Hi Brides. In my next several blogs I will be taking you through the process of planning your wedding. I want to help those brides that are lost in the planning process and give them some guidance. I hope these blogs will help! My previous blog was Wedding Venues – What to know and ask when picking the perfect venue. I hope you used it when choosing your venue. If you still haven’t gotten that far with your planning please go back and read it first.
After you have the venue and date set then what I recommend is making a list of what is most important to least important about your wedding. Normally, the catering will be the 2nd highest expense so I recommend you tackle that part of your wedding next. Then go down the list you’ve made (ex. photography, DJ, videography, photo booth, etc.). I decided to bring back a post I wrote last summer about different options of catering you can have for the reception. There are several ways to serve your food based on your budget, being practical, being creative and the style you want to have. Here is an article by The Knot on Questions to ask your caterer. One question that I always ask that isn’t listed is will they be at the reception the entire evening to bus tables and clean up. This is very important because you don’t want to have to do this yourself. Some caterers charge an additional fee to do this but it is WELL WORTH IT! If you need help with choosing your catering option I would love to help you! Please contact Trudy. Enjoy the blog!
I always have couple’s wondering what food they should serve and how it should be served at their wedding reception. There are so many options. For the couple that has an extravagant budget I always recommend a cocktail hour with open bar, signature drinks (hers and his) and passed horsd’oeuvres. Then a sit down meal because the guests can spend time talking with each other at their table and can relax as they are served (no getting up). Depending on the budget, there can be 3-5 courses served. Guests love this!
Well, what about the couples that are on a tighter budget? After the cost of the venue, catering is typically the 2nd highest amount a couple will spend on their wedding. There are lots of choices and ways of saving money with your catering.
1. A midafternoon or after dinner cocktails and dessert reception is perfectly fine to do and a great way of saving a lot of money! This choice is fun, elegant and an affordable alternative to the traditional sit down dinner. Offer stations of desserts and fun themed foods. How about a pasta bar or a Tuscan table filled with breads and array of cheese, crackers and olives. A Mexican themed station with fajitas, chips, queso and guacamole can never go wrong either in San Antonio, Texas! For other tables have an array of desserts tailored to the theme of your wedding. The guests will enjoy visiting each table!
2. Buffets are a very popular choice for couples. They are usually less expensive than a sit down dinner because less wait staff is needed and if you double up on the lines then getting through the lines can be quicker. The trick is filling the buffet with two-thirds budget dishes and one-third pricier meat dishes to keep the costs down. Chicken is a lower cost meat choice and you can choose a recipe with sauces and/or crusts that turn the dish into a fabulous choice. Fresh salads and breads are low cost choices too. Most caterers will have wait staff serving the guests so proportions are served equally and food amounts are accurate. You would hate to run out of certain items by guests serving themselves! Having a person assigned to release tables is also recommended so the flow runs smoothly and the guests can wait at their table until it is their turn to get in line. A wedding coordinator is the perfect person to do this.
3. Dinner/food stations are a trendy option for some couples. This is a fun way for guests to try foods they normally don’t eat. So, be creative in selecting the type of foods – it will look like you spent a lot more than you did! Having 3-4 food stations positioned throughout the venue will give a flow for the guests to move around. Food stations work well for the larger wedding where there are many guests. You would let your guests get up as they like and go through the stations they want at their leisure. You can keep the food stations open longer than a buffet and guests can graze at it during the evening.
4. Hand-passed meals at the table are very affordable. Did you know that guests tend to eat less with passed meals then a buffet? Maybe they don’t want to feel greedy by taking all the food from the other guests. If you decide to just do a cocktails reception you can make the event look elegant with several hand-passed horsd’oeuvres options nicely presented on silver trays by the wait staff. For a casual wedding, an even cheaper option is going to a discount warehouse and purchasing cheese and fruit trays and just leaving on the tables. Be careful, though, because this will not go over well at a more formal event.
My favorite part of the planning process with my couples is the taste testing that most caterers offer. Be sure to take part in this so you get the food you want. If you have any questions or need help with caterer options please contact Trudy Scott at 210-595-9263 or Trudy@RoyaltyEventsPlanning.com. I offer wedding coordination fit for a princess! RoyaltyEventsPlanning.com