Wedding costs a lot of money. But there are some ways to cut down the costs, DIY wedding buffet is one of them. DIY wedding buffet is suitable for small and casual wedding. It incurs a lot of workloads on food preparation, services and cleanup, so you need to have a group of volunteers to help you. Consider the time and effort you are able to spend, the potential help of relatives, friends and neighbours, the guests quantity, before you decide to do DIY wedding buffet even if your budget is small.
1. Gather all the help
You will need people to prepare, set up and monitor the buffet at the reception.
Ask for volunteers from you relatives, friends, colleagues and neighbors. If you can’t find enough volunteers, you may consider hiring some helpers to fill the gap.
2. Decide the food quantity and menu
Try to target small and reasonable numbers of guests, generally about 100 people instead of 500 people.
Calculate how much food required to serve the guests based on the number of guests, male to female ratio, adult to kids ratio and the time of the buffet. Normally if the wedding buffet is hold during non standard meal time, people won’t eat a lot.
Keep the menu simple as it is intimate cozy type reception. Choose less expensive food and drinks that fit the budget, instead of 5 star hotel cuisines. You can make your own cake and make your own wine.
Plan the menu with easy prepare food and those that can be prepared in advance. This will save you time for other tasks during the event.
3. Select the venue
Survey for the venue that provides tables, chairs and all the useful kitchen facilities, such as large fridge, freezer, large basin, enough stoves, ovens, cookers and so on.
Ask if the venue also provides platters, flatware, glassware, tablecloths, serving dishes, tongs, trays, utensils, else you can borrow or rent somewhere.
Hold the reception on Sunday, as it will be cheaper to rent the reception hall.
Discuss with friends, neighbours and relatives for extra refrigeration space if the venue doesn’t have enough food storage.
4. Create a schedule
Write down all the details of things to be prepared, project the preparation time frame to get them out. Some items can be purchased and prepared much earlier than others. Schedule must be created weeks or months ahead of the wedding buffet event. You can delegate some tasks to your family or friends.
Purchase and prepare items in mass quantities.
5. Deliver the food and services
Decorate the wedding buffet table with floral display, potted plants, flowers that can be get from your house or borrowed from your friends.
Set up the wedding buffet table and deliver the food in advance before the wedding buffet start. Set up the buffet stands, fill in the chafing dish fuel under the dish but left all the dish covered to keep the freshness until the event start. Prepare all the flatware, napkins, plates and decorations in advance.
You need someone to help to refill and serve the food as you will be too busy to celebrate your own big day and also you should enjoy yourself.
Some tasks need to employ paid service because you can’t do it all yourself.
You can use disposable plates, disposable cups and plastic cutlery as this will save the times and costs on cleanup.
6. Cleanup arrangement
Once the wedding buffet event is ended, you can ask the helpers to start the cleanup job. Make sure you have enough people to clear the tables, collect the tablecloths, wash the dishes, utensils, throw used disposable items, throw the rubbish, pack the food leftovers and arrange the tables and chairs. It is wise to assign who clean what early before the buffet start. Do a final check again before you left the venue, so that everything is properly cleaned and you don’t miss out anything to bring back.
7. Appreciation to the helpers
You should thank all the helpers. You can just pay them, give the leftovers to them or give them souvenirs or invite them to another free lunch/dinner. Remember to give advice and help your friends or relatives or neighbors next time if they need your help to set up their DIY wedding buffet.