Friday, December 01, 2006

Wedding Reception Food - Ways to Save Money

Before we delve into ways to save money on food at your wedding reception, I want to give a shameless little plug for a sister site, In that site we share with you places you may never have dreamed of visiting, like Canary Island holidays and holidays to Croatia, in addition to places right in your backyard, like Michigan vacation getaway or cheap Vegas vacation.

And, now, a few tips on saving money on food for your wedding reception.

When it comes to a wedding one of the most expensive parts of it is the food. This is particularly true if you are hiring a caterer. When you sit down to create a wedding budget, you will be spending most of it on the food per person. This money can quickly add up beyond your wildest dreams. Of course, it doesn’t have to. It seems as if weddings are just a cause for much feasting and merriment, and that requires a great deal of food.

One of the most expensive parts of a wedding is the food served at the reception. This is particularly true if the bride and groom want to serve their guests food that is theme based or that is on the more extravagant side. This can include foods such as fancy appetizers, sushi, tapas, or gourmet meals. The bride and groom that are on a tight budget will want to avoid fancy foods and stick with a menu that is more within their means.

There are many things that you can do to help cut the cost of your wedding food. Let’s look at some of them:

1. Be careful on how many hors d'oeuvres you order if ordering from a caterer. You don’t need eight different types. If you must serve appetizers offer cheese and crackers or mini items.

2. When you are choosing your menu, be careful to only get what is really needed. Do not binge on a five course meal if you can’t afford it. Know what your per person budget is and stick to it no matter what.

3. Have your friends and family prepare appetizers, side dishes, bread, and meals and salad.

4. If you're trying to keep costs low, stay away from certain foods that are very expensive such as shrimp, salmon, lobster and beef tenderloin. If you have your heart set on one of these dishes only serve them as appetizers and not the main course.

5. Instead of a full meal, serve only hors d'oeuvres. It is easier to dish out and cheaper to provide.

6. Food stations can offer your guests variety and save you money. These can include stations from around the world like pastas (Italy), Mexican foods, etc.

7. Offer a buffet style meal rather than a sit down dinner. 8. Offer lunch instead of dinner because it is much cheaper.

9. You can have barbecue if you are throwing an outside wedding ceremony and reception.

10. Choose a specific theme for your food, because this will make it easier to select your food items.

11. And finally - skip the alcohol. Okay, just kidding (unless, of course you don't drink). But, if having some wine or champagne available to your guests is important, there are still some pretty good bottles available that won't break the bank. If you live in California, inexpensive wines are easy to find. But, if you live elsewhere, there are always labels like Columbia Crest, BV Coastal and Mirassou that are great tasting and inexpensive. Chandon, a label from California, has good, inexpensive sparkling wine for around $13.99 (from You can always have a more expensive bottle of champagne reserved for the bride and groom.

It's all about priorities. Decide which elements of your wedding are most important to you and which you want to reserve for a major part of your budget and which elements aren't all that important to you. Perhaps saving money for a house is your priority and a wedding just isn't all that important. In that case, elope and have a modest party later. You two are creating the lives you want. Do what makes you happiest.

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