Wedding Wednesdy: How We DIY Catered Our Own Wedding Reception

We DIY catered our own wedding reception. Not because we’re super DIY crazy or because we’re amazing chefs or anything. Nope, we were just so damn poor that we could afford the food or the labor – but not both. So, I devised a plan to host a “forkable” buffet.

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We DIY catered our own wedding reception. Not because we’re super DIY crazy or because we’re amazing chefs or anything. Nope, we were just so damn poor that we could afford the food or the labor – but not both. So, I devised a plan to host a “forkable” buffet.

Wedding Wednesdy: How We DIY Catered Our Own Wedding Reception #wedding #budget #budgetwedding #reception #diy
Image Courtesy of: Miranda Laine Photography

“Forkable” buffet is totally my made up word for a stripped down buffet with no premade entrees or sides. It’s made up entirely of items that can be opened and dumped into a serving container and then eaten with a fork by the guests. This made prepping and maintaining the food at the buffet really simple for our planner. She could just open a box of crackers, dump them into a berry basket, and move on.

Another reason we did a “forkable” buffet was because many of our guests had food issues that we just didn’t want to deal with. Gluten-free, dairy-free, diabetes, low-salt, vegetarian, pre-Lapband, and on and on. My life is too short to mess with that many different issues. By offering just the basics (and no premade dishes) we allowed guests to select the food that they COULD eat – without all the fuss.

Wedding Wednesdy: How We DIY Catered Our Own Wedding Reception
Image Courtesy of: Miranda Laine Photography

Here’s what we served:

For the Cocktail Hour:

  • Assorted cheeses (goat, cheddar, and mascarpone)
  • Assorted crackers (wheat, salt and pepper, and club)
  • Grapes and berries (blackberries and strawberries)

For the Reception:

  • Spring mix lettuce
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Sliced mushrooms
  • Sliced cucumbers
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Sliced sweet bell peppers (red, yellow, and orange)
  • Sliced carrots
  • Assorted lunch meats (ham, turkey, and chicken)
  • Assorted deli cheeses (cheddar, Muenster, and Swiss)
  • Sliced breads (artisan, wheat, white)
  • Chips (BBQ and plain)
  • Boiled and ready-to-peel shrimp with cocktail sauce

For our guests, we preset the reception tables with a large white dinner plate and a smaller glass salad plate. This allowed guests to fix up two different styles of meals without “letting them touch” (not joking, another guest issue). Also, we provided a fork and knife for each guest but no spoon since nothing needed to be eaten with a spoon. To lay out the buffet, I bought berry baskets and small metal tins to use as containers. Our planner lined them with extra cloth napkins and added bamboo serving utensils – it looked great.

Wedding Wednesdy: How We DIY Catered Our Own Wedding Reception
Image Courtesy of: Miranda Laine Photography

The key to making this style of DIY catered wedding reception was to keep it simple. Nothing needed to be served warm or hot. Everything could be opened and dumped (no worrying over presentation or mixing). And by grouping our serving containers together, it made the simple food look more impressive.

Would you DIY your own wedding reception?

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