DIY wedding Food–ideas/suggestions?

by DIY wedding planner on December 8, 2011

What are some foods I can make ahead of time for a wedding that are simple but elegant and filling?

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

sexy21hotness December 8, 2011 at 10:41 am

You can make many types of appetizers depending on your theme. You can do hors’devors, pigs in a blanket, samosas, etc. They key to making any food look elegant is in the presentation. I just did a blog on this. You should come check it out: (it’s number 3 under Wedding on a Budget)


MrsCrazyPete December 8, 2011 at 11:34 am

Honestly, I would not make my own food for my wedding. I’m not trying to put your idea down or anything, but you will almost definitely make yourself crazy. For the cost of everything, you could probably spend just as much getting party trays from a Sam’s Club or your grocery store.


theologygirl December 8, 2011 at 12:18 pm

Okay, this is totally doable. I’m listing some here that are best served cold – that way, you don’t have to worry about chaffing dishes and such. You might need some trays underneath the dishes that can hold ice, but that’s the worst you’ll have to worry about. Hope you like some of these:

Beautiful, nontraditional shrimp cocktail. Get some frozen, cooked, peeled and deveined shrimp and let it thaw/marinate in Italian dressing. Drain and put in a beautiful bowl. It’s super easy and soooo delicious. Everyone at our wedding loved this.

Antipasto or Italian salad. You can make this yourself, but it’s even easier if you call up your best local pizza place and order a few the day before the wedding. It saves a lot of time and probably doesn’t cost any more than buying all of the ingredients yourself. If you want the tuna salad with it, have them put in on the side. Mix the salads together in a huge bowl, put the tuna is a pretty bowl off to the side (if you’re including it), and provide a selection of salad dressings.

Then there are the standard fruit and cheese platters – everyone always loves these, and if you take time with the presentation, they can look really elegant.

One dish I make that always goes over really well is sort of a crab dip/loaf. Mix a couple of blocks of cream cheese with a small package of imitation crabmeat and about five diced dill pickles (the long wedge slices). This is if you want to serve it as a loaf; if you want it to have more of a dip consistency, add a little sour cream and maybe a little of the pickle juice until you get the consistency you want. Serve with nice crackers.

Pasta salad looks festive and is very filling.

Consider slicing a cooked chicken breast and serving it cold. A little different from traditional coldcuts and super yummy. You can get the precooked rotary chicken from your local supermarket for this to make it even easier. Serve with a selection of rolls, cheeses, and condiments.

For bread, think of things that are easy and can be served at room temperature – denser rolls and breads that are more hearty and less fluffy/flaky work well. You can put some regular butter and some honey butter out in pretty dishes.

Good luck!


Pink Pearls December 8, 2011 at 12:58 pm

I would suggest that you have a family member or friend do the food as their gift to you. Believe me, you’re not going to have time to prepare everything the week of your wedding and then heat everything up and set it out the day of your wedding. It’s your day. Let someone else do it.

Another suggestion that I’ve only seen at two weddings… is to have a potluck dinner. It may sound tacky asking people to bring food, but unless your friends/family are really tight collar high class people, they won’t mind. My friend did that and it was beautiful. All she personally provided was some fruit trays and beverages. Other people brought the best things in their cook books and we had a TON of food. They still got presents and it saved them a lot of money. However, it was a church wedding and everyone lived there in town. It wouldn’t be appropriate for out of town guests.


kill_yr_television December 8, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Assign someone to do deviled eggs. Don’t squirt the yellow stuff back in until you have the white parts all arranged on the platters. Then you cut a corner off the plastic back where you mixed up the yellow stuff and squirt it in with a pretty peak, and sprinkle with spices. There are very filling. Pretty pasta salads made with fancy pasta and fancy vegetables and a few treats of savory meat will fill up hungry guests without making you look cheap. Check grocery “thrift shops” for bargains. People who have always scorned “day old” stores are usually converts when they find Pepperidge Farm Cookies in fancy tins for $1. Besides elegant cookies and crackers, you can sometimes find bite size frozen ready to fill pastry shells and other “appetizer ready” frozen items.

Attractively presented cheese are always elegant. Again, look to that pricey deli for hints. Are the presentation cases decorated with kale? Lemon slices? It’s amazing how nice a plastic platter can look with a white paper doily, and a few sprigs of fresh herbs. Sometimes liquor dealers can help you to a better price on cheese if you cut up 5 lb portions yourself. Don’t aim for being over exotic; chedder and provelone good.

My grandmother ran a diner and did “specials” and she taught me that the key was to present foods in such a way that guests could not “strip mine” the more costly items like meats. Mix meat tidbits with starches, chicken pasta salad or roast beef with rice instead of drumsticks or sliced beef. If anyone can make rich buttery nut breads, now is the time for that person to donate a few loaves. An ice chest full of hot tiny baked potatoes sprinkied with butter salt pepper and dill smells wonderful and will replenish the serving dish a dozen times. Stay away from more fragile dishes like pies and green salads and don’t serve things people can’t eat easily with fingers and feed us plenty of it and we will like your food, I promise.


*Miss_Autumn* December 8, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Go to Costco/Sam’s and check out the frozen section. They have huge pans of lasagna, etc. They also have frozen appetizers which are very filling and people can easily make a meal from a handful of those, and they just have to be heated and served. However, if you do that, you will be in the kitchen all day and won’t be able to attend the ceremony at all and you won’t be able to enjoy the reception like everyone else because you’ll still be chained to the kitchen at that time. Your best bet is to call up a local restaurant and ask if they offer catering. Most do and are cheaper than any wedding caterer. You would already know what the food is like and you get much more for your money with the restaurant. Then you would be able to enjoy the wedding without working.


Nikki December 8, 2011 at 2:24 pm

I don’t know if you have a GFS Marketplace near. I catered a wedding by purchasing through them last year and I have one in Aug. that I am going to do the same. They have help to figure how much of what you need to serve. They have chaffing dishes, serving dishes, all the food, drink ware, flatware, plates, etc. you can think of. Good luck!


Suz123 December 8, 2011 at 2:49 pm
ladyellei December 8, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Lasanga (freezes well easy to heat up and serve)
Brushetta spreads
Mashed potatos


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