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Fitting the Budget, with a little help from your Family and Friends.

In putting together an application for an international Catie award recently got me thinking about how beautiful events truly can be for everyone. We are a finalist for a prestige award given out to Caterers for extraordinary events. We entered an event we did last summer. We are a finalist for “ Signature Caterer for Best Wedding”The event is titled “A Family Affair”

Yes we planned, organized and catered this beautiful backyard wedding. However so many of the elements were done by family and friends. It was all the special touches that saved the family allot of money and ended up in an amazing event for all that attended.

Think about the things you can do and have a professional do the things that should be done professionally. Like the food service, (always prepared in a legal commercial kitchen) Or Bar service. (you can buy it but have it served by an insured bar service) But there are many ways to save money by doing things yourself and with family and friends.

The location. Instead of renting an expensive venue this family opted to take some of that venue rental money and update their property. They put in a new patio, fireplace and pergola. Planted tons of flowers and improved their home value. These improvements were for the wedding yet will be enjoyed in years to come.


Guest Favors, Escort cards, Invitations, signage, Decorations, Guest books. All things that can be homemade and cleverly presented. Who in the family, sews, paints, crafts, scraps, makes jams, homemade candy, does floral?


Home jelly presented in an old Jelly Cabinet


Hand made Escourt cards Strung from clothesline on a swing set


Guest book was scrapped with little cards and envelopes for well wishes

What about the tableware? Beverage glasses? Cups and saucers for coffee?
Everything doesn’t have to match, you don’t need enough cups and saucers for everyone, Mason Jars make a great signature drink vessel. Old wagons double to carry beverages.

Think about a piece of furniture you might already have to present coffee service on. Here an old dresser… Centerpieces can be simple with personal touches.


Family China was used for all 200 guests


Mason Jars from the garage were cleaned and used for the Arnold palmers


Wagon of sodas on Ice


Old Dresser makes a nice coffee station


Random jars, vases and glasses filled with wildflowers, the engagement photos make nice center pieces.

When planning an event think about the hard costs of things you shouldn’t and cant do yourself. As a rule of thumb don’t do anything that you need to deal with within three days of the event. You shouldn’t be stuffing flowers into vases or putting out food as your guest are arriving. Don’t put to much on your plate. Turn it all over to someone else the day of the event. Most importantly invite the number of guest you can afford. Maybe two smaller events on back to back days will be easier if some items can be reused the next day like china service or rentals. Consult a professional Event Specialist they can help you decide what to do yourself.