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Seven money-saving tips for wedding reception catering

  • Hold fast to your guest count; don’t add to it.
  • Consider the timing of your wedding and reception and when guests expect to eat. For example, a 7 p.m. ceremony with an elegant dessert buffet would cost less than a 4 p.m. ceremony that finishes when guests expect to be fed dinner.
  • Buy a smaller tiered wedding cake to use in photographs, and then also have a sheet cake behind the scenes to be served to guests.
  • Analyze the level of service you are requesting. For example, passed hors d’oeuvres and champagne are elegant, but they require more wait staff than hors d’oeuvres placed on a table for self-serve. Then again, guests often eat fewer hors d’oeuvres when they are served one-by-one, so the food costs might be lower with passed hors d’oeuvres.
  • Weigh the costs of disposable plates and cups versus china. Generally disposables cost less than china; but compostable, eco-friendly disposables may cost more than regular paper plates.
  • Use ceremony, aisle, or tabletop flowers for your reception centerpieces.
  • If you are serving champagne, consider stationing it at the bar rather than having an open bottle at each table. The DJ can announce to guests to refill their glasses with their beverage of choice.

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Published on April 14, 2016.

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