Food and drinks are the quickest way to blow your wedding budget. After crunching the numbers, you may be ready to burn your guest list and elope… Yes, catering services are likely to make up at least 30% of your wedding expenses, but there are certainly ways to get more for your money. Here are a few of our favorite tips for keeping catering costs low…
1. Serve Hors D’Oerves by Hand
Cocktail hours are increasingly popular. It’s a great way to keep your guests busy while your bridal party takes pictures, but Grandpa Joe can’t drink on an empty stomach. We recommend passing out appetizers by hand rather than having guests serve themselves. Your guests are likely to eat 40% less with this method, and that’s okay! They should save some room for dinner anyway.
2. Get Creative with the Menu
There are creative ways to impress guests without blowing the budget. Want to serve seafood? Soup shooters may be a great alternative to a large (and more expensive) seafood display. A talented chef will be able to volunteer cost saving options (like a delicious sauce paired with a less expensive cut of meat) that won’t compromise guest experience.
3. Eliminate Extra Courses or Stations
Your guests just finished cocktails and appetizers, so a 5 course feast is completely unnecessary. Eliminate extra courses or stations if and when possible.
4. Save on the Bar Tab
Liquor is expensive, and you can save a lot by sticking to beer and wine. Keep the menu interesting with one or two signature cocktails.
Signature cocktails save money, AND they are tons of fun!
5. Get an Accurate Guest Count
When you send out invitations, make sure your reply card has a return date of at least two or three weeks prior to your wedding. Call to follow up with guests who don’t send reply cards back. Over-ordering is the worst way to blow a catering budget! There’s no reason to pay for guests who won’t be attending.
6. Package Services to Save More
You can save even more money by taking advantage of packaged services. Planning more than one wedding weekend event? Relish Distinctive Catering offers a significant discount when you book multiple events. Best of all, packaged events don’t need to be wedding related… book a birthday party, catered company meeting or another event of your choosing. Contact us for more details!