If you choose a wedding venue that doesn’t include catering in-house, you may soon find out that the process of choosing a caterer is both an exciting and daunting task. Hiring a wedding caterer is so much more than food and beverage. Depending on how much is included with your venue, there are a ton of costs included in catering quotes including tables, chairs, linen, tableware (plates, flatware, glassware), equipment rentals, labor, tax and service charge to name a few.
A lot of factors influence a quote and depending on your priorities and where you’re flexible, the predicted number can change. If you’re looking for ideas on how to save, here are five tips:
-Trimming your guest list, if it’s possible, is one of the fastest and easiest ways to save on wedding catering costs. Because the cost per head includes a lot of items (food, beverage, staff, labor, linen, rentals and more) it can make a significant difference to your catering bill if you can cut down on your guest list.
-Considering disposable dinnerware. As I mentioned above, a lot goes into the cost per head and one of those items is the umbrella of rentals (plates, flatware, glassware). If you’re open to disposable dinnerware, you can cut some costs. FYI there are upscale options available, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be for everything. For example, using disposables for apps, cocktail hour drinks, wedding cake/dessert or drinks during dancing—the more casual aspects of weddings that guests don’t usually pay attention to—can save some money.
-Considering another bar package or limiting the bar. For example, you can save on the bar portion of your bill if you have a full bar and are open to a beer, wine and specialty cocktail package instead, or reduce your overall bar hours by an hour.
-Limiting apps. Guests definitely need to eat during cocktail hour but sticking to 2-3 options instead of several and choosing reasonable options can help with costs.
-Considering an alternative to a plated meal. For example, a family-style meal, stations or even a buffet can cost more in equipment rentals, table rentals and food quantities than a plated meal or cocktail-style reception, which are commonly more cost-effective options.
Because so many items fall within the catering category, you may have sticker shock at what the estimated total comes out to, but keep in mind when receiving catering quotes the first draft is a starting point.
Wednesday, August 31, 2022