Weddings can be expensive, especially when it comes to paying per person for food and beverages. But one savvy 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.
The Internet, however, has mixed reactions.
In the video, which has been viewed over 2 million times, bride Madison Mulkey explains how she ordered food for the big day, which came to a meager $1,950 for 99 guests total — roughly $19.69 per person.
“It’s insane that we only spent that much money for our wedding food,” she told viewers.
@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
Instead of having the food delivered for the 6 p.m. reception, Mulkey picked it up at 11 a.m. to avoid delivery fees, but that also meant that the servers hired for her wedding were tasked with other jobs like figuring out how to keep the food fresh.
“My coordinator kind of had to show them what to do and take on a role that she wasn’t really supposed to do and they weren’t supposed to do either,” Mulvey explained, adding that the couple chose easy-to-eat items like chips and salsa and egg rolls. “It was the perfect meal for our wedding. I’m so happy we chose Chili’s. So happy we did this!”
The main concern among viewers seemed to be whether or not Mulkey tipped the staff and prepared them for the extra tasks in advance.
“As a wedding planner that is so unfair to the planner and servers,” one person wrote. “If ppl do this, hire a delivery pick-up driver and a specific food prep cook.”
“All I can think abt is how stressful this must have been for the staff,” another said.
In a follow-up video, Mulkey explained that she did tip generously.
“We tipped everyone — we tipped the Chili’s kitchen staff $300, we tipped the Chili’s manager who worked specifically with us to make sure this was even possible $100,” she said, as well as noting they tipped the coordinator and servers.
Others, however, were on board with Mulkey’s decision.
“I’m not gonna lie, I would’ve been SO excited for this menu as a guest,” one person said.
And as for Chili’s opinion on the bride’s catering decision?
The restaurant chain commented with one simple word: “Iconic.”