Budgeting for your Menu

shewanders.ncm2.-2079-Edit-Editcontributed 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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