Catering a wedding is often the largest cost when planning a wedding. Caterer and founder of Quote My Catering gives you seven things to consider when you plan on catering a wedding to help you get the most out of your budget.
Often hotels and wedding venues insist that you use them when you’re thinking about catering a wedding. They may allow you to use your own caterers or provide your own wine but may charge you a surcharge or corkage fee. It is worth weighing this up carefully as you may not save yourself as much money as you would expect in the end. There are venues, however, which will allow you to use your own catering and are worth considering as this can save a lot of money.
Know what you want
When catering a wedding it is always helpful to know what it is you require. Knowing the answers to the following questions provides a good starting point to ensure that the cater can give you an accurate quote. If you are not clear you may end up spending more than you want to or the costs may rise nearer to the day when you change your mind or add to your requirements –
- When and Where is the wedding being held?
- How many guests are you catering for?
- What style of food do you want to offer? A sit down banquet, a fork buffet, a hog roast?
- Is there anything specific you want to be served?
- Do you need crockery and cutlery?
- Do you require staff to serve?
Whilst it is important to have a clear idea of the requirements you have for your wedding catering it is also a good idea to be flexible. Speak to prospective caterers about their ideas and how they might be able to save you money off your bill. You may be asking for something which is hard for the caterer to source, or there may be an alternative which is in season. Caterer’s prices largely depend on their cost price and time to prepare, so they may have some useful suggestions for you.
You may have always expected to have a traditional sit down, three courses, wedding breakfast but there are
lots of alternatives to save you money. Being creative with the meal itself, offering something simple such as fish and chips or a bangers and mash can dramatically decrease the cost of the meal and give your guests something to talk about. A Ploughman’s style buffet or Hog Roast is another way to keep to a tight budget, as is serving your wedding cake as a dessert.
Do it yourself
The ultimate way to save money on catering a wedding is to cater for yourself. However this option will take a lot of time and organisation. Bear in mind that a lot of the cost a caterer charges covers the time it takes to source, prepare, cook and deliver the food. If you take this route it is worth bearing in mind that you will need to supply all of your own equipment and utensils, that you may need public liability insurance and that you may need to hire staff to work on the day itself. It is always worth getting some quotes for the catering so that you can weigh up your options.
Ask for help
Whether you are catering a wedding for yourself or using a caterer it is worth considering how your friends and family might be able to help. You may be able to work with the caterer to do some of the food yourself. For example you could ask certain guests to make cakes to serve, or even have a ‘bring and share’ meal. You may be able to supply a cheese board yourself or provide your own nibbles. It is always best to discuss any ideas you have with your caterer.
When sourcing a caterer it is important to get at least three quotes to compare. Each caterer is different and will quote differently depending on how busy they are and the style of catering they offer. It is important to get the right caterer for you. Quote My Catering is a great site to use as it allows you to compare quotes from caterers who have all received the same information from you so that you can be confident you are getting the best price possible.