Monday, September 8, 2008

budget item: food

Okay, so I probably should have been more clear when I put down $100 for food. I got quite a few gentle comments asking if I planned to provide dinner for 8 or crackers for 80. We will not be having a sit-down dinner but a buffet, and we will be asking people to help out.

Asking people to help with your wedding seems to be a touchy subject in some circles. (Actually, when it comes to discussing your wedding on the internet, everything seems to be a touchy subject. I am scared of wedding forums! Even the "cool" ones like Indiebride's Kvetch seem to be minefields of drama and judgement.) We're not going to be putting "Bring a plate!" on the invitations. But a lot of our friends and family have offered to help, and we're accepting that help gladly. We'd much rather have friends bring cupcakes and curry puffs and fruit than have them buy us wedding presents. It's much more practical, it costs them less, and it's also really special to me that our wedding will be the product of so many people who love us. I was really inspired by this lovely potluck wedding featured in Offbeat Bride. The idea that our close friends won't just be turning up and watching, but will be an integral part of the process, makes me happy.

So yes, there won't be a "theme" to our food, and it's all be piled up on a big table for people to pick at, and there will be not enough of some stuff and too much of other stuff. People will probably be eating off paper plates with plastic cutlery (although I haven't cleared this with my mum yet; I might be pushing it too far). But everyone will have enough to eat; the food will be delicious; it'll be fun and casual and relaxed; and no-one will be going into debt over it.

Actually, the nicest wedding food I ever had was at a little wedding where there was no sit-down dinner or buffet, just a (seemingly never-ending) stream of finger food. I ate sushi and spring rolls and samosas until I was grateful I'd worn a skirt with an elastic waist! It was delicious, completely satisfying and so much fun. I've been to other weddings where I've sat at the last table looking enviously at the other people being served, eating, and finishing their meals before the staff even got to our table. The food is always 'safe' (meat, fish or bland vegetarian) and made en masse so it's always fairly average. A sit-down dinner just isn't worth the money, in my opinion.


Anthony Woodward said...

Sounds like a great idea to get a few key people to help out as their gift to you. I'm sure they'll be glad to

annie said...

that sounds like a good plan~ and doable if you have the right community of friends. :D I agree with it being a more special gathering, much more personal, than cookie-cutter catering. :) (personally, I got mass quantities of take out finger food from a couple local restaurants)

I don't know how strict or matchy-matchy your aesthetic is, or how long your guest list is, for that matter, but you might be able to thrift sufficient quantities of silverware for a reasonable price. (I love having mismatched plates, so I'd use a small wedding as an excuse to thrift more of those, too, but even metal utensils with paper plates would be an improvement.)

Ariel said...

"Actually, when it comes to discussing your wedding on the internet, everything seems to be a touchy subject. I am scared of wedding forums!"

God, so true. It's really unfortunate, actually ... although part of the issue with Kvetch is that it's 100% unmoderated, which makes almost *any* forum a little scary. :)

Over on the Offbeat Bride Tribe, my moderators get called "nazis" all the time, but it's worth it to have a forum where people aren't attacking each other and having high drama flame wars all the time.

leanne said...

Our wedding was incredibly low-key. We wanted it to be less about us and more about our community of friends and family. We didn't register for gifts and didn't have a DJ for the reception. We didn't spend a dime on food. Instead we wrote on the invitations that the people were to RSVP with whether they wanted to bring a dish or a talent to share with everyone. We had wonderful food and everyone had an excellent time at the talent show (with everything from opera and a scavenger hunt to a poem in Dutch and a burped song). The food, likewise, was fantastic. We had two cakes and a flan and plenty of food for everyone. Everyone had an excellent time and I still get comments about it. It was really the happiest day of my life.

So don't fret about what people think of your wedding planning. It should always be about how YOU want to have your special day.

Good luck and congrats!!!

-Leanne (loveislikegin)