No one can deny that today’s weddings represent a significant investment of money for engaged couples. Between renting a venue for the reception, flowers for decorations, and more, it’s understandable that couples go over their original budget. If you want to organize a budget-friendly wedding, one of the expenses of the celebrations in which you could save money is the food that you will offer to your guests. To keep your guests well-fed and happy without spending too much money, you have to use a little creativity. Here is a list of ideas for creating a delicious menu that will save you money.
Make Your Wedding Catering
If you or any family members are good cooks, consider preparing the wedding feast yourself. Cooking your wedding food can be a huge task, but it can reduce your expenses. It is essential to ask if your venue accepts outside catering, and you should also ask if they will require you to bring equipment. You can request a relative to prepare a treasured family recipe for the main dish; this is a personal touch that could make your wedding even more special and reduce your budget, too.
Offer Vegan and Vegetarian Dishes
Offering a meat dish to your guests can increase the price of your catering meal. If the goal is to reduce your overall spend, ask if your catering company has a vegetarian or vegan menu. A menu of this type represents a lower expense since the price will likely be lower. However, it would be best if you chose a sufficient menu to sustain your guests throughout the reception.
Get an Appetizer Spread at the Grocery Store
You can find appetizer spreads of cheese, charcuterie, and veggies at many supermarkets, or you can buy the ingredients to create your own. You can save money by preparing your own cocktail hour snacks instead of using a caterer. The perfect presentation can make even inexpensive appetizers appear elegant.
Some restaurants offer catering menus that you can order for delivery directly from them or through Uber Eats. This can be a much less expensive option than hiring a catering company if you are looking to reduce your overall food spend. Keep in mind that you must be prepared to keep food fresh. It can also be a fun idea to order delivery from your favorite fast-food restaurant to serve as a late-night treat.
Avoid the Plated Dinner
Plated dinners are a common choice for wedding receptions, but they may run you a pretty penny. A traditional sit-down meal at your reception requires not only the cost of the food itself but also hiring people to prepare the food, serve it, and clean up afterward. You can save money on your wedding dinner by having guests help themselves with a buffet.
Reduce the Number of Courses
If you want to wow your guests with a plated dinner but are on a tighter budget, you may still accomplish it by reducing the number of courses you provide. Salad as an appetizer, a main course with various sides, and wedding cake for dessert would be more than plenty. Providing guests with only two courses rather than three can help you save money.
Choose Seasonal and Local Ingredients
If you think of serving a watermelon salad at your winter wedding, you will go over your budget. Add seasonal and locally grown ingredients to your meals to keep costs down. As a bonus, a local and seasonal menu will burst with more flavor.
Cut Back on the Appetizers
Sure, it’s essential to give your guests something to tide them over until dinner, but there’s no need to go overboard. If you offer too many appetizers to your guests, they won’t be hungry for dinner. Instead of a large number of bites, limit it to two or three options. Opt for low-maintenance appetizers. These require less labor, which will reduce service costs.
Hire a Food Truck
If you want to give a unique experience to your guests, having a food truck at your wedding is a good option and will also be a way to save money on catering. Choosing this type of service will reduce the total cost per person considerably compared to the costs of a classic catering provider.
Find a Location That Will Allow Outside Catering
Look for a venue that allows you to hire another caterer. Some venues are flexible with outside catering, but others require you only to use their services. Consider this if you still need to reserve a venue for your wedding.
Downsize the Fee of your Reception Dinner
A wedding is one of the most significant days of your life, but it doesn’t mean you have to go over your budget. The food bill is the second largest price after the venue rental for a wedding. Thankfully, these costs can vary. You may significantly cut down on the expense of the food during your reception by following a few of these tips.