The wedding budget makes a lot of decisions about your wedding day, but it should not make you sacrifice the important details you want. Wedding catering is one of the most important elements on the planning checklist, and one of the most expensive. Choosing the experience you want and fitting it within the budget you have can be a challenge. Luckily, we are sharing a few wedding catering hacks to help you plan.
Budgeting for the Wedding Catering
The balance between quantity and quality is a juggling act. If you choose your catering by the cost, the quality of the experience might be compromised. Reducing the headcount is a big wedding planning mistake. Avoid thinking of ways to reduce the wedding catering, and get creative with a few affordable options that do not risk quality. We might feel like the quantity matters most, but this is simply not the case. Instead of stressing over the guest list, work with the menu and service options.
Choose a Seasonal Menu
Quality will win over quantity regardless of how many times you calculate it. It is crucial for the experience to choose quality foods that are prepared with fresh ingredients. How can the best be more affordable? The freshest ingredients that are in season are not just healthy, but more affordable. Seasonal fruits and vegetables are relatively less expensive.
Wedding Catering Service Options
If you are planning a cook-and-drop service for buffet-style dining, you can save a lot on the catering bill. It requires fewer chefs and less staff. Always make sure you hire the food manager at your wedding venue when planning a buffet. A food manager controls temperature, portions and eliminates the waste of food. This can also allow you to purchase less for the buffet. Plated meals are typically more expensive. If full-service catering is important for your unique event, compromise with the menu instead of the service style.
Vegetables on the Wedding Catering Menu
There is a health craze that is making vegetarian foods more popular on the wedding catering menu. This does not mean you should eliminate proteins from the table, unless that is your preference. However, adding more plant-based dishes and fewer meats to the platter is an environmental, health and budget conscious effort. Meat production takes a toll on environment, and is more costly. Adding more plant-based cuisine to the menu is a win-win.
Choosing the Protein
If you want to save more in your wedding catering budget, think about the types of proteins you add to the menu. There are numerous food options to create savings. You might not want to choose lobster and steak dinners for 150 guests. You could choose a chicken entrée instead. Chicken is one of the most popular dishes served at weddings. Each of your guests will bring a unique palate to the table. While it is impossible to please everyone, chicken is a safe bet for all. Surveys suggest that poultry is consumed more than seafood and steak.
Cocktail Hour, Desserts and Filling the Gap
Weddings are a complete food experience. There are the cocktail hour, formal dinner and desserts to plan. Hors d’oeuvres are usually served during the cocktail hour, which can drive up the cost of wedding catering. You might consider offering platters and dips or a small food station for a buffet-style cocktail hour, rather than having butler-passed hors d’oeuvres. If you are considering adding a dessert station for a mid-reception snack, consider small bite-sized confectioneries or savory appetizers, such as pastries, parfaits and petit fours.
The Crystal Ballroom
The Crystal Ballroom is an all-inclusive wedding venue with relationships with professional wedding catering companies to help you plan the menu and services to fit your budget. Crystal Ballroom designs a complete fairy tale. Meet inside of the design studio and plan your colors, linens, chinaware, floral arrangements and all of the décor. All of the wedding designs and services are included to make your dream wedding come true. Contact an event advisor to schedule a complimentary VIP tour and begin planning.