Wonderfully delicious news… these top tips will keep your catering budget down whilst still tantalising tastebuds aplenty…
Oh it was months and months of trial meals and tastings. For my wedding, the catering costs simply soared. I was convinced this was an area to splash the cash – guests would expect a three-course meal and hors d’oeuvre and individual mini-burgers AND a cheese board AND a pudding AND a cake AND a hog roast AND of course, a make-your-own ice-cream van for later (each). Actually, guests the world over don’t want to stuff themselves. They want to drink and dance and have fun. On no other occasion would you eat this much food in one twenty-four hour period. From experience (and so many brides comment similarly), I was too adrenaline-fueled to eat much anyway. So absolutely do create a menu you love but keep things simple. And here’s how you do that…
FEATURED IMAGE: Photographer: Andy Gaines
Go for an afternoon ceremony
One sure-fire way to cut back on catering costs is to make your day shorter. Having a lunchtime ceremony means that people aren’t likely to have eaten beforehand, which means that you’ll have to bring your wedding breakfast time forward to avoid starving guests. If you’re having a 4pm wedding breakfast, for example, then you’ll also have to provide evening snacks, or you’ll end up with seriously hungry (and potentially very drunk!) guests. However, if you have your ceremony later in the afternoon, then people will have eaten a normal lunch beforehand, which means your evening meal can be at a regular time. This method cuts down on both canapés and evening food, which easily adds up.
Choose a buffet
A buffet is generally always likely to be a cheaper option than a sit-down dinner, because it involves fewer members of staff compared to one that requires table service. Barbecues and hog roasts are great for this, as are classic family favourites such as curries and lasagne.
Serve your cake for dessert
Save money and ensure your cake actually gets eaten on the day by serving it up instead of a separate dessert! Your guests aren’t going to want to eat dessert and then cake, which means it often goes to waste. So instead, schedule your cake-cutting for earlier in the day and then present cake slices after the main course.
Swap out champagne
Doing away with pricey champagne can be a good way to save a little extra money. If you want flutes filled with fizz for the toasts, then picking Prosecco, sparkling wine or a Bellini cocktail can be a more budget-friendly alternative. Another option is to keep the wine flowing when it comes to the toasts and some guests won’t even notice! For welcome drinks, consider Pimm’s or a punch for a summer wedding, and cider or mulled wine for an autumn or winter wedding.