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Catering: Some Food For Thought

So, you’re looking for a place to save some money on your wedding.  You’re zeroing in on the big, fat number being charged to cater the meal and you’re thinking, “Wow. That’s a lot of cash. What if I asked my relatives to pitch in and we just cater the wedding ourselves? Really, how hard can it be?”

 

Really hard. And stressful. And chaotic. And possibly burned to a crisp.

 

I’d almost rather see you get married in blue jeans than self-cater your wedding. Ok, not really but almost.

 

I’ve helped with about a bazillion weddings and catering is pretty much the last thing I’d recommend cutting from a budget. Too many things can go wrong—and often do. Do you really want the biggest memory of your wedding to be the fact that you ran out of food and had to order pizza?

 

I thought not.

 

If you’re looking for ways to cut your budget, let’s step away from the grandma’s famous mashed potatoes and look at things like:

 

*Flowers. There are more economical ways to do your flowers if you’re in a crunch. We can find more affordable, in-season varieties. We can add more greenery. We can make smaller bouquets. We have options…let us see what we can do.

 

*Your guest list. If you haven’t gone here yet, it’s a good place to start. I blogged about cutting your guest list awhile back…check out my May 8th column and start slashing.

 

*The paperwork. Save-the-date cards, invitations, wedding programs, thank-you cards…there are great ways to save money on all these printed things. Do people really care if your invites were designed on a letterpress and hand-assembled by fairy princesses? Nope.

 

*The cake. A magnificent multi-tiered designer cake is definitely cool, but guess what? You don’t need to spend $5 per piece for people to love cake. There are some amazing bakers around who do an awesome job at a sweet price. Check them out.

 

*Centerpieces. This is one place we heartily recommend DIY to save some money. Another way is to have bigger tables so you need fewer centerpieces, or to double up your church decorations and use them as your centerpieces. Let’s get creative, sister.

 

To wrap this up once and for all, I’ll say it again. Don’t skip the caterer. Catering food for a large number of people is a job best left to the experts. Even if your aunt is an amazing cook, even if your best friend is a professional caterer, even if YOU own a restaurant—the best decision is to hire a caterer and let your friends and family enjoy the day.

 

Plus, did I mention the taste testing? Possibly my favorite part of planning a wedding. Yum.

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