Every bride may want to have endless trays of hors d'oeuvres, lobster tail for dinner and the finest of wine, but it's just not feasible. Here are some tips for cutting costs from your catering bill while still serving a fabulous selection of food at your wedding reception.
A week before your wedding, take a final head count of the number of guests and give your caterer an update. There's no use to order food that is not going to be eaten. Also take into account that children will not eat as much as adults.
Skip the hot hors d'oeuvres and choose simple cold options such as fresh fruit or crackers and cheese. Or instead, you can have one hot meat appetizer along with trays of breads and spread. If you are on a budget, do not have waiters walking around serving hors d'oeuvres. Let your guest serve themselves from trays on nicely decorated tables.
If you are having a large wedding cake, don't cater additional desserts. Many couples make the mistake of ordering two or three type of desserts in addition to their wedding cake. The truth is most desserts are left on the plate half eaten. If you have a great cake, no one will want dessert.
One of the items that drives up catering costs the most is seafood. Shrimp cocktail, lobster and salmon are all very expensive if you are having a large reception. Stick to chicken or beef. If you are having a sit down dinner, offer only two entree choices rather than three or four.
Instead of a formal sit down meal, opt for a buffet table or food stations. You can serve Mexican food, Chinese food or pasta, which is always popular and relatively expensive. If your guests serve themselves, you can eliminate the cost of waiters and be able to choose more bulk food options.
If you are on a tight budget, you can limit the food at your wedding reception by planning one of these money saving options:
If you have a morning wedding, you can provide green salads, pasta salads and fruit salads rather than a meal. It is a much more affordable choice than a sit-down lunch or dinner. Make sure to serve bread and crackers on the side.
If your wedding is in the mid-morning or afternoon, you can have an appetizer reception with no main course. Offer a variety of hot and cold appetizers including breads, cheese, fruits and hors d'oeuvres such as meatballs and egg rolls. Serve with iced tea, soft drinks and two types of wine (one red, one white).
If you have an afternoon or late evening wedding, you can choose to have a dessert reception. Serve a variety of delicious desserts such as cheesecake, ice cream, fudge brownies or even cupcakes. For drinks, offer iced tea, lemonade and coffee.
Story by Kori Ellis