chips?

PotteringAlong Sun 15-Jan-17 15:23:31

They might not dance with a band either remember!

NannyOggsKnickers Sun 15-Jan-17 15:24:03

Just seen the recent replies. We aren't asking for gifts. We've got enough as it is. We just want people there. Most people will have about a 30 min drive and some are staying over. We're trying to make it as cheap as possible for everyone.

SheepyFun Sun 15-Jan-17 15:24:26

A friend on a tight budget had a hog roast (which they paid for) and then asked local guests to bring salads/desserts. That way people could prepare them in advance, and weren't having to cook on the day (so they could focus on the wedding). Just an idea smile

PurpleDaisies Sun 15-Jan-17 15:24:58

We went to a wedding in December with a pretty cheesy DJ and no one dance

Almost all the weddings I've been to have had a cheesy dh with most people dancing.

NannyOggsKnickers Sun 15-Jan-17 15:25:36

Ahardman That's the kind of thing I was thinking about doing. I have loads of aunties and cousins. All have already offered to help. Was it at all stressful co-ordinating on the day?

Ahardmanisgoodtofind Sun 15-Jan-17 15:26:52

I meant to say then a caterer to provide a hot buffet maybe with just two options (stew and veggie curry?) But ask if you provide own bread will you get discount.Or look around for a snack van style,I went to a wedding that had a snack van,chips were paid by bride and groom sausage and bacon baps were extra (all told before hand) they bought the chips from a whole salers for next to nothing and the van man charged them almost nothing because he wouldn't have been out in his van making money at that time of night any way

Doolallylally Sun 15-Jan-17 15:27:52

I think food is more important than a band. Why can't you hire some speakers and set up a playlist on a laptop instead of paying out for a band?

This ^

Joinourclub Sun 15-Jan-17 15:29:42

Pay for caterers. Doesn't have to be fancy. But a lot easier and less stressful to have it taken care of. I've done parties of a similar size where I have got the local Indian restaurant to cater for really cheaply. Went down very well! It doesn't need to be 'wedding food'

BaronessBomburst Sun 15-Jan-17 15:29:53

I've been to several 'please bring a dish' weddings and parties, and travelled. It works well if your guests are the sort who will muck in and help with the clearing up. The hostess was also very organised in allocating people dishes they could manage; those local brought salads and meats, those with long car journeys were asked for bread, crisps, tinned fruit etc.

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Sun 15-Jan-17 15:30:17

Just remember that your idea of "a great band" and others' ideas of "a great band" aren't necessarily the same! I went to a wedding recently where the band was OK, but too loud, didn't play a wide variety of music.... and no-one danced except the bride's mates. Those that weren't dancing couldn't talk because the band was too loud!

ItsNiceItsDifferentItsUnusual Sun 15-Jan-17 15:31:08

Ime people tend to dance more with a dj than band...we had a dj at our wedding that we asked to play loads of our cool music taste- he ignored us, played people pleasing songs, and it was so much better grin

I went to a lovely wedding a few years ago in a village hall where they literally had a hog roast, new potatoes and some salads. Incredibly simple, but suited the venue, and it was really fun. People served themselves although there was a skeleton staff there to keep an eye on the food etc.

Ahardmanisgoodtofind Sun 15-Jan-17 15:31:13

Nope all done so far in advance and mums on both sides took over co ordinating their side, and then an aunty on each side takes over on the day. When it's family and friends they just want to make it the best day possible so most people will go above and beyond,just have to ask

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