When thinking about weddings one of the first things we think about is free food and (potentially, lots of free) drinks! (Or is that just me??) Anyway… food and drink is often the biggest budget-item on your wedding planning list. Understandably, there can be a lot of pressure to reduce costs and get the most value for your money.
Here are my top picks of the most budget-friendly catering options for weddings.
Cocktail receptions can be a cheaper alternative to a full sit-down meal. If you have a big guest list, serving cocktail-style food can reduce your overall price-per-head which can add up to big savings. If you enjoy gourmet food and beverages, serving in smaller quantities can allow for better quality. Champagne and oysters anyone??
If the venue you want is a bit out of reach, consider a brunch reception. Many venues will provide this option at a reduced rate- especially if they can cater another evening function the same day.
While everyone loves a mimosa or two, your alcohol bill probably won’t be quite so steep if you are catering for a morning reception.
(If you don’t mind an early start, a morning wedding will give you more of the day to celebrate as a couple!).
Nothing can beat the relaxed vibe of a good, old-fashioned picnic! Picnics are a fantastic idea for couples who want to DIY their catering. Most elements of a picnic basket can be prepared in advance- with no culinary skill required!
Buffets and Gourmet BBQs
Buffets are DIY-doable if the cooking and preparation can be minimised. Think of creative ways to serve cold dishes that are simple to prepare and serve. The more you are able to prepare your buffet in advance, the less stress you will have trying to throw things on a table just before the guests arrive. Some examples of a no-fuss buffet are:
- A selection of high-tea inspired sandwiches and sweets
- Lolly and dessert buffets
- Seafood buffets (keep the seafood on ice to keep fresh)
- Grazing boards
If you have a family member or friend who likes nothing better than getting behind a barbeque at social events, consider asking them to help you out and ‘fire up the barbie’.
Don’t feel like you need to do everything yourself just to cut costs. Who wants to be washing up 100 plates straight after their wedding! Many venues will allow BYO beverages and provide the food. Or, you may wish to prepare the cocktail hour platters and only have the main course professionally catered.