Catered vs Self-Catered Weddings; which is right for you?

There are some incredibly big decisions to make when planning a wedding. Would you like a fishtail dress or a ball gown? Will you go for a platinum, titanium, silver or gold wedding band? Who will make the guest list? And what exactly are you going to do about food?

Info on having a catered wedding versus a DIY wedding menu. #AspirationalBride

The latter question can certainly cause headaches for many couples. A good place to start is to establish whether or not you’ll be going catered or self catered. Having a catered wedding certainly takes away a lot of hassle. With so many other elements to arrange, from big things like the dress to smaller details like place settings, having somebody to take care of the food can be a big help.

For catering advice on this collaborative post, we turned to One Events event company, who offers two London based venues, one in Marylebone and one in Mayfair.

Menu Planning

Source: One Weddings

If you will be going catered, you will need only to choose food options then, preferably, find time to trial the food beforehand. If you do have time to spare, this job isn’t such a bad one! Be sure to speak up at this point if you’re not happy with something, as this is the time to make any tweaks or adjustments. Prefer a strawberry coulis rather than raspberry with dessert? Then say something. It’s your big day, and caterers will be more than happy to make things perfect for you and your guests.

Whilst providing the wedding food yourself can seem attractive, it does add a large amount of preparation and risk to the planning. You will want to plan ingredients and trial the more complex dishes well ahead of time as well as make sure all perishables are available and fresh for the big day. Timing can be tricky, as there must be enough time for your helpers to prepare and serve at the reception while also (presumably) enjoying themselves as guests at your event.


If you are like most, cost is the main reason you are considering providing your own wedding food. Understand, however, that venues with an approved list of caterers will always ensure that the options they provide are suited to a whole range of budgets. One Events, for example, does just this. Their recommended list of suppliers offers a wide enough variety to suit every taste and budget.

Quality and Presentation

It’s also worth remembering that going with a venue’s recommended supplier means you can relax, safe in the knowledge that your food and drink on the big day will be sorted. It’s not just the quality that is at risk when going with your own choice of caterers or going the do-it-yourself route; things like hygiene, punctuality, presentation and efficiency of service are also not necessarily guaranteed.

Accompanying Drinks

Wedding reception drinks...strawberry fizz cocktails. #AspirationalBride Event Venue: One Events, London

Source: One Weddings

Finally, do remember that while the self-catered approach requires you to source and purchase drinks separately, catered food packages are often linked to compulsory drinks packages. As with any vendor, be sure to verify details of your agreement. Check up front how many drinks per head your package includes, and what the procedure is if you need more as the day or evening progresses. Some companies will also offer to buy back any unopened bottles, meaning you can order extra just in case.

Thank you once again to One Events for sponsoring this post.

September 21, 2015 | By | Reply More

Category: Cakes & Catering, DIY Weddings, Wedding Venues

Leave a Reply