Cooking Healthier Meals

3 Ways To Slash Catering Costs For Your Wedding

by Paul Watson

In 2016, couples spent an average of $35,329 on their wedding — and that amount doesn't even include the cost of their honeymoon. The cost of renting a venue, decorations, your wedding cake, catering, and photography add up so quickly that it may seem impossible to plan a budget-friendly wedding. However, there are several ways that you can cut costs when planning a wedding, especially catering costs. Check out these tips to learn how to slash the catering costs for your upcoming wedding.

Pass Out Pricier Appetizers by Hand

If you want to have pricier appetizers at your wedding, avoid allowing guests to serve themselves. Sure, you'll have to pay the catering company for the cost of the servers, but guests actually consume up to 40 percent less when appetizers are hand served by waiters. Of course, you can really cut down on your catering expenses if you choose appetizers that that don't cost as much. For example, choose to serve sausage and cheese balls instead of shrimp.

Have a Buffet with Plenty of Salad and Veggies

If you're planning to have a buffet-style meal at your wedding reception, put out large bowls filled with lush salads and/or colorful grilled veggies. This allows you to be a bit more generous without over spending. Also, the variety of colors in the veggies will add a nice punch of color to your buffet spread. Other cost-effective buffet options include macaroni-n-cheese, lasagna, mashed potatoes, and baked beans. For cost-effective meat options consider serving sloppy joe's, deli sandwiches, cooked ham, or fried chicken — it'll cost a lot less than serving individual portions of steak or fish. You can save even more money by providing a salad buffet and having a cost-effective main meal hand served to control portion size and consumption.

Get Creative with Cheap Food Options

To plan a fancier reception without spending a ton of money on fancy food, get a little creative. For example, you can have waiters serve small portions of mac-n-cheese in martini glasses, mini grilled cheese sandwiches made in a sandwich press, or miniature crab cakes with a side of tartar sauce. Remember, cheaper food options are often crowd-pleasers, and you can make any type of food feel "fancy" by serving it in unexpected ways.

It's actually pretty simple to cut your wedding catering costs. Once you understand which types of food cost less, all it takes is a little creativity to plan a cost-effective meal for any type of wedding reception.