Help! Wedding catering costs crippling me!?

June 29th, 2011

I desperately need some ideas on how to reduce the costs of my wedding breakfast. I have just started wedding planning and have been putting my guest lists together and pricing up a budget and my bare minimum I have to invite as day guests and to the wedding breakfast is 61 (63 with myself and my fiance!) And that really is bare minimum, as it is just family, best man and maid of honour!! My mums family is massive (unfortunately for my wedding budget!) and there are 30 family members just on my mums side alone, my fiance only has 25 family members for his entire family lol!!

I have worked out that even if I am lucky and manage to get someone to cater for £25 a head this brings my total to £1,575. I then have to pay for wine and Champagne for toasts as well as a buffet for my evening guests. Arrggghhhh!! That’s more than my church and venue costs put together!!

People have mentioned holding the wedding ceremony later in the day say 4pm then going to straight to the reception thus avoiding the need for a sit down meal, but I am only planning on getting married once and really don’t want to have to cut short the happiest day of my life just because of blinkin’ food! And people have also suggested just inviting parents, grandparents and siblings to the wedding breakfast but again I’d rather not do this as mine and my fiance’s family are travelling from leicester, london and manchester so I don’t think it is fair to expect them to come to my wedding at 1pm then wait around til 7pm for the reception as it will be too far for them to travel home. Or just asking them to travel down to the reception and miss watching me get married which again is not an option as I want our family to see us get married.

The only things I have thought of so far are having a starter and a main course and serving wedding cake as a desert seeing as I will have to buy a wedding cake anyway. Or doing away with the ‘formal’ sit down meal and having a hot buffet instead, then a cold buffet for the evening guests. Anyone had the same problem?? If so how did you keep the costs down?? Sorry its such an essay but I’m pulling my hair out here!

Thanks 🙂

8 Responses to “Help! Wedding catering costs crippling me!?”

  1. Chuck Wagons says:

    Ever see a Peanuts Thanksgiving on t.v. ?
    Toasted bread and popcorn

  2. MumofTwins says:

    Dont have a wedding breakfast. Just have your wedding, and then a reception afterwards.

  3. Wonder Woman says:

    You may think that’s the minimum, but it’s not. I’ve been to a wedding or two where the couple only invites a few people: their parents, possibly grandparents, siblings, and best friends. That’s about 5-10 right there, and I think that’s pretty much all you need. I have no idea who the extra 50 people you’re inviting are, but you need to reconsider inviting them. Ask yourself these questions: Are they close to me or my fiance? Do they consider us important to them? Do they approve of our marriage? Would they even care about our wedding?
    These sound like stupid questions, but while you may care about someone, they may not care about you. Not only that, but some people may be your friends but not care about your wedding. I have some friends that I care about but I know they wouldn’t give a f*ck about my wedding–they’d only come for the free food, alcohol, and entertainment.
    However, if you really, really think you can’t minimize the guest list any more, well, you can just have a buffet braekfast instead of a sit-down meal…You can save a some money by doing this.
    No offense, but to tell the truth, $1.5k really isn’t a lot of money to spend for food to begin with. Finding a deal like $25/plate is really rare and you’d be lucky to even find a caterer that charges $30/plate! On average, wedding couples spend at least $3,000 for the reception dinner.
    I’m spending about $6,000 for my dinner reception not because I want an extravagent dinner but because that’s what my venue is charging for my wedding with 80 guests (they don’t allow outside caterers).

  4. diamondcollector says:

    skip the evening part?

  5. Miss C says:

    I am confused on the breakfast, is this a custom where you are at?
    If not, I would skip it, that is just an added cost!

    What if you got married early in the day, like 10am and had a cold lunch for your reception? Serve, fruits and vegetables with dips, breads & fondue, greek salad & chicken skewers?

    Then you can have champagne with lunch and maybe have it outdoors or a place on the river/lake for people to enjoy the day a bit outside too…

    then serve cake, coffee & bring out a few more appetizers later on in the evening during the reception!

    There is no need to plan 3 meals for your guests, that is absurd, and if it is not with in your budget, DO NOT DO IT.

    Enjoy the day, dont get carried away! Simple = Divine. 🙂

  6. tamara k ♥ Alex says:

    The food and alcohol is ALWAYS the most expensive part of getting married if you have more than 10 guests!
    After that you have decorations THEN comes the cost of venues. Venues and officiants are usually the CHEAPEST part of getting married!

    If you can’t afford to feed them, either pare the guest list down or postpone the wedding date to when you CAN budget for the food. We pared our guestlist down AND moved the date so we could afford it.
    If my mother hadn’t opened her wine cellar for our wedding we probably would have had to postpone another 12 months or opt for cheap alcohol.

  7. iloveweddings says:

    OK, I take it that you are in the UK or Australia. PLEASE explain to us in the U.S. what you are referring to by “wedding breakfast.” Is this simply a “reception” (as we would call it here in the States?) If so….why the evening buffet also? Wow…I thought we were extravagant here in the U.S., but this takes the cake.

    I guess I am confused because here in the States a “breakfast” is served anywhere in the early morning (like eggs, meats, juices, etc.) I take it that you refer to breakfast as simply your celebration meal after the wedding. OK…I get that. But then definitely cut out the evening buffet. You don’t need both.

  8. Sazzy says:

    A wedding breakfast is just another name for a wedding reception. you don’t need . Money I of money. Money of which that could be put it to one big reception of your dreams.

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