Mention the word “catering” to a bride and you’re almost guaranteed to send them into a frantic, stressed out mess. Food is an essential component to a wedding reception because to be frank people get hungry, and when people are hungry they’re unpleasant. Que in catering. It’s expensive and stressful. However this Munchie Monday we’re showing you how to remove one of the major problems: cost. These are some of the ways we think you should go about cutting the cost of fine food and maintaining an enjoyable reception dining experience.
1. Research. Asking questions again and again and again and doing a ton of research is what’s going to help you determine if this caterer agrees with what you want, in terms of both money and food. Getting referrals from past clients and have discussions with the caterers about a budget will be helpful in deciding if they make the cut.
2. Don’t Let Pricey Appetizers be Self Served. According to Bridal Guide’s list of “50 Ways to Cut Wedding Catering Costs,” you should have caterers pass around the appetizers that reside on the pricier side of your budget. Guests in turn will consume less food and in the end you’ll be saving some bills.
3. Little Things, Big Impact. Adding the smallest of changes to any food or drink can have a huge impact on how they taste. One example: if you want a signature drink but don’t want to pay for expensive liquors, simply drop fruit like strawberry or a raspberry in a glass of champagne. Instantly tasty and beautiful.
4. Stick With a Favorite. Do you and your fiance have a favorite restaurant or have a restaurant that holds a lot of memories? Ask them to cater your wedding. It’ll share a part of your relationship with guests and may be cheaper overall. Have them deliver it to the reception costs and serve it buffet style so you don’t have to worry about paying servers.
5. Seasons. Many fruits and vegetables are only available during certain seasons. For example, the cost of corn goes down in the summer but spikes in the winter. Look at what time of the year you’re hosting the wedding and then compare it with which fruits and vegetables are at their prime.
6. Stations. Ethnic food stations are exciting and serve food that generally is inexpensive. The ingredients they use are simple such as rice, chicken, and vegetables and the focus is on how it’s presented. The presentation incorporates different shapes of how the food is stacked to make it appear like there is more on the plate.
7. Only Appetizers. I enjoy appetizers more than I enjoy entrees because of the wide selection of food and how bite sized it is. You can serve guests only appetizers for dinner and they’ll still be full. Alongside that you can serve a salad if they’re looking for something more filling but appetizers will cost a lot less than entrees.
8. Time of Day. Dinners cost more than brunch or lunch. If you want to try a lunch time, or late lunch reception then you can save yourself some money. Guests usually eat and drink less in the afternoon as they’re preparing themselves for dinner later. Use items like salads and sandwiches as they cost less and will get the job done.
9. Reconsider Some People. When your guest list grows, your food cost goes up. The less guests you have then the less money you’ll spend on everything. Take some time to consider some people on your list and decide if they truly make the cut. You can’t appeal to everyone and your overall budget and monetary issues are more important than their attendance at your wedding.
10. Bread. Bread is a huge life saver. Serve bread only appetizers with cheap toppings like tapenade and chopped tomatoes with onions. Serving various olive oils and vinegars will engage people’s pallets enough that they won’t miss the traditional appetizers.
11. Skip Chicken. Maybe not altogether but be unique and serve game that is in season. Talk to your cater about what game is in season because it may cost just as much as chicken and it’s giving your wedding something interesting and tasty.
Making little changes in your menu can go a long way. Using lots of fresh vegetables and cheap side dishes like rice and pasta will save you money. Make the dining experience about fun and dancing and not only about eating.