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So you’ve decided that you want to save money on your reception and cater it yourself. That’s awesome, but it’s also overwhelming. Don’t worry, because here are some tips to help you cater your own wedding successfully and safely.
Have the right preparation space
If you’re planning on cooking your own food for your reception, you need to make sure you have the appropriate amount of preparation space. If you’re going to be eating outside, and it’s probably best (and easiest) for you to cook outside too. Get yourself an outdoor kitchen so you’re fully prepared to cater your own backyard wedding. If you think it won’t be worth it, remember that outdoor kitchens can see an average return on investment of 100% to 200%.
Use ceramic cookware
When you’re cooking, you need to make sure you’re using tools that can handle the job. You’re probably going to be cooking a lot of food, and there’s going to be heat and flames all over the place. That’s why you need to use ceramic cookware. Ceramic is incredibly heat-resistant and can withstand temperatures up to 3,800 degrees Fahrenheit, or 2,000 degrees Celsius. ITC ceramic coatings can even withstand temperatures up to 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit, so you will be good to go.
Try food that doesn’t have to be hot
If you’re trying to cook some food in advance for your reception, it’s hard keeping everything hot. You don’t want to have to worry about it being out too long or drying out in the warmer. Try serving just a few dishes that need to be hot, or none at all. Stick with food that can be served at room temperature instead. For example, a taco bar or a roasted chicken will serve you well.
Watch your food temperatures
Speaking of temperature, you need to make sure that your foods are all at the right temperature; otherwise, your guests could be eating some seriously unsafe food. Cold food needs to be kept at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below. The “danger zone” for food is between 40 degrees Fahrenheit and 135 degrees Fahrenheit. Perishable food should never be in the danger zone for more than two hours, or one hour if it’s hotter than 90 degrees Fahrenheit outside. Otherwise, bacteria can multiply rapidly.
Ask for help
You’re taking on a ton of wedding responsibilities yourself, but you have to remember that you’re just one person. You have to be in photos, the first dance, and vows, and more. You can prepare in advance, but there’s only so much you can do on the wedding day. Ask your friends, family, and vendors to help you out so you can actually enjoy your wedding day.
It’s a common misconception that people don’t really eat that much at weddings. While some people are too busy dancing, most people are going to chow down when dinner is served. Most experts advise that you make twice as much food as you think you’re going to need. You might have a little bit left over, but it’s better to have too much than too little.
Keep an eye on the booze
Finally, you want to make sure you keep an eye on your guests that are drinking alcohol for the evening. If you’re having a backyard wedding, some guests see that as an invitation to drink a little more than they would if you had the reception at a country club. Either way, you want to make sure your guests are safe. The three most common causes of car accidents in the United States are distracted driving, drunk driving, and speeding. Make sure your guests won’t be drinking and driving after your reception.
According to a 2017 WeddingWire Newlywed Report, 63% of brides say that they feel a lot of pressure to have the perfect wedding. You might be feeling extra pressure if you’re catering the wedding yourself. Just make sure you follow these tips, and above all, do what makes you happy. It’s your day, and it will be a great one!