Food is where most couples go over budget. You may want to feed your guests with fabulous, gourmet food, but your bank account might not! So if you’re trying to stick to a budget we have put together some tips to feeding your guests, frugally.
Alcohol can vastly increase costs at a wedding reception, avoid an open bar tab if you can. Why not have a limited bar — have it open for a certain amount of time or have a limited tab amount. Skip the expensive, fancy cocktails and limit guests to complimentary drinks (e.g. 1 wine and 1 beer). If you want to add more of a variety, offering one specific cocktail can be less expensive — and if you and your fiancée choose the ingredients yourself, it becomes a lovely personal touch to the reception.
Depending on the time of day, you could offer a light lunch menu for guests, including smaller, easier options like finger sandwiches and a variety of classic salads.
Avoid serving seafood during your meal; it will dramatically increase the cost of your wedding food, especially if you are hosting a large reception. Stick to more traditional meats like chicken or beef.
Offer a buffet menu, hog roast or barbeque rather than a fully plated lunch. This is often cheaper and kills two birds with one stone in that it will automatically reduce the cost of waiting staff. Set up ‘food stations’ — each serving a different style of food — you could serve Mexican, Chinese, Italian etc.
You could include a fondue bar which can be great fun for guests, a fruit and vegetable buffet, cheese and cracker platter and finish with a dessert bar.
As part of the dessert bar, if you can find the time bake homemade wedding cookies and cupcakes which can also act as favors for your guests. Personalising them for guests with a variety of shapes, colours and flavors will make wonderful mementos for your wedding day.