Catering Your Own Wedding - Appetizers

Weddings can be expensive, and catering your own wedding appetizers may be an area in which you can save a bit of cash on the big day. You will need to carefully consider the logistics and time requirements for doing your own catering, however, before making your decision. Important considerations such as food availability, kitchen space, expected guests, and available help may make the difference between self-catering being an economical option and it just being a massive headache that costs more than a caterer in the long run. In most cases, it's not advisable to try to cater a large wedding yourself, especially if you do not have access to a commercial kitchen. Smaller weddings, on the other hand, may be within reach for you without too much additional hassle.

Pre-planning

Make sure that all of your wedding guests RSVP well before the event to ensure that you have enough time to order or make the appetizers. If you have already selected a venue for the wedding reception, discuss the on-site accommodations with the manager. Ideally, you'll have a refrigerator and/or freezer and an oven at the reception site so that appetizers can be served at the appropriate temperature. If these are not available, your choices of appetizers may be limited. This is also a great time to source serving dishes and either ingredients or ready-made appetizers in bulk. Most likely, you will not want to buy any food items from your local grocery store because the cost can be prohibitive. Buy where you can get your items at wholesale or deeply discounted prices for buying in quantity.

Logistical considerations

Serving appetizers may sound simple, but it comes with its own set of challenges. First, you'll want to have all of the appetizers ready before the wedding, and they will need to be safely transported to the reception. Pizza boxes and sheet cake boxes are very popular for this task. Familiarize yourself with safe food handling practices -- namely, know the temperatures that hot and cold foods need to maintain in order to be deemed safe for consumption. Finally, if you are unsure about allergies that guests may have, you can provide elegant name cards for each of the appetizers so that each guest can better determine whether or not the appetizers may be safe to eat.

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