Wedding Meal on a Tight Budget?

We have a small budget for our wedding and catering is so expensive. If we do it ourselves with frozen lasagna, salad and bread will it look cheap? How can we have a nice meal on a tight budget?


By sarah from Sacramento, CA

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December 15, 20100 found this helpful
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I echo redhatterb, you can do what you'd like (and can afford!). True friends and loved ones will be there to help celebrate your union. The rest is just gravy!

My reception was buffet style. We had croissants purchased from Sam's (sliced the night before) with meat and cheese trays so guests could make their own sandwiches. We made barbequed meatballs, little mini-quiches (also purchased from Sam's), and some of my mom's Japanese friends offered to make a few dishes.


It worked out just fine. But I think I had maybe 2 or 3 bites of food. You should have your maid of honor get you a plate, and please sit down and eat some food. It's a big day, and you don't want to pass out!

It's possible some close friends or relatives would be happy to help you out. Look into some finger foods and don't worry about serving a big formal meal. I hope you have a wonderful wedding (and marriage). Enjoy it!

December 15, 20100 found this helpful
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It will not look cheap. It will look like you are a financially responsible couple with a great deal of common sense and down-home hospitality. Too many couples spend lavishly on the wedding day, robbing funds from the marriage, itself. By keeping to a budget within your means, it will be a wise and rich investment for your future. If anyone fails to notice just that, it's their problem, not yours.


*You can save money by asking friends to help (cook, serve, clean-up) as a gift.
*Serve as a quasi buffet line (people walking through) but have your server friends on the other side of the table to actually serve and control portions.
*The disposable, hard plastic dinnerware looks better than paper plates, but won't cost as much as rented china. Some of it is actually dishwasher (top rack) approved and could be reused in your home after the wedding day.
*If you offer a variety of side salads (a green salad, a meatless antipasto salad, a jello salad, veggie casserole, whatever,) and a few differently seasoned kinds of bread sticks, guests that either don't eat meat or don't like lasagna can still fill up.
*Be sure to have some individually wrapped mints at the end of the serving line so that no one gets embarrassed about "garlic breath" from such a great meal. :-)


Have a wonderful day!

December 16, 20100 found this helpful
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I went to a wedding once where they served deviled ham sandwiches. That being said, I thought no less of the happy couple. They were staying within their budget and that is commendable. If your friends and relatives are that narrow minded, then fooey on them. I say go ahead with your lasagna idea, salad and rolls. Sounds very nice and remember presentation is everything. Set the table with a flower in a look alike crystal vase, add baloons, and of course a wedding cake. That should do it and Happy Everafter. Blessings.....


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December 16, 20100 found this helpful
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Sarah, it's your day. I say do what works best for you. My oldest son got married at the courthouse, with just a handfull of us attending.


Then we all gathered at a local Mexican restaurant and paid for our own meals. That in no way detracted from our joy in the union!

December 16, 20100 found this helpful
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What we did was, prepare a menu together, cook for 3 days together and we enlisted parents for the cake and we provided beer on tap, coffee and tea, also a lovely punch and kept our expenses low. Our reception was in our rented home and we fed 50. It was fabulous and we knew that our love would last. It has for 30 years. We still cook together too.


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December 17, 20100 found this helpful
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In addition to what has already been said, have you considered an afternoon wedding? You can just serve cake cookies, nuts, mints, and drinks.


If you like, you can add fruit and finger sandwiches, or maybe a chocolate fountain. Good luck.


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December 15, 20100 found this helpful

You can do anything you want for wedding food. It is your wedding. I know fairly wealthy people who have had bar-b-ques, pot lucks, etc. for graduation parties and weddings.

December 15, 20100 found this helpful

This website - - has been a lifesaver for me. Tons of fancy entertaining recipes that are pared down for smaller budgets so that you can host nice parties, but you don't have to break the bank.

Congratulations on your wedding! Very exciting. In the end, your friends and family will just be happy to share in the celebration, so try not to worry too much!


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December 16, 20100 found this helpful

I agree with the post from KansasCindy. We catered our daughters wedding and did Roast beef, ham, salads, potatoes and rolls. Turned out great and everyone was really happy.
Good Luck,


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December 16, 20100 found this helpful

I suggest a potluck so everyone can be involved in your big day. Just keep up with who you have asked to bring what; a meat, a vegetable, a potato dish or dessert.

It is your day, enjoy yourself!

For the cheap we had chicken or tuna salad sandwhiches for my our youngest daughters wedding along with potato chips, vegetable sticks that we made up the night before and dill & sweet pickles. Sweet tea, coffee and water was also served with the eats too.

Also, this is very important, instead of a usual wedding cake we had individual cupcakes decorated in their wedding colors that were simply handed out to the 40 some guests and a toast to the bride and groom was done. Trust me 4 dozen cupcakes is much cheaper then purchasing a wedding cake!

Good Luck to you and your honey!

December 16, 20100 found this helpful

Have your lasagne. It sounds delicious! Contact a local high school culinary arts department. You maybe able to hire some students as servers or it might be included in the hours they need for licensing. The students at my high school are very professional at this. I use them to serve refreshments after concerts.

December 17, 20100 found this helpful

This wasn't a wedding, it was an 80th birthday party, but it was one of the nicest I've been to. It was held in the couples home, and they had a large table covered in a white cloth. On the table was one large whole cooked ham, several loaves of crusty bread, butter, cheese,pepper salt, mustard, mayo,pickles, some salad, and deviled eggs, Everyone just went and cut their own bread and made sandwiches to their taste. This was followed by fruit salad and ice cream and a birthday cake which was donated as a gift from a friend. It was simple and lovely.

January 3, 20110 found this helpful

Lasagna, salad and bread is perfectly normal wedding reception food. I would put a call out to my family and friends asking to borrow table linens, fancy serving platters and silver/silver-plated serving utensils, most moms, aunts and grandmothers have them! If not, you can sometimes pick up nice cut-glass platters and the like at thrift shops. Good luck and Best Wishes!


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