Three Ways To Cut Wedding Catering Costs

Posted on: 10 April 2015

In 2014, couples spent an average of a little over $30,000 on their weddings. So, it isn't surprising to learn that planning a wedding on a strict budget is extremely stressful. The amount of money it costs to book a wedding venue and catering service, purchase your dream gown, rent a tux for your soon-to-be hubby, and order your wedding cake can be a bit nauseating. But, it is possible to plan a wedding on a small budget without making a lot of sacrifices. Before you have a nervous breakdown because you feel like you're hemorrhaging money, here are some tips on how you can save money by cutting your wedding catering costs.

Time It Right

When you're planning a wedding on a budget, timing is everything. Plan your wedding during a time of day that your guests won't expect a full meal. If your wedding ceremony is between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., consider having a casual tea. By serving a variety of finger sandwiches, scones, and mini pastries, as well as tea, lemonade, and ice water, you'll cut your catering costs substantially. If you want your wedding ceremony to be held later in the day, opt for a cocktail reception in lieu of a sit-down meal. During a cocktail reception, it's common for guests to stand and mingle while the staff walks around the room, passing out drinks and hor d'oeuvres. Many guests will probably know not to expect a full meal by the timing of your wedding ceremony. However, you should include a note on your invitations that says, "A tea (or cocktail reception) to follow" just in case.

Choose Your Date Wisely

Saturday is the most popular day of the week for weddings, and typically, services, such as catering, cost more at times when they are in high demand. So, before you choose a Saturday afternoon wedding date, get pricing estimates from catering services -- and wedding venues -- to see if you can save money by choosing a different day of the week for your wedding. Often, you can save a decent amount of money just by changing a Saturday wedding to Friday evening or Sunday afternoon. Also, when you're choosing your wedding date, consider choosing an off-season date. Weddings held in January or November cost less than those held in May or June.

Skip the Buffet

It's a common misconception that having a buffet-style wedding reception will save you money. In fact, on average, guests consume 40 percent less when food is served to them rather than set out for them to serve themselves. So, even if you aren't planning an elaborate meal, let the wedding catering company hand pass food to your guests.

Don't let planning your wedding become a stressful situation. As long as you know how and where to cut your wedding costs, it isn't difficult to plan a beautiful wedding on a tight budget.