Friday, June 12, 2009

Cut Back Courses

To give a bit too much information, I have some chronic digestive ailments which cause me to seek out bathroom reading material to pass the time I spend holed up in there. On a recent trip to the commode, I grabbed an issue of The Knot Texas magazine that I bought probably within the first week of our engagement. Flipping through the pages, I came across an article titled "Bride on a Budget." Hey, that's me!

Spring/Summer 2009

The article has some sound advice like "shop sample sales", "think DIY for bridal party gifts" and "ask a friend to officiate." However, point 14 on the list definitely made me giggle.

"Cut Back Courses
Since most guests tend to overeat during the cocktail hour, ask your caterer about serving five hors d'oeuvres instead of six or cutting out one of the early dinner courses, such as the soup."

I mean, sure, a lot of couples out there host multi-course dinner receptions. And a lot of folks have cocktail hours. Many offer hors d'oeuvres to their guests. But what "Bride on a Budget" does all of the above? What sort of "Budget" are we talking about here? I guess it just cracked me up so since the rest of the article contains sound advice for someone in my shoes, or for someone spending maybe about twice or thrice my budget, which is still far below the national average wedding budget. This bit of advice just snuck in there and seemed to say, "Whatever you do, you had better not consider having anything other than a plated meal with all the trimmings!"

Cutting back on food is one of the main reasons we've been able to stay within our budget, so I know for a fact that there are more realistic pieces of advice regarding food for "Brides on a Budget."
  1. Have a buffet instead of a plated meal.
  2. Have a cake & punch (& hors d'oeuvres) reception
  3. Self-cater, or host a pot-luck
  4. Forget about "courses." I always feel ill after delicious food is served to me in great quantity. I guess that may have something to do with my aforementioned digestive problems, but surely I'm not alone. Unless it's the Queen, your guests will forgive your more simple fare. If they don't, tell 'em to shove it.
  5. Disregard the rule that no one has ever heard of regarding six hors d'oeuvres being standard. Throw out that whole cocktail hour hullabaloo while you're at it.
  6. Above all, stop freaking out about what Cousin Sue or Auntie Gertrude might have to say about your chosen form of guest-nourishment. If they're so picky (and rude) that they'll have problems with your latest ingenious budget solution, they're going to find something tacky about your wedding, no matter what you do. Don't sweat it.
I'm following all of my own advice except points 2 and 3. Our venue rental is not available until 4 pm so that pretty well entails a dinner reception, thus foiling idea numero dos. Numero tres is not feasible for two reasons: 1) Our beloved venue requires we use their caterer and 2) Many of our guests will be coming in from out of town and will not have access to kitchens in order to bring something to a potluck.

So, what will be on the menu for our single course buffet (sans hors d'oeuvres and cocktails)?


Ohhh yeah. Take that Ms. Manners.

Plain jane hamburgers served buffet style with all the toppings, and while the side dishes haven't specifically been picked out, it'll be something which traditionally accompanies hamburgers like potato salad, baked beans, chips, etc.

I guess we have a few vegetarians on our guest list for whom we'll have to set aside some veggie burgers but other than them.. Who doesn't like hamburgers?
I mean, really. Hamburgers, when done right, are basically a perfect form of sustenance. I'm kind of drooling right now just thinking about it. Our caterer makes a pretty darn good burger, too. Mmmm.

I also think hamburgers are right in line with the easy-going vibe of our wedding. While it may be unusual to see a man in a tuxedo (The Opester insists on wearing a tux. Since I got to choose my dress without his input, that's his prerogative. No powder-blue tuxes allowed though. Maybe avocado green...) or a woman in a wedding gown chomping down on a burger, that's just how we roll. We want folks to let their hair down, relax, and have a good time. In the end, we're coming together as a married couple, and then hosting a party immediately afterwards. Hamburgers immediately come to mind as party food, so why not wedding reception food as well?

I know I'm supposed to be the gracious hostess & bride and stop and chat at all the tables during dinner, but I really hope I get to enjoy my hamburger and pie on my wedding day!

1 comment:

Nicole R.J. said...

Oh - I LOVE the idea of your hamburger buffet! So fun!

Buffets though, aren't always cheaper... I was shocked, that at our top two or three venue choices the buffet option was alwyas more than a plated dinner.