In Catering Tips, Catering Trends, Wedding Catering

A wedding is a major occasion and one of the happiest days of your life—and probably going to be one of the most expensive too.

Now, you’d want to have a wedding that both you and your significant other won’t forget but you’ll want to save money where you can as well, and catering is one area where you can cut a few costs.

Catering is a huge part of any wedding but there are many other aspects of your wedding that you’ll want to optimize your budget for, like the venue and wedding favors for guests. Photographers, transport, and wedding attire for you, your significant other, bridesmaids, and groomsmen.

So let’s check out some inexpensive catering ideas for weddings that you can try for your big day.

Fun (But Affordable) Catering Ideas

Okay, so let’s get right to it—here are some clever inexpensive catering ideas for weddings that you could try:

1. Try Nifty Lunch Boxes

Many weddings offer refreshments and food for wedding guests at the church service, and this is usually followed by another big meal during the after-party. This can be pretty expensive because you’ll be paying for two separate meals, so why not whittle down the meal at the church and go all out for the meal at the after-party?

Instead of a buffet, you can offer small lunch box meals for your guests at the service. The lunch boxes can include sandwiches, wraps, coleslaw, and a small dessert, like a cupcake. This way, your guests can enjoy a small meal, which they could also keep for later, and you can use your budget for a bigger meal during the after-party.

2. Have a Picnic Spread

If you’re planning on having a lawn wedding, you could turn the meal into a picnic spread! Instead of opting for traditional wedding menu items, you can have a buffet consisting of popular picnic meals, such as fried chicken, macaroni salad, pulled BBQ pork, and a selection of desserts, like fruit pies.

Picnic menus can be significantly cheaper than traditional wedding menus but they’re just as filling. Also, most wedding guests like to walk about and mingle, so small picnic dishes that they can just pop onto their plates may be a lot more convenient.

3. Incorporate Sweet and Savory Stations

Instead of a huge main course, you can offer a selection of sweet and savory dishes for your guests to enjoy. This can include a mix of small appetizers, like sliders, cold cuts, fruits, and kabobs, and a selection of dips, such as buffalo chicken dip and spinach artichoke dip.

These small meals are very cost-effective and you can order them in large quantities. To prevent any wastage, you can ask guests to take food home with them. Just make sure to have some lunch boxes prepared for your guests to use.

4. Cut the Meat

Meat can be pretty expensive, especially when you’re ordering many meat dishes for a wedding. So to save money, try to reduce the number of meat dishes you’ll have at the event and include more veggie dishes to make up for it.

You could just have meats as cold cuts for a charcuterie board and the main course can consist of mainly vegetable dishes, like veggie lasagna. Alternatively, you can have just one big meat dish, like roast beef or roast chicken.

5. Skip the Appetizers

Appetizers are a good way to get your guests excited for the main course, but it isn’t always necessary. So try cutting out appetizers completely and just have a hearty main course instead.

Chances are, many of your guests might not eat much early in the wedding because they’re busy mingling with friends and family, so the appetizers might go to waste. By only having a main course, therefore, you can save big on your wedding meal.

6. Opt for Tiny But Tasty Desserts

Big dessert options, like cakes and pies, can be expensive. So instead of having big desserts, try including some smaller desserts in your wedding menu, like cupcakes, muffins, and cookies. Also, these little desserts can be a big hit among kids at your wedding!

7. Stick to One Dessert

Alternatively, instead of having a large selection of desserts, just have one item for dessert. Choose a dessert item that can serve a crowd, such as a sheet cake or one kind of fruit pie. Doing this will not only save money; it can also help prevent any desserts from going to waste.

Not-So-Traditional Wedding Meals

So now that you have an idea of how to cut costs for your wedding catering, let’s take a look at some not-so-traditional wedding meals that may be a cheaper choice:

1. Brunch Bonanza

A daytime wedding means that you could opt for a less expensive (but still tasty) brunch menu. Think fluffy pancakes, indulgent cheese omelets, sausages, bacon, and fresh fruit platters. It’s a lighter meal that’s great for a spring or summer wedding.

2. Cocktail Casual

Organize a cocktail party with appetizers. Go for small menu items, like pulled pork sliders, Swedish meatballs, and bruschetta. It’s a laid-back, friendly meal that’s cheaper than a normal sit-down meal.

3. Seasonal Sizzle

Plan the menu around seasonal ingredients. Summer brings out the best in fresh fruits and vegetables which are the perfect fit for salads and light dishes. Fall is the season for harvesting flavorful vegetables, perfect for making thick meat stews or pasta dishes. Finally, winter is a time for comfort food such as soups and casseroles.

How a Caterer Can Work with Your Budget

Although DIY is a cheaper option, it takes a lot of planning and time. Here’s how a professional caterer can still help you achieve your vision within your budget:

1. Menu Planning Expertise

Caterers can come up with creative and budget-friendly menu options that would be ideal for your wedding theme and the number of guests invited.

2. Portion Control

Caterers make sure that only the correct amount of food is served so that you can minimize waste and keep costs low.

3. Labor and Logistics

Catering companies take care of food preparation, delivery, setting up, and cleaning, which can be a major stress reliever for you.

4. Professional Presentation

Caterers guarantee you a wonderful and visually attractive food arrangement that will match the mood of your wedding.

Frequently Asked Questions

See below for some commonly asked questions and answers from our customers:

1. What do I do if some of my guests have dietary restrictions?

Regardless of the style of catering you choose, you should always ask your guests if they have dietary restrictions and allergies. Then communicate this information to your caterer so that they can include the appropriate dishes and label dishes with common allergens.

2. How can I save money on tables and chairs?

You can do this by including furniture you own at the wedding or asking friends and family to contribute. You can also ask your local church if they have rental furniture available.

3. How can I save money on drinks at my wedding?

A good way to do this is by offering a signature drink, rather than an open bar. Make sure to pick a drink that reflects the style and theme of your wedding.

Speak with caterers for more inexpensive catering ideas for weddings

Your wedding is going to be one of the most important days of your life, but don’t be afraid to cut costs where you can—you need to be careful with your budget. So speak to a reliable catering service with a great wedding catering menu for more inexpensive catering ideas for weddings today!

Additonal Links
Let’s Plan Your Event

Cooked Goose Catering Company 7851 Steubenville Pike
Oakdale, PA 15071

Event Catering: 412-258-5944
Goose Express: 724-695-2322

Contact Us
Come be a part of 'The Flock' – the best family in the Burgh!

Come be a part of 'The Flock' – the best family in the Burgh!

Sign up today so you can be a part of our family and 'in the know' regarding all upcoming customer appreciation events! Joining is easy – simply stretch out your wings, sign up below & come be a part of the best flock in the Burgh!

You have successfully joined our mailing list! Every quarter the Goose hosts a private complimentary event for our loyal customers in The Flock to simply say 'Thank You' for being a part of our family! Not only do you receive an exclusive invite, but you also get access to all of the latest specials we offer well before the general public.