One of the major considerations when budgeting your wedding is how much to spend on food and drink during the cocktail hour and wedding reception. The time of your wedding can also influence how much you need to spend on food and drink; for example, if tying the knot in the morning, you may be obliged to think about lunch, dinner and a late night supper.
Once you have decided how many meals you need to cover, you will have to choose what you want your guests to eat. The kind of reception venue you select may help you with this decision if there are tried and tested set menus, as is often the case in hotels and restaurants, or alternatively caterers will have a very good idea about what works and what doesn’t at weddings. The size of your wedding will have a bearing on the menu as certain dishes are a sure failure in larger weddings. Another option is, of course, buffet menus that tend to work out cheaper and are a good solution for larger receptions.
Your wedding cake is a central element to your food and drink budget. In some wedding packages at hotels and restaurants, a cake is included, otherwise you should shop around to find the style and flavor that you like. If you are on a low budget, you could always double up your wedding cake as dessert so that guests eat wedding cake for their pudding.
Including alcoholic drinks for everyone can be expensive. Most wedding packages include non-alcoholic drinks with an extra charge for alcoholic beverages and corkage. There are some alternatives to this cost, such as providing wine for free while all other drinks can be purchased at the bar or having an open bar with cheaper liquors.
Most wedding catering is calculated on a cost-per-head basis, which is why your guest list all of sudden looks like a mortgage until you start editing. There are various ways to reduce your spending on food and drink such as choosing more economical entrees such as chicken and pasta and saving more elegant options for appetizers. Limiting the choice that guests have is another way to help keep costs lower. Buffets are by far the least expensive option and that way people can choose exactly what they want to eat, consuming as little or as much as they like with less wastage.