I always thought the most expensive part of the wedding would be the venue…and I wasn’t totally wrong, but a close second (and maybe a first depending on your venue) is the food. Food for a wedding is an overwhelming, jaw-dropping price tag that I don’t think anyone sees coming. I’m only feeding 50 people and I couldn’t believe it. It doesn’t matter if you are going sit-down dinner or buffet style, the price is still astronomical.
The situation I have now is the best option for us, but originally I thought I would cut costs by asking the caterer to serve “home cookin” southern-style type meals. Everyone loves chicken, macaroni and cheese, and mashed ‘taters! Even with serving food that isn’t considered “fine dining” it still costs an arm and a leg. So here are some ways you can cut costs on your food budget.
I know this is going to sound nuts but have your hors d’oeuvres passed out by the catering staff instead of a buffet or table.
I know, I know, all that food looks expensive…and it probably is, I just like to tease you. 🙂 If the catering staff passes out your hors d’oeuvres it controls food intake. You may be looking at a little more in cost for the staff, but your guests probably haven’t eaten in hours, and those hors d’oeuvres are the first thing they get to devour, so they go pretty fast. If your caterer has to re-stock hors d’oeuvres that’s more money out of your pocket.
Next I’m going to ask you to break a rule of the wedding industry.
Only one meat option. I know it is customary to have at least two choices of meat for dinner, but trust me, it’s not that big of a deal. Instead, offer once choice of meat, and lots of vegetarian options as sides (which tend to be cheaper). Your guests who don’t like their meat will still be able to have plenty of sides to fill them up.
And now onto dessert! This is where my advice isn’t entirely needed because most people are breaking out of this box by themselves…but what is the biggest dessert item that the industry says is a MUST have?
Yup. The cake. And not just any cake. If you want YOUR wedding to be THE talked about wedding you must get a SEVEN TIER wedding cake. Wait…what? I don’t think even the biggest of wedding parties could consume that much cake. That is a lot of dessert. I don’t think I could eat more than 50 slices…
Seriously though, you absolutely do not need a seven tier wedding cake. If you are like me and love dessert, there are some much more awesome, cheaper options, or, to be honest, if you love cake, you can still have it, just, please, not seven tiers tall…I hate to see good dessert go to waste.
Cupcakes, Mini Pies, Macarons, Cake Pops, and Pudding in a Mason Jar…mmmmm it all looks delicious! Now of course don’t choose all of these options, that would defeat the purpose of cutting costs. But it is much cheaper to do small items in bulk than it is to do one big cake. Some of these, like the pudding in a jar are very DIY-ish too. Then, if you still want a cake on top of that, get a small two tier cake for just you, that way you still have something to cut into.
If you still aren’t convinced, and you love the WOW factor of a seven tier cake, it is possible on a tight budget, you just have to pull a fast one on your guests. The bottom layer of your cake will be all cake, and the rest of the layers will be styrofoam. You’ll cut the cake and none’s the wiser! If you have a large wedding, serve sheet cake as the alternative (SO MUCH cheaper), or if you have a small wedding, get 2 or 3 of the seven tiers in cake and the rest in styrofoam.
Those are just a few tips from the BIGGEST offenders of a budget. The cost of something is all in your hands! Be creative and think outside the box! You can absolutely pull this off! (At least that’s what I tell myself every day!)
If you have any other money-saving tips I want to hear them! I love your comments, so keep ’em coming!