Getting married? Then you can be sure of one thing – you’ll be bombarded with ideas, advice and suggestions on how to do it!
Magazines, websites, blogs, wedding fairs…not to mention family and friends – advice abounds!
But before getting carried away with table favours, vintage cars, handmade ‘save the date’ cards and hen weekends, our advice is to get to grips with the essentials!
Food and drink has to be one of the most important items in any wedding party budget. And what’s surprising is how little research some couples do when it comes to wedding catering budgeting! Be warned – if you have smoked salmon tastes but only a salmon paste budget then be prepared for compromise!
Our top ten wedding (catering) myth busters!
1. Caterers charge more for Saturday weddings – venues will often offer discounts for mid-week weddings, but as far as we caterers are concerned our costs are the same whether you tie the knot on a Wednesday or a Saturday!
2. We won’t need serving staff – yes you will! Who will serve canapes and arrival drinks, lay/clear tables, serve/set out food, man the bar, tidy up and wash up?
3. We have a friend who can do our wedding catering / we can organise the food ourselves – unless you/your friend has experience of event catering in the exact scenario you envisage then beware! Professionals know what they are doing and make it look easy!
4. A BBQ will be less expensive than a ‘sit down’ meal – not necessarily! Unless you’re happy with economy sausages and budget burgers then the cost of high quality meat shouldn’t be overlooked. Don’t forget sides and salads! And just because it’s a BBQ doesn’t mean that guests won’t expect to sit at down and eat with a proper knife and fork on a china plate!
5. Informal equals low cost – see above! Nothing wrong with informal wedding catering but don’t be fooled – informal doesn’t necessarily equate to inexpensive. As Dolly Parton said ‘it costs a lot of money to look this cheap’!
6. Canapes are an unnecessary expense – we believe they set the scene and are most welcome alongside reception drinks. It may have been hours since guests last ate and some time before your main meal so why not bridge the hungry gap in style?
7. A wedding cake is a ‘must’ – not if you don’t particularly like cake! Why not consider a wedding ‘cheese’ cake which can be served later ploughman’s style? And if you’re thinking of served your wedding cake in place of dessert you’ll need to be very confident in the quality (that’s all we’re saying)…
8. You can save a fortune on wine and fizz – you can certainly be canny and stock up when your favourites are on sale, but if you think people don’t know the difference between budget bottles and quality wine/fizz you’re wrong! Fizz doesn’t have to be champagne but like the table wine, it should be of a good quality.
9. Photographers, wedding co-ordinators, videographers, DJs and other suppliers eat for free – er no! It’s highly likely they will expect to be fed so ensure you make arrangements with your caterers in advance. They don’t have to be served a three course meal but you’ll need to budget for these extras.
10. Evening food is an unnecessary wedding catering expense - even if you have no extra evening guests your day guests will get peckish into the evening and something to soak up all the alcohol will be most welcome. It doesn’t have to be a gala buffet – think hot roast meat sandwiches, bacon rolls, cheese & biscuits etc
And finally a couple of words of advice we feel are worth sharing:
“Skimp on guests before you skimp on anything else.”
“I would not have spent so much time on favours, because no one gives two shits about an artisan chocolate truffle in a hand-packed box tied with ribbon and a custom hand-cut leaf tied to it. Half of the people leave them. No one cares.“
Hungry for more? Keep reading…