need help with wedding reception menu!?

by DIY wedding planner on July 20, 2012

We are trying to put together an easy inexpensive menu. We do not have a caterer so its a DIY kind of thing. We are planning a BBQ, i want something a bit of a step up from plain burgers and hot dogs. Any ideas? We cant afford steak. We are thinking of getting our sides from Costco so we don’t have to spend as much time preparing food.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Natou67 July 20, 2012 at 5:37 am

Visit his site I think it will help you planning your menu


Dragontattoo July 20, 2012 at 6:34 am

Chicken, sausages, mushrooms, corn on the cob, to name a few…


teamkimme July 20, 2012 at 7:21 am

You could do a shish ke bob do it your self bbq bar. Have all the cut up meats and veggies ready with different sauces and have each person cook their own or have a couple people do it for the guests after they make their own. You could also have fruits to grill as well. Do baked beans, garlic bread and salad.


SEPHORA July 20, 2012 at 7:59 am

what about BBQ chicken? you could do some kind of pasta salad/potatoe salad or something like that on the side, and grilled-on-the-bbq veggies like bell peppers. yummm


Chickababe July 20, 2012 at 8:14 am

What about BBQ/Marinated Chicken, Grilled Veggies (Corn, potatoes, peppers, carrots, onions, mushrooms…), Tilapia (marinated in Western Dressing is good! or with a white wine sauce, and tilapia can be cheap), Pork Chops (they can be cheap but good also).

For salads you could have a lettuce salad, baked beans, pasta salads, potato salad, fruit salad, and/or veggie/fruit trays.

You could also have rolls(you could toast them on the grill)/butter, lemonade, tea, pop (you could buy the liters and have people pour the pop, then whole cans aren’t left somewhere and some people don’t drink the whole can.. you could save that way)

Hope this helped. Good luck and Congrats!


Messykatt July 20, 2012 at 8:25 am

My suggestion would be to do the opposite – get some whole cooked chickens at Sam’s or Costco (Sam’s are really good!) and then do the side dishes yourself. Most can be prepared the day before, they’re much less expensive than Costco’s, and most importantly, they’re yummy. Pre-made salads usually have a horrible taste in my opinion.

Cheap options are baked beans (just get some basic ones and kick them up a notch with garlic, molasses, pepper, bacon etc). Corn on the cob is excellent, but if you want an easier option, cooked corn couldn’t be simpler. There’s a ton of yummy potato salad recipes floating around.

If you want something fun, have a make your own salad bar. This directs traffic away from the main buffet and everyone loves doing their own. Just set out all the fixings and a couple dressing options and you’re good to go. And of course get some bread or rolls.


puredoller July 20, 2012 at 8:59 am

Some marinated lemon pepper chicken breasts would be amazing (and esy… and fast) with a mini do it yourself salad bar (check THIS out for cheap and easy!! ) and maybe some corn on the cob and potato salad? Lots of sweet tea and water to drink is very inexpensive and you could make it yourself in (sanitized) milk jugs.

I liked the shish kabob idea someone else mentioned, letting people create their own kabob. but make sure to have the proper tongs and hand sanitizer available!!! Also, this might find the above inflatable ice bar handy!

I also liked the fruit idea as grilled pineapple is amazing! soak it in coconut milk and cover it in flaked coconut before grilling! mmmm….


Nicole July 20, 2012 at 9:43 am

Make sure you have tons of side dishes! And if the reception will be outside without AC, keep the weather in mind: mayo gets weird when used as an ingredient for foods that will be left out. How about (for the sides):

Mozzarella cut and placed atop slices of tomatoe drizzled with extra virgin (or regular) olive oil. Fresh basil as a plate garnish since it may be expensive or hard to find.

Cucumbers, red onions, and grape tomatoes toosed in olive oil and vinegar.


Broccoli/broccoli rabe tossed with lemon and olive oil

Tri-color pasta salad made with black olives, celery, onion, olive oil, and red wine or balsamic vinegar. (Tortellini/Rotini/Cavatelli pasta can also be used)

Roasted red peppers with minced garlic and anchovies

Shredded carrot and raisin salad

Vegetable and fruit crudite plates (cut up fruits and veggies with dip)

*Remember to have an assortment to please everyone’s pallettes.

For the main meal? Make it buffet style with:

Grilled veggies like eggplant, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, corn on the cob…(they taste great when marinated for 10 minutes or so in balsamic vinegar).

Grilled chicken and pork ribs (bbq sauce is great, but so is a combo of sweet and sour sauce, soy sauce, and peach (or apricot) preserves brushed on meat last few minutes).

Grilled pineapple and peaches (try stuffing the inside with a scoop of ricotta cheese drizzled with honey and slivers of almonds for texture- ricotta can be scooped and placed inside of peach in the “ring” center of the pineapple- serve room temperature and make sure you add the ricotta when the peaches/pineapples are not hot directly from the grill, since it may melt).

Beef briscuit and flank steak are reasonable cuts of meat

Sausage and peppers and onions (Italian style)- sautee different color bell peppers (or the same color- doesn’t matter) with onions in somce olive oil. Grill the sausages, and then add them to the pepper/onion/olive oil mixture. You can add tomatoe sauce for “red-style” sausage and peppers, and even slice the sausages before adding to peppers/onions.

**Do you live in NJ/NY/PA? I can help you prepare some dishes! I love to cook and adore weddings!


Rent July 20, 2012 at 10:20 am

Shish kebabs (Chicken, Pork, Vegetables, etc)

Grilled Chiken (season as you’d like, i.e lemon pepper, jerk, etc.)

BBQ Ribs


Grilled Pork Chops (again season as you want)

Hotdogs/hamburgers (but only for the kids you might have at your wedding)

Corn on the cob

Grilled Vegetables

Marinated Skirt Steak (pretty inexpensive compared to other cuts of steak)

Teriyaki Chicken Strips or Breast Tenderloins

Grilled Fruits (Pineapple, Peach)

Wrap up potatoes in foil with butter rubbed on them and place on top of coals in grill and just let cook

You can also wrap up wedged apples with a little butter, sugar, and cinnamon in foil and place on the grill.

Cheese Platter

Pinwheel Sandwich Platter

Meat Platter

Baked Beans

Potato Salad

Macaroni Salad

Salad Bar

Pasta Salad

hummus dip

Some sort of rice dish

Get boxes of mini quiches (they have different kinds at costco)

Also, you can get boxes of sweedish meatballs, heat and arrange them on platters

You could even bake in the oven some diced potatoes, onions, and butter for a side

Mac and Cheese (but make it more sophisticated with fancier cheeses)

You can even do Chicken Penne Vodka Pasta (it’s simple to make and you can make it in big batches)

Garlic Bread

Good Luck! I also provided some websites that might help you with planning as well.


dreamingaboutyouto July 20, 2012 at 10:39 am

Corn on the cob, Baked potatos, potatoe salad, macaroni salad, Chicken drum sticks (can be expensive) you can do Pork chops, though I think that hot dogs would be a good idea because kids really love them, and they are cheap.


Rising Sun July 20, 2012 at 11:33 am

Sandwiches, ribs, corn on the cob, salad and rolls would be a great meal for a BBQ – and it still remains simple without being too expensive.


girl July 20, 2012 at 12:05 pm

I keep seeing bbq everything. Even if you are super careful and do not get bbq sauce on your dress, some kid with a messy face and hands might run up to you with its hands out, or a person could inadvertantly spill on you. Stay away from bbq sauce. I wanted bbq chicken at my reception, after my planner told me this I changed to fried chicken.


yogiT July 20, 2012 at 12:36 pm

-chicken & sausage
-baked potato
-2-3 salads &/or a veggie tray


Cancel reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: