Wedding food and drink is often one of the biggest if not the biggest section of a wedding budget. In today’s foodie culture, trying to impress your guests with your tasty treats can really put a dent in the pocketbook: but it does not have to! Today, let’s g over some simple ways that can help you cut costs on the wedding food and drink, but still have a high-class affair. I am not going to recommend Kraft Mac and Cheese out of the box; I promise!
Five Ways to Cut Wedding Food Costs
- Go back to your roots. A big wedding trend is to serve food that represents you and your grooms’ culture or heritage. Why not use family recipes? Empenadas make great d’ourves! Falafal, caprese, or hummus are other great choices. See our post on heritage cocktail hours for more ideas. Go even further by including the cooks name and an explanation on the menu! Having family help even with one part of the meal will make a big difference. Mel’s Kitchen Cafe has a great caprese skewer recipe.
- Don’t cut the cake. By that, I mean only have a small cake made for the bride and groom, but otherwise replace the traditional cake with another cheaper dessert. Cupcakes, cookies, and ice cream are proving that they can be just as elegant. In Portland, check out Cupcake Jones or Saint Cupcake. this one is the Pearl cupcake by Cupcake Jones.
- Do cut the cheese. I have never hear anyone say, “This has too much cheese.” Well, not including the vegan population. Cheese is often overlooked as a crowd pleasing cocktail hour. When people get to the reception, almost anything will do, and cheese is never something to skimp on. If you aren’t having a fully catered wedding, consider a trip to Costco or Whole Foods to find great cheeses and plate them yourselves. The most important part is to make sure you find elegant platters. Beg and borrow for great serving dishes if need be!
- Make the rehearsal dinner fun and casual. Take a break from all of the hype by hosting a relaxing rehearsal dinner. Think about serving pizza and beer, Chinese take out, or even burgers and fries. Sometimes this is just as good if not better than a super elegant rehearsal dinner. It will also give the bride a chance to relax before the hustle and bustle of the wedding day. Burger photo by Daniel Zemans.
- Have a personalized cocktail menu! Not only is this unique and fun, but it can help keep costs to a minimum. Serving a selection of only 1-2 beers and wines will keep costs down. The best way to keep drink costs down and still offer guests an alcoholic beverage is to design a specialty cocktail or punch. Does the groom love whiskey? Try your own take on a Manhattan. If the drinks can be made ahead and finished on site, you can save quite a bit of money. See our Foodie Friday post about wedding punch for more details and ideas. The key to any great cocktail, always use fresh ingredients!
How did you save on wedding food and drink costs without sacrificing style? Share your ideas with other brides by commenting below!