Lorna I. Robins
10 Best ways to cut costs on wedding catering without compromising on quality | Weddings on a budget
Updated: Mar 22
Weddings are one of those most special moments that people cherish for a lifetime. But planning a wedding can be a daunting and expensive task, especially when it comes to catering. Catering is one of the most significant expenses in a wedding, and it can quickly add up if you're not careful. However, with a little creativity and careful planning, you can cut down the cost of catering without compromising on quality.
Here are some ways to cut costs on wedding catering.
#1 - Choose a buffet-style wedding breakfast
Choosing a buffet can save you so much money compared to a sit-down silver service dinner. With a buffet, you won't have the extra cost of serving staff which can be a huge uplift on your bill. You can provide a selection of finger foods with salads and even a hot self-serve meal, which can significantly reduce the cost.
#2 - Opt for a local caterer who provides seasonal food
Choosing a caterer who uses seasonal and locally grown food is not only more cost-effective to the caterer but those savings are passed on to you. If you are environment conscious this is also more environmentally friendly as local produce is fresher and requires less transportation, reducing the carbon footprint and a great way to support local farmers and businesses. Choosing a caterer whose location is close to your venue also cuts the mileage on delivery costs down too.
#3 - Get married later in the day to limit the number of meals needed
Your guests come from far and wide to spend the day with you celebrating your marriage and they need to be fed and offering a few meals can quickly increase the cost of catering. You don't have to offer cocktail hour hors d'oeuvres, a main full sit-down dinner and a huge evening buffet if you get married later in the day. You can limit the number of eating times, and serve snacks instead of full meals. e.g A full buffet for your daytime wedding guests which is usually a smaller gathering than when you add the evening guests in the mix. Then provide a snack for the evening such as a hot sandwich. I recently attended a wedding that offered fish finger rolls, they were really good and a brilliant idea.
#4 - Cut down on the number of guests
No one likes to hear this and of course, it's a very obvious way to cut costs. The more guests you have, the more expensive the catering will be. Consider cutting down on the number of guests by having a smaller, more intimate wedding. This can significantly reduce the cost of catering and other expenses. Don't invite the neighbour you had when you were 5 even if your parents say you should, and don't invite anyone you haven't had a face-to-face conversation with, in the last year even if a few years back they invited you to their wedding and don't invite the whole office only those you work closely with and consider a good friend.
#5 - Consider a cash bar
Alcohol can be a significant expense in a wedding. Consider having a cash bar instead of an open bar. This way, guests can purchase their drinks, and you won't be responsible for the cost.
#6 - Serve a welcome drink if you must
If you feel you must provide at least one drink, how about just the first drink on guest arrival? You could provide poured flutes of prosecco and a bucket filled with ice and beer bottles on the table near the door for guests to take as they walk in.
#7 - Choose a less formal setting
Formal settings can be expensive as you're locked in to use the in-house caterer, so consider a less formal setting such as a backyard, a park or the local social club. This will save you money on catering because you'll be able to price shop around local caterers and choose the best for your budget.
#8 - DIY dessert table
Instead of ordering a large fancy expensive cake, consider having a DIY dessert table. This will allow you to save money on the cake while also providing a fun element to your wedding. Items just as a sweetie bar, cupcake stand, macaron basket or little petite fours are great ideas.
#9 - Hire a food truck
Food trucks are so popular at weddings. They are often less expensive than traditional catering, and they can provide a unique and memorable experience for your guests. These come in many variations such as the trucks and vans that sell fish and chips, pizza, burgers and hot dogs and of course the ice cream guy.
#10 - Negotiate with your caterer
Don't be afraid to negotiate with your caterer. Ask if there are discounts or specials, especially if you're having a large wedding. They may even be able to work with you to create a menu that fits your budget.
Catering is an essential part of your wedding, but it doesn't have to break the bank. By following these tips, you can cut costs without compromising on quality and still have the wedding of your dreams. Remember, it's your special day, and with a little creativity and careful planning, you can make it a day to remember. To see our wedding packages take a look here >>
Blog post by Lorna Robins at Buffet Heroes, a family catering business in Stockport. For more info contact us at email@example.com www.buffetheroes.com