April 28, 2014
contributed by Jenni Taviner
The reception is typically the most expensive part of the wedding, and the food and drink is where you’ll end up spending most of your reception budget. To stay within your budget—and still have great quality food—it’s typically best to set your spending limit first and then work out where you can save. If your budget is really tight, there are all sorts of ways in which you can compromise, to help you save on food and drink, and still afford good catering. The most obvious, perhaps, is to limit the number of people you invite, but as BridalGuide.com points out, this is no easy task. It can be difficult and stressful to whittle the guest list down, but there are other ways to save that can help offset the cost of a larger guest list. Be sure to compare the prices of buffet versus sit-down menus—sometimes you can make significant savings in this area, and the cheapest option isn’t necessarily what you think. If you want to provide alcoholic drinks, consider limiting the bar to wine and beer, or have an open bar for only the first half of the reception. Choosing a caterer that serves food in-season can potentially reduce food costs too, because you’re not paying extra for out-of-season vegetables and fruits. There are certain expenses that many people overlook, which can lead to an unpleasant shock when bills are received. Surprisingly, one of the most common is remembering to include the bride and groom in the head count for the reception, say financial experts money.co.uk. Also remember to ask the vendors you work with about things like delivery fees, corkage, tax, and cleaning or service charges. As well as this, most vendors charge additional fees for overtime services, so be sure to ask about those too. If necessary, aim to plan your reception with plenty of leeway time, to avoid overtime fees.
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April 11, 2014
contributed by Jenni Taviner
Décor, food, and menu style are perhaps the most important aspects of what sets the tone for a reception, but it all starts with the invitations you choose. The invitations are probably not the aspect you’re most concerned about getting right, but invitations do a lot more than tell your guests whereyou’re holding the wedding. Invitations are also the first clue as to the theme and style of the wedding, so it’s important that you choose stationery that reflects this. Heavily formal gilt-and-embossed invitations are more suitable for a black-tie event and a sit-down dinner rather than a casual-style wedding and reception with an afternoon buffet, for example.
Digital and print technology is sophisticated enough that there’s virtually no limit to what you can put on wedding stationary, so it’s a great opportunity to choose invitations that complement your wedding and reception décor, too. Websites like Mixbook.com even allow you to create your own invitations, as well as every other piece of wedding stationery you can think of. You can choose from a huge range of fonts and other design elements, and the stationery is produced according to your specifications.
As well as the elements of décor and theme, also look at matching the food you serve to the theme and style of your wedding and reception. There are some extra-special options for serving food these days, and you’re no longer limited to sit-down and buffet-style menus. These are great stand-bys that can work for both formal and casual receptions, depending on how you combine all your different elements together. An exciting new trend for weddings is the food station concept, which you can think of as similar in style to a full-service hotel breakfast bar. Several different food stations are set up in the reception venue, where guests can be served different dishes. It’s almost like a buffet, but it’s a buffet with a fun twist that makes it ideal for a contemporary wedding.
Don’t forget that your food and décor can match, too! Whether you’re choosing your own food or ordering a set menu, you can pick out colors from the food that’s being served, to incorporate into the décor. For example, this Fall sit-down menu incorporates gorgeous colors in dishes like grilled stone fruit crostini and Zinfandel poached pear, and these rich shades are perfect for incorporating into a Fall wedding décor theme. Contrast this with the fresh colors of a Spring buffet menu, full of bright sunny tones and zesty flavors.
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