Whether you are planning a wedding or party, you can count on the food to consume at least fifty percent of your budget. Because of this, you want to make sure that you are getting the most bang for your buck. Here are 5 tips to consider:
1. Lighten the Menu
If you are planning an early afternoon meal, you can cut costs by serving things like miniature sliders, salad, and fruit instead of a full course meal. For dessert, serve cupcakes or an elegant parfait or truffle. Another option is to serve appetizers such as cheese and crackers or kabobs. Also, think about ditching a seated meal that way your guests can mingle while munching on appetizers. Most people do not expect a heavy meal when an event is in the early afternoon, so take advantage of this by serving lighter food.
2. Cook Your Own Food
This is an option many people forget about. Round up a couple of trustworthy family members and friends and have them help with preparing the meal. Delegate an item to each person, that way no one feels overwhelmed by this responsibility. You can make the food presentation more uniform by renting chafing dishes and serving the food in them.
One final word on this- some venues such as hotels and country clubs require that you use their caterer, so double check before booking your event.
3. Count the Costs
Most people assume that a plated meal is pricier than buffet style. This is not always the case, in fact in some cases, a buffet meal is more expensive because guests are serving themselves and tend to pile more food on their plates as a result. So compare the costs of both options before making a final decision.
4. Have a Display Cake
Specialty cakes like wedding and anniversary cakes can be expensive and many of your guests will be so full from your meal that they won’t eat cake. “Dummy cakes” or “display cakes” are perfect for this reason, while still giving the bride and groom an opportunity to take traditional pictures. Have a large sheet cake or two in the kitchen that can be cut and served for guests.
5. Don’t Leave Your Guests Hungry
In your quest to cut costs, avoid sacrificing quantity. Nothing is more embarrassing than running out of food at an event. Your guests can be very forgiving of many things, but the fact that your event did not have enough food for everybody will be seared in their minds for a long time. As a rule of thumb, it is always better to have more than enough food than not enough.
Consuming more than fifty percent of a budget, food costs can be overwhelming. By having a lighter menu, preparing your own food, or comparing costs to name a few, you can avoid the sticker shock of a costly event.