DIY - As a seasoned do it yourselfer I've gained some skills in the frugal party deparment. Here's some tips and advice on some ways you can do it yourself and save!


Tastier and Cheaper Than Catering!
DIY wedding food is certainly not for everyone. If you're serving hundreds of people, the logistics are kind of a nightmare. And if you don't know anyone who can cook, you're kind of stuck with paying to have food made for you. In addition, the preparation, cooking, serving, and clean up is a lot of work (which caterers usually take care of).

As long as you're willing to put up with all that, making your own wedding food can be a great choice that will keep you under budget. Especially if you know people who can make really good food!
  • A barbecue can be a great, less-expensive and fun option for a less formal wedding reception or party. However, grilling food for a large amount of people can be a lot of work so you need to plan ahead and think it through ahead of time so that everything will run smoothly.

  • Make sure you have someone to man the barbecue - This may seem obvious but it is important that you have someone set aside to just tend your barbecue throughout the evening. You will not be able to do this yourself! Cooking on a grill requires constant attention. The party guests are going to busy entertaining and enjoying the festivities. Find someone else do it who is prepared to be busy most of the evening, at least until the meal is over. Ideally the grilling lover you find should have someone available to help them, to bring them more platters of food and to be able to make runs for supplies, sauces or whatever else might come up. Your event barbecue chef's efficiency and ability to cook for a large number of people will be much less if he is constantly having to run around. Depending on the size of your party you may even require more than one person cooking.

  • Prep your food ahead of time! All food chopping, slicing, marinating, and even laying the ingredients out on platters or in bowls should be done well ahead of time! Again, do everything you can to avoid running around and panicking at the last minute. All your supplies and ingredients should be laid out and ready to use when the cooking begins. Even do it a day or two ahead, what you loose in freshness of ingredients you will definitely gain in piece of mind!
Bar and Beverage

Stocking your own bar be sure you have a bartender as well as in the province of Alberta you will neeed a liquor licence. a good spread would be to serve beer, wine, a couple cocktails, soda, and water. Of course champagne (or, I should say, sparkling wine)to toast right after the ceremony.

Soda, Seltzer, Water
And Other Non-Alcoholic Beverages
Make sure that you have plenty of drinks to keep your guests happy, and that you provide a good variety. For example, even if you don't personally drink diet sodas or sodas of a certain flavor, it's probably a good idea to get some for the guests that wish to indulge. I suggest getting cans instead of bottles, so they're easier to grab, and you don't need to worry about cups. And don't forget to have plenty of water. Plastic water bottles are great if your guests are going to be moving around the reception area, and want to bring drinks with them; you can also provide pitchers of water and cups on individual reception tables.

You can also make a punch to serve, out of juices (such as cranberry), fruit, and sparkling water.

The Champagne Toast
Or Sparkling Wine, If You Prefer
Sparkling Wine for the Wedding ToastIt's traditional to have a toast at some point during a wedding, either directly after the ceremony, or during the reception. Although people often think of this as a "champagne toast," the truth is that Champagne is a very specific (and very expensive!) type of sparkling wine. If you're watching your budget, I suggest finding a good sparkling wine to serve during the toast. Most of your guests won't know the difference.

A good variety of domestic beer is a good choice. Kokanee, Coors Light, Molson Canadian are all good choices
And don't forget to add something that the bride and groom would like to drink, if they drink beer.

Hi balls and Cocktails

Carrying the basics will likey appeal to anyone wanting high balls or cocktails. Vodka, rye and rum are good basics. Many sodas will mix well with these drinks. You can also get orange juice, pineapple juice, clamato juice for additional mixes. Some parties have a signature drink, this is often a fun addition to the cocktails menu. You also may want to concider if you want to offer shots.

Food Preparation  


Music Wedding music is the most important ambiance creator for your celebration. The wedding songs you choose and the music you choose at the reception sets the stage for the entire mood of the day or night, Yes, you can do it yourself when it comes to wedding music and wedding songs.
  • Create separate playlists. When the bride is about to walk down the aisle, or it's time for the first dance, you don't want to be looking through a long list to find a particular song. Create a playlist for each stage of the ceremony and wedding.
  • Consider local sound laws. If you're having a backyard wedding, there might be neighborhood rules that regulate the playing of music. Most places are pretty flexible where weddings are concerned, but you should be aware of when problems may arise.
  • Keep the sound system off limits. At least, for the beginning of the reception. Once people start fooling around with the playlist, you'll start getting annoying gaps in music and weird song choices (especially if your system has access to the internet). It's best to create a playlist and stick to it.
  • Create the playlist early on. You don't want to be worrying about wedding songs the night before W-Day.
  • Think about the dancing surface. It's a pain to try and set up a dance floor at an outdoor wedding, so many weddings simply make use of the grass or dirt or patio that's already there. This can influence the types of dancing that can be performed, and songs should be chosen accordingly.
  • If you're the bride or groom, get someone to help! You're going to be busy on your wedding day, and the last thing you want is to worry about fooling around with the music,

I still recommend having someone in charge of the stereo though! This can be one of your friends who is familiar with stereos and/or iPods. Pick the person you know who would be thrilled to be the sound guy/girl. This person will be in charge of simple tasks like making sure the stereo is turned down during speeches if you are doing those, and they can cue up any special songs at specific times as needed.