In most cases wedding catering is the largest expense of a wedding. Here are some simple and effective tips for cutting catering cost on your wedding day.
In most cases wedding catering is the largest expense of a wedding. Aside from the cost of the food itself, you're paying for beverages, kitchen staff, waiters, cutlery and crockery rentals, and potentially extra decorations. But this needn't cost you an arm, leg, and your firstborn. If you're working within a tight budget, read on for our simplest and most effective tips.
Do your research and do not be afraid to ask. Many venues who include catering in their quotes have a bit of flexibility when it comes to their budget. Try asking if there's any compromise you can reach, such as bumping up the number of attendants to get an overall better price on the food. If you're organising your venue seperately from your catering service, ask the venue for particular recommendations. Ring around and see which companies can work within your budget, and which are most flexible. Those that won't budge are simply weeding themselves out- chances are that they'll be inflexible in other respects too. The main idea here is to simply find which one would fit your purse.
Be ruthless with your guest list. Less people= less food needed. Enough said.
Forego formal service. A substantial portion of your payment will go towards the service itself. So bypass paying the wages of the waiters and either organise a buffet-style layout, or get family and friends to serve the food.
Better yet, cater yourself! If your venue allows for you to cater yourself, consider organising a pot-luck meal! Have everyone bring a dish (you can even specify a theme, such as 'authentic Greek cuisine') and enjoy the spoils! This is one wedding meal that definitely won't be forgotten. Alternatively, if you and your family/ friends are into cooking and it wont be far too strenuous, you could simply cater the wedding yourselves.
Don't fall prey to the idea of an elaborate buffet. Sure, organising a buffet will save you money on service, but many overcompensate with numerous entree, main course, and dessert options, which can end up being more costly than a simple plated dinner. Avoid this trap by offering your guests a couple of options- just because there are more options doesnt mean they'll appreciate the food any more.
Presentation is key. Remember that all people eat with their eyes before their stomachs! In other words, no matter how simple your menu is, plate it up like a professional would. For instance, don't just spoon out Jollof Rice and Fried rice together. Use opposite colours when you can to create a dramatic effect, this will give your food a distinctly refined edge, and encourage your guests to appreciate the flavours and textures of the food more.
Away with alcohol! It's considered particularly bad etiquette to not have an open bar, yet free flowing drink could easily run you into thousands of extra money on your bill. Skip the alcohol altogether and and instead serve smoothies, Chapman and other fantastic drinks. Bonus: you won't have to deal with any overly drunk attendees, which is one of the fastest routes to ending an otherwise great night.
Get symbolic by breaking bread together. For centuries, breaking bread with others has been regarded as the great equaliser- the act of sitting together and sharing one of the most basic foods so intimately has been regarded as the symbol for comraderie, mutual respect and appreciation. Instead of offering a starter's course, offer a variety of breads with an array of different oils and vinegars for dipping. This is not only delicious, but the informality of using your hands to eat is fun and will encourage a relaxed atmosphere.
Eat seasonally. Not only will eating foods naturally available during your wedding season keep the costs down, but it'll taste better and is far more environmentally conscious (you'll be saving plenty of energy that would otherwise be used to artificially produce the product, as well as that energy used for transporting the goods).
Don't bother with renting cutlery. You can cut costs by using paper and plastic goods instead of glassware, china plates, cloth napkins, and silverware. Additionally, you can order biodegradable and reusable options online- perfect for future picnics or simply donating them to those in need.
Create a special menu for those in need. For instance, those who are lactose or gluten itolerant or vegetarian. Creating these meals in bulk will not only save you money, but allow the caterers to spread their creative wings, and show the guests that they have been thought of specifically. Win- win- win.
Keep the kids in mind. Count exactly how many kids under 10 will be attending, and organise a separate menu accordingly. You'll save money on the actual food they eat as well as the portion size, and just as importantly, the kids will love it.
Pay attention to the clock. If the event runs over your allotted time, you may have to pay extra charges. Be sure to find out how long you have the reception site/facilities for.
Don't restrict yourself to a sit-down dinner reception. In fact, choosing a different time of day for your reception will generally result in significant savings. You should, however, make clear in your invitations the set-up of note on the invitation, however, the type of reception you are holding in order to save guests Consider the following options, for instance:
If you are stumped and you have no idea what to serve for your wedding, your wedding caterer should be able to provide your with a wide range of other options.