artisanal-butter-and-spread-display-with-bread-at-wedding

Why You Should Not Self-Cater Your Wedding

Learn why catering is one element of your wedding not to DIY.

As weddings become more personal, DIY increases in popularity. While this can lead to charming décor and precious favors, there is one aspect of your wedding that you should never do yourself: the catering.

Catering
artisanal-butter-and-spread-display-with-bread-at-wedding
Photo: Rennai Hoefer, Ten22Studio

As weddings become more personal, DIY increases in popularity. Often, do-it-yourself projects are not even about saving money, but having unique, one-of-a-kind touches at your celebration. While this can lead to charming décor and precious favors, there is one aspect of your wedding that you should never do yourself: the catering.

Even if it’s just the hors d'oeuvres for cocktail hour, self-catering is a bad idea. Your guests have often traveled many miles to attend your nuptials, perhaps using vacation time or taking unpaid days off of work. In most cases, these guests have purchased gifts or written a check to help you start your lives as a married couple. Though the reason these loved ones have made these sacrifices is to be there for your special day, providing a meal is generally considered part of the trade-off to having someone attend your celebration.

If you are still thinking that you can provide enough self-catered food to keep your friends and family well-fed and happy, continue reading for further reasons why self-catering may be more trouble than it’s worth.

- If you’re not a professional and not familiar with food safety protocols, it is easy for people to get sick. Many foods have to be kept within a very specific temperature range – so it's best to leave it to the professionals.

- Weddings are already stressful to plan. Do you really want to spend the days before – and morning of ­– your wedding preparing a meal for dozens, if not hundreds, of people?

- So maybe you’re not going to be the one doing the cooking – you have family members who will be pitching in. Well, now your family isn’t spending the time before your ceremony helping you get ready and celebrating, they’re stuck in the kitchen putting the finishing touches on sandwiches and veggie wraps. Even if they smile as they offer, there’s a good chance they will resent the work they have to do.

- Even if you have a friend who is a professional chef offering to cater your wedding, if they don’t bring their own staff, you will still have a lot of prep work to do. Your friend will likely even miss your nuptials as they prepare for the reception.

- Perhaps the reason you’re considering a self-catered event is because you are having a small, intimate wedding. If you’ve ever hosted a holiday dinner, remember how much work that is and think about if that’s how you want anyone not being paid to feel on your wedding day. Consider simple catering, or even hosting the reception at a restaurant. It will be worth it in the end.

Discover five wedding details that will be easy to DIY, and learn which do-it-yourself projects to tackle and which to avoid. Visit our photo galleries and inspire your taste buds by looking through images of food and drink from real weddings!