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  • Writer's pictureAnnette McGuffey

The DIY Bride: Do This, Not That

Many of you Pinterest obsessed Brides-to-be may have planned out how to make your upcoming wedding an entirely "Do it Yourself" project. A word of advice, in order to save some money on your wedding day, there are some things that a crafty lady and her friends can successfully DIY, however there are some things that should ALWAYS be left to the professionals. Follow these DIY do's and don'ts and your special day will be unique and crafty without causing any unnecessary mental breakdowns.


Food & Drinks:

Don't do it! Though you may be a great cook yourself, and your grandmother insists that she has to make her signature dish for your special day, taking the food and drinks that will be served at your wedding into your own hands is a risky move. Catering companies can sometimes get a bad reputation for being expensive and unreliable, but neither has to be true. Catering companies offer a variety of different dinner styles for any budget, or number of guests. Consider these options:

Buffet Style: This option is growing in popularity as it is less expensive than a plated sit down dinner, and provides the guests with more options. This style works particularly well for couples whose friends vary from vegetarians, vegans and gluten free folks to meat eaters. Buffet style dinners often take less time than traditional sit down dinners as well, which leaves more time for dancing!

Family Style: This option, though less popular, has lots of merit. If your reception is on the smaller side, or you are using long farm tables as your seating as opposed to round tables, this style can be fun for your guests, and still far less expensive than a plated dinner. Italian and Mediterranean foods usually work well for this style.

Passed Hors D’oeuvres: This style is basically an extended cocktail hour, and allows your guests to enjoy a large variety of tasty samplings while still being able to mingle. For all the foodies out there, this option is ideal for serving more creative foods, while still looking out for your budget. Try to serve a good mix of hearty and dainty appetizers so that guests don't feel as though they skipped dinner.

Stations: Stations can have a casual or more formal feel depending on the foods you choose to serve, and they are great for keeping food available to guests throughout the night. Your friends can eat quickly and get to the dance floor, while your grandparents are free to nibble all night long. This catering approach is interactive, easy and kind to your wallet.

For the drinks you have a few options, open bar, cash bar, limited bar or no bar. If you are having your wedding at an established wedding venue, chances are that you will be required to use a bar staff of the venue's choosing, and the venue will also set the price of signature cocktails that you may be serving. Having said that, even if your receptions space is a private residence or somewhere that does not require you to hire bartenders, do it anyway. Hiring a professional to run your bar is usually a requirement, and for good reason. If you decide to put a drink limit on your guests, the bar staff will have no problem enforcing it, and there will be no hard feelings between you and your friends. Additionally, if you do choose to serve liquor, what you buy will last longer, because every drink will be poured the same.

Open bar: This is easily the most expensive option, but for some people it's worth it. If you want to set a price limit on your bar, you can ask that the bar staff alert you when you have hit a certain dollar amount, and then choose to switch to a cash bar for the duration of the night. To the same effect, you can give a certain number of free drink tickets to each guest, and once they have used them, they will pay for the rest of their drinks. You can also choose to close the bar for an hour during the night to save money. Most people who choose this option do it during dinner when the guests have food and non-alcoholic beverages available.

Cash bar: A cash bar is a great way to save you money, but it can cause disgruntled guests when they did not bring any cash to the reception. If you choose this option, be sure to make this information known to the guests prior to their arrival, this will ensure that they are prepared. This option is also great for couples who may have some overindulgent friends, as guests are less likely to overindulge when they are paying for their own drinks.

Limited bar: This option is a very popular middle ground for many couples. With a limited bar, the bar can be open, but the choices are limited to a few options such as beer wine and a signature cocktail. Most guests are satisfied with a beer and a wine option, but if you think you guests will not be, simply have liquor there as a cash bar option in addition to the beer and wine options that you will be providing.

No bar: If you choose this option, consider creating a festive "mocktail" for your guests to enjoy. You might also consider passing out single glasses of champagne for the toasts. If you choose to avoid alcohol, make sure you have a variety of other drink options for your guests to enjoy, including soda, tea water or juice.

If you are looking for caterers and bartenders in the Tallahassee area for your upcoming wedding, contact us at The Wedding Suite today! We work with multiple different caterers and bartenders that would love to make your special day one for the books no matter what your budget or wedding style.


As always, we would love to help you plan​​

and prepare for your special day at

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