It can be difficult to try to plan a wedding on a budget, especially when food and drinks seem to cost so much. Catering definitely takes up a huge portion of your reception budget. However, it is possible to keep your budget under control without your reception suffering. Here are four tips to save money on your wedding catering.
1. Minimize the Hors D'oeuvres
Caterers tend to love hors d'oeuvres, and they are a common staple at big events such as weddings. However, they can get expensive. To minimize costs, keep the selection down to three or four appetizers to be served during the cocktail hour. While it is important that your guests have something to snack on until the main course, too much food early on is simply an additional expense that isn't necessary.
2. Stick to a Basic Two- to Three-Course Meal
Since your guests will be snacking during cocktail hour, they won't need a fully elaborate five-course meal. After all, do they generally order that much food when they go out on a Friday night? So, your main meal can consist of a soup or salad, main entrée, and a dessert.
If you want to maintain your budget, the dessert can be the wedding cake. Now, if your caterer attempts to bring in another course or two into your dinner plans, don't hesitate to say no. After all, most of your guests will want to be on the dance floor anyway.
3. Have a Moderated Bar
In a number of cases, the bulk of your wedding food and beverage budget will go to the alcohol. Some brides and grooms are adamant on having an open bar that is fully stocked, which can get quite expensive.
However, if you are looking to cut costs here, you may want to consider simply serving wine, champagne, and beer. If you want your guests to have something special without overdoing your budget, consider agreeing on one signature cocktail. Another alternative is to offer an open bar for cocktail hour only.
4. Add DIY Stations
If you are worried that your guests won't have enough to eat, consider a couple of inexpensive food stations. These food stations are typically do-it-yourself and can be anything from a build your own taco station to a sushi bar.
The aforementioned tips should help you lower your catering costs significantly. If you are on a budget for your reception, don't hesitate to let your wedding catering services know so that they can work with you to plan the best possible reception.