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Catering costs HOW MUCH!? Low Cost Alternatives for Brides on a Budget

Catering costs HOW MUCH!? Low Cost Alternatives for Brides on a Budget

wedding-catering-cheap-alternativesThe astounding cost of catering for a wedding only gets more frightening when you see that price increase due to more guests. If you want to provide your guests with good food without having to cut out who is invited, there are a lot of solutions! Catering isn't the only food option out there no matter what size of wedding you're having. Don't think you can't have any amazing day just because you don't have catering; that is absolutely not the case.

Money Saving Catering Alternatives

Salad Bar

This is a great way to start your cocktail hour, but can also be worked right in with your reception. The salad bar can be set up ahead of time by your friends and family with ingredients you purchase ahead of time. You can have things like salad, potato salad, toppings, macaroni salad and anything else you desire! The best part about this is that you can shop for the ingredients, which means being able to find fresh produce at good prices. Just make sure to get some nice serving dishes and cover everything when it's not being used.

Sandwich Station

Although you will have to hire a couple of people to man this station, it is a lot more affordable than catering. Just imagine your guests being able to enjoy paninis or subs with any toppings they would like! You could have things like cheese, meat, vegetables and a variety of breads for everyone to choose from. Having large soups already hot can be a great addition if you want to go the extra mile. Since people can grab their own soup you won't have to hire someone to serve it.

Added benefit? Kids love sandwiches! You'll be pleasing your most difficult guests with some yummy sandwiches.

Food Truck

This is more suitable for an outdoor reception that is casual, but it can be one that your guests remember forever! There are tons of food trucks out there that can be hired to attend weddings. The price of the truck will vary, so make sure to ask around for prices. You could even have two or three trucks set up at your reception to make sure you have a wide variety of foods available!  Grab an app for your smartphone to find a food truck near you.

Stir Fry/ Pasta Station

If you don't want to serve sandwiches, what about pasta or stir fry? Again, you will have to hire someone to make the food, but it will be worth it! The ingredients used in the pastas or stir fry dishes can be laid out so they are ready to be cooked. All that is required is the chef to cook the ingredients that the guests want. You can buy the ingredients so you control costs, which can help you save a lot of money.

Snack Bar

A snack bar is something guests of all ages will love, but so will your wallet! You can set up a snack bar with things like cold cuts, cheeses, fruits, crackers, rolls, homemade treats and anything else you can think of. Don't want to buy already made food? Just make your own and you will add a personal touch while saving a ton of cash. You can even host a baking party so your friends make the preparation easier.

Dessert Bar

There is no reason you have to have people around to serve desserts that take hours to prepare. Sweets are sweets and anyone will appreciate what you have to offer. A dessert bar with cupcakes, candy, cakes, pies, etc., can make anyone's sweet tooth satisfied. You can lay out plates, cups, forks and spoons so everyone serve themselves when they want.

Added benefit? You can put out plastic goodie bags so guests can fill them up before they leave. These can double as favors, which means saving more money!



One of the best ways to make sure your guests have drinks is by leaving them at their table! For example, you could put five bottles of wine (affordable wine, let's not go crazy!) on each table for your guess. Accompany these with a wine opener and glasses and your friends will be set. You can even have a station with large beverage dispensers on them. These can be filled with soda, water, tea, etc., so everyone can get something they like.

These are only a few of the money saving alternatives to catering you can choose from. Get creative and know that you can't make any mistakes! Your wedding is your day to have fun, enjoy your friends and family, dance and do what you want. There is no reason to go bankrupt with catering when it's absolutely not necessary.