The Beggars’ Banquet: Wedding Food for Beggars

I’ve been to a number of weddings over the years, and I know how some people choose to feed their guests: pay a caterer $12,000 to shove tapas and oysters down your guests’ throats, and an extra $6/slice for wedding cake, not to mention drinks and party favors and god knows what else. Well, I say to hell with that.

This is, after all, a banquet for beggars. And Stones fans. But really, I can’t fathom spending that kind of money on food for what we have hoped would be a simple party celebrating our love and family. So here’s what we’re doing instead: we’re catering our own wedding. My mother is a pretty good cook, and I’m passable, and we both have aunts coming into town who want to help, too. So, utilizing our small army of helpers (and even smaller kitchen), we’re going to cook a simple but memorable wedding luncheon for our guests. And it’s all based on our favorite comfort foods.

Hard Boiled Eggs: We’re going to dye them, a la Easter style, using the old fashioned method (food coloring and vinegar) in the bright-pastel color palette we’ve chosen for the wedding. They’re easy to serve, fun to look at, and who doesn’t like hard boiled eggs?

Candy: Honestly, I love candy. Like, my fiance calls me Buddy the Elf because I can pretty much subsist comfortably for days on end with only sugary snacks. So we’ll have clear glass canisters of candy in bright colors placed all over the place, because I don’t know how I’ll make it through the day without them.

Edible Arrangements: We could spend hours washing, cutting, and peeling fruit, but these are pretty AND all ready to eat, and frankly, not much more expensive than buying that much fruit at cost. We figure we’re spending just enough money extra to save a bunch of time we’d rather spend tediously applying eyeliner.

Roasted Sweet Potato Medallions: We top them with diced bell peppers, crumbled goat cheese, and walnuts. It’s absolutely one of our favorite dinners, which we have on a semi-regular basis. It feels fancy, but it’s stupidly easy to make.

Pizza: No, we really are pizza junkies. We’ll make them simple and easy to serve, maybe with a couple fancy but inexpensive toppings, and call it golden.

Lemonade, Limeade, and Sun Tea: Some of our favorite drinks. Since I’ve got that whole recovering alky thing going on, we’ll be foregoing champagne (another excellent cost saver) and grabbing some great summer drinks instead. Our wedding will be in late August, and I’ve got the perfect porch railing for brewing tankards full of sun tea in the day or two leading up to the event.

Add some wedding cake and I think we’re going to be just fine. It may not be the most gourmet wedding feast ever planned, but it’ll be comforting, familiar, tasty, and will provide something for everyone. I’m just done with the expensive, fussy wedding thing. Bring on family times and celebration.

By Meghan Young Krogh

Meghan had a number of quality writing mentors over the course of her education, which just goes to show that you can't blame the teacher for the way the student turns out. Team Oxford Comma represent.

21 replies on “The Beggars’ Banquet: Wedding Food for Beggars”

Your wedding banquet sounds delightful, you’re going to have an awesome spread :)

We got married in late August last year. Also on a super tight budget РI basically did all the food myself. We wanted it to be seasonal, sustainable and accessible for our gluten-free & vegan guests. I made 3 big bowls of salads the day before Рa French-style potato salad, one that was mixed grilled veggies, and a succotash (bean and corn salad). We got some crackers and cheese and cold-cuts and hummus and vege-pat̩ from Costco, and that was that. A few of our guests brought some wine as their gift, and my granddad provided enough sparkling wine for everyone who wanted to to have a glass. It turned out great!


Ruby — if you haven’t already done this, I used my wilson gel colors for dying eggs this past Easter and the colors were phenomenal. Amazing, bright jewel tones I’ve never gotten from using regular food coloring. You might want to look into this, especially since the range of colors you can get is so extensive.

Could you perhaps post the sweet potato medallion recipe, if you’ve got one? That sounds delicious! And your description of what you want your wedding food to be, “comforting, familiar, tasty, and will provide something for everyone,” sounds absolutely perfect to me. :)

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