Beginner August 2009

How are you guys saving up on catering costs?

JlovesD, on October 5, 2008 at 12:50 AM Posted in Planning 0 12

Catering is so expensive! Im trying to find a good caterer but someone cheap in price but it is just getting frustrating for me. so I just wanted opinions or ideas on what you guys are doing to cut some of the costs for the services your cateres provide. I already cut the number of my guests from 200 to 150 plus im doing my own centerpieces. Any more ideas?


Latest activity by Ashley & Greg, on June 13, 2013 at 7:58 PM
  • evergeneva
    Devoted September 2009
    evergeneva ·
    • Flag

    You can also save money on catering by:

    1. choosing less expensive options like chicken or pasta

    2. having fewer options (if any, it's cheapest to only offer one meal choice)

    3. removing unnecessary items like appetizers, multiple courses, and dessert

    4. if your caterer is providing drinks, go alcohol free or serve reduced alcohol (wine and beer only)

    5. allow guests to toast with their normal drinks instead of with champagne

    6. ask your caterer for a detailed breakdown of what their fees include and try to negotiate down what you don't need

    7. if your caterer is providing any rentals liken linens or china, get estimates from other vendors to see if it cheaper to get theses items elsewhere

    A lot of folks will tell you that having a buffet is cheaper, but this is not always the case, so check with your caterer before deciding one way or the other.

    • Reply
  • Krystale Hammond
    Krystale Hammond ·
    • Flag

    You have to change the type and quantity of food you are serving to make the biggest impact on price. If you are doing an afternoon wedding, finger snacks / appetizers are perfectly acceptable. If a dinner, go with bbq or fajitas, versus prime rib, and you'll save a bundle there.

    April Bishop


    • Reply
  • monarchmom
    Expert September 2008
    monarchmom ·
    • Flag

    I had an evening cocktail party. The price included:

    5 hr top shelf open bar

    3 stations (mashed potato martinibar, vodka penne & sesame chicken)

    9 butlered hors deorves(coconut shrimp,shrimp wrapped in a potato string, mini beef wellingtons, baked brie w/ raspberry,hawaiian chicken kebobs,stuffed mushrooms w/ crab meat,parmisian artichokes,tomato & basil brushetta,& I can't remember the last one.

    3 tables set up w/ fresh vegetables & dip, fresh fruit display & an italian display olives, roast peppers etc.

    A venetian table (last hour&1/2) creme puff towers, chocolate covered strawberries, cheesecake, mini pastries & italian cookies, mini canollis.

    The wedding cake

    The cost was $60 PP & everyone was literally stuffed beyond belief(except me who "forgot" to eat!)

    So you don't HAVE to have a sit down dinner to have a nice affair! Just get creative & have fun talk to caterers about different options that they offer.

    • Reply
  • Quanda
    Beginner June 2009
    Quanda ·
    • Flag

    Well I have chosen to go with a freind of the family that knows how to cook and has his own catering business and I have all the right food and my reception is going to be a buffet at less than half of the cost. I thought of this because of the amount of guest that I am having and considering my budget. Best advice is to see if you know of anyone that can cook and would not mind cooking for your reception to cut down on the cost.

    Happy planning!! Best of luck to you.

    • Reply
  • Leslie Collier
    Leslie Collier ·
    • Flag

    I agree with some of the prior posts, another thing to consider is time of day. Is your reception around lunchtime or dinner, believe it or not sometimes you can save almost 50% by having a luncheon reception. As some of the other post mentioned, discuss creative options with your caterer. Consider, doing a couple of carving stations and a single entree. Definitely, compare bakers for your wedding cake. Ever consider a smaller cake for your wedding (to cut and do pics) and sheetcake for your guests (same flavor, of course). Remember once you and your groom cut it no one pays attention to it. Still need help, feel free to email me at ****@***********************.***.

    Best Wishes!

    • Reply
  • wonderful moment
    Master March 2010
    wonderful moment ·
    • Flag

    I am going with Boston Market. Look on line. They have deals for $16.95 -$22.95 per a person. They have there own staff that dress professional, bring their own tables, lines for the buffet, and nice dish ware to serve the food in. And it is a lot for your money. It also includes the sliverware if you want the good kind you pay more for the packet. They also do up to one hour service for maintaing the buffet. They will set up the food and pack it down. And deliver as well. And you can hire a couple of servers to clean tables etc for about $30.00 per an hour. That is what I am doing especially if I am having about 115 people at mine wedding. I understand, because I am trying to cut out on pricing to. I hope this helps

    • Reply
  • J
    Beginner August 2009
    JlovesD ·
    • Flag

    Thanks guys for all your help. I am having an evening dinner reception, I'm not big on the luncheon thing that's too early for me but I will definitely try some of the other options you guys suggested. Thanks.

    • Reply
  • S
    Just Said Yes October 2009
    Sierra ·
    • Flag

    I think having an evening or 'sunset' wedding is the way to go to cut down on catering. That way, your guests will have already eaten before the ceremony and you can serve appetizers and have an open bar for a couple of hours for 'cocktail' hour. this is what i'm doing, it's saving me about $13,000 (i'm not joking). Besides, your wedding should be about the celebration, not about the meal! There's alot of different things you can do the key is to be flexible with what time you have the ceremony. Good Luck!

    • Reply
  • mrs. washington
    Just Said Yes November 2008
    mrs. washington ·
    • Flag

    We cut our catering cost by catering ourselves. Our family is preparing our food. We choose this because paying too much for food that people do not eat. So by allowing our family to prepare the food we are having a menu that our guest will enjoy.

    • Reply
  • L
    Just Said Yes September 2009
    laura ·
    • Flag

    Well do you have a relative that likes to cook and is good at it...?? My Fiance's uncle is a great cook and he is catering our wedding.

    • Reply
  • robinsonscarlata
    Just Said Yes September 2009
    robinsonscarlata ·
    • Flag

    I was originally planning on having my wedding at a fancy banquet hall, however, my fiance and I just bought a house so money is extremely tight right now. We are going to cancle it there and make the wedding into a backyard wedding (my uncle has a huge barn that he just built...no animals in it). We figured we could have it there and I would set up the sit down tables in the barn and put a dance floor outside under a tent... as for food, I am going to make my own appetizers and I will have the meal catered. I have two choices of small caterers in my areas. Both include a salad, 3 choices of entrees, two choices of a starch, and two choices of a vegetable. Each catering place charges about $12-$15 per person. If you google it you might be able to find some small caterers in your area like this.

    • Reply
  • Ashley & Greg
    Devoted May 2016
    Ashley & Greg ·
    • Flag

    Me Being difficult as always i will be shelf catering. I have helpful family bringing before meal snacks such as veggies and dip deviled eggs nothing to fancy as my fiance just got laid off and we are almost over our wedding budget already. I will be making everything the morning of as i have a dinner time wedding. so if i cook all morning i have volunteers *kids who need community service hours for school* setting everything out before i get there from our ceremony i made each child go to a free local food saftey course and made sure they knwe how to handle food safley, I will be serving roast beef /pulled pork as meat choices adn rice and scalloped potatoes and peas and corn all buffet style but it will be fresh it will be good and best of all from my little town i save on a caterer as the cheapest around here is $20 a persona and $13 a child.. i also instead on non alcholic drinks with dinner since my venue doesnt allow outside alchol i will be serving sparkling Cider!!

    • Reply

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