Post # 1
I don’t know if this has happened to anyone else, but my FI and I have just had a meltdown about our food budget. For the past 11 months we’ve been floating through the wedding planning with stars in our eyes. We found a caterer, who we love, even received a quote and said “ah, it’s not that bad”, but now that we’ve plugged the final number into the budget – we’ve officially freaked out and are now thinking of cancelling our 200 person wedding to just elope. No way to cut this guest list and we are paying for this ourselves. We’d much rather take a 3 month trip around the world with the money ($15K we’re up to and we’re both unemployed)! Alas, we’re 3 months from the “big day” – some plane tix have been bought, BM dresses bought, hotel rooms reserved (not to mention deposits). So……anyone have any ideas on how to make this a cute, fun, chic reception food-wise under $10/person (including service, gratuity, paper-ware, etc)? help!
Post # 3
Have a BBQ reception! I think these are becoming more and more popular because it’s really cost effective and easy to prepare a large amount of food at the same time. And BBQ food tastes awesome! Is your wedding in Vail? Here’s what I found:
What I do when I’m looking for something like a caterer, I go to google maps and type in my venue address, and once that comes up on the map I type in what I’m looking for, ie, “bbq catering” and it pulls up all the results on the map in the surrounding area. So you can see how convenient they are to the area.
If you’re worried about how casual bbq is, the fanciness of food is all in its presentation. If you talk to your caterer about ways to present it more formally, I’m sure you can come up with something for minimal additional cost! Hope this helps!
Post # 4
I love the idea of a BBQ! You can save money on caterers and just ask some friends to bring their BBQ and do the grilling.
Post # 5
Not sure what time of day your wedding is but could you get away with doing just a dessert reception? That way you could still have wonderful things but you wouldn’t have to provide a full meal.
Post # 6
Have you considered doing a brunch/lunch wedding instead of dinner? Eggs, toast, and homefries are probably a lot cheaper than serving dinner and you wouldn’t have to serve alcohol.
Post # 7
Have you really looked at all the catering options? Our wedding budget is only 10K and we found a caterer with food that we enjoyed (nothing super fancy) for 11.95/person and that includes china.
The only other suggestion would be to have an appetizer only reception…
Post # 8
I love the above ideas- but maybe you can also simply cut down your invite list? Although, I realize sometimes that is not so simple… good luck!
Post # 9
I would do a BBQ or get food from a restaurant that can just be delivered so you don’t have to pay labor and staffing. You could also do a dessert reception: cake or pie, cookies, coffee, add some champagne if you have the funds.
Post # 10
I recently went to a dessert reception and also a cookie reception. It was still nice. I do like the BBQ idea too. When I got married, my mother got a bunch of her friends (who werent on my list) to help make food as a gift to my mother and me…and they served and cleaned up and I paid them a small amount. This was helpful, thoughtful and very economical as we paid for the food but the prep and mess was taken care of by my moms friend.
Post # 11
You can also do an appetizer meal which is not expensive, I have heard a lot of people doing that instead of a full meal!
Good Luck you will think of something 🙂
Post # 12
i think its a really awesome idea to appetizers and or dessert because its nice casual romantic and you still end up with a wonderful wedding and a wallet that isnt totally empty plus if you really plan you might be able to accomplish making of desserts cookies, brownies, small cakes, and appetizer pigs in a blanket mini grilled cheese ect it seem sot be a pretty popular idea lately.
GOOD LUCK WITH EVERYTHING
Post # 13
I would look into some restaurants in your area. Sometimes they cater. Can you self-cater at your location? Some caterers will make up all the food and drop it off (or you pick it up) and you could hire some kids off of craigslist to help you with serving it buffet style.
Post # 14
Thank you for all the ideas! Vail is pretty pricey and has limited catering options, but we are happy we’re getting married here. BBQ is a great idea and even better is the drop off idea (rather than having them serve). We found some great options with food around $10/person, but the service is the pricey part. I love the apps idea too. I’ve also heard of a pizza reception too which may be fun and in our budget (easy to serve too!). Either way I think the drop off idea is really a way to go b/c you spend so much (esp. here) on the per/hour/per person service. I feel better!
Post # 15
Glad that you are feeling better now. I was going to suggest drop off idea. The majority of my catering cost is labor, so that will save you a ton. Good luck girl!!
Post # 16
We’re DIYing a fajita bar but some restaurants (Chili’s comes to mind) offer that service if its something you are interested in. Also some caterers will offer a pasta bar (different types of pasta, sauce, and add ins for your budget) and for something like that you wouldn’t need a lot of servers.