Tuesday 7 January 2014

WEDDING: Wedding Catering - can you do it yourself?

The amount of thought and attention to detail that has to go into wedding catering has really surprised me. I was expected a wedding caterer to tell us what to have, we'd pay a big but not too big sum of money and then we'd sit back and relax. Oh and having the all so important tasting session! But how wrong was I. We've met with one catering company who were so lovely, had the most amazing, unique ideas that would fit in perfectly with our Tipi wedding, the food was absolutely delicious and they were free on our wedding day next year - perfect? Well it would have been if only it didn't all have a price tag of over £4,500 for 80 people! I'm no wedding expert but I know that's a lot of money JUST on food and that was only for 2 courses and a light evening pizza buffet - no canapés, no alcohol, no tea or coffee! I couldn't believe it, so I've made it my mission to try and find a cheaper alternative. I would absolutely LOVE it if we did our own catering, I admire any Bride and Groom that do it! It's a lot harder for us as we're having it in two giant Tipi's, so there are kitchens, electricity etc. We will have to rely on a company to do the main bulk of the food but everything that we can do - we are!

When our guests arrive at the Tipi there will be cocktails in jam jars with paper stripy straws waiting for them. I really want to display these on one of those vintage ladders, but we're yet to source one. I'd love to find an old, tired looking ladder than we can do up and breath a new lease of life into! We are getting married somewhere separate to the tipi and as a lot of our guests aren't coming to the ceremony part of the wedding we won't actually be at the tipi to welcome anyone (not sure how this is going to plan out yet but hopefully it will work out). I've asked one of my best friends to be my 'bridesmaid', so she will be at the tipi ready to welcome everyone and encourage them to grab a cocktail. We then thought there would be a problem when it came to people finishing their drinks - no one is there to fill them up! This is where the drinkstuff website comes into play, as they have such an amazing collection of products ideal for wedding's and events! This gorgeous Glass Drinks Dispenser with Stand* (£24.99 or £44.99 if you buy two) is perfect as it holds an impressive 5.6 litres of liquid this will be perfect for filling with extra cocktail for our guests to help themselves! As we're going for a vintage theme we're planning on presenting this drink dispenser on a wooden crate, just to give it that extra touch. It's such a versatile product - you could also have it filled with ice cold water for when everyone works up a sweat dancing throughout the night! Or even have a couple of them offering people 'mocktails' throughout the day, as we're getting married in August it's important we ensure all of our guests are fully hydrated. I also had an idea of having a 'Milk & Cookies' area for guests to have throughout the evening - you could have this Glass Drinks Dispenser filled with cold milk and have crates of homemade cookies next to it. The perfect finish for any wedding!
We have also decided to make our own canapés, they are surprisingly expensive from caterers! My little brother is currently training to be a chef at college, he creates stunning fine dining dishes that really do leave me lost for words. I'm incredibly proud of his achievements, I knew if I asked him to make some canapés for our wedding he would love experimenting, making and serving them - I'm very lucky to have such amazing brothers! He has already given us some of his ideas, which sound so delicious and in keeping with our rustic, vintage wedding. As we are doing the canapés ourselves and not the main catering we didn't want them to stand out as being 'homemade' too much.

I always think it's so important to consider how food will be displayed, like the Glass Drink Dispenser sitting on top of a rustic wooden crate. Drinkstuff have got loads of items ideal for wedding's or parties, when I spotted this Petit Bites Seventeen Piece Appetiser Gift Set* (£26.99) I knew it would be perfect for presenting our homemade canapés beautifully! I am such a huge fan of slate, it's rustic look will fit in with our Tipi wedding, so serving our (more than) rustic canapés will look stunning being served to our guests. I really like that you get 4 glass appetising dishes, 4 glass dessert/appetiser cups, 4 porcelain tasting spoons and 4 stainless steel spoons - so no matter which canapés we finally decide on this set will accommodate them! 
^ I love how sparkly the slate is. ^
Another major part of any wedding is the wedding cake, initially I was convinced I'd make it myself (and I still might) and that I'd be really relaxed just before my wedding. However I am such a worrier, so I'm now thinking getting the cake made by someone may be the way forward. I'll either ask a family member to kindly make a cake or I'll buy one - I've heard that the Marks & Spencer cakes are relatively cheap for a wedding cake and they are absolutely delicious! Whichever cake we end up with it will definitely have to be displayed beautifully, this Just Slate Round Cheese Board* (£19.99) really caught my eye. Slate is going to play a big part in our wedding by the look of it, definitely not a bad think in my eyes! Displaying our wedding cake on this slate board would make for a centrepiece worth talking about. My current favourite wedding cake is a natural Victoria sponge with fresh berries - they look so indulgent yet fresh at the same time.

I also thought about using this slate board for canapés, you could pop mini burgers/fish and chips/hot dogs/ pizza's for your evening meal or display mini desserts. Below I've made thick hot chocolate (using the mix I made as a gift, see post here) and served it with toasted waffles to dip in! This would make a lovely treat to accompany the evening food - who doesn't hot chocolate?!

If you want more wedding inspiration, check out the drinkstuff blog as it has such innovative ideas - I've taken a lot of inspiration from this post - click here.

Go and explore the massive range of products on the drinkstuff website!
Feel free to leave me a comment :)



  1. This sounds brilliant! Very impressed with how much of it you're doing yourselves :) As a fellow 2014 bride I'm really enjoying reading your wedding posts, it's great to hear about someone else going on the journey and all the preparation that's involved!

  2. looks lovely, even more lovely you are doing it yourselves x

  3. Wow! These all look incredible. Where have you been searching for the ladder, ebay and gumtree would be good places to look. Failing that, do you have access to a nearby recycling centre? If you do, this is something they would generally have lying around.

    I can see I'm going to get lots of wedding inspiration from you.

    Also, have you seen the blog; Rock n' Roll Bride? http://www.bloglovin.com/frame?post=2158519197&group=0&frame_type=a&blog=1086281&link=aHR0cDovL2ZlZWRwcm94eS5nb29nbGUuY29tL35yL3JvY2tucm9sbGJyaWRlL2luZGV4L34zL0YteUZfUXZOUmw0Lw&frame=1&click=0&user=0

    There are some amazing ideas there!

    Katie <3

  4. Love the idea of cocktails in jam jars also that slate looks gorgeous - I could do with one of those myself! We went to an Italian restaurant after we got married (granted a higher end restaurant than what we would have typically entertained eating at) and there was only 7 of us so it fitted just what we wanted which was lovely.

    Good luck with all your preparations!

  5. Love your ideas, I just helping my friend in planning a wedding and she spent over 30 grand!!! I will definitely be doing a lot of things myself when by big day comes around. Looking forward to seeing more ideas.



  6. This is going to be a stunning wedding by the looks of it. I love the glass drink dispenser and the little dishes for your canape. Completely beautiful ideas. The rustic themed wedding sounds like a lovely idea. Your blog is a nice one. Thanks for sharing your link with me on fblchat. It is a lovely blog and I am now following!

    Throwmesomethingbeautiful Giveaway

  7. What lovely ideas. Your wedding is going to be so cute! :)


  8. woo dinner iteams and dinner hall are looking so good well planning ideas for wedding planner android app free

  9. You have some really lovely ideas - I love the jam jar cocktails and drinks dispenser, and thinking about how your guests will refill their drinks shows some impressive foresight! If you're looking for wedding cakes, Waitrose also do some really lovely cakes, although they are slightly pricier than Marks and Spencer's range. Good luck, hope it all goes smoothly.

    Teri Harris @ Caiger And Co. Catering


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