Friday, September 26, 2014

DIY Wedding Food

Beautiful menu courtesy of my talented artistic friend!

Keeping with this week's wedding theme here is how we fed 100+ people and did the food prep ourselves.  First off we went with a simple crowd pleaser: BBQ. That was the food genre that made the most sense for a simple backyard wedding and we both really love barbeque.  I tried to keep the menu simple:

Burgers +/- cheese (meat & veggie)
BBQ chicken
Hot dogs for picky kids
Potato salad
Corn on the cob
Fruit salad
Watermelon slices

Pop (2 liters)
Iced tea (drink dispenser)
Water (w/lemon slices in drink dispenser)
Boozey mixed drink (drink dispenser)
Lagunitas beer (bottles)
Red & white wine

Step two was finding people who could do the set up, grilling, and refills for us day-of. I contacted Elgin Community College and found a man who is pursuing a food-related degree there. His wife also helped. Turns out we should've had 3 people. Thank you so much to my wonderful sister-in-law Jennie for being that third person!

Step three is Costco. I took two trips. One was for non-perishables like plates, napkins, silverware, smores supplies, potatoes, condiments, chips, wine etc:

And one for perishables, as close to the wedding as I could swing it. Veggie trays, corn on the cob, fruit salad supplies, guacamole supplies, buns, etc.  It took two carts and my friend helped me:

Here is the perishable trip all packed in:
That same day I got the burger patties at the butcher and got some normal amounts of things at Jewel (veggie burgers, pop etc).

And here is the garage fridge packed to the gills:

We planned a surprise breakfast for people who camped out on our property after the wedding which is why you're seeing breakfast food in there in mass quantities.

I froze some buns right away since we overbought just in case.

Here's the burgers in the chest freezer:

The day before the wedding was food prep day. The potato salad was made, fruit was chopped, & meat was thawed.  Thank you to my in-laws for helping me so much! Here's the potato salad:

And my friend, the guacamole master, made the delicious guacamole.

We were expecting 160 people. I was so worried about running out of food that I overbought. WAY overbought! I planned for 160 servings of everything! Now even if everyone had showed (quite a lot of people weren't able to come because of storms in their way [and some we never heard from but that is the way of weddings I think]) not everyone would eat everything. I should have known this. We could have saved a lot of money if I'd been more reasonable.

We still have burgers, chicken, & fruit salad in the freezer (and just finished the buns), 2 big containers of salsa in the fridge, a ridiculous amount of wine, some beer, tons of pop, chips, & extra paper/plastic servingware. And I tossed so much potato salad (test run your recipe!!) and corn. We sent people home with unopened veggie trays, pies, & bowls of guacamole (the caterer said the guac was out WHEN THERE WERE MULTIPLE BOWLS STILL IN THE FRIDGE!  This still infuriates me).

Even going with 100 servings probably would've been too much for most things. Oh well. We still saved a ton compared to paying for a regular catered wedding.

So with some hired help and the right setting you can do your wedding food yourself if you wish!


  1. I did not realize you did all that! Most impressive organization.
    And hey, running out is the worst thing, it is in your genes, no way around it. Better to become the expert at sharing, and freezing what you can for another party! :-)

    1. Yes I'm glad most of it didn't go to waste. Corey just ate a wedding chicken breast for dinner tonight!