The reception is where you can prove you can handle your guests well. This is where your skills in planning mostly go to, as the flow of the reception is fully in your control. In fact, roughly 30% of a wedding budget goes to food alone. With such a huge chunk out of the budget, food should be especially planned and carefully picked to save for other wedding uses while maintaining quality and taste. If you want to save on your wedding catering, here are some tips to help you set the wedding budget straight to saving mode.
Plan Your Food Servings
When we talk of weddings, the normative setting would be a formal dinner wedding. It’s elegant, simple and formal; pretty much the easy way out of the hazy and hectic planning process. While it’s a good, no-fail option, guests would usually look for unique and interesting weddings every now and then. This is where your creative thinking should come in.
Deviate from standard wedding dinner parties when you can. They cost more than any other food choices. People tend to eat more during the night than in the day, and in dinner you usually serve steak and a rigid three-course meal. If you hold the reception during the day, you can make the wedding early morning so the reception can coincide with a brunch or a lunch. By then you can serve light meals like salads or sandwiches.
You should also choose how you would serve your meal to the guests. Usually it’s a buffet we’re thinking when we talk about weddings. However, buffets can also cost more. Apparently, the volume of food requested makes it look like a good deal, but you also have to consider the wait staff and the whole catering service in general. If you want to save up on buffets, try to serve light meals as the example above shows. You can save on food while other expenses follow through. If you want to strictly work within your means, you can serve meal by plated meals. This means serving the food to the guests while they are seated. They don’t have to stand up like in buffets. This would make you consider only who’s on the guest list. It means no worries for leftover foods. You can also get stations, but they tend to be expensive.
While this tip may not exactly save you wedding money, you should also consider appetite sensitivities from your guests like allergies or vegans. To be sure, include one in your menu that would appeal to almost every guest’s health concerns as well.
Think of More Creative Food Choices
As we’ve given as an example a while ago, you can serve light foods like salads or sandwiches for the reception. It all depends on the time that you would serve the reception dish. The more late it gets in the day, the more you’d be obliged to serve expensive dinner meals, especially in a formal setting. If you extract your creative juices enough, you can come up with creative food solutions that can help you save up on your wedding food catering.
Many food trucks are getting hired nowadays in different functions and events. It’s also a good idea to get one for your wedding, especially if your wedding theme is not that formal. You can get tacos or crepe trucks, depending which is available and which one you’d get for your wedding. You can also have pizza for a reception, where guests can mix and match their own recipes and have a standby oven for them to bake their pizzas for a while. Burgers can also be used instead of pizzas so they can instantly eat the food.
If you’re doing an early morning wedding ceremony, you may just have a breakfast reception. Breakfasts are never three-course meals. You basically need free-flowing coffee and available bread, and hit on some breakfast food choices like the all-American bacon and omelette among others. Experiment with Asian infusion such as stir fry or noodles. For late afternoon, you can prepare hors d’oeuvres and pass it on along the reception with some light foodstuffs on the side.
drinks are also an important part of the reception. Therefore, you need to choose between a wine bar or serving of wine and beer per hour – as the average drink guests must drink per hour is one glass of wine. You can choose whichever is cheaper. Be careful of deciding on this with kids on the guest list, though.
Talk to the Caterer
If you’re still not sure of what to make out of your wedding catering, you can approach your caterer. They can give you some ideas not only food but also on the tables and the seating. If you would rent a caterer for your wedding, be sure to pick one that you can definitely pay for. You can ask for a food sampling to ascertain the quality and taste of the caterer that you would rent for your wedding.