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  By Mike Valeriani

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Catering Your Own Wedding

Hands arranging food in a restaurant's kitchenCatering your own wedding is a very good way for saving money. Don’t be intimidated by the task, it is possible. As a matter of fact, many people do it. With prices going skyrocket high, you can imagine that every possible way of saving money is acceptable, especially at the beginning of a married life. People do understand, because most of them have been there before you. Name a person that was not on a budget at the time of his/her marriage.

First of all if you are thinking of catering your own wedding, you need some considerable help. If you think you can take care of the whole thing by yourself... well, think again.

An old lady in Italy preparing food on the big day.Remember that on the big day, you will be very busy getting married and there is no way that you are going to efficiently take care of your guests all the way. Especially because you simply can’t be in the kitchen on your wedding day. Not for a single minute!

When my sister got married in Italy, she set her mind on catering her own wedding and it worked out very well. Not only she saved a lot of money, but everything was so delicious. Some friends asked her: “catering your own wedding? Are you mad?” She wouldn’t listen though and she was right. First of all she got help from many people: my mom was doing the cooking along with two neighbors (experienced old ladies). Then on the wedding day some friends helped to cook the last bits and also helped to serve at tables. It turned out really nice and charming!

Dishes with food waiting to be served at a wedding reception in LondonShe rented the tables and chairs and had the dinner in the main square of her medieval village.

It was a great idea that has been copied by other people several times ever since.

Now keep in mind that the refrigerators of about 5 families were monopolized for three days prior the wedding. It’s food stuff and it has to be kept at the correct temperature, between 5°C and 8°C (41°F and 45°F). So if you don’t have this possibility, make sure you rent some equipment. Second hand catering equipment can be cheap and you might end up keeping some for your home. I bet you didn't think that catering your own wedding involved this sort of things...

Polished dishes for a weddingMy sister rented a large chest freezer for all the drinks. Nowadays you can actually find them cheap to buy secondhand... it might be cheaper than renting.

Organization is the key. Things must be prepared early enough to have them ready, but you can’t do it too early... remember it’s food you are preparing, so it has to be (sort of) fresh.

The choice of the menu is at the base of everything, because according to what you will prepare, your tasks will vary considerably. Get some catering menu ideas from food magazines and plan everything very carefully. And be realistic with yourself.

Also to consider is the fact that even though you are wonderful in the kitchen, preparing food for more than 20 people requires some additional skills that you may not have.

Wedding table readyPractice first, maybe by organizing a large party with all of the people you know and see how you manage.

Whatever you do, be prepared and practice a lot.

So... as you can see, catering your own wedding is possible. Of course it requires a lot of work, but the outcome could be very memorable.

One last thing: check out some wedding catering prices, just to see if all the work and effort is worth it. If you don’t save much in the end, maybe you rather choose to get your headache some other way (there are plenty of ways with a wedding preparation).







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