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I am soo stressed : (

Aug 04, 2009 - 17 comments

So i sent the invites out for our wedding and i got a lot of replys back..  right now 70 people are coming... thats way more than we were expecting.. we sent out 80 invites but expecting only 40 people to come... alot of the invites were courtesy invites.. ( people in the family we don't talk to that much but felt obligated to invite) so im stressing out about renting chairs and the cost of that plus the cost of food since we are doing it ourselves...   We are roasting a pig for the reception and have pulled pork that is free to us since matts uncle does this for living... but we have to cover all the costs of the sides.. we decided on mac n cheese, baked beans corn on the cob.. and potato chips things of that nature...  does anyone know how much food i would have to make to feed 70 people (just the side dishes)  The place we are getting married at is free and the reception local is 75 bucks so pretty cheap... i just did not expect 70 people to be coming... i should have never sent out that many invites.. but matts mom said i should send them out as 'courtesy' invites... so i did not expecting them to actually want to come .. I have never even met these people!!  ahhh!

So im just stressing out big time!  

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121828 tn?1333464491
by kellym, Aug 04, 2009
Hopefully, Hopefully, Hopefully this means that much more CASH$$$ gifts?  It doesn't matter what is free, I mean it's a help but things are still expensive I know. Well, just make due, and maybe people will cancel?  I just hope whomever said YES, they better darned show up, right?  :0)

127124 tn?1326735435
by have 2 kids, Aug 04, 2009
His mother should not have pressured you into inviting so many people.   Tough lesson- only invite as many as you can afford.
Sometimes alot of people won't show up but you still have to figure them into the count because you don't want to run short on food.

When we got married we were on a tight budget but with just necessary family and  a few close friends we were at 140 people.   We got married in March and a blizzard came that day.  Alot of family was coming from several hours away- needless to say they didn't make it.   We ended up with only 60 people.   The amount of food that had to be thrown away was terrible.  

Just keep things as simple as possible and cut back where you can.    I think the idea of an ipod for music was a great one.

184674 tn?1360860493
by AHP84, Aug 04, 2009
Just wanted to let you know that I can totally relate to this issue right now. My wedding is in one month on Sep 5th, and initially, we "assumed" this would be a small wedding--that being only a month ago...
A month has passed, I've sent out the invitations last week (I have no clue how many I sent)--just the invitations have cost me around $150 to order and get the postage, and our budget is super tight, so $150 didn't come easy for me and I was *really* tempted just to send email invitations, lol.
Anyway, I comprised a guest list that, between immediate family (darn it, we've both got large families), close friends, and "courtesy invites," my guest list went from what we *thought* would be around 60-70 people to pushing closer to 100 people, and there are STILL a few people who are finding out about our wedding and ASKING to be invited (then what do ya tell 'em? Sorry, but you can't come because we're broke, but thanks for wanting to be there).
Not only that, but I'm still not certain whether or not, since my pastor is marrying us for free, renting the building to us for free for the ceremony, and renting the next door family center to us for free for the reception, if that *requires* us to invite the church congregation via a church bulletin the week or two before the wedding. Not that I don't want any of them there, because I LOVE my church family, and it's not like I go to a church with a huge congregation, BUT...suppose the majority of them want to show up to witness the ceremony and then wish us well at the reception and whatnot...that'll up our guest list to, I'm thinking, a potential maximum of 150 people!
Now, my fiance and I are paying what we can for this wedding out of pocket (and fortunately, we're getting a lot of complimentary stuff done from close friends like photography, cake, and my dress being custom made as a wedding gift) and since we have very little money to carry out this event, I'm stressing for what little we DO have to pay for--the floral, my son's tux rental, the reception food, and probably the rehearsal dinner, and sending out thank-you notes. Not to mention the honeymoon. Our goal is to keep the total cost under $1200 if we can...but I'm wondering if that's possible. We can't afford more than that. We simply can't. And I don't want to treat our guests like they don't matter to us and not *try* to give them the best compliments...but I'm stressed about it a little.
The good part of this is that our date is set for 2 pm, so hopefully everyone will have eaten lunch beforehand and then the light snacks we plan to have at the reception will be enough, which we plan to be the cake, some cupcakes, cookies, veggie trays, cheese trays, and pastry trays, along with soda and iced tea to drink. We are not expecting the reception to be more than a couple of hours, so by the time people are getting hungry for dinner, it'll be time to leave anyway.

Good luck and best wishes to you with your wedding! I totally understand your stress and concerns...I'm right there with you, and pregnant too! :-)

Avatar universal
by 1nana, Aug 04, 2009
I agree with have 2 kids.

Shame on your future MIL!

Call and tell her that ALL of the so called "courtesy" invites are coming to the wedding and she has to fork over the money to feed them because you just don't have it.

389974 tn?1331015242
by swampcritter, Aug 04, 2009

Now you know the whole family likes you especially when free food is involved.

Here would be Swampy's back of the envelope calculation. You might call a caterer and discuss it with them -- not because you are interested in their services, but its amazing how much information you can get just by pretending to be clueless.

First of all -- if you plate the meal you will need less than if you have a buffet. People overindulge on the buffet.

Potato chips are a large expense for little gain -- if you want to save some money, drop them.

Swampy overspeced the mayo / mustard / bbq sauce a little, you'll have leftovers there. Specifying a little more baked beans let the gluttons pig out (pardon the pun) on that.

Get receipts so you can take back cans of what you don't use.

Adjust portion sizes slightly if there are going to be a lot of kids.

Time for  a trip to Costco!

For 75 people (woohoo!)

pork(*)  6oz per person = 28.5lb
M&C  3oz per person = 14lb  (basically, 3  5 lb trays)
baked beans 4oz = 18.75lb (you could probably decrease this)
corn on the cob = 40 ears (break them into 2 pieces)
potato chips = (>= 1.5 oz) = 7-10lb depending on when and how they are served save money, drop this, add a little more corn
buns = 7 dozen
cole slaw 3oz = 14lb
mayo & mustard = you can buy packets for these or you can get about 1.5 lb each and pre set them at the tables (this is what Swampy would do if it were his wedding)
bbq sauce = 1.5lb, see above
butter = 2lb (for corn)
hot sauce = if you have a family that likes it have some tabasco at the ready
salt = 1lb (don't forget this!)

(*) poor pig, it wanted to play and have a spider write nice messages about it. Included for completeness.

This gives the average person a chance to eat about 1.5 lb per person. If you have light eaters, adjust portion sizes down. For instance, if you know a lot of people are lactose intolerant, make one fewer tray of M&C.

229760 tn?1291467870
by rdh1981, Aug 04, 2009
Wow, maybe you should have Swampy be your wedding planner!!!  Are either of your parents going to help with you with the wedding? I ask this because if Matt's mom wanted the courtesy invites so badly maybe she help you pay for the "courtesy food"!

Try not to get overwhelmed! I know this hard when planning a wedding. I hope you have some good friends and family that would be more than happy to help you out!

171768 tn?1324230099
by tiredbuthappy, Aug 04, 2009
we recently had a pig roast for about 50 people in honor of my brother's graduation from law school.

I am a bit concerned that you are planning on making the sides yourself. You are going to be very stressed and exhausted. And aren't you still struggling with morning sickness and a toddler who's a handful? Is there any way you can spread out the work among close friends and relatives?

I am 1 of 5, so between my parents and my siblings, we were able to split the work and make it very managable.

for 50 people, we made a tray of everything and had a ton left over. There was a pasta salad, baked ziti, corn on the cob (no need to estimate 1/2 per person). The wild rice and bean salad was VERY popular. What shocked me was that practically noone had rolls. I bought enough for everyone to have 1, thinking it would be great with the pork. I ended up tossing so many at the end. A lot of websites i read said to keep the sides light since the pork can be greasy. Anyways, for 75, I would hope that 2 trays of each side would be sufficient (big chaffing trays, not 1/2). I would also consider adding one or 2 other sides. A nice touch we did was we made different sauces for the pork and set them out for people to choose (labeled). There was a jerk sauce, a sweet and sour, a BBQ, etc... Sauces are pretty cheap to make on your own.

word of warning- it took much longer than we anticipated for the pig to finish and be picked off. Luckily, we had a lot of appetizers that kept everyone happy- veggies, hummus (very cheap and easy to make on your own), salsas, cheeses, etc... My brother also donated shrimp and a raw bar to the cause.

Finally, honestly, given what you are describing, i think that you would make the money back in gifts. we always give $100-$200 for weddings, and the cost per person is well below that. Even if they only give $50 as a gift, it would more than cover your expenses.

121828 tn?1333464491
by kellym, Aug 04, 2009
Great Job SWAMPY!!

284738 tn?1283106819
by pinkbelle, Aug 04, 2009
Thanks swampy that was VERY helpful!!!  My family is helping me out with all of the cooking ( thank god!)  I am just too stressed out... between being pregnant, taking care of aubree,, my dad's condition and worrying about money I'm about to loose my mind..  the wedding is outside so im gonna be stressing worrying about the dang weather as well.. i honestly will just be happy when its all over and done with..  we are going on a 'mini honeymoon' to atlantic city the weekend after the wedding.. and then in june we are going to cancun, mexico so that is  my light at the end of the tunnel so to speak..

284738 tn?1283106819
by pinkbelle, Aug 04, 2009
and i forgot to add im worried about fitting into my wedding dress.. my belly decided it wanted to pop out this week

193609 tn?1292180293
by Cheyenne_08, Aug 04, 2009
Everything will turn out....remember, those that matter don't mind, and those that mind don't matter! Your wedding will work out great! Everything will come together! I know it is a lot of work all at once, but you will get through it!

Avatar universal
by mrsp77, Aug 04, 2009
i totally agree with cheyenne!!!

Avatar universal
by mamaofonetrying42, Aug 05, 2009
Ang. dont worrie! Everything will be fine!! I think swampy cover just about everything! And I am sure you will fit in that dress, Have you talked to anyone about seeing if you can let it out alittle? How far again well you be at the wedding?? We got married in May of 2007 And we are just now planning our honeymood AKA friends wedding in Jamacia for next Year!!!! So 3 years later and Two new babies!! LOL But we are finally going!!! Thank God!! We did get a mini honeymood after our wedding for about 3days, but we had Ethan with us soooo, you know...hehehe.....And again Angie, If you need anything let me know!! xoxo

284738 tn?1283106819
by pinkbelle, Aug 05, 2009
i'll be right right around 7 months pregnant... ick!  I have been doing really well about not gaining any weight.. im actually down 19lbs but my belly is starting to 'pop out'   Matt's mom can do alterations and she said if we have to she can add fabric on the sides of the dress to make it bigger in the belly area... i just don't want to look huge for the wedding ya know.. we already booked our honeymoon for june since we thought we were getting married then... so we are just gonna have a one day trip to Atlantic City to gamble and enjoy the beach ( if it isn't too cold)  but thanks toni i appreciate the offer : )

Avatar universal
by teko, Aug 05, 2009
I would re work the menu. Cut out the corn on the cob and just do potato salad and baked beans for example. I doubt if all those people actually show up, but like someone else said, if they do it means more cash and gifts for you, hopefully. Are you going to have a money tree or a mail box for cards with cash?  That is how my daughter paid for the honeymoon!

184342 tn?1282588750
by tatorbug40, Aug 05, 2009
Wow!  I saw this last night and I was going to come on here and try to help figure it all out for you today, but swampy beat me to it!  :)  The largest event we catered was a fund raiser BBQ plate thingy for 750!  It was awful!  but we did it!  

First, the same thing happened to me for our wedding-  we were having it out of town (2 1/2 hours away), AND 30% of the people we invited lived in PA,  so we invited about 80 people, but expected maybe 25-30!  NO, about 65 came!  but it made it fun!  Now, my mom ended up paying for most of the stuff, but I didn't know she was going to pay for it, so we kept things simple.  

Teko is right, the first thing I thought was that the menu had a lot of stuff on it, but the one thing I will caution is that I don't recommend potato salad (keep in mind I say this as someone with a liability policy!), but since the wedding is outside, it is going to be tough to keep it cold, and bacteria can grow easily on potato salad.  I'd say keep it with the mac n cheese and beans, OR, if you want a cold salad I have a GREAT pasta salad recipe that doesn’t' have mayo in it (and it is SO easy to make, and people LOVE it)...  I'll post it in a journal.....  

Don't stress about it, as Chey said, it is going to come together and you will have a great time!  we had double the people, and it just made it all the more fun!  Now, we lucked out, following the meal, the mosquitoes got so bad that most everyone beside our closest friend left, and we move up to the house patio to get away from bugs, and continued the party with just about 12 of our great friends!  :) perhaps you can release bug prior to the meal, and people will bolt!  :)

167 tn?1374173817
by jenstam, Aug 05, 2009
It will all work out! Some of those people won't show, even though they say they will. That's what we experienced at our wedding. Not only that, but more people equals more $$$. Trust me, we made WAY more than we expected. So much so, that it paid for ALL of our meals, activities and extras while we were in Hawaii. About $2000!! So, remember that ;) It will be fine and will work out. Swampy did a great job of breaking it down for you. I hope you have help for the food though!

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