Food and drinks will most likely be one of the most expensive sections of your wedding budget. While guests may forget about centerpieces and wedding favors shortly after the big day, memories of food and drink last much longer. If you know your guests will be looking forward to tasty food and an open bar, there are ways to provide for your guests while keeping your wedding budget in check.
All wedding dinner options are not equal. When making meal selections, opt for choices that fit well within your budget. Choosing locally sourced foods can help reduce cost, as can limiting the options you serve. Along with the cost of the food you are serving, dinner service cost can include factors such as the cost of dishes, silverware, glasses, serving platters, and wait staff. Family-style and buffet-style dinner services, which limit the amount of tableware and servers, will be more affordable than a seated, multi-course dinner. You can see more about advantages and disadvantages of different dinner service options here.
If your location allows for you to provide the alcohol for the bar, you can save yourself a lot of money, while customizing bar offerings, if you use a wholesale liquor store. Wholesale liquor stores, such as Binny’s Beverage Depot, allow you to return unopened, undamaged bottles of wine and hard alcohol after the event, and also allow you to cash in on weekly sales. Several brides who used Binny’s to provide alcohol for their wedding receptions reported being able to track price changes in the months between purchase and the event, and then pay the lowest price. In addition, Binny’s will drop purchased alcohol at the reception site. If you are unable to bring in your own alcohol, limit open bar beverages to a selection of beer and wine options. If you add in a signature cocktail or two, you can still provide some options for guests who want hard alcohol.
The last food and beverage budget drain is the wedding cake. While tiered, decorative wedding cakes create opportunities for spectacular wedding photos; there are ways to offer wedding sweets without shelling out the big bucks. Order a small cake for the cake cutting ceremony if you would like to capture that moment on film. Large sheet cakes, cupcakes, pies, cookies, or other sweets can then be provided for guests. Bakeries, wholesale stores, even homemade treats will provide options that work. If using sheet cakes, however, be warned that some caterers charge a cake-cutting fee. Check with your caterer or event space to make sure that you won’t be subject to hidden fees.
By asking smart questions and making cost-conscious decisions, you can provide your guests with tasty food and an open bar, without breaking your wedding budget.