Skip to Content

Smart Ways To Save Money On Wedding Catering

Sharing is caring!

This post contains affiliate links. Click here to read my affiliate policy.

Last Updated on April 15, 2021

Emotional vows, a beautiful wedding dress, and a fun reception all make a wedding memorable. But most guests also tend to remember an amazing wedding menu, and some meals make such an impact that people talk about them months - or even years - after the wedding celebration. This is why couples don't hesitate to spend money on wedding catering, and according to a survey, 56 percent of couples said that food and drinks are the most important priority while wedding planning. But with the average wedding catering cost at about $70 per head, it can certainly make a considerable dent on a couple's budget, especially if they're unable to cut down their guest list. Fortunately, there are several things that you can do to save money on wedding catering. If you're about to tie the knot and you're on a tight budget, here's what you can do to cut costs on your wedding food.

Emotional vows, a beautiful wedding dress, and a fun reception all make a wedding memorable. But most guests also tend to remember an amazing wedding menu, and some meals make such an impact that people talk about them months – or even years – after the wedding celebration. This is why couples don’t hesitate to spend money on wedding catering, and according to a survey, 56 percent of couples said that food and drinks are the most important priority while wedding planning. But with the average wedding catering cost at about $70 per head, it can certainly make a considerable dent on a couple’s budget, especially if they’re unable to cut down their guest list. Fortunately, there are several things that you can do to save money on wedding catering. If you’re about to tie the knot and you’re on a tight budget, here’s what you can do to cut costs on your wedding food.


Choose a venue that allows outside food


Wedding planning should start at least eight months before your target date, since you’ll need to make decisions regarding big ticket items, such as the venue, wedding rings, wedding gown, and food. Others details, such as selecting jewelry to complement your wedding attire, should also be done while gown shopping, since you’ll need to try on the jewelry with your dress if you want to ensure the perfect match. Choosing flowers for the ceremony and reception, and entertainment options, if any, should also be prioritized during the first few months of planning. By doing so, you’ll have an idea of how much you’ll need in order to cover all your wedding costs.  
One way to save money on food is to consider venues that don’t have a strict in-house catering policy. Some places that offer in-house catering allow outside food to be brought in, which can help you to save money, especially if you forgo expensive appetizers offered by the caterer and just bring your own. You can even order takeout at a casual food chain and have it delivered to the venue. However, if the venue that you’re looking at has a strict policy on bringing outside food, then you may want to take a look at other places that will allow you to do so. 


Serve brunch or lunch


Instead of having your wedding in the late afternoon and serving dinner, why not have your celebration in the morning and serve brunch or lunch afterwards? It’s a clever way to save money, since guests usually eat less in the morning or afternoon. Moreover, they’re more likely to drink less alcohol if the event takes place during the day. It’s also a lot more memorable, since wedding brunches are so uncommon these days. Your guests will surely love it, especially if you have an omelet station, different breads and pastries, and breakfast meats at the reception. Serve bellinis as a treat, and you’ve got yourself an elegant yet cost-effective wedding party. 


Have only two entrée options

If you prefer a traditional dinner service, consider offering only two entrée options. One can be a vegetarian or vegan dish, while another can be a poultry dish. Both options are less expensive than pork, beef or lamb dishes, and offering a vegetarian option will certainly be appreciated by guests who don’t eat meat or have dietary restrictions.

Having a memorable wedding reception shouldn’t break the bank. Consider these tips to save money on your wedding food, and have an amazing menu that your guests will rave about.