In-House Catering vs. BYO Catering

When it comes to your wedding, the food is one of the most important aspects, if not THE most important. Deciding what type of catering you want on your big day can feel overwhelming, but The Christy has made creating a catering plan easier than ever with this breakdown of your catering options.

Here’s everything you need to know about in-house catering and bring your own catering!

What Catering Options Venues Allow

In-house catering is where your venue provides your catering service with its own chef and staff. A venue that allows bring your own (BYO) catering gives you the freedom to hire any caterer you want.

Often, the venue and catering decisions go hand-in-hand as one decision may dictate the other. For example, if you know you want BYO catering, you will have to select a venue that allows outside caterers, and not just off of a preferred vendors list. If you find a venue that you simply must get married at but requires you use its in-house catering service, your catering decision is made for you.

Comparing In-House and BYO Wedding Catering


Wedding venues often have in-house catering minimums that you must pay based on the guest count. For example, if the minimum is $10,000 for 100 guests, but you’re only planning to have 80 guests, you still have to pay the $10,000 minimum.

A hired caterer, on the other hand, won’t typically have minimum requirements — you simply pay for what you need. If your venue’s in-house catering is more expensive than you are wanting to pay, then BYO catering might be a cheaper option depending on who you choose.


Caterers specialize in food, which means they are experts in the field. But choosing the right outside catering service is a big task that will take a lot of research on your part. When you have control over which caterer you use, you will most likely be satisfied with the quality of the food on the day of your wedding — after doing your due diligence, of course!

Some venues that offer various services may not be able to provide the same high-quality food a caterer can, because they may put more energy into other services. If you are opting for in-house catering, it is best to choose a venue that excels in all wedding aspects, like The Christy in St. Louis and O’Fallon, MO!

In our case, we are known for our fantastic catering services as well as our beautiful, convenient wedding venues. We offer both in-house and off-premise catering in St. Louis to fit all of your needs.

Menu Options

Some in-house caterers will allow you to work with the chef for special customization, but some venues have set menus that you will have to pick from. If you aren’t sure where to begin when planning a menu and would rather leave it to the experts, having an in-house caterer to guide you through the process is most likely the better option.

If you know you want to personalize your entire wedding menu to your specific liking, choosing your own caterer might make more sense for you.


With in-house catering, you won’t have to do any work to coordinate between your venue and caterer, which is one less thing to worry about!

In-house catering definitely has home-court advantage when it comes to executing on the big day. They are familiar with the facility, equipment, event staff, and overall, will be more comfortable in the kitchen — allowing for minimal hiccups.

When you choose an outside caterer, you run the risk of mishaps happening, simply because your BYO caterer will not be working in a space they are familiar with. If you’re able to, it may be a good idea to schedule a venue walk-through with your outside caterer before the big day. This will give them a better idea of what equipment is available and how to work the space.

Wedding Catering Services

We at The Christy pay careful attention to ALL aspects of your wedding, so the best part of choosing one of our wedding venues is knowing that you will receive the highest quality, customized catering service possible, with the advantages of in-house coordination.

Every couple is different and has different ideas for their big day, but we can help you choose which catering service works best for you.

Contact us for the best St. Louis and O’Fallon, MO wedding venue and catering today!