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With the cost to cater a wedding reaching upwards of $13,000 (don’t panic yet – many are much less than that), it’s a great place to look for savings if you and your fiancé are budget conscious wedding planners. Guests expect to enjoy a nice meal and drinks with you on your wedding day and you don’t want to disappoint. However, there are plenty of ways to reduce the cost of your caterer, without your guests even realizing it!

Cut Down on Food Expenses

Less expensive cuts of meat, or less expensive meats altogether, can easily be dressed up with unique flavors, luxurious fillings and elegant presentation. Instead of steak or seafood, opt for chicken in a flavorful glaze, pasta with a savory filling or comfort food like creamy soups and mac and cheese in pretty dishes.

Using local, in season produce can decrease costs. Shipping produce long distances adds to the final cost of your meal. Local produce will also tate fresher, which will make guests think you splurged on it!

Curb the Cost of Drinks and Desserts

The cost of drinks and dessert can add up quickly. While skipping the open bar completely could very well disappoint guests, limiting options is a cost-saving alternative. Stick to a few beers and a nice collection of wine, and maybe a signature cocktail, and most guests will be content. You can also substitute your champagne toast with a less-expensive drink.

Unless your groom has his heart set on a special cake, forgoing the groom’s cake is a good way to save a few dollars. You can also opt for a cutting cake and small desserts, instead of one large wedding cake. If you’ve dreamed of a show stopping cake for years, consider less expensive flavors and frostings. You can also have your bakery craft a multi-layer cake with some fake layers and serve guests for a simple sheet cake that requires less crafting and cutting.

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