Wedding food tends to be one of those topics that has brides a bit befuddled; either they’re completely clueless in the food world so they leave everything up to the caterer (meaning their food will most likely be somewhere generic, dull and expected), or they have no idea how to budget for more interesting fare. Well, as it turns out, you can do both.
You don’t have to be an amazing cook yourself to have amazing food at your wedding, nor do you have to be rich. Instead, a little creativity and a lot of communication can end up going a long way.
1.) Have the right recipes. If you’re going to serve chicken, make sure it’s some of the most delicious chicken you’ve ever had, which often means hiring the right people for the job. For the same price, an experienced caterer will know exactly what temperature the meat should be cooked at for how long, rendering you a juicy and flavorful main course, while a less experienced caterer will give you a dried out, chew-toy for a similar price.
2.) Change how things are served. Mac’n’cheese might seem like the last thing you would put in your wedding, but when made with the correct recipe and served in martini glasses, it raises to a whole other level. Serving things in interesting and fun ways will make them more memorable, while the cost of the food itself remains the same.
3.) Have a “pick and choose” theme. Mexican food, an Asian station or make-your-own pizzas, for example, tend to be crowd pleasers at weddings. Guests can pick and choose what goes on their individual taco or pizza. A few meat choices and plenty of vegetarian toppings mean every guest can make their entrée exactly how they like it.
4.) Choose crowd pleasing flavors. Sure, you and your fiancé may absolutely love that chipotle chocolate icing used in your deserts, but unless you’re planning on taking 80% of it home with you, you’re going to have to go for some more generic options. And don’t be afraid of the word ‘generic’. Vanilla frosting may sound boring, but when done right, the best vanilla frosting can taste better than any outlandish creation you might dream up.
5.) Go bite-size. Bite size means you’re controlling the portion size, and it’s been rumored that having bite-sized desserts cut the cost of a dessert buffet by up to two thirds.
6.) You don’t need champagne. A toast is just as beautiful and meaningful if guests use the drinks they have in your hand.
7.) Use cheaper cuts of meats. Once again, the taste and finesse often comes in the way the dish is prepared. Ask your caterer to show you different pricing options for different cuts of meat.
8.) Choose in-season. Choosing fruits or vegetables that are out of season could end up costing double not triple what in-season fare would cost. Do a little research about your local market and ask your caterer for a price list of fruits and vegetables around the time of your wedding date.
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