When it comes to wedding catering, many venues will offer in-house catering. Others will have preferred caterers, some may allow you to bring in caterers of your choice. At some venues there will be an additional charge for bringing in your own caterers.
Wedding catering can be expensive, if you need to cut down on costs then consider the following:
- After a 3 course meal many guests tend to avoid the wedding cake and it goes to waste. Why not serve your wedding cake as dessert instead?
- In terms of alcohol, opt for Prosecco or Cava instead of champagne. Most of your guests will not know the difference!
- The style of wedding breakfast you have will make a difference to the costs. This is the same for the food you choose to serve during your evening reception.
There are a few options available when it comes to the style of wedding breakfast to have. They will be the main focus of the rest of this blog.
A silver service wedding breakfast is considered the most formal and traditional style of wedding breakfast. Guests are seated for the duration of the meal and this is often seen as the most comfortable option. Silver service tends to be the most expensive option and also means having to pay for a number of waiting staff. Any seated meal will give you the chance to showcase the tables with elegant linen and centrepieces. Some venues and caterers might provide you with three choices for each course but this will come at an extra cost. If you decide on a formal meal but can’t make a final decision on courses, this might be an avenue for you to explore. If numbers are an issue, a seated meal will require more space than a cocktail reception or finger buffet. This is something to think about if you have your heart set on a particular venue.
With a fork buffet, guests usually serve themselves and return to their tables. Please note that you can also have a staffed buffet. You can be somewhat adventurous with the food as a variety of foods can be offered to your guests and they can choose what they would like. Barbecues are a popular choice! There are many professional caterers and venues able to provide this service.
Fork buffets tend to be less expensive than silver service. They still allow you to have a seating plan and showcase table centrepieces. They are a great idea if you are concerned about fussy eaters. If you are worried about queues at the buffet area then you could opt for two serving stations. Good caterers will be more than happy to discuss all the logistics with you and find you the best solution.
Another option would be to go for family style service. This is where platters of food are placed in the centre of the table and guests help themselves. This is the middle ground between silver service and a fork buffet. Family style service can be a lifeline, you avoid worries about buffet queues and your guests are still served a 3 course meal. You could even choose to have just your starter served family style and have the final two courses plated. This is a nice way of offering your guests a choice and is also a sociable way of eating.
Finger buffets are usually standing receptions but you should have some seating and tables available for guests to put their drinks on. This is the most informal eating style as no cutlery is required. Finger buffets (or cocktail reception if you want it to sound more glamorous) are less expensive than seated meals and allow you to invite more people to the day proceedings. Seeing as guests are helping themselves, you will require fewer waiting staff and therefore incur lower costs. Standing buffets generally allow people to mingle so they’re a great idea if guests know each other well.
When it comes to food in the evening there are many options to pick from. If you want light bites then you could go for bacon sandwiches or mini fish and chips. If you fancy something different then how about nachos and fajitas? Or perhaps a selection of bowl foods or a hog roast.
When it comes to your wedding catering it is important to do what you are comfortable with. If a formal meal is not for you then don’t do it. Whatever style you go for, there are many wonderful wedding caterers and cuisines for you to pick from including; British, French, Italian, Thai and Indian
One other option available to you is an afternoon tea style wedding breakfast.