How To Waste Less Food When Catering Your Own Wedding

Food & Cooking Articles

Are you getting married and catering your own wedding? Do you also hate to see good food thrown in the garbage? If you are wondering how you can make sure that none of the food you serve on your big day goes to waste, here are four tips for you.

1. Don't Plan To Feed Everyone On Your Guest List

If you've invited 150 people to your wedding and you're planning on feeding 150 people, you're exaggerating how much food you'll need and some of it is going to end up in the trash at the end of the day. People with small weddings (fewer than 50 people) usually see 90 percent or more of their invited guests in attendance, but as the guest count rises, so does the rejection count. If you've invited between 100 and 149 people, 70 - 80 percent of them will show up. If you've invited more than 150, only 65-75 percent of them will make it. Don't buy food you don't even need when catering your own wedding; plan on feeding the number of people who will show up, not the number of people you invited.

2. Supply To-Go Containers

Few people can't appreciate an already-prepped meal after a long day -- your wedding guests included. Stock up on to-go containers before your wedding day so you can offer your guests the opportunity to take any leftovers home with them when they leave. If your wedding dinner will be formal, pass the containers out to each table toward the end of the meal. If you're serving a buffet-style wedding dinner, just place a stack of the containers near the food tables toward the end of the event when you're sure everybody is done snacking, and tell your guests to help themselves. The more food your attendees bring home to enjoy, the less of it you'll have to throw out.

3. Serve Food On Small Plates

People's eyes are often bigger than their stomachs; roughly 17 percent of diners don't finish their food when eating out. The more food your wedding guests can fit on their plates at one time, the more food they can waste when they decide they've had enough. To prevent your guests from piling edible goodies high on their plates and then ditching their meals in favor of the dance floor, consider feeding them on smaller appetizer or salad plates as opposed to standard 9-inch dinner plates. They can still eat until they're full, but they'll have more opportunities to stop and consider whether or not they are full.

4. Store Leftover Dishes For Later

If your wedding food is left on a table to sit for the duration of your event, anything left over is going to need to go in the garbage. Bacteria grow readily in most food when the food is between 40 degrees and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep hot dishes in a crock-pot so their temperature never drops below 140 degrees until the celebration is over, and then store them in the fridge or freezer to feed yourself, your new spouse, and any stay-over guests the next day. Before refrigerating or freezing the dishes, pour them in shallow containers so they'll cool off quickly. 

Additionally, you can save cold foods such as prepared salads and deli meat to eat later, as long as their temperature is constantly maintained at 40 degrees or colder. Make sure you place cold dishes in plenty of ice at your wedding, and check that ice frequently to ensure there's plenty of it to do its job.

If you're catering your own wedding, make sure none of the food you'll serve gets wasted by following the tips above. If you'd like some help preparing a wedding meal with little to no waste, contact a local catering company that specializes in green or eco-friendly practices.


10 May 2016

Eating Better Food At Home

After I was diagnosed with a slow metabolism, my doctor told me that I needed to pay closer attention to what I was eating and how I was cooking. I started reading more and more about different cooking methods, and I was even able to take a local cooking class to help me to learn how to cook better. It was amazing to see the difference that proper eating made in my life. I found myself happier, healthier, and more energetic. This blog is dedicated to helping people to eat a little healthier at home, so that you can enjoy the lifestyle you deserve.