Cheap DIY wedding food?

by DIY wedding planner on December 11, 2011

My immediate family offered to make the food for our reception, seeing as costs for a caterer are high (if I had the money, I would hire one since it would make things so much easier). But we can’t, so we need ideas for food that is filling, appetizing to alot of people and pretty cheap. I already have things like baked potatoes and rigatoni. I was also wondering if anybody had any ideas that were a little more unique. Also, I’m a vegetarian. I don’t mind some meat, although I would like to be able to eat the majority of the choices. Thanks so much!! :)

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Messykatt December 11, 2011 at 6:49 pm

I’m a vegetarian, too, and I always do well with a basic barbecue menu because of the side dishes! And it’s all really cheap. In fact, if you know a good bar-b-cue place in town, most will sell the meat/chicken in bulk, and it’s amazingly cheap. It’s also delicious.

And then you have all the side dishes – corn, baked beans (on these, a lot of people just take it out of the can and dress it up if they want, like jalapenos for the corn, etc). Then things like potato salad, cole slaw, tossed salad, corn bread/rolls. All cheap and yummy. Also, on your baked potatoes, they’re good, but they can be tricky, especially if you have a lot of people coming. You’d want them hot, obviously.

Then if you want some sort of appetizers, just pull together a fruit and cheese plate (whatever is on sale), a veggie plate with ranch dressing, and some deviled eggs. These go fast, and couldn’t be cheaper.

It’s not unique, but the truth is, it’s hard to be unique on a budget. But it’s still very tasty.


Start of Something New December 11, 2011 at 7:34 pm

I don’t know how formal and when iyour wedding is but here’s my thoughts anyways.

Main Dish:

POTATO BAR: yum. Potatoes are cheap and filling! So, bake up a whole bunch and have cheese, bacon bits, sour cream, butter, chili, green onions, etc

GRILL OUT: Have hot dogs, and burgers. Then have a line with ketchup, mustard, relish, pickles, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, etc. Can also grill veggies like corn, shrimp, peppers, potatoes, onions, etc.

ANY THING WITH NOODLES: Noodles are super filling along with potatoes. This also goes for salads.

For Sides:
SIDE SALADS: Dinner salads: lettuce, romaine, spinach, dressings, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, croutons, sunflower seeds, pieces of bacon/ham/other. Potato salad, Macaroni Salad, Jello Salads

Depending on the formality of the wedding: Baked Beans

Get home made breads if you do pasta and dinner salads.

You can also have different breads with oil and herbs in the middle of the tables/just bread baskets.

Good luck! And Congrats.


Roxanna December 11, 2011 at 8:05 pm

taco ‘stands’ are always fun and yummy. I’m sure they can do a Vegetarian taco of some sort for you and other vegetarians that are coming to the wedding. Then rice and beans chips and salsa. You can do burritos instead of tacos also.

Just an idea… :)

We’re doing a bbq reception just as the previous person said, it’s a LOT cheaper than traditional catering companies.

Good Luck!


*kim December 11, 2011 at 8:38 pm

I’m just going to include different vegetarian foods. You could have soups salad and sandwhiches since that will probably be one of the easiest things for your family to do without having to take a huge vegetarian plunge. Crazy enough there is actually vegetarian snadwhiches at some gourmet shops. Heres some ideas anyways :]
barley split pea

anadama bread
anchovy-free Caesar salad bruschetta
garlic bread
pita bread
polenta cakes
potato and rosemary
foccacia bread

antipasto salad
bean/tomato salad
fruit salad
green salad
Japanese pressed
cabbage salad pasta salad
potato salad
Romaine lettuce, mandarin oranges, candied almonds and a vinaigrette dressing
spinach salad with walnuts
three-bean salad
white bean salad with sage and arugula

Sides, Hors d’oeuvres, Buffet Foods
artichokes filled with fennel and yellow and red tomatoes
baba ghanouj
black bean spread
finger sandwiches
fluted tomato and basil tarts
fruit trays
grilled Portabello mushroom sandwiches
mushroom and leek empanadas
potatoes (baked, mashed, fried)
rice pilaf
roasted vegetables
sesame noodles
stir-fried Sugar Snap peas with shiitake mushrooms
stuffed grape leaves
stuffed mushrooms

fusili primavera in marinara sauce
garden lasagna
marinated vegetables
morel-stuffed enchiladas
mushrooms with asparagus and a melange of sweet bell peppers and herbs potato pancakes
pasta with creamy or tomato based primavera
penne with marinara
spicy ratatouille served over rice
stuffed cabbage
stuffed peppers
stuffed squash
vegetable stir-fry
vegetable skewers with garlic and rosemary
wild mushroom ragout with fettucine

Desserts and Sweets
baked apples
baked peaches
filo dough layered with honey and pistachio nuts
jams and jellies
plum tarts


IKNOWALL December 11, 2011 at 9:20 pm

Steaks all the way with lots of dinner rolls and grilled veggies.


Lilly V December 11, 2011 at 10:04 pm

Do the baked potatos in a baked potato bar.. like a salad bar but with all the toppings people like on them. Bacon, brocalli, cheese, sour cream, butter, chives, chili… I love those. Yummy and filling.
Cesar salad is always good. Pasta with a couple of choices for sauce.
Meat and cheese trays.
One of my friends did chicken skewers. They grilled chicken breasts and then cut them into pieces and put them on skewers with teriyaki sauce and canned pineapple chunks. One piece would fill like 8 skewers. She bought all the chicken at Costco.
Just a couple of thoughts.


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