Aside from the venue hire charge, you might find that catering is the biggest wedding cost you come across – in some cases it is even more than the venue hire charge. Feeding your guests good quality, enjoyable food whilst still remaining within your budget and getting the best value for money.
Get the most from your wedding tasting
Make good use of your wedding menu tasting session as this is usually offered free of charge (although do check with your caterers beforehand). Not only do you get a free meal, it gives you a chance to see how the food will look, how much there is and decide if you want to make any changes. Also be sure to ask if anyone else can come along with you to the tasting – perhaps bringing 20 of your family and friends is too much, but the caterers might understand if you want to bring your parents and maid of honour with you.
Choose food that is in season
One of the easiest ways to cut down your catering costs and get great value for money is to choose food that is in season. A quick look online, or even simply asking your caterers will tell you what is in season. Making simple changes to a dish to include items in season can dramatically cut your catering costs.
Amend the menu
Speak to your caterers about making changes to your menu that will save you money. It could be something simple like forgoing the bread, or they might have some other suggestions. They would rather work within your budget than lose your business, so don’t feel embarrassed about having this conversation with them.
Only have meat for your main
Meat is typically more expensive than other options, so if your canapes or starters include meat, look to changing these to non-meat options to save money.
Don’t plan too much food
After wedding canapes, a three course wedding breakfast, evening buffet and late night snacks is going to be way too much food. You will end up paying for food to just go to waste. Be realistic about how much your guests will eat and make cutbacks where necessary.
If you have children coming to your wedding then be sure to mention it to your caterers. Children typically eat less than adults or they can be fussy eaters. Caterers often have a children’s menu available – it could be your wedding breakfast but on a smaller scale, or a simple child friendly meal such as chicken goujons and chips. These meals are often half the price (or less) of an adult’s meal, so it is definitely worth informing your caterers. Also watch out for any additional charges for hiring a high chair – ask your caterers about this beforehand.
Reduce the number of cake tiers
Consider reducing the number of tiers in your wedding cake to get a more affordable cake. Think about how many guests will want wedding cake and ask your cake maker to come up with a design that fits within your budget. If you don’t want to cut down the number of wedding cake tiers then look at having dummy cake tiers put in.
Dummy cake tiers
Your cake maker should have plenty ideas to work within your budget and give you the cake of your dreams. One easy way to achieve this it to get some dummy tiers put into your cake. These tiers are decorated to match the rest of your cake, but don’t contain real cake. A great way to achieve height without blowing the budget.
Cut a course
You can easily cut down your catering bill by removing a course from your wedding breakfast. Think about whether you really want a starter and dessert to go with your main course, as there could be many savings to be made there.
Use the wedding cake as dessert
If you want to keep your catering costs down then consider using your wedding cake as your wedding breakfast dessert. Loads of guests are either too full to eat cake in the evening, or simply forget to go and get some. By serving it as your dessert you can save between £3-£7 per person on the dessert cost.
These tips should help you to get the best value for money from your wedding catering company and your cake maker. If you have any top tips that you’d like to share with us, leaving a comment below – we would love to hear them!