“Spend wisely!” my friend cried as she and I walked out the door to meet her parents for their first rehearsal dinner. They had hired an outstanding wedding planner who would produce a beautiful reception, but they were afraid their tiny budget wouldn’t stretch to paying the cost for the delicious buffet. My reply was, “Just spend it smart.” In fact, just planning your wedding on a small budget can be less stressful if you follow these wedding planning tips.
Tip One: Don’t Be Cheap When it comes to food! Many couples set a wedding budget before they hire anyone to plan the reception and as the months passed and the bills started to mount up many guests started to feel the pinch. But when faced with the bill just days before the wedding, frankly thought it wasn’t time to quit the fairy tale just yet. So reconnected with a very old school friends who is also an event professional, (and always and forever thankful, Steph!) and she shared to me some great cheap wedding food ideas that will definitely spruce up your cocktail hour.
Tip Two: Have A Taco Bar! I don’t know about you, but I sure didn’t think of having a taco bar when I was thinking about having a wrap party! But a taco bar can certainly be a big hit at your reception. With margarita style margaritas, bridal flip flops, and delicious salads there are lots of food ideas to choose from. Plus you can always order appetizers and drinks while you and your guests feast on the fabulous food.
Tips Three and Four: Don’t Forget The Cake…And Cheese. Speaking of cakes, they can be the icing on the cake for your reception or they can ruin it. If you want to avoid having a disaster on your hands remember to order your cake from a bakery that you trust. And as for the cheese, if you plan on serving mozzarella, ask if you can have a selection instead of going with one of their pre-made packages. Those are just a couple of good tips to keep in mind when you are planning your menu.
Tips Five and Six: Serve Healthy Buffets. Low-cost sides are always a smart choice. Not only are you saving money by serving healthy, yet flavorful, foods, but guests are generally impressed when they see how much effort goes into the preparations. In addition to the tip above, consider adding a few healthier choices to the buffet to keep guests interested. That way, you can also save yourself the hassle of having to prepare unhealthy dishes.
Tips Seven and Eight: Have Fun! Nothing turns guests off more than a party that is overly formal and boring. Weddings are supposed to be joyous occasions, so plan some fun activities to keep your guests involved and entertained. You can assign guests duties based on their likes and dislikes, and you can also include music in the mix for that added touch.
Tips Nine and Ten: Pick The Ingredients Wisely. It’s important to choose the right ingredients to ensure that you are meeting your wedding cake budget. While price is often a consideration for most people, it shouldn’t be the only deciding factor for your budget. You’ll want to account for the cost of your wedding catering as well, and if you are working with a small budget you may not want to skimp on quality ingredients.
These are just a few simple tips to get started on your food planning. If you’re still interested in learning even more about wedding planning, you might consider hiring a catering company to create the menus for your reception or wedding breakfast or lunch. This will give you the ability to plan out a full menu in advance, which can save you time and money. Keep in mind that a lot of caterers will also offer catering for daytime wedding guests. This can help you to save money if you’re planning to serve sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, or salad and desserts at your reception.