Serve a Marvelous Meal on a Budget

3 things to consider when your funds are limited.

Your wedding day is all about you, and celebrating your union with your forever partner in crime. However, that doesn’t mean your reception meal can’t be as memorable as your dress. Did you happen to spend a little bit more money on your venue or dress than planned? Or were you unaware about how expensive a weddings can be, because you’ve never done this before? Now you find yourself in a predicament and have to cut some corners somewhere else in your budget. If your reception dinner or catering bill is going to have to take the hit, then consider these three things:

1. Self-Serve a few Simple Appetizers

I recommend selecting one to three prepared appetizers to serve during your cocktail hour. Because, remember, this is just something for your guests to nibble on before introducing your main meal. Also, skip the passed appetizers, as you will save money on food preparation and serving staff. So, go ahead and pile your cocktail tables high with beautiful spreads of gourmet cheeses, homemade jams, artisan crackers, fresh breads, and refreshing fruits.

2. K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Sauce

Forget the filet and lobster. Limit to one absolutely unforgettable, yet simple, main dish, because honestly, people don’t order that much food when dining out. You can make a budget meal seem lavish by adding a cost-friendly, self-serving station to your menu, such as pasta or baked potato bar with delicious sauces and toppings. Lastly, although considered more casual, a buffet-style reception is more cost effective than a plated, sit-down dinner. Therefore, you will need to determine which corners you are happy to cut, and which menu items are non-negotiable.

3. B.Y.O.B.

Bring your own bottles, as many venues and caterers will allow you to bring your own wine, beer, and liquors, charging only a minimal serving fee. If possible, choose a drink supplier who has a “buy-back policy,” an agreement to purchase back any unopened containers. Also, consider serving a soft bar of only beer, wine, and champagne. If your heart is set on serving a true cocktail, then add one signature drink to your menu with a great name, like “Lisa and Dave’s Wedding Bell-ini.” You may also choose to create a semi-soft bar, adding one or two versatile liquors like vodka or whiskey, because both can be enjoyed alone or in a cocktail, as well as compliment a variety of mixers.

Therefore, just because you are on limited budget, doesn’t mean you can’t create a remarkable wedding reception with your closest family and friends. First, decide what’s most important to you. Then, let go of the rest, no matter what your mom, hairstylist, or Pinterest is telling you to do, as there is no need to go into debt or stress about such a fun and memorable time in your life.

Congratulations and Cheers!

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