The money you spend on wedding catering is typically the most expensive part of the wedding budget, up to 50% of the total! Very often, couples look for ways to save money on catering and still give their wedding guests a great party. Here are ten tips to help you trim your wedding catering cost:
1.) Know what your food and beverage budget is and share that number with the prospective caterers. This will give them the opportunity to give you a proposal with the best menu(s) that you can afford.
2.) Limit the number of courses you serve. Stick with a salad and entree and serve your wedding cake for dessert.
3.) Plan your wedding around breakfast, lunch, or dessert. Meals at these times typically have smaller portions, so you will save money on food. Less alcohol is typically served at these times as well, so you will save on bar costs.
4.) Shorten your cocktail hour to 45 minutes to reduce the number of hors d’ oeuvres that you serve. This will save money on both food and bar.
5.) Butler-pass your hors d’ oeuvres rather than having stations. Your servers can control the speed at which your hors d’ oeuvres are served so you can order less without running out.
6.) Order chicken or vegetarian rather than beef or fish. Chicken is almost always less expensive and it appeals to a wider range of people.
7.) Choose a time other than Friday or Saturday night for your wedding reception. You can often get a better deal on off-times versus prime times.
8.) Provide your own alcohol. Some off-premise caterers will allow you to purchase alcohol on your own. This can offer great savings, especially if you purchase from a place that will allow you to return unopened bottles.
9.) Get an accurate guest count. You don’t want to pay for guests who don’t attend. When you send out invitations, send a reply card with a return date of at least two weeks prior to your wedding and call guests who don’t send them back. Then let your caterer know exactly how many guests you are planning for to prevent over-ordering.
10.) Call Jo at Jo’s Custom Cakes and Catering, Inc. to help you plan your perfect wedding reception, or any catered event, at 615-459-9305.