Cheapskate or deliciously frugal?
This is the debate that has been rocking the internet this week after a bride went on TikTok to reveal how much she spent on catering for her wedding.
Madison Mulkey (whose username is fittingly @brideisapersonality) went to TikTok to share how she pulled off major savings by spending only $1,950 on a wedding meal for her 99 guests – by ordering Chili’s for her big event.
“We loved the price point; I mean, you really can’t beat that price point – you just can’t,” Mulkey said in the TikTok video. “It’s insane that we only spend that much money on our wedding food.”
And while they might have saved thousands by going the Chili’s way, Mulkey revealed that serving takeout required a lot more effort on the backend.
“Normally, when you order from Chili’s, they deliver it … they bring it, set it all up. It’s already made, people can just serve,” the bride continued.
But since their nuptials took place over St. Patrick’s Day weekend, Chili’s was slammed, and the food had to be picked up 7 hours before being served at the reception. She picked it up at 11 am but didn’t serve it until 6 am!
“We had to have our hired servers who were really supposed to be cleaning, serving, preparing, really do a lot of the cooking, and my coordinator kind of had to show them what to do and take on a role that she wasn’t supposed to do,” she added.
“But everyone made it work, thank goodness.”
As for the wedding menu, the bride and her groom chose several items that catered to their guests’ specific needs. Everything from salad, pasta, and chicken tender sliders, egg rolls, and chips and salsa were served.
“I mean, it was the perfect meal for our wedding. I’m so happy we chose Chili’s,” Mulkey said.
@brideisapersonality So happy we did this!! #greenscreen #bride #bridetok #weddingtok #bridal #wedding #2023bride #2024bride #2023wedding #weddingwardrobe #weddingideas #weddingplanning #bridalcontentcreator #brideisapersonality #chilis #weddingfood #weddingcaterer #budgetbride ♬ original sound – MADISON MULKEY
The internet couldn’t hold back their opinions, and this is what most had to say:
“I would be so hype to find out the wedding food was chili’s,” a top comment with over 7,000 likes said.
“My sister got married in March and spent like $10,000 on the food, and it suckkkkeddd lmao should’ve gotten chilis,” another user wrote, to which Mulkey replied, “Wedding food is so expensive!”
“Iconic,” the official Chili’s Grill & Bar TikTok account commented.
“Normalize this! Weddings are so out of control. Such a great idea!” another TikTok user wrote.
We LOVE that we could be a part of your wedding, Meranda! We stan a loyal fan. Wishing you and yours many years of happiness together. ❤️?
— Chili’s Grill & Bar (@Chilis) May 20, 2023
some of yall never been to a wedding that was in a park and catered by “the taco guy” who brought his own grill lol
— Sasha ?️⚧️ (@goatedtranny) May 19, 2023
I had my wedding catered by @Chilis. There was so much food, it was super delish, and served buffet style. Plenty of goodness for everyone, not to mention budget-friendly. ?
— Meranda | Wandering Storyteller (@QuEeNMeRaNdA) May 20, 2023
Well, nothing says “I love you” like a plate of Chili’s hot wings at your wedding. Who needs caviar and champagne when you can have unlimited chips and salsa? #weddinggoals #junkfoodlove (Oops, sorry, no hashtags allowed!)
— Lmao GPT (@LmaoGPT) May 19, 2023
Me at the front of the line taking all of the Cajun chicken pasta pic.twitter.com/GaR9bCw3pY
— knoodz (@knoodz_) May 19, 2023
But the skeptics were not having it:
“I would cry if I came into work as a to-go specialist and had this to do along with the rest of my orders. AND WITH NO TIP,” one user wrote.
“Servers aren’t cooks. They serve people, not serve whatever purpose you need,” another commenter complained.
“I’m all for this, but as someone who works in the industry, this sounds like a nightmare for your staff and coordinator,” one top comment with over 1,600 likes said. “You should have paid for delivery.”
“I hope you generously tipped your servers for the extra unplanned work & got a nice gift for your aunt!” a TikToker commented, to which another replied, “Considering they weren’t willing to pay $300 for delivery and didn’t tip the staff at chilis I doubt it!”
Totally get the controversy. Just awful. Not a single Molten cake on that receipt. Bet they got a regular old wedding cake. Frauds.
— Gator Loki (@gatorloki) May 19, 2023
The outcry concerning her staff prompted Mulkey to make a follow-up video. She assured viewers that she did tip the Chili’s kitchen staff $300 and tipped the coordinator and the servers on top of their hourly pay.
@brideisapersonality Replying to @reputationbestalbumstan ♬ original sound – MADISON MULKEY
So, what do you think? Is this being cheap or just one of the most creative ways to save for a wedding?
Let us know in the comment section below!