Everyone knows weddings are expensive — especially for the couple of honor. And when it comes to the wedding reception, you're probably eager to cut some of the frivolous costs of your big day — so that you can afford to keep everyone on your guest list. One way to do that is to examine your reception menu and see what you can change up or eliminate in order to save a little money. To help you do just that, we've compiled a list of five easy tricks to help cut wedding costs when it comes to your reception dinner menu.
1. Pass on the passed apps.
Many couples don't realize that by going easy on the passed apps, you can save a ton of money. Instead, give guests something nosh on during cocktail hour that is set out at tables rather than passed. Having people walk around and pass out individual bites ends up costing more money for waitstaff. Designated tables throughout the cocktail hour for guests to grab apps themselves is a much more cost-effective approach.
2. Offer a buffet instead of a sit-down dinner.
Instead of doing a traditional sit-down dinner, opt for a buffet dinner instead. As a rule, buffets are usually lesser in price — mainly because you don't have to have such an extensive serving staff serving each individual table.
3. Cut out the big cake.
A wedding cake usually costs between several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars — and may not even be the ideal dessert of your choice. Instead of splurging on a large cake, find a dessert that's less expensive but still fits your style. Your wallet (and tastebuds) will thank you!
4. Skip the fancy entrées for the comfort food.
Instead of doing steak, chicken, and fish for your main course, go for a comfort food meal instead — a huge wedding trend right now. If you have a love for pizza, short ribs, or mac and cheese, you can serve that as your main wedding dish (and your guests will most likely go crazy for it).
5. Think seasonally.
When picking vegetables to serve as side dishes or with the salad, pick ones that are in-season and can be found locally. You'll save some cash this way, and chances are the meal created and served will be fresher thanks to your picks.
Jen Glantz is a "Professional Bridesmaid" and the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire. She's the author of All My Friends Are Engaged and frequently wears old bridesmaid dresses to the grocery store and on first dates.