AWESOME Wedding Catering On A BudgetThere are a few major elements of your wedding that will take up a considerable amount of your budget. And right up there with venue hire and photography costs is aaaalll that FOOD and DRINK. It's a no brainer; people are at a wedding for a large amount of the day and there is a certain expectation that they will be well watered and well fed. But say you have a small budget and still want a SHOWSTOPPING wedding, food and drink can be a decent place to shave off costs a little bit.
Here are 9 FANTASTIC ideas to help you along the way.
Select a venue where you can bring in an outsite caterer or do the food yourself. If you're on a tight budget it's either this or choose a venue with cheapish meals included, and chances are if you choose the latter option the food will be naff. So venues flexible on catering are the way forward.
Have a picnic! If buffets bore you then it's time to shake it up a little bit and have a picnic. This can work indoors as well as out, with a picnic basket made up for each table (laid with a cute gingham table cloth of course). Go to a wholesale shop like Costco (you'll need to go with a member or apply for a card) and order bulk sandwiches, pork pies and quiches. With the basics covered, appeal to a bunch of your friends and family to make up one large dish each, either a batch of sausage roles, a huge bowl of couscous, a fancy salad, some sliced meats, WHATEVER, then arrange it into the baskets on the morning of the wedding. EASY.
Family Style Sharing Platters
This is a great solution if you don't want to do any of the catering work yourself (and we totally don't blame you!). Chat with your caterer, whether they're in-house or external, and see if you can't come up with a family style meal to serve on each table. A big bowl of pasta with some tearing breads and anti-pasti? A big pot of stew with heaps of fresh veg? Go crazy and have build your own fajitas?! Your caterer can help you come up with a solution which will be more economical both in terms of the cost, and of the manpower required to serve them. Win win!
A foodie pop-up
Why not hire a stonebaked pizza van, a moveable fish and chip shop, or a funky paella pop-up? Their costs are all inclusive and will often end up giving your guests more food and a more memorable experience than if they're served a fancy sit down meal. It's a bit of fun and usually works out cheaper per head. We have ALL kinds of pop-ups available here.
Dessert tables are nothing new, but they remain popular for 2 reasons; great value and wide choice! You can make a bunch of stuff in advance (or you can get help if you're useless in the kitchen) like fruit pies, cakes, biscuits, triffles, mousses and just stick it all on a table and let people do their worst. You could even host a 'great wedding bake off' with your wedding guests and get everyone to enter!
Have your cake and eat it
Serve your cake as dessert. If you are tied into a specific caterer at your venue, you can always ask to forgo the dessert element of the meal and just serve your wedding cake with some fresh fruit. It's nothing genius or revolutionery but it makes sense, right?
Bring a bottle bar
Instead of wedding gifts ask your guests to bring along a bottle to stock the bar. Make sure you've stocked up on the soft drinks to go with it, and you'll probably still need to provide plenty of wine/beer, but hopefully you'll end up with a bunch of interesting spirits which you can encourage your guests to mix and play with at your own bar. Be warned: this may end messily.
Skip the fancy canopés and just do crisps and nuts. Sure it's a little pub-like, but since when do people not appreciate some decent nibbles with their drinkies? The point of canapés is what exactly? To keep hunger at bay until you serve the real deal! Will crisps and nuts and maybe a few fancy cheese straws do the job? Yes, yes it will.
Water down the booze
Just kidding. But serve drinks like Pimms or punch which can be made up by the buckload and aren't alcohol heavy. You can still make it seem fancy with all the chopped up fruit and some pretty straws, but it will save you loads of money you'd have otherwise spent of post-ceremony champers. A bunch of beers in an ice bucket never goes down badly either, men love that stuff!