Post # 1
I feel so completely defeated. I have been looking for catering for a while now and I can’t seem to find anyone within my budget. I am getting married in Southern Connecticut, and I am on a very strict budget. I am just kinda fed up because nothing seems to fit into my budget, but somehow people have weddings for hundreds for $3,000. (That is obviously an exaggeration, but I am frustrated.) I just feel like I work so hard to stay within my budget but nothing ever does, and I can’t seem to find things that do fit. My wedding is on a $10,000 budget, with 70 people. So I don’t feel like it should be this hard. Am I crazy? Or does this seem harder than it should be?
Post # 3
Where are you looking? I think that women that successfully have budget weddings look outside the box. Check local, privately owned restaurants that you can rent out. Check city/county owned properties (e.g. parks/barns/community centers). Check local churches, who might have an auditorium.
Post # 4
Also look into delis/restaurant that can do a buffet setup at your venue. I’ve found they are often cheaper than dedicated wedding caterers.
Post # 5
If you’re in a city, look more traditional (banquet halls, church basements, etc). If you are in the burbs or rural, look less traditional! I agree with PP to look for restaruants in your area. Maybe look for someone to do a pasta bar. Make your own cake or cupcakes. Have a potluck?
Post # 6
I’ll say it… yeah, you’re kind of crazy to think you can do a budget wedding in the North East. Seriously, I’m trying to do a $15k wedding for 100 people in New Jersey. It is practically IMPOSSIBLE unless I go with some really crappy venue/caterer or like Sunday afternoon (Friday/Saturday evening is like the only stipulation I have and I can’t even get that!)
I too am jealous of people who do weddings for under $3k. Fortunately (and unfortunately for us) their area is fine with doing the reception in a church basement or school gym. While there’s nothing wrong with that, if you’re used to that, the East Coast has ridiculous standards that make us feel like if we invited people to a wedding that had everyone chip in food or desserts only or [insert awesome cost cutting manuver here], it would be tacky. Woah, that was a rant but it’s true!
Post # 7
wellllll it is Southern Connecticut after all. :-/
Maybe look at catering that isn’t necessarily “wedding catering” ? What kind of wedding do you want to have?
Post # 8
Are there any culinary schools in your areas?
Post # 9
@Jamiezilla: Thank you for justifying me feeling like that. I mean you go on Style Me Pretty or something similar and there are weddings that are gorgeous and they say “And they did it under $7,000!” Ugh. I am just frustrated.
I also have looked into resturants, I can’t even think about designated wedding caterers because what they charge is more than double my budget! We have thought about a potluck, but more than half of the guests wouldn’t be able to bring something (because they are coming from out of town), so that won’t work.
I have looked into delis, but I have to wait until I am in the area to meet with them because many are small operations that don’t do meetings over the phone or through email. (I am planning a CT wedding from Seattle.) I guess I will just have to keep looking. It will eventually work out. I hope.
Post # 10
Is it possible to move your wedding to either earlier in the day (brunch or lunch reception) or to a non-meal time of day (appetizers & cocktails)? I am having a lunch reception and the catering bill is about 2/3 what it would have been for dinner.
Post # 11
One place to check out is Stew Leonards in Norwalk (or Danbury), they have a really good catering department. I’ve been to parties that have used them and they do a nice job.
Post # 12
Maybe look into BBQ catering if that’s something you’re open to? I was feeling equally despondent about catering costs in Chicago, but we contacted a well regarded restaurant and their quote for 80 guests was under $1000, including all the staffing costs.
Post # 13
I disagree with Jamiezilla that it’s impossible to have a budget wedding in the NE. We had a wedding for 40 people for $5,000, and that included $1000 going into paying for guests’ lodging. It is probably true though that you’ll have to find a venue that’s a little of the beaten path though. Where in Southern CT are you looking exactly?
Post # 14
I have 70-75 guests and a budget of 10k as well. My reception is in a hotel (it’s a really unique converted cotton mill) and for everything (food, alcohol, service, rentals, etc) it is going to come in just a little over 5k. Look at places that are used to hosting events, they are usually streamlined and more affordable.
Post # 15
It is difficult/impossible in Southern CT to pull it off without having a wedding at a non-traditional venue. That said, If you are willing to consider BBQ, that will save you a ton of money. It really depends on where in Southern CT you are looking.