Weddings can be expensive, especially when it comes to paying per person for food and drink. But one smart bride on TikTok shared her version of hacking the system — by ordering takeout from popular fast-casual chain Chili’s — and it saved her a ton of money.
However, the internet has mixed reactions.
In the video, which has been viewed more than 2 million times, bride Madison Mulkey explains how she ordered food for the big day, which came to a paltry $1,950 for a total of 99 guests — about $19.69 per person.
“It’s insane that we only spent so much money on our wedding food,” she told viewers.
@brideisapersonality So glad we did this!! #green screen #bride #bridek #weddingtok #bridal #wedding #2023bride #2024bride #2023wedding #wedding wardrobe #weddingideas #wedding planning #bridalcontentcreator #bridal personality #chilis #wedding dinner #wedding caterer #budgetbride ♬ original sound – MADISON MULKEY
Instead of having the food delivered for the 6 p.m. reception, Mulkey picked it up at 11 a.m. to avoid delivery costs, but that also meant that the servants hired for her wedding had other tasks to do, such as figuring out how to keep the food fresh.
“My coordinator had to kind of show them what to do and take on a role that she wasn’t really supposed to do and they weren’t allowed to do,” Mulvey explained, adding that the couple opted for easy-to-eat items like chips and salsa and spring rolls. “It was the perfect meal for our wedding. I’m so glad we chose Chili’s. So glad we did!”
The main concern among viewers seemed to be whether or not Mulkey tipped the staff and prepared them in advance for the extra duties.
“As a wedding planner, that’s so unfair to the planner and the servers,” one person wrote. “If you do this, hire a delivery person and a specific food-prep cook.”
“All I can think of is how stressful this must have been for the staff,” said another.
In a follow-up video, Mulkey explained that she tipped generously.
“We tipped everyone — we tipped Chili’s kitchen staff $300, we tipped the Chili’s manager who specifically worked with us to make sure this was even possible $100,” she said, noting that she tipped the dispatcher and servers.
However, others agreed with Mulkey’s decision.
“I’m not going to lie, I would have been SO excited about this menu as a guest,” said one person.
And as for Chili’s take on the bride’s catering decision?
The restaurant chain responded with one simple word: “Iconic.”