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Continued… Saving money on your wedding #3 Food and Beverages

Number 3 on the List: Food and Beverages

If you are sticker shocked about the price of food for your wedding here is some extremely easy ideas that you can use right now to help stay on budget. You don’t have to sacrifice elegant and tasty food and drinks at your wedding. Follow these steps and count the money flying back into your wallet! Your guests will be astounded at the high quality of your wedding food and drinks and will never know you were able to save so much!!!

Appetizers

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Step One:

Provide easy pre-made homemade snacks and/or put out fresh cheeses & crackers accompanied by some nice seasonal fruits for your guests to nibble on. Remember appetizers are just a light snack,so keep it simple with only 1 or 2 different things to eat. This way there is variety but it won’t take up a lot of your precious planning time.

Step Two:

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Take a pass on having servers for your appetizers.Extra staff can cost a lot extra money, so be sure to ask for an extra table at your venue that your guests can access easily. Because you are only having a few items, make it a small table and embellish it with pretty linens and elegant serving platters. Your guests won’t even know your caterer didn’t provide the food!

Drinks

Step One:

It’sall about selecting a venue that will allow you to bring in your own beverages with no extra charge. You will save on corking fees and higher priced in-house alcoholic drinks. Go to your local brewery and winery for great deals and stick to just beer and wine at your reception. Scratch having to buy champagne for your toast and allow your guests to cheers to you with simply whatever is in their glasses. Most of your guests will not even drink the champagne so save on the often wasted expense for cases of champagne.

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Step Two:

A great simple idea to keep your alcohol costs low is to provide just one signature drink to your guests. This gives you and your fiancé a chance to be creative and keep with your theme. Pick something fun and it will be sure to be a guaranteed hit at your wedding. You will keep costs low by only having to buy the ingredients for just one drink to serve all night vs several different options that will cost more.

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Dinner

Step One:

I know we have already talked about it before in previous posts, but you must pick a venue that allows outside catering. This opens you up to so many options,you will be sure to find the best catering prices available. It is no fun trying to be budget friendly while stuck with someone else’s food constraints.

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Step Two:

When you are reviewing caterers to select from, make sure you talk and communicate with them your budget constraints per person. Often times you may find that the caterer is willing to create a personalized menu option for you instead of going off their pre-designed ones. We are talking about trained chefs here and they should be more than happy and willing to make you a menu that works well with your budget and is delicious.Make sure you pick in season and local foods to help your caterer think outside the box.

Also make note of what the difference in cost between plated and buffet style is. It is thought to be cheaper to have buffet style but oftentimes it is not the case. The caterer will prepare more food for a buffet because it is harder to regulate each guest’s consumption of different types of food. One person may have a whole plate of one thing and another will have some of everything. And you may end up with a lot of left over food that you didn’t need. Believe it or not, but in some cases a plated dinner could save you money in the long run.

Step Three:

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If you are going for a casual afternoon or early evening wedding consider not providing a full meal but a display of heavy appetizers. When you do this option you can select from a variety of caters who provide drop of service for a much cheaper fee. You could also pre-order trays of food from your local market and have someone pick them up. This is an easy and fast way to save money. To class up a heavy appetizer buffet that is drop of or tray style, gather fancy platters from your family and friends. Have someone switch the food from their plastic or aluminum carriers onto the nice platters and your guests will never know you went cheap on them! It is all in how you present your wedding to your guests. You will have an elegant looking buffet that is full of your yummy favorites.

Cake

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Step One:

It may be hard, but consider dropping the idea of a large massive tiered wedding cake.They can cost several hundred to thousands of dollars. To keep with your budget, have your baker make a detailed small cake. Imagine it being the top tier of a larger cake and have fun with it and express your love. Get a gorgeous cake platter or stand and have it placed in position where it can be the center of attention. This will be the cake you cut into for that special moment in front of all your guests.

Then have your baker make a large sheet cake that you can keep stored in the kitchen. Have you caterer cut small slices to make sure there is enough to go around. You will save so much of your wedding budget right here. One small cake and one sheet cake is amazingly cheap!

Step Two:

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Decide to not have cake but cupcakes, they are extremely inexpensive and your guests will love it. You can even provide
personalized small boxes and your guests can take a cupcake home with them as their favor. A complete two for one idea is always a sure way to save you money!!

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In addition to keeping these steps in mind, think about keeping your wedding guest count to around a hundred or less including you and your bridal party. Having a lower guest count will allow you to have a much more flexible budget for food and drinks. Instead of stretching your budget to thing in several areas just so you can invite more people, you will be able to have much nicer things to go around and provide for a smaller wedding. Make sure your wedding doesn’t look or feel like a budget wedding by considering these steps for your wedding day!
We have two more tips to go, check back in with me next week for#2 on the list of the Countdown of the Top Five Trendy Money Saving Tips for your Wedding continues!
See you then!