Food is an essential component of any wedding party as it makes your guests happy and satisfied during the event. It is a good idea to hire a professional catering company as they provide quality food and services that make your wedding special and memorable. However, catering costs can be expensive for your budget if you do not plan considerably beforehand. Including all fancy foods and expensive drinks without thinking about your budget can ruin your day as you may end up in a financial crisis after the wedding. This article looks at a few adjustments and considerations you can make to cut down your catering costs when planning your wedding.
- Negotiate With Your Catering Company
Catering companies usually have peak and off-peak seasons, which can be of great advantage when planning a wedding. The prices for hiring a professional catering company tend to be highest during busy seasons such as holidays, or vacation months. Off-peak seasons give you enough room for negotiations since there will be stiff competition on which catering company can offer the best services at affordable rates. Therefore, the more knowledgeable you are about your event, the better position you will be at negotiating the catering costs for your wedding.
- Avoid Plated Meals
Plated dinner is by far the priciest of all the catering styles you can choose for your wedding. While it may make your wedding look luxurious and fancy, it can also add a financial burden because of what it takes to pull it off. Besides paying per plate, you also need to hire a waiting staff who will serve food to your guests on their allocated stations. Instead of having plated meals, you can go with other alternatives such as food stations, buffet, or cocktail style catering. Not only will you serve favorite dishes to your guests, but you will also save money by doing it at a fraction of the cost.
- Offer Fewer Dinner Choices
The catering bill per person can be higher if people are given more options to choose for their main meal. The best way to limit food choices for your guests is to offer a balance of both unique and common favorite dishes. A great menu should make it easier for people to find that great dish that they can eat and enjoy. Have an appropriate meal for people with dietary issues, vegetarians, or individuals who prefer gluten-free foods. Adding pasta or a fancier sauce can make less expensive meat more appealing. With the right caterer, you will find a great menu with limited choices that are appealing to everyone.
- Serve What is in Season
A vegetable or fruit that is in season usually costs a fraction of the price of foods that need to be shipped from a further location. Even if they are available in your local market, they will cost more because vendors factor in other expenses such as transportation fees and value-added taxes in their resale price. Get a bit of inspiration from your local farmer’s market before planning your wedding menu with your caterer.
- Bring Your Own Bottle (BYOB)
Instead of spending money on expensive drinks and cocktails, you can ask your guests to bring their alcohol or beverages to your wedding party. Many people will not mind coming with their drinks to your event as it allows them to choose what they like best. Liquor has the highest markup and the best way to avoid these costs is buying your own. If it is a must that you purchase liquor and beverages for your wedding, then consider using bartending staff. This works great if you are just serving beer or wine, as you only need someone with a steady hand to serve the drinks.
- Shorten Your Dining and Cocktail Hours
Not every wedding party should have a fully-fledged dining event. Limiting or controlling the duration of dining and cocktail hours can significantly reduce your catering costs. You can save more by shortening the five-hour dinner event to three hours since people can still fill themselves up with appetizers and finger foods.
The overall budget for your wedding catering service will depend on a variety of factors such as the estimated number of guests, available food options in the menu, and the cost of hiring a professional catering service. All the above tips can keep your catering costs down and still make your event memorable without having to strain your budget. It is important to plan adequately to ensure everyone is happy and satisfied with the outcome of the event.