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It can be very challenging to balance having the wedding you want and the wedding you can actually afford, what looks just as good as the events shown in the wedding planning books. With the general trend towards more casual food at weddings, many brides are now considering going the DIY route and running their own weddings. Before you decide if you want to hire someone or do your wedding catering, check out these important tips.

First of all, only make your own wedding food if you have a small reception. Anything more than fifty guests will make it very, very difficult to pull off. The last thing you need to do on your wedding day is run around refilling slices or bowls. Nor does your mother want to dress in a new dress and elegant pearl wedding jewelry to spend the entire event serving food at the buffet. Worse is to let the food run out before your guests have eaten dinner. All wedding planning books say it's a huge wedding "don't".

For weddings small enough to accommodate yourself, there are some important things you should know. Firstly, you won't have enough time to cook for fifty people the day before your wedding! Buy as much as you can read about from a store and then add your own spices or extra ingredients to make it special. A warehouse club is ideal for this. You can get huge amounts of classic picnic food like potato salad, rolls and fruit salad at a very reasonable cost. Transfer everything to attractive serving bowls to give it a homemade look. There is no need to resort to plastic bowls; the chances are strong that your family and friends have enough ceramic bowls and trays to lend you so you don't have to buy any. After all, you want your wedding dinner to look elegant.

Something very important to plan when serving your own wedding dinner is to have people on hand to fill bowls, clear plates from tables and so on. Even if you bring all the food, you should still plan to hire some servers to keep everything running. Don't expect all your friends and family to step in to fill this role. It's really not fair to invite someone to your wedding as a guest, get them to put on their best clothes and wedding jewelry and then put them to work. Some catering companies allow you to rent their servers and rent their cutlery, napkins and plates for a reasonable fee. You can also hire college students or culinary students in charge of the dinner, but keep in mind that when you pay for the rent, there may be no savings in hiring the servers a la carte.

Before you make a final decision to become your own wedding catering, make sure you explore the possibility of having a small local restaurant make the food for your reception. In some cases, it costs no more to have a small mom and pop restaurant for your event than to buy the food, rent cutlery and dishes and rent some servers. And just think of all the headaches you can avoid if you don't have to worry about food. Whether you decide to hire catering or do it yourself, just make sure you make the choice that will make your wedding the most fun for you.