Tag Archives: caterers

Cut the Wedding Catering Crap

budget wedding catering

Source: NTC Photo

When we walk into a meeting with a vendor, we have done our research.  We’ve called several related vendors, received verbal price quotes, and researched all the wedding resources that we can, but we can’t know where the excess is with every vendor. Brian and I have established a good cop/bad cop routine, if you will, for these situations. I ask all the questions about timelines, wants, requirements, and how to make the word full of more polka dots and Brian is in charge of the “what can we do to make this less expensive” shtick.

With having to use one of four caterers, we knew that we were going to go with the cheapest option, but still thought it was high priced.  When it came time to get down to the nitty gritty overpricedness with our caterer, we were a bit surprised at how well it turned out, especially given the experiences we had with them via e-mail.

A few things our catering rep helped us with:


Like going to your grandma’s house, caterers are going to sashay more appetizers around the room than your wedding guests will ever possibly eat in 1 hour.  Our package included 2 table displays (veggies, fruits, cheeses) and 5 passed appetizers in addition to our dinner, cake or pie or both for dessert, and food favors.  During our internet investigation stage, we saw the app displays from previous weddings at our venue and we got to taste test the passed apps at our caterer meeting.  We were able to cut 2 of the passed appetizers at $3 per person from the list and feel confident that our guests will be well fed.


Our package called for two entrée options which left us at the higher end of the budget by thinking beef and fish.  After asking our caterer about options for vegetarian friends, who to be quite honest may not even be vegetarians now, we were able to add on a third option which was significantly cheaper (almost $20 a plate).  Now, when we budgeted out the cost of our total bill, we went based off the most expensive option so we have no future price shocks.  Whether or not anyone orders the vegetable napoleon is to be seen, but our budget may see a credit if they do.


The full table of glistening dishes wasn’t part of our vision.  We got ruthless here.  We cut appetizer plates and bar glasses trading for plastic which the caterer is providing.  Instead of having a bread plate and butter knife, we’re having our croustade served on the salad plate.  Our knife does double duty as a steak knife and dinner knife.  We swapped dessert china plates for eco-friendly paper plates that we’re stamping to match our wooden forks.  We ousted the spoons, tea cups, and saucers for polka dot stirrer and insulated cups and fun creams for the coffee and tea service.  We’re spending under $75 to provide our items, which means we were saving almost $750 plus the tax and delivery fees that would be added on top from the rental company.

In the end, all Brian and I can say from our experiences is: don’t be afraid to ask how you can work with the vendor to help minimize costs on your end!