Broke-Ass Category: Caterers & Cake Vendors

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Sponsored Post DisclaimerCatering Your Own Wedding Do It on the Cheap with Sam's Club

Original photo: Shaina Sheaff Photography

So you’ve decided to tackle the wedding food on your own (or a very gracious friend with mad skillz has stepped up to the plate). Go you! It’s a great way to save some money and add a very personalized touch … but it can be a helluva task. Timing, preparation, serving and not to mention cost … the biggest cost, of course, is making sure you have enough food for all your guests — which unless you’re having an itty-bitty party, is no small task.

But it’s not impossible. Especially not if you get your food in bulk from Sam’s Club. The membership warehouse is a great place to stock up on large quantities of food — think rolls, meats, spices, dairy, produce and more — without splashing down a ton of money per head. I recently coordinated a wedding that one of my ultra-foodie friends had offered to cater. He roped in a few of our other homies (I would normally be part of this crew, but I had other important duties) for prep, and two pounds of garlic, eight pounds of onions, 15 pounds of cabbage and oh, so much more later, there was a huge spread of food to feed 100 guests (with both veg and carnivore options). Total cost? $420 — $300 of which was spent at Sam’s Club. And that includes the chafing dishes, serving utensils and warming pans.

Catering Your Own Wedding? Do It on the Cheap with Sam's Club|| Photo by Shaina Sheaff Photography

Photo: Shaina Sheaff Photography

When you splash down cash on catering, you’re paying a lot for labor as well — likely also things like uniforms, service fees, gratuity, etc. But when you decide to cater your wedding yourself (or together, with friends), you can save a huge chunk on these things, and even more when you head to Sam’s Club to get all the ingredients and other goodies.

Bringing in your own booze? Sam’s Club has that corner covered, too — get bulk beer and wine for significantly less than you’d pay at your local liquor store, and hang on to the leftovers for future cookouts and other celebrations. And don’t think you’re stuck with run-of-the-mill yellow beers — Sam’s Club has a wide assortment of domestic and imported brews and a whole helluva lot of bubbly options for you Champagne lovers (aren’t we all?).

  • 4/5

    Affiliate Disclaimer NewSomething that we value is shopping local or independent retailers when we’re able. We love supporting the Milwaukee economy and I’ve sort of made it a personal wedding mission. Obviously, most people’s wedding photographers or florists are local, but I thought I’d share a rundown of how we’re supporting local or other independent vendors elsewhere.

    • Dress: While Maggie Sottero is an international designer, I was able to support a local business, Eva’s Bridal, and provide 20 cans for our local Hunger Task Force through a promotion they had running at the time.
    • Dress Accessories: I recently purchased my first dress accessory! I am accessorizing my dress with a belt purchased through an independent seller on Etsy. Check it out below! I am absolutely in love! I think it’ll add a great pop of color.


    Sash available from Etsy seller BridalSashbyTania


    • Invitations: We’re in the process of sampling some amazing designs from Minted, who also supports independent designers. Invitations have probably been one of the hardest decisions so far, because literally, I love them all. Here’s the front runner at the moment:
    invitation_sampleGeometric Border Foil Pressed Wedding Invitation from Minted

    I am really excited to keep this trend going! Our favors will be little jars of jam my mom is making and we’re looking into hotel gift bags that are filled with all local products. (Cheese! Beer!)

    How are the rest of the BABs out there shopping local?

  • 11/13

    Welcome to another episode of Broke-Ass Advice! Today's question is about what to serve guests at a casual reception: I love your website. Not just this one, but all of your blogs. So helpful and inspirational. While I was reading your book, I continually would read passages out loud to my fiance and say, finally, someone who gets it! We are paying for our wedding…

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    Image: Persimmon Images During my venue visit, I found out that their pastry chef doesn't do cake. This was annoying because I had not planned on having to find a separate vendor for this, but now I do. Being that my venue is a few hours from home, it's not practical to use a bakery close to home which is a bummer since, like with…

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    Dear Liz,  The second deposit for my venue is due next week, and when I looked at the contract and thought about what we want to happen that day, I'm starting to freak out. Our wedding is next month, we're getting married at 5pm, and the music has to be off by 10pm, so we can be totally out by 11pm. With the ceremony, cocktail…

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  • 8/28

    Photo: Andie Freeman Photography Dear Liz, My fiancé and I are in the very beginning of planning our wedding. Naturally, we started with the venue hunt. But now we have a small problem. I  found a beautiful venue, it barely needs decoration, and it's sooo unique. However, they  only have one exclusive caterer, and they don't impress me. With our budget we would only be able to afford a…

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    You may remember my telling you that English weddings tend to be boozy affairs. And by that I mean that most people measure the success of a wedding on just how trollied they were by the end of the night. Credit Trollied" is English slang, meaning "very drunk." It does not necessarily require a "trolley" (for US readers, we mean "cart"), although this does sometimes happen…

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  • 2/9

    Credit: Bright Fizz Photo I downloaded one of those wedding countdown apps a few weeks ago out of curiosity. Just how many seconds were left until we said “I do?” My biggest shock though came in realizing that, duh, January to June is FIVE months, not six. We had missed the six month mark, when I told myself that I’d have to actually start making hard…

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