How To Save Money On Wedding Catering
So youre planning a wedding what are you going to feed your guests? Check out this list of ways to save money on wedding catering.
Before you get too far into planning your wedding, its important to pause to formulate your wedding budget. You need to know how much money is available, which parties are contributing toward your celebration , and how you would like to allocate your funds. While deciding which wedding must-haves will receive top spots on your list, keep this in mind: your wedding venue and your wedding catering will account for roughly 50% of your wedding budget.
Deep breaths, friends!
Though the cost to cater your wedding may be higher than other things on your list, like photography and entertainment, there are certainly many ways you can save money. In fact, there are at least 10 ways that come to mind! Below, were sharing all of the details because we want your wedding catering to be delicious while still allowing you to have money left in the bank to spend on other areas that are important to you.
Don’t Mention The ‘w’ Word
If there’s one thing guaranteed to increase the price, it’s when the suppliers you’re buying from know it’s a wedding. So when negotiating flowers, wine etc, try to avoid the word ‘wedding’. Call it a party or celebration, and only once the price is agreed should you mention it is for a wedding.
Having said that, if you’re eloping, or after smaller bits and pieces, such as make-up, then mentioning you’re getting married can mean freebies galore. Forumite laughing cow said her wedding was a secret elopement…
It was like catnip lots of squealing and loads of good quality free samples . Same thing on the plane got chatting to some other passengers and crew and said we were eloping. Cue lots of champagne on the flight and a bottle to take with us. – laughing cow
Design The Cake By Yourself
Designing your wedding cake by yourself is one way to save money from a professional touch. It is also an opportunity to learn something new, get creative and leave your personal touch on your cake. We advise that if you want to go this route, take some free classes online if you are a novice at designing. You may also leverage relationships by asking friends or family that know the art to help.
It begins with you wanting everything to be homemade or ordered ones. Make use of real flowers, colorful ribbons and edible glitter for your preferred design.
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New Primark’s Launched A Bridal Range Including 6 Lingerie 2 Hen
Weddings probably aren’t what first comes to mind when you think of Primark, but it’s just launched a bridal range. And while sadly there are no wedding or bridesmaids’ dresses, if you’re in the market for a floral hair crown or some bargain ‘bride-to-be’ flip-flops… you’re in luck.
The new section includes cheap hair accessories, hen-party gear, bridal basques and so on with accessories from £2, pyjamas from £5 and lingerie from £6.
The range was launched in mid-February, and Primark says you should find it in stores UK-wide for the next couple of months, while stocks last.
We checked out the selection at the Primark nearest MSE Towers, at Tottenham Court Road . Prices seemed competitive, though we can’t attest to quality. Here are some of our finds:
- £2 hen-night photo props. We found similar, also for £2, at The Works.
- £4 floral hair crown. The next cheapest similar was £8 at Claire’s.
- £5 ‘bride-to-be’ pyjamas. The next cheapest similar were £11.99 at Sports Direct.
- £6 pink satin cami top. The next cheapest similar was £7.99 at Gap.
- £15 satin bride robe. The next cheapest similar was £18 at John Lewis.
Make A Buffer For Unknown Expenses
Making buffers for unprecedented expenses a part of your wedding budget is one life hack you cant ignore. Make it between 15 30% of your budget and you can be of sure of a definite soft landing. You may not even get to use it at all. Something may go wrong with the wedding flowers or seats and the buffer cushions then lapses.
Its also common knowledge that at weddings, the guests either have an affinity for the food or drinks. Your alcoholic beverages may need repeated supply because some guests cannot stop drinking. Your buffer comes to the rescue.
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Host A Micro Wedding:
Youve heard this before, but its worth mentioning again: the cost to cater your wedding is largely driven by the number of guests who will be in attendance. The higher the number of people, the higher the cost to provide everyone with food and drinks! In order to keep your catering costs within a more manageable range , think about keeping your guest list on the smaller side.
As an aside, if you and your partner are foodies, hosting fewer people at your wedding might mean that you can serve a more indulgent meal because youre serving it to fewer people. By having a micro wedding, you could treat a small group to a multiple-course meal, while the same spend spread across a much larger guest list could maybe only afford fast food. Now thats some food for thought!
Limit Your Photographer’s Hours
Save money by shaving off some of the time your photographer and videographer are present, Naylor and Cain suggest. Youll likely want them there for the ceremony, but you might not need footage of the end-of-reception dancing.
The bottom line: Devote the biggest parts of your budget to the areas that are most important to you and be willing to compromise on the rest. Anybody whether they have a $10,000 budget or a $500,000 budget is still working on a budget, Cain says.
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You Don’t Have To Have A Sit Down Meal
If you’re having a more relaxed wedding day, then why not opt for a buffet style meal, a BBQ or a picnic? Informal dining is really popular these days, and the options have become a lot more sophisticated. In general, less courses means less cost. Check out these cool food truck options for more inspiration.
Help Out Your Out Of Town Guests
If you are inviting people from out of town, include a list of all the local hotel and accommodation options including pricing. You can often negotiate a good deal this way and save money for your guests. In fact, a little Welcome Pack for out of town guests that you can include with the wedding invitations will help them out a lot! This might not save you money, but it will certainly save your guests time and money and thats important too!
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Dont Go For The Most Obvious Or Convenient Venue
It might be tempting to hold your wedding at the closest or most convenient venue to your house. However, because opting for an outside-the-box choice could save you a significant amount on your ceremony and reception, you should explore as many options as possible. Broadly speaking, you can divide these options into three categories: those that work in small towns and rural areas, those that work in bigger cities, and those that work in both.
Rural Areas and Small TownsIf you live in a smaller community, look at venues like the following:
Cities and Metropolitan AreasIf youre in a bigger city, the following ideas may present affordable options for you:
Pro Tip: The amazing staff at my New York friends wedding venue made for a silky-smooth experience for guests and a predictable experience for the newlyweds and their families. I could tack a slew of additional superlatives, but cheap would not be one of them. If saving money on your wedding is a top concern, I would not recommend using a catered venue unless youve exhausted all other options.
AnywhereSome options work well just about anywhere:
Pro Tip: Park ceremonies are especially enticing in outdoor adventure destinations and year-round vacation towns known for natural beauty. One of the most memorable weddings Ive ever attended took place in a remarkably scenic city park in suburban Denver. The ceremonys backdrop was a stunning amalgamation of red rock cliffs and scrubby foothills tinged with ochre and green.
Get Less Expensive Airfare
Airfare is one of the most significant expenses for any kind of serious travel, including travel to a destination wedding.
You can keep airfare prices down by choosing the right destination. That may mean opting for a closer or a more popular and well-serviced spot than something far-flung and exotic.
Once youve chosen your location, your departure and arrival airports can make a surprising difference. Often, flying into a nearby airport or departing from the next city down the highway saves you more money than the train or bus ride in between.
Once you have your guest list set and your RSVPs confirmed, buy bulk tickets for your wedding and have guests pay you back if youre not covering that cost. This option isnt helpful for most casual travelers, but the size of your guest list might make it worthwhile.
Another critical factor is the timing of your booking. Ticket prices soar two weeks before the departure date, but thats just the beginning.
CheapAir.coms Annual Airfare Study consistently finds that the best window for ticket prices tends to run between around 21 and 100 days before the day of your flight. In 2021, the prime pricing window was between 21 and 95 days, with the lowest prices around the 60-day mark.
The exact best dates vary by location, so do some research to determine the best possible time to book. Also note that while thats the sweet spot in terms of price, the later you wait, the more you risk being unable to get the flights you need.
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Lovecast is a simple app for an immersive virtual wedding experience. It lets you livestream your wedding day with the highest quality video, plus a personalized event page to share your registry and collect virtual guest books. Its easy-to-use mobile app broadcasts your wedding with a one-click link for guests to watch and participate. Perfect for destination weddings, elopements, and celebrations of any size!
Best of all? You can use Lovecast for free! Simply download the Lovecast app to get started!
Trim The Amount Of Invitation Layers
Another way you can keep your wedding invitation costs to a minimum is by being mindful of how much you are adding to your invitation suite. A wedding invitation suite typically includes the wedding invitation itself, a response card, reception information, and any other details regarding the event. A good way to limit the amount of layers in your invitation suite is by going digital with the detailed information regarding the wedding. You can skip the enclosure cards that typically include the more minute details and instead include a link to a website that has this information. In doing so, you will save on extra printing and shipping costs when sending out your wedding invitations.
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Use The Same Company For Everything
When you are searching for a stationer, it can oftentimes be more economical to use the same company for all your stationery needs, says Nudo. So, ask if they are able to design and produce all of the stationery items that you need, including the save-the-dates, invites, and day-of stationery. Many stationers reward clients who order multiple pieces with their company by extending discounts, package deals, or waiving service fees. Having to piecemeal your stationery items by using multiple companies can not only be more to juggle logistically but can end up costing more in the end.
Don’t Say You’re Having A Wedding
“Don’t mention the word “wedding” when getting quotes.” Sonya H
“First of all, get quotes for a general function. When getting quotes for a wedding you will have ammunition to negotiate the costs. Ask them to justify the extra costs for a wedding as opposed to another kind of party or dinner.” Tricia M
“Getting married this Saturday in a nightclub. Got 100 people coming. We never used the W word when dealing with vendors and thought outside the box on many things.” Grant R
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Consider Shortening The Length Of Your Reception If You Really Want To Save
If you’re looking for an easy way to keep your wedding costs down, simply trim the length of your reception.
“Most couples really don’t need more than a five-hour reception, including cocktail hour, dinner, and dancing. More intimate weddings with 100 guests or fewer are best ended at four hours,” said Francisco.
When you reduce the length of your party, you can save money on alcohol and many other time-sensitive elements, such as entertainment, photography, videography, and transportation.
Explore All Your Lodging Options
Even if your venue doesnt have beneath-the-stars sleeping arrangements, you can save your guests some money.
- Reserve Multiple Room Blocks. If youre dealing with a diverse group of guests with different lodging requirements, reserve room blocks at multiple lodging facilities. These can include a nicer hotel for those who crave creature comforts, a cheaper hotel for budget-conscious guests who want a place to freshen up, and a campground or hostel for those who just dont care. We did all three.
- Negotiate a Discount. If you have AAA, veteran status, or access to another type of discount, see if your preferred hotels can knock a few dollars off your room rates. You could save 10% or more.
- Go Heavy on the Favors. Reward guests who stay at bare-bones accommodations with extra wedding favors, such as a bottle of reasonably priced wine and a dark chocolate bar .
Our decision to hold the wedding in a rural area probably saved our guests some serious money on lodging: The hotels in the nearby county seat ranged from $50 to $100 per night, roughly half what they would have been near the city sites we considered. Since the nature preserve had ample campsites within walking distance of the venue, many of our younger, more rugged friends camped out for $8 to $15 per night. After all, the hope is that your guests remember the wedding itself not how they slept afterward.
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