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DIY Wedding Catering

edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Weddings & Anniversaries
4 replies 2.6K views
pennysaverpitherspennysaverpithers Forumite
4 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Weddings & Anniversaries

I'm planning a wedding for June 2020. I'm looking at a village hall on Saturday and have all my fingers and toes crossed that it's outside space is suitable for us. It seems to be the only hall in a 10 mile radius that has a green we can use, unless we want to hire separately from the council!

I'm currently thinking about some DIY catering options and would love to know what other people think / their experiences etc.

We're having quite a small wedding (40 to 60 guests including us, our kids and about 10 other children). A chunk of our budget is going on the church costs. It's our church, we're both religious, so not something I feel we can compromise on.

After the ceremony I'd love to have afternoon tea with a BBQ later on. BUT I need some money for a photographer, dress etc and I'm trying to get everything done for £3 to £4K max.

So, I was thinking of getting my afternoon tea from Costco or a supermarket and hiring the crockery. I've seen a good deal with a vintage crockery supplier (about £75 to £150 including washing up too). A 40 quarters sarnie platter from costco is £20, so a few of those and some scones, cream, jam and cakes should be pretty cheap. I know I'm going to need someone to set up the food and clear the tables - including moving some for the DJ later.

Has anyone else had any experience of hiring waiting staff / staff to set up and pack up reception? Would the cost of this negate any savings I'd make by not using a catering company?

Anyone else done a completely DIY wedding in a local hall?

Many thanks!


  • Dark_StarDark_Star Forumite
    571 posts
    Ninth Anniversary 500 Posts Photogenic
    Yes but many years ago!
    We did pay a caterer & they must have supplied most of it; I cannot remember.
    The hall had chairs/tables & possibly crockery/cutlery.

    If you have any form of college particularly a catering college in the area perhaps see if any students would like a one off Saturday job? Setting up/tidying up/waiting/drinks etc.

    Kind relatives decorated the hall for us as they'd travelled a long way & stayed overnight so were at a loose end in the morning :D
    We also had a bouncy castle on the green for everyone & my mum found a couple of teenagers (sons of friends) to supervise it for a small fee.
    Lurking in a galaxy far far away...
  • Robin9Robin9 Forumite
    7.3K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    We hire out our Church Hall and seen some wonderful DIY occasions - those personal touches. Some over the top ones as well when the wedding planners are let loose.Depending how busy the hall is you may well be able to book from Friday afternoon through to Sunday morning.

    Our hall is well equipped and your hall should be as well - ask to see the plates, glasses, cutlery. You may need to hire in table cloths.

    We have outside caterers and they are happy to do labour only - inc the clearing up (it's your occasion and you don't want to do it at the kitchen sink)

    Delighted to see someone with the right set of priorities - church ceremony and a down to earth budget. My wife and I did the same - ceremony most important - hired a village and even cleaned it ourselves before hand (30 years ago) - gave the village hall ladies a budget. Afternoon do only - we disappeared at teatime.
    Never pay on an estimated bill
  • flea72flea72 Forumite
    5.4K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    providing afternoon tea yourself is simple., as you suggested buying prepared stuff from costco. But finding someone to man a bbq and provide the cooked food at the right time, may be more problematic, unless you pay for a caterer.

    I diy'd my own food and just paid a few friends of friends children, to do the setting up/clearing away
  • D_M_ED_M_E Forumite
    3K posts
    1,000 Posts Fourth Anniversary Name Dropper
    If there is a local college nearby which does a catering or similar course, try approaching the tutor and asking if they would like to do your catering for you as part of their course, in return for payment to cover cost of food, transport, etc.
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