Wedding food ideas on a budget – top tips for cheap catering options

Thinking about ideas on what food to serve at your wedding when you’ve on a tight budget is sometimes difficult. We’ve got 10 top tips to help you serve great wedding food ideas on a budget!

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Too many cooks?

Although you are catering for the whole wedding party, when choosing your menu, don’t offer too many options. Offering a multitude of choices for the wedding breakfast doesn’t enhance your guests’ experience, or make anything taste better. More choice only means more expense.

Cooking on gas

Some of the most beautiful wedding venues are outdoors – be it a marquee or a hog roast festival – but these celebrations do not have on-site kitchens or furniture. You will be required to pay extra to supply these facilities, so make sure you include this in your budget.

Smooth operator

The key to a successful wedding reception is timing and service. Making people wait for food and drinks is not a great idea. Pay for extra serving staff to ensure a smoothly-run reception and you will notice the investment – and your guests will love you for it!

Trade your toasting tipple

Champagne is everyone’s top tipple for parties, but it can be a little on the expensive side. However, there are some great sparkling wines available, which are just as good but cost less. To impress your guests on half the budget, add a little elderflower cordial and a hibiscus flower to Cava, to create the perfect festive fizzy cocktail. Not only does this add a light, sweet, floral taste to the drink, it makes the Cava go that little bit further – good news all round!

Bacon buffet

If you plan to party in the early hours of the morning, don’t serve an evening buffet – you are essentially paying for two full meals that many people won’t even touch. Why not serve bacon sandwiches or posh kebabs a la Lily Allen? This will give the illusion of an evening meal and your guests will be thankful for the traditionally British fuel injection before the trip home.

A cheesy ending?

Cheese cakes are a great alternative to traditional tiers. You can ask your caterers to cut and serve the savoury slices with fruit and biscuits as the dessert after your meal. Alternatively, cupcakes are a cheaper option than a tiered cake and work well as both a dessert and a favour.

Raise the bar

The drinks reception tab can easily set couples back a few thousand pounds, so limiting what is served can be a great way to reduce costs. Ask your bar to carry beer and wine, or alternatively, have a cash-only bar that your guests will have to pay for. If you have provided them with a lovely meal accompanied with great entertainment, guests won’t mind forking out for a few drinks towards the end of the evening.

Caffeine fix

Coffee and mints are an essential part of any party and the perfect way to round off your meal. Why not add flavoured syrups and amaretti biscuits to freshly ground coffee, to give your guests a delicious caffeine fix? They’ll be guaranteed to keep dancing late into the evening after one of these!

Spend to save

Cutting corners doesn’t always mean cutting costs. If you cut out canapés, you will end up with hungry guests at the beginning of the day. Why not spend more on canapés but less on the evening buffet? Many people over spend on the evening food when most guests are still full from the wedding breakfast, which is a waste of both money and food! Lighter evening snacks will go down just as well with your guests, and save you money, too.

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