It doesn’t even need to be said, because everyone knows weddings are expensive! Of all the elements of this very expensive event, the catering will usually cost the most. Provisioning food and drink for a wedding reception is one of the only times you’ll experience a breakdown of the ‘cost per person’ to attend an event (another reason it’s so critical that people R.S.V.P. on time!). When you’re on a smaller budget, it’s even more important to find ways to cut costs in this area. Here are a few suggestions for cutting the catering costs at your wedding without sacrificing style!
- People eat with their eyes before their fork (or fingers) ever touches a morsel. Serve up a beautifully presented buffet and it doesn’t need to be overflowing with bounty. Serve each type of food on a different, smaller platter and add depth and character by placing them at different heights on the buffet table.
- Similarly, make small amounts of very savory foods into a huge spread by repeating small dishes of the same ingredient. An antipasto platter could be displayed as each individual part to appear much greater in quantity without the equivalent budget spending.
- If you have a particularly expensive appetizer or two, have them hand passed instead of set out buffet-style. Guests tend to only consume 60% of what they would if it was self-serve.
- Think of ways to serve your food by using small dishes for things like soups, pasta salads, shrimp cocktails…just about anything. By changing the expected presentation of normal dishes, you can change the amount served commensurately. Think of soup in small espresso mugs with a tiny grilled cheese sandwich beside it. A martini glass with two large shrimp with lettuce and cocktail sauce takes the place of a huge platter of shrimp. A mini trifle glass holds a dollop of dressing with sticks of vegetables for individual crudités. Get creative!
- Skip the cheese platter. More delicious cheese gets wasted at weddings than anywhere else. Cheese is delicious, but it’s at every party. No one is going to miss the cheese plate.
You may see a theme with these suggestions on cutting the catering cost – it’s think outside the box! Be creative – you aren’t a cookie cutter, why should your wedding be the same as everyone else’s?