Planning a wedding can be taxing, not to mention expensive. But while saving on wedding catering is essential, you also don’t want to scrimp on the meal of your guests. Allow us to help you find ways to stretch your wedding budget a little. Below are wedding saving tips that you can follow so you won’t have to empty your bank account just to make your special day successful.
1. Limit the number of your wedding guests
Cut your guest list to just close friends and family members. Not only you will save a great deal on your catering costs that way, but you will be able to serve fabulous food, too. Finalize the headcount weeks before your wedding day so there won’t be any surprises. But have enough provisions for guests that may show up unexpectedly.
2. Find a catering venue that doesn’t require you to use their vendors
Some reception venues come with a package deal. It means that if you rent their place, you will also hire their caterers, bartenders, floral designers, entertainers, event coordinators, and other personnel. While this may seem to be a convenient deal, you may be spending more than you have to that way. You won’t be able to customize your wedding day requirements according to your budget-conscious specifications. These so-called package deals usually present clients with limited options. Finding the right vendors that suit your needs may take time and effort. But the quest for the best provider will be all worth it once you compare the bill.
3. Don’t serve a sit-down dinner
A sit-down meal can cost you a good $100 per person. Unless you’re okay with spending $5,000 for 50 guests, better consider other alternatives. There are many other ways to fill your guests’ tummy without breaking the bank. Explore these options. For one, you can try a cocktail reception instead. It’s cheaper yet more exciting for your guests, as they have a lot of time for mingling.
4. Consider a BBQ wedding catering
Instead of a strictly formal affair, why not make your wedding reception fun and vibrant by making it a BBQ party? It is going to be less expensive, too. Don’t worry about your guests thinking that your catering is out of the ordinary. Surely, they would rather enjoy a serving of juicy, fresh, hot-off-the-grill rib, steak, chicken, or burger with mouthwatering side dishes than some bland set meal. Many people can’t say no to BBQ. And they can eat it any time of the day.
5. Consider a BBQ buffet, so you won’t have to hire too many servers
A BBQ buffet is very easy to setup, not to mention very appetizing to look at. Consult with a BBQ catering company and ask how they can help you set up one. Tell them that you want to get it going with minimal catering staff required. An example setup is where guests would select which from the half-cooked meat on the buffet table they want to eat, and then heat it on the grill themselves. If you think about it, that’s another fun activity for your guests to enjoy during the party. If you will go for this option, just make sure there are aprons readily available for your guests to wear, too. You don’t want them ruining their tuxedos.
6. Bulk up on the side dishes
Serve BBQ’s with a wide range of side dishes. Prepare them in a way that your guests would like to try everything. Green salad, coleslaw, corn in a cob, baked beans, cornbread, and mashed potatoes are just some of your best bets. These sides won’t cost a lot but would definitely fill your guests up.
7. Plan an afternoon affair
Afternoon parties are less costly than dinners. For starters, you are not required to serve heavy meals in the afternoon. Furthermore, renting a venue in the afternoon until early evening isn’t as expensive as paying for the whole place until late at night. An afternoon BBQ party is just perfect. They go well with a backyard bonfire, too. If you think about it, your own garden or yard may just be the perfect venue for the reception. Just think of how much you’ll save on rental if you can pull that off.
8. Don’t offer endless alcohol options
To save on your catering, you have to set a limit on everything that you are serving – especially the drinks. An open bar may be a great idea, but it is something that could drastically increase your tab. Why not serve either beer in bottles or wine in glasses instead? Without any bar in sight, lesser are the chances that your guests will drink more than they should. And you won’t have to hire a skilled bartender, too.
9. Serve a simple dessert
If you have decided to go for that BBQ party, then desserts would be a no-brainer. Almost any kind of sweet stuff will be a perfect match. You can serve desserts like cheesecake, strawberry shortcake, or even ice cream along with BBQ. Your wedding cake will go well with it, too.
10. Scrap the wedding cake
Wedding cakes are just for the show. If you must have one, ask a baker to make you a two tier cake placed on top of cardboard that is decorated nice enough to look like first few layers of the cake. It won’t hurt to fool your guest a bit. Make them think that you really got a six-layer cake although only the top layers are real. If you must serve them all a slice, cut sheet cake pieces served from the pantry will do.
Follow all these wedding saving tips so your catering expenses won’t have to go higher than planned. Regardless if you have an open or a limited wedding budget, these tips would definitely give your guests a wonderful dining experience on your special day. Surely, they will be talking about your unique yet wonderful wedding catering choices for the next few weeks.