*Photo via Erica Schneider Photography
The hefty cost of catering can often be a shock for couples planning their wedding. While it can be pricey, there are ways to stick to your budget while still serving a memorable meal. If you are working with your wedding caterer to finalize your reception meal plans, follow these tips to cut down on costs while still serving the meal of your dreams.
Simplify the Appetizers
You don’t need to serve a ton of appetizers before the meal. Rather than going with a lot of options, narrow it down to around three appetizer choices that you really love. It’ll be enough variety for different guests’ tastes without going overboard – or over budget. Additionally, save on catering staff expenses by presenting a table spread of these appetizers, rather than doing passed appetizers.
Another way to save on the appetizers is to go for simpler options that aren’t labor-intensive. Appetizers like chips and salsa, nuts, a charcuterie board, and hummus are all crowd-pleasers that are simple to prepare and won’t cost you as much as more complicated options.
Create a Budget-Friendly Menu
Meals that require more time and manpower will cost you more, especially if you are throwing a larger wedding. It is best to go with simpler, straightforward meals that are easier to prepare. Don’t worry – when done well, they’ll still be delicious! Some more budget-friendly entree main items include chicken, turkey, and pork. It will also cost you less to work with produce that is in season. Plus, in-season produce will be more flavorful. Work with your caterer (or talk to potential caterers) to determine which meal options will better fit your budget.
Offer Three to Four Meal Choices
More meal choices on the menu = higher costs. When creating your wedding menu, don’t feel the need to offer an abundance of meal choices to guests. This simply isn’t necessary and will eat away at your budget. Offer no more than four meal choices – but three will be ample.
Stick to Two or Three Courses
Speaking of simple, cut down on costs by serving two or three courses in your meal service. This will be plenty of food for the guests, and it will also give everyone more time to get on the dance floor and celebrate.
Opt for a Buffet
When deciding on a meal service style, consider doing a buffet. Buffets are typically more budget-friendly than a plated meal, particularly since they require less staff. This is especially true for larger weddings, since plated meals require a heftier staff to get meals out at the same time.
If you are in the process of planning your wedding, come to the next Georgia Bridal Show near you. You will have the chance to meet with professional wedding vendors of all talents who can help bring your vision to life!