wedding reception catering quandry.... what do you think???

Sweet Violet

10 Years
Jan 9, 2010
Vista CA
ok, here's the deal. I'm broke! I have a wedding reception to plan and pay for in November. The bride and groom are flying to Maui in October and having a lovely wedding that they are paying for themselves. I'm the mother of the bride. Hubby and I thought that we would host a lunch in November for family and a very short list of friends for both sides of the brides new family. Say maybe 80 people total.
What do you all think of Panera sandwiches served on platters with some of their delicious salads? Couple more side dishes served and bottles of water, sodas etc? Does this sound fun for a 1:00 lunch?
Is that toooo cheap? It would be at our timeshare at the beach.
Decorations are already paid for. It's the actual catering I'm just unsure of.


11 Years
Jul 5, 2009
Middle Tennessee
I think it sounds great. I think too many people have gone over the top with these wedding extravaganzas, like putting on a show. The whole point of a wedding is a family celebration of a new couple starting their life together; the food is secondary. Go for what is easy for you and it will be fun for everyone. Best wishes for the happy couple.

seismic wonder2

I got mad ninja skills
12 Years
Feb 3, 2007
san diego ca
Depends on how everyone is expected to dress.
Formal= Hoursderves with wine bar, soda in glass with ice
I recommend resort casual (hawiian shirts resort shorts, deck shoes)= your sandiches are fine with pitchers of tea, coffee, water, wine etc, cool sodas and clear plastic cups with ice available
casual (shorts, swimwear, flip-flops)= chips, dips, can sodas, beers in a cooler with ice with red plastic cups.

The point is to be with the people, the food is just a supporting role.


Positively Ducky
11 Years
Oct 2, 2008
Casual is good. Sandwiches are fine. You can make some homemade sides and desserts to go along with it. You could also make the sandwiches yourself and really save a bundle.

One of my good friends made ALL of the food for her reception by herself. She made stuff that she could freeze and reheat well. The food was delicious and her and hubby did not have to go in to debt over it.


BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
14 Years
Jan 11, 2007
NE Washington State
The most fun and enjoyable receptions we have been to were pot luck or homemade.
We didn't feel like we had to be so careful to be "proper" that we didn't have fun.

Recruit people to make something that they are good at. Aunt Sally's tater salad or Uncle Fester's grilled veggies.

If it is at the beach, why not a beach party with smores and hot dogs over a fire?


10 Years
Apr 9, 2009
Knoxville, TN
I think that sounds great and stress-free.

rancher hicks

11 Years
Feb 28, 2009
Syracuse, NY
I've read on Yahoo, of course that one of the things that people complain about the most at weddings is "the food". It stinks or there is not enough of it or it's served to late. I had friends who've gone out to eat after the reception due to the bad food. So you have my vote.

My daughters reception was $60 a plate I kid you not. The food was good but we could only afford 100 people. Pictures $3000 dollars I kid you not. Don't know the cost of everything else but the total was approx. $20,000. Not including the dresses. As God is my witness I'm not lieing.

That did not include the engagement party at the house. We had pulled pork sandwiches, fruit salad, mac salad, pot. salad, a bunch of different drinks and desserts. A bunch of stuff I can't remember.

The worst thing is that we can't stand our new son in law. Just kidding.

He's very nice and his parents are nice too. So we're good there. Even if he is a Red Sox fan. It was a very nice wedding and we didn't pay for it all. Still expensive though.

So as you go through all of what you've got to just say , "At least it didn't cost $20 thousand dollars".

Wishing you a happy day


Jess N Jeff

10 Years
Oct 25, 2009
South San Diego, Cali
If this is a family lunch then casual is perfect. Leave the upscale for the wedding. Sandwiches are perfect and Panera sandwiches are YUMMY! I agree with the person that posted you can make them yourself, but catering will take away a lot of the stress.

Just make sure that everyone knows this is a casual luncheon so that no one shows up with other(greater) expectations.


Poultry Snuggie
11 Years
Mar 16, 2009
onchiota NY
My Hubbie and I had to pay for our wedding 16 years ago-my parents did not have the money to really help-If we had to do it all over again we would have had a fabulous BBQ-dressed down and casual for sure!

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