Catering is a huge part of your wedding…and a huge expense that makes you wonder if it’s worth it. After all, you could have your future brother-in-law who dropped out of culinary school after two weeks do it for a couple of 30-packs. But what are the guests going to think when the chicken is undercooked and people are more interested in watching for an empty stall in the restroom than watching the first dance? It’s easy to say you get what you pay for with wedding catering. But you’re not doomed to shelling out thousands of dollars for a cookie-cutter event with no personality, either. Here are some tips to make your wedding food affordable and memorable… We are going to tell you Cheap wedding caterers near Riverside California for the right reasons.
- Do your research when hiring a caterer.
You’ll want to work with someone who cares about your vision of how things should look and flow. You’ll know an established caterer with lots of experience can do the job well, but someone just starting out and looking for new business may charge a lower fee and be more accommodating of your preferences, besides potentially being more up-to-date on hot new trends you want incorporating into the planning. Russian Doll Catering offers both experience and a strong willingness to work with your vision of your big day.
2. Ask to see photos of events they’ve covered so you have an idea of whether their style is a good fit for your event. Russian Doll Catering has an extensive menu complete with photos and rave reviews from satisfied customers who continue to recommend the company. Here is the next tip to choose Cheap wedding caterers.
3. Ask about the “outside food” policy.
Quality catering is about presentation as well as preparation. So you may be able to save on the food costs by buying items that don’t need to be cooked (like fruits, veggies, meats, and cheeses for hors d’oeuvres) from a discount store and asking the caterer to arrange them attractively. This can be fresher and look more appealing than buying a pre-made platter from a grocery store. You can also save a lot of money on the cake by having a small, elaborate “display” that you and your future spouse cut together and buying a sheet cake to serve all the guests, rather than having a big, elaborate cake for everyone. (This is probably also easier and safer to transport than a lavish multi-layer confection.)
Stick to one or two protein options.
Chicken and steak (assuming you plan to serve meat) are versatile proteins that can be prepared several ways (braised, oven-roasted, barbecued, etc.) with virtually any combination of spices or sauces. Accommodating vegetarian or vegan diets is easier if you serve pasta or potato dishes. Depending on how many guests you anticipate with this requirement, you may not need a separate menu option. Russian Doll Catering can provide delicious dishes for a variety of tastes, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free.
4. Carefully consider the potential hidden costs of every serving style.
A plated dinner controls the amount of food each guest is served, but the extra serving staff required will increase your costs.
A family-style dinner is a similar option in which wait staff brings platters of food to the tables and guests serve themselves. This can allow more mingling and community among your guests (besides being traditional in many cultures). But the platters required for each table will cost money and take up space, leaving no room for centerpieces.
The buffet is popular because it allows guests more choice in when and what they eat. But with this option, people will tend to take more food, so your caterer will need to prepare more, increasing your costs. One way to save money with this option is to have wait staff serve portions. Then, after making sure everyone has been served, open the buffet up for guests to take additional helpings.
Stations are similar to buffets but with different types of food at each one (salad, dessert, etc.). They’re fun for guests and can lend themselves to cute, decorative displays but can take up more space and require a more complex setup to maintain safe food temperature.
The cocktail style
allows you to serve just bite-sized hors d’oeuvres all night with no sit-down dinner at all. This can save you a lot of money on food but in order to impress guests (and feed everyone adequately). You’ll need to provide more than some fruit, veggies, and a cheese and cracker tray. Small, fancy quiches and other finger foods usually a big hit, but depending on how intricate they are, they can quickly drive up costs.
Food trucks are a trendy new option. But you’ll need to make sure the company is willing to send a truck to your venue, and if they are, the venue will allow it. They also might serve only one type of cuisine or be unable to prepare a lot of food at once.
Russian Doll offers dessert stations and platters, barbecue-style food, hors d’oeuvres, plated meals (an entree with salad, potatoes, and veggies; plus your ch9oice of three drinks), buffet meals, and international dishes.
5. Do as much as possible yourself.
Caterers have to pay staff, buy food, prepare it, and make sure everything looks and tastes great. All of this takes time and money, which is reflected in the estimate they give you. If you want a lower price, see what you can do to decrease their labor and material costs. Arrange to pick up the food yourself rather than requiring the caterer to transport it. Provide your own table linens, napkins, flatware, service, etc. You can find many inexpensive options for these in a variety of colors and styles to complement your other decor. Even asking a guest to make a beloved family recipe can allow them to feel the pride of contributing to the celebration while saving you money.
Wedding food can get expensive. But cutting corners on a good caterer could make your day stand out in your guests’ minds for all the wrong reasons. Luckily, with a few Cheap wedding caterers near Riverside California tips, you can serve a fantastic meal for a price that won’t cut into your honeymoon budget.