The major and considerable amount in your wedding budget is eaten up by the catering cost for wedding. And food menu is an integral part of the wedding memoir. It can be tricky to trim the catering budget as a bad caterer can spoil all your wedding preparations. Here are 10 ways to save on wedding catering costs.
1. Share your budget details with caterer
Instead of asking for a menu from the caterer and trying to fit it into your budget, share your food and beverage budget with the caterer. They are the experts in their fields, therefore they can suggest the best that fits into your given budget, so that you don’t have to compromise on your food items to make it the talk of the town.
2. Reduce the number of courses
One way to trim the wedding catering budget is by reducing the number of courses that you serve. Be smart with your servings. Serve salad at entrée and guests would love to have your wedding cake for dessert which if chosen separately can add to the cost.
3. Choose day time wedding
Plan your wedding at the breakfast or the lunch time. The meals served at these timings are lesser in portions as people tend to eat and drink less at these timings. This way you can save quite a lot.
4. Reduce the cocktail hours
Another ideal way to curtail your wedding catering cost is by reducing the cocktail hours to approx 45 minutes and by reducing the number of appetizers. The longer the cocktail timings are, the higher the cost will be. Alcohol is one of the most expensive items in your catering budget, therefore it is better to restrict it for a shorter duration. This can be a great saving in your wedding catering cost.
5. Butler passed arrangements
If you are in a tight budget for your wedding and want to save on your catering cost, butler passed arrangements for the appetizers or hors d’oeuvres is a more feasible option than having food stations. With servers you can control the speed and quantity of servings, and you will not fear running out of the food items.
6. Plated arrangements
Serving plated food is a smart way to trim the wedding catering cost. Buffet will cost you more as the caterer has to prepare larger portions than the number of guests, so that you don’t run out of the food. Plated arrangements will have fixed items and portions, and makes you save on the extra food.
7. Vegetarian menu
Decide for a vegan menu, or if you have to go for non-vegetarian menu then go for chicken instead of beef or fish. Chicken will be less expensive and has a universal appeal to non vegetarian food palates.
8. Offbeat wedding
Wedding reception at the prime time will always cost you more than the off-time. Choose a week day instead of a Saturday or Sunday for the wedding reception. You will save considerably on the venue as well as on the catering cost. The off-time will put you in better position to negotiate with the caterer. A busy day will put you in lower rank in your caterer’s preference list.
9. Purchase own alcohol
Beverages, especially alcohol will create a major dent in your pocket through your catering bill. Alcohol is expensive when served by the caterer himself. The better and the cost effective way is to purchase your own alcohol at cheaper rates. One thing to keep in mind is to ensure that the caterer allows you to do so, as some of them would not be very happy with the idea.
10. Exact guest count
Finally, if you really want to save on the catering cost then know the exact count of guests in your wedding. Send-in the invites with a reply card to confirm the attendance of the guest at least two weeks in prior. Call up those who don’t reply back. Once you have the exact list of guests, you can give the magic number to the caterer. This will save you the extra cost of guests whom you expected but didn’t turn up.