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5 Tips For Affordable Wedding Catering

It’s no secret that wedding receptions can be expensive, and catering costs can make up the majority of the expenses. But having a tight budget doesn’t mean that you can’t have a wonderful reception with delicious food that all of your guests will enjoy. Use the following tips to keep your catering costs under control when planning your wedding reception:

Hand-Pass Appetizers

Many weddings have a cocktail hour between the ceremony and the reception to give time for the newlyweds to have photographs taken. To save money on food during the cocktail hour, arrange to have appetizers hand-passed instead of set up as a buffet. When appetizers are hand-passed, people are less likely to eat as much, thus reducing food costs.

Streamline the Alcohol Choices

Alcohol often makes up a big chunk of a catering budget, so if you want to save money skip doing a full open bar. Many budget-savvy couples opt to serve beer, wine, and soft drinks instead of offering liquor and spirits. If you want to offer liquor in an affordable way, consider having one or two signature cocktails for your guests to enjoy.

Have a Sit Down Meal

Many couples are under the impression that a buffet meal is the least expensive option, but in reality a sit down meal can help you save a lot of money on food costs. When you opt for a sit down meal, your caterer is able to control the portion sizes and make an exact number of meals to feed all your guests. In comparison, a buffet meal can often be more expensive because extra food must be prepared since portion sizes are not controlled.

Arrange for Kids Meals

If you will have kids at your reception, talk to your caterer about having smaller, less expensive meals prepared for your youngest guests. Smaller children typically don’t have huge appetites, so there is no reason to pay full-price for an adult meal that a child won’t be able to finish.

Consider a Brunch or Lunch Reception

When your catering budget is extremely tight, you may want to consider having a brunch or lunch wedding reception. The food served during these meals is typically much less expensive, so you can have a lavish meal without breaking the bank. People are also less likely to consume alcohol earlier in the day, so you can save money by only offering champagne, mimosas, and bellinis.