A significant chunk of your entire wedding budget will go to food and drink for your wedding reception if you want it to be truly memorable. Besides the vows you make at the ceremony, your celebration at the reception is the essence of your gathering. This is your way of saying thank you to your guests for sharing in the joy of married life. Since it will require a considerable amount, you can’t help but ask how much is catering for a wedding?
Tips if You are on a Budget
So, you’re on a budget and can’t help but ask how much is catering for a wedding. Caterers usually give costs per person and the price varies greatly. In 2020, catering costs per person range from $30 to as high as $1,250. If you are on a limited budget, it’s not wise to just go for the lowest price without thinking of what it will include. It will not be prudent either to jack up your budget to the highest extreme and expect the best food and service. It still depends on how you customize and work around the elements of catering: the type of food and drinks, the number of guests, the type of service, the venue, and other factors like the caterer’s tip or gratuity. Thus, it is important to be hands-on.
Most caterers will be glad to work within your budget and still offer you a good deal and an enjoyable experience. So, as a couple, talk about how much you are willing to spend for the ideal reception set up and feel that you envision. Don’t be tempted to touch your emergency fund. Focus on how much cash you have in hand that’s intended for the wedding. Then, as a couple (you have to be in this together to avoid the blame game), talk to your caterer of choice, not just to ask how much is catering for a wedding, but also to get help on how to make the most of your budget.
There are so many creative ways that you can do to stop you from overspending on your catering budget. It’s always safe to ask how much is catering for a wedding to make sure you will not overspend. Here are some tips you can apply to save a few dollars:
- Make your RSVP work. A more definite headcount will help you so that you don’t waste a lot of food on your wedding day. Engage your guests frequently weeks before the wedding so you would know if they are coming or not.
- You don’t need champagne. Sipping champagne after a toast is just a ceremonial activity and not something that is to-die-for. You can swap champagne for good white wine. If the best man’s toast is really that good, then it makes for a great memory, no matter what the toast tipple.
- During the cocktails that precede your meal, follow this neat little trick for your swankier appetizers: have them passed around by the wait staff, instead of placing them on cocktail tables. Shrimp or prawn cocktails, lobster, and other pricey picks can be ratio and better when passed around. Meanwhile, the less expensive hors d’oeuvres can be served on platters placed on the cocktail tables.
- Bring them to brunch. Brunch is another stylish way of dining, with meals looking appetizing and plated beautifully in broad daylight. Brunch is less expensive than dinner, so consider a wedding in the morning. A walk down the aisle at sunrise is spectacular!
- Go for a limited bar, instead of an open bar or a full bar. You can stick to just beer and wine, or have a hard drink. You know your guests well. If they are not the drinking type, then you can save a considerable amount, or rechannel the budget elsewhere, like more food!
- Let your guests pre-order. Your invitations can include a menu or checklist of your dinner entrees. Ask your guests to choose their entrée of choice way ahead and have them send these over with their RSVP. This way, you won’t have to do a lot of guesswork about your guests’ preferences, and avoid food wastage.
- See what you can provide on your own and tick off the catering package. What elements in the package can you DIY? Perhaps, instead of renting tables, cutlery, and other dining essentials, you can use your own. You can also choose to save by doing the buffet or food station setup yourself and let the caterer just supply the food.
- Limit the luxury items. You can just stick to one luxury food, while the rest of the entrees are equally delicious at less cost. Do this instead of having more than one luxury item on the menu.
- Rethink the cake, or at least, choose a small or simple one. The cake is usually not included in the catering costs, so you can decide on being more frugal on this. The cake is another ceremonial piece like champagne. Really, who eats a lot of white wedding cake at wedding receptions?
Planning your wedding can be so stressful and overwhelming. There are so many things to do, yet so little time. One of the biggest concerns you will meet along the way is designing your reception. Your reception may take the biggest chunk of your wedding budget. These are just a few ideas on how to dial down your reception budget and not be burdened by how much is catering for a wedding. With some wise planning and preparations, you might be able to put up your wedding and save some extra bucks for your honeymoon. Here’s how to learn more about wedding costs.