Planning on your own DIY wedding? Follow these tips to avoid any flubs:
¢ Don't be afraid to ask for help. Call upon talented friends and family members. Who will do what and when? Be sure to write down instructions for those helping.
¢ Plan ahead. Allow plenty of time to think about crucial logistics, such as ample food storage and enough bathrooms to accommodate your guests. Here's a rule of thumb: Provide one bathroom per 50 people. Ask an electrician to install additional circuit breakers to accommodate electrical needs.
¢ Consider hiring local teens to help with serving and clearing.
¢ Be aware of rental costs. China dinner plates, glassware and silverware can help add to the elegance of a homemade affair, but everything comes with a cost. Skip the plastics and buy silverware, wine glasses and dessert plates from local thrift stores. After the wedding, sell the contents to another wedding couple.
¢ Keep it simple. Choose recipes that can be made ahead of time, will hold up in storage and can be served easily. You'll be too busy to do a lot of last-minute cooking. Supplement your homemade goods with store-bought items, such as bread or rolls.
¢ Get your numbers in order. Calculating how much food you'll need for a big group is mathematically challenging, but necessary if you don't want to run out of food or get stuck eating leftovers for a month. Make sure to have lines going on both sides of the buffet table.
¢ Safety first. Keep in mind health and safety issues and make sure that there is enough refrigeration.
¢ Label food and drinks accurately. Your guests will want to know what they are eating, and vegetarians and guests with special dietary requirements won't have to ask.
¢ Throw perfection out the window. If you're a couple insistent on a "perfect" wedding day, do-it-yourself catering probably isn't for you. Things will go wrong - it's part of the charm - but your guests won't remember the little imperfections. Neither will you.