Catering is one of the most important ingredients of your big day; it’s one of the things that sets the stage for your reception, one of the things guests will remember the most. As such, it is perhaps unsurprising that food costs typically make up a big chunk of the total wedding budget. Of course, there are always ways to reduce these expenses, and one especially good one is to take a look at the cocktail hour. There may be some simple tweaks you can make to make the cocktail hour more cost-effective.
We’ll show you what we mean.
Pass out pricier appetizers by hand. Rather than allowing guests to serve themselves cocktail shrimp buffet-style, pass around a cup of shrimp to each guest; this is a great way to curb the amount that your guests consume without appearing chintzy or ungenerous.
Offer big salads and grilled vegetables. Vegetable spreads can be tasty, colorful, and vibrant—but also inexpensive. Again, you can offer your guests real generosity without breaking the bank.
Focus on the crowd-pleasers. Mac and cheese in martini glasses, mini grilled-cheese Panini sandwiches, small crab cakes… these are all enduringly popular items, and they don’t cost all that much. It’s a win-win!
Don’t get every type of seafood. Ask your caterer to help you land on one or two affordable options. You may find that shrimp costs half as much as scallops, for example—and if so, there’s not necessarily any need to have both.
Skip the cheese plate altogether. Your guests are familiar with cheese plates. They have them at every office party and holiday gathering. No need to spend a lot of money on this item.
Pass on the carving station, too. Ham and roast beef are too heavy to be considered appetizers anyway. Don’t let them add to your catering budget.
Serve food on interesting plates. Tapas-style dishes, for example, will allow you to add some style and flare to your cocktail hour without adding much to the budget.
You can have a really magical cocktail hour without ballooning your total catering costs. For more ideas, contact our catering team directly. Reach out to Mosteller Events today!