Weddings aren’t cheap and catering services usually make up to 70% of a wedding budget, any wedding planner should be careful when it comes to this aspect. What you want to look out for is the best quality at minimal cost. Here are some tips to help you achieve this.
Find the right man for the job
Finding the perfect caterer for your wedding can be quite a daunting task. You should interview different vendors before making up your mind. In doing this, you shouldn’t restrict your choices to conventional catering services; try to explore all options including food trucks, cafes and restaurants. You’ll be amazed at the discrepancies that exist in prices for similar services.
In hiring a cost-effective caterer you should look for the form and not the package. For example, you should not be cajoled to employ the services of a caterer because he had a remarkable product description (you’re not employing his writing skills).Here are some questions you should ask prospects:
- How long have you been handling weddings?
- Have you ever worked at my location?
- Will you be responsible for a banquet manager to coordinate the meal-service or an all-time event manager to run the entire event?
- Will you assist other aspects of the event?
- What type of food do you make use (organic or inorganic)?
- What food choices do you recommend for my wedding style, budget and guest population?
- What do you charge for children’s meal?
- Do you charge per person or per consumption?
- How will the servers be dressed?
- What’s your clean-up policy?
- What’s your refund policy?
- May I see a list of recent reviews?
You need to be clear on all this issues before you make your choice. The catering service you employ should be in sync with your budget and other aspects of the events.
Giving your guests the memorable ceremony you desire does not depend solely on giving them much food. It’s advisable to give your guests something to nibble on (perhaps a cheese square, a fruit or some crackers) before dinner as some of them may be hungry.
Provide your own appetizers
You can save up to 50% of catering costs by making your own provisions for appetizers. This doesn’t have to be as difficult as it seems all it takes is finding the right recipe and adequate guidance perhaps from a friend or relative and you can have a decent appetizer.
Optimize staff contributions
Before you choose a particular vendor you should take a closer look at their waiting cost, look for ways to reduce the number of staff to the least possible. What you really need is a few dedicated waiters not some stand-by servers. You could also use a family-style dinner as this saves more money. Besides your guests care more about what they eat than how it is presented to them. Thinking small is the new big.
Cut the cost per guest
If your caterer uses the per person system you should make effort to reduce the food and alcohol consumed by each person. There’s no need to not invite your friends and family just because of the cost. A simple way to achieve this is by making use of cupcakes instead of the traditional cake tins.
Some facilities are very stringent on their policy on catering. You should look for a venue which allows external catering services so as to give you more options.
Style of service
There are those who think a buffet dinner is cheaper a formal plated meal. Personally, I think it depends on the management: as a buffet can prove to be expensive and clumsy when lines become long and guests don’t handle the plates and glass wares without adequate care.
A family-style dinner is more cost effective as the cost of waiting staff is reduced while orderliness is maintained. However, you need to identify your preferred style and try to make it work for you. For example, if you love a self-service meal you should employ dedicated staff to maintain law and order.
Take care of frivolities
If you give the invoice handed to you a cursory gaze. You’ll find that tablecloths and china have taken up large chunks of cash. You can reduce the cost of your wedding by providing these items yourself.
Limit your selections of alcohol
Alcohol can prove to be quite expensive especially when you’re on a tight budget. You should do your possible best to limit the alcohol consumed at your event. You may serve only wine and beer so as give your guests alternatives.
Serve Soft drinks
Fruit drinks and other non-alcoholic beverages can prove to be really economical as they fun and inexpensive. If served properly, they can make your guests forget all about alcohol.
Request for custom-made bar
If your caterer offers bar services, you should request for custom-made menu. This way you can cut cost by choosing your own favourite drinks. After all, it’s your wedding.
So there you have it, a few tips on how to make cost-effective choices for your wedding catering. However, you should note that when it comes to wedding catering, there are no hard and fast rules.
In creating the right experience for your guests, what you should know is that it’s not how much money you spend, it depends more on the way you present the event.