After marrying off two of my children in the past 3 years, I am starting to feel like a wedding expert! Or better yet, I have received countless tidbits of advise and assistance from wedding experts themselves. All aspects of a wedding are expensive, but one area that is easy to save on is the food. At one time, people were happy with refreshments and a cake after a wedding. No one is sure when a full meal became the norm for a wedding reception. However, there are several ways to save on the food for the reception without looking like a cheap person or taking away from the celebration.
Appetizers. My Mother speaks of having a wedding in the late 1940’s and serving refreshments, finger sandwiches, cake and punch. This option is ideal for a mid afternoon wedding or one after supper. Guests would have already eaten a main meal and appetizers would fill the spot. Finger sandwiches, meatballs and chicken wings are a few of the ideas that would fit this plan.
Barbecue. Our daughter in law opted for barbecue. This idea works, depending on the type of wedding. If the bride has spent a large amount on her wedding in a fancy venue, barbecue may not be appropriate. Barbecue might prove a perfect and less expensive food solution for a smaller, less expensive wedding or even one with a western theme Our daughter in law had her wedding at a small community club house that seated about 80 people. The reception was less formal, so this was the perfect solution and saved money.
Cook – out. For an outdoor wedding with a rustic theme or for those who love to be outdoors in nature, a cook out might be the perfect solution. This works great if a wedding is held at a park, outside at a friend’s house or by a beach. Food can range from chicken to more expensive steaks, but cooking out saves money on the expenses of catering and expensive food costs.
Covered Dish Dinner. Again, a family member opted for this at her beach wedding. While this may not work for all weddings, a covered dish wedding reception works best for a park or beach wedding or for a church wedding. Most churches have large kitchens where volunteers can heat dishes up before the reception. Often , this idea is carried off perfectly by the bride and groom paying for any meats, breads, deserts or drinks and reception guests bringing a side dish or salad.
It is polite to send a notification with the wedding invitation letting guests know the food plans for the wedding reception. People know the cost of a wedding, especially the food and most people would encourage the bride and groom to use the much needed money for a honeymoon or a small down payment for a house. After all, who said guests have to eat caviar and champagne anyway?