Menu, Menu! 8 tips for saving money on wedding food

How can you cut down your spending when it comes to the cost of catering your reception? Brooklyn wedding planner, Jove Meyer, narrows it down to one word: flexibility.

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A wedding buffet play

A wedding buffet

(Thearfitplan)
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To be honest, 80 percent of the people who attend Nigerian weddings are there mostly because of the food.

So of course, couples and their families always try to impress their guests by serving all kinds of delicacies, a lot of which takes a heavy toll on the wedding budget.

How then can you cut down your spending when it comes to the cost of catering your reception? Brooklyn wedding planner, Jove Meyer, narrows it down to one word: flexibility.

“If you’re flexible, there are definitely many ways to save on catering,” he says. Below are eight tips he suggests for beating down the cost of wedding food, Associated Press reports.

  1. Focus on fewer choices: You might be tempted to provide several options so everyone gets something they love: fish delicacy for mom, assorted meat for dad, salad for a vegetarian friend. You don't have to do all that, and you'll save money if you narrow your choices. Consider offering one meat-based dish and one vegetarian option, possibly paired as a single entree. If you have simple tastes, consider serving comfort food instead of a fancier banquet. If you can live without the whole 'bride cuts the cake' routine, fancy cupcakes cost less – and waste less – than a wedding cake.

  2. Think outside the catering hall: Meyer’s company, Jove Meyer events, has planned about 130 weddings over the last six years. He says couples should consider renting out a restaurant or having a restaurant prepare and deliver their food while hiring a staffing company to serve it. Both options can be cheaper than having a full-service wedding venue cook and serve your food, and restaurants already have the staff and the know-how.

  3. Schedule for best prices: Most weddings take place on the weekend for obvious reasons, but if you’re able to get married on a weekday instead, you'll likely save money.

  4. Stay away from plates and silverware: Disposable goods cost less than rentals. Meyer says bamboo and faux metal plates can be 'gorgeous' and cost less than traditional ceramic plates, and while paper cups will cost less than washable mugs or glasses and plasticware is less expensive than silverware. The downside, however, is that you’ll create more trash.

  5. Skip the champagne: You can save yourself the cost of three to five cases of Champagne or Prosecco if you don’t do a Champagne toast, Meyer says. Since your guests will probably already have a glass of wine or a cocktail, or both, let them toast with whatever drinks they have on hand. "Eight-five to 90 percent of all of that champagne that gets poured all goes in the trash," Meyer says.

  6. Don't overdo the bar: "The number one markup for caterers is alcohol, so if you find a venue that allows you to bring your own booze in, you can get alcohol at cost," Meyer says. In addition to the cost of liquor and items like garnishes, an open bar means you'll spend more on staff. Instead, you can provide beer and wine, possibly augmented by a specially-chosen signature cocktail that reflects your tastes.

  7. Think outside the cake box: Many people love the idea of cutting into a giant cake and getting the photos that come with it. But if you’re not a cake fan, other dessert options like cupcakes, cookies, doughnuts, or a dessert bar may cost a lot less: Meyer says cakes are pricer per slice compared to perhaps a doughnut or cupcake. That’s because wedding cakes can come with a bunch of fees, and plating and serving them also costs money. If you serve a different dessert, you might not need anything except plates and napkins.

  8. Forget about dinner: The traditional wedding meal is a sit-down dinner, but you don’t have to do a large meal with multiple courses. Consider a cocktail party with passed hors d’oeuvres, or serve your food buffet-style. If you provide three or four themed stations to choose from, you can provide food that will satisfy a big crowd with varying tastes. Or don’t throw a dinner at all. A late-morning brunch or an afternoon lunch may cost less while still allowing you to provide a satisfying meal for your guests.

Is your big day approaching? Avoid worrying about what to feed your guests. Find world class caterers to take the stress off you.

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