Budget Friendly Menu Myths

Finger foods and hors d'oeuvres vs. dinner at your wedding

It’s been said time and time again that brides on a budget should look to finger foods and hors d’oeuvres in lieu of a dinner in order to save money on food costs. But according to some of our expert caterers this myth, and many others, may be a misconception. Here are some budget-friendly reception menu myths debunked!

Myth: Finger foods are cheaper than dinner.
Truth: Dinner may be easier—and cheaper.
Creating perfectly designed hors d’oeuvres to serve a crowd can be infinitely more time consuming and tedious for a caterer than putting together a simple meal. Most dinner components can be prepared in large quantities at a a single batch, whereas those adorable little crudities require someone to carefully stack and arrange one at a time. Another thing to consider is whether your finger food items are local, or if the caterer is going to have to order them special. Sometimes caterers pay more per pound for fruit than meat, especially if the latter can be bought locally.

Myth: Chicken is always cheaper.
Truth: You can have your beef and eat it too.
It’s commonly recommended to skip the beef and opt for chicken to save on food costs, but many caterers can make beef an affordable option. You may have to forego filet mignon, but a skirt steak cooked to perfection and served with a mouthwatering reduction sauce can be equally as impressive. Be sure to talk to your caterer about all of the available options, you never know what they can come up with.

Myth: Plated is cheaper because it uses less food.
Truth: Buffets are simple without being wasteful. 
You can save money by eliminating the need for staff to plate the food and serve it before it gets cold. A buffet style meal or food stations can also offer a more impactful presentation of the food that you won’t get with a plated dinner. Buffets allow more interaction for your guests and make the experience more pleasant for picky eaters or guests with diet restrictions.

Myth: You have to offer multiple options.
Truth: Sticking to one protein option is just fine! 
While there's something to be said for dietary restrictions like gluten-free or vegetarian, for the most part your guests will be fine no matter what you serve. Picking one protein will decrease the time your caterer has to spend on multiple dishes, making the process less intensive and expensive. You can offer an additional side or salad to mix things up, but keep it simple!

Myth: You have to have a huge, fancy cake.
Truth: Most guests want something lighter. 
There are few traditions as ubiquitous as a wedding cake, but this is one area that can get expensive fast. Between flavor choices, cake assembly, delivery, decorating and cutting costs, before you know it your cake is several hundred dollars. You can save some serious cash by opting for a small or simple cake that you and your partner cut, and serving something more economical to your guests. This doesn't have to be sheet cake from a local bakery or grocer, although that's a great money saving option. Most guests are too full from dinner to want a big dessert, so think about things like mini cupcakes, a candy station, or even donuts. Add to-go boxes or bags so your guests can take them with them too!