15 Ways To Save Bulk Cash on Wedding Food

7 min read
15 Ways To Save Bulk Cash on Wedding Food

Wedding food is estimated to cost 50% of a wedding’s budget!

To put that into context, the average food budget at the average wedding costs $5,000. It’s no wonder that saving some extra cash on wedding food might be one of your top priorities. Here are a few tips to help you keep the expenses down while still giving your wedding guests a good time.

More Reading: 100+ Brilliant Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding

15 Ways to Save on Wedding Food

1. Use the Wedding Cake for Dessert

Most of your guests won’t mind if you don’t offer three or four different types of desserts. Depending on the size of the reception, the main wedding cake might be all you need.  Perhaps look into having different flavoured cakes for different layers of the wedding cake for a bit of variety.  A wedding I went to recently had a three-layered cake, White Chocolate Mud, Coconut Rum Chocolate Mud and a traditional fruitcake.  Serve with custard or ice cream – it was delicious – and frugal!

Alternatively, having a nice small (inexpensive) wedding cake with additional sheet cakes in the kitchen can save you a lot of cash.  Cupcakes are super cute, but they can really add up cost wise as decorating each individual cupcake is expensive!

2. Don’t Have a Wedding Cake at All!

There are so many options now that people don’t need a wedding cake!  Having a beautiful pile of sugary doughnuts arranged into a cake (like above) is a cheap and beautiful way to celebrate your wedding – and for your guests to enjoy!

Other wedding cake alternatives include:

  • A Cheese Wheel Wedding Cake
  • An Oreo Biscuit Stack
  • A selection of beautiful pie’s (who doesn’t love pie!)

Oreo Wedding Stack | Stay at Home Mum

3. Hire a Pizza Oven

Pizza Oven weddings are HUGE now – I’ve been to one myself – and they are just delicious!  The pizza oven will be set up a few hours before the reception, then guests can just order whatever pizza they like, or the pizza person will just keep cooking and everyone can take huge slices of all types of pizza!

4. Plan the Wedding Reception Between Meal Times

If your reception is at 6pm, you are going to have a lot of hungry guests expecting dinner. Not so much at 2 or 3pm. If you plan it right you can keep everybody happy with just a light meal, sometimes only dessert. It helps to make sure your invitations specify the type of meal you plan to serve.

Pizza Oven Wedding | Stay at Home Mum

5. Hire a Mobile Roast Company To Cater Your Wedding

There are mobile catering companies around now that can do roasts with all the trimmings and even dessert for a ridiculously cheap price.  They will even serve it for you!  I’ve seen some advertised as low as $10/head – so it’s worth looking into!

6. Food Trucks are a Fun Wedding Food Option

Food trucks are another great option. With so many options now you can choose all your favourite food fare!  I’m a big fan of taco trucks!

To find a food truck in your area, try some of these websites:

food truck | Stay at Home Order Takeaway Food

If your wedding is a lovely casual affair, why not pre-order some of your favourite takeaway dishes from a restaurant you love, and have them deliver piping hot to the wedding!  This works well if your wedding guest list is under about twenty people.  Think Chinese food, pizza and beer or Indian.

Place the food into beautiful dishes and put it in the middle for everyone to be able to help themselves!

8. Have a Grazing Table and No Sit Down Meal

Grazing Tables are very 2018 – and if you have a friend that can do it for you at a reasonable cost, then you could potentially save thousands of dollars in wedding food.  The good thing is there is minimal clean-up and and it looks incredible!

Grazing Table | Stay at Home Mum
Image Via Platter and Graze

9. Hire Local Students from a Culinary School

Students are often eager to get a job and willing to work for less than professional caterers, and the food is usually just as good. Find a local culinary school and inquire to see if they offer special catering services.  Alternatively, the ladies from places like the CWA are old hands at catering for crowds, and man can these ladies cook!  Perhaps approach a local group or charity to see if they can cater the event for you!

10. Serve Finger Food Instead of a Sit Down Meal

Some weddings set up an open buffet where the guests can help themselves to everything they like. Passing around finger food or appetizers limits the amount that people eat, thereby decreasing your food budget.  Finger food can be classy and light on the hip pocket, think about rice paper rolls, mini quiches etc.  Delicious and filling!

Plus if you are making the food yourself, this is a great option to save big bucks as you can cook and freeze ahead of time, then get some helpers in the kitchen to reheat, plate and the younger set can take the platters of food around to your guests.

Fantastic and frugal options for Wedding Finger Food include:

bigstock Buffet Dinner Cater Food Celeb 248077660 | Stay at Home

11. Offer Fewer Menu Options

At a sit-down dinner with multiple dinner options, caterers will usually charge an overall rate that covers the most expensive choice on the menu. If you only have 2 options that are similarly priced, you can avoid spending a lot of money. You could also offer a buffet bar with pasta or something similarly economic.

A friend of mine is hiring a renown Spanish paella cook for her wedding.  There will be three choices, meat, seafood or vegetarian paella.  Guests will eat from noodle boxes with disposable cutlery.

12. Offer Kids Meals

What do you think kids would go for first a filet mignon or chicken fingers? Giving the kids smaller meals is usually a less expensive option that caterers offer for big events. The kids will be happier, and so will your wallet.

13. Buy Your Wedding Cake from the Supermarket

I found this AMAZING cake transformation video on Facebook, transforming three simple cakes from the local supermarket into a wonderful wedding cake that looks like it cost a fortune!  I love this idea!  If I ever get married again – I’m so using this!

14. Buy your own alcohol

Instead of relying on the catering service to provide all of the alcohol for your reception, which usually comes with a steep price markup, hit up a local grocer or liquor store to load up on alcohol at the normal shelf price. Many stores will take back unopened bottles, and you can always hold onto the partially finished ones for later.

There are many online suppliers where you can get a better deal than your local bottleo and they deliver to your door!

Hello Drinks

Hello Drinks have beer, wine and spirits and also offer Zip Pay.  They have a great selection of champagnes too!

132924 | Stay at Home

Just Wines

Just Wines have mixed cases of wines at a discount price.  They have a great deal on for 24 bottles of De Bortoli Proseccco for only $103.44!

131081 | Stay at Home

Get Wines Direct

Get Wines Direct have a huge selection of wines including fine wines and rare bottles for that very special occasion.

24305 | Stay at Home

The Wine Collective

The Wine Collective offer exclusive wines from the Barossa region and also have imported wines, mixed cases and an ‘Under $15 Wine’ section!

126282 | Stay at Home

Hint:  Prosecco is a delicious and inexpensive substitute for champagne!

15. Have Your Family Cook Buffet Style 

Remember having a progressive dinner in times gone by, where you would go to different houses and have a different course at each place?  Well what about having the amazing cooks in your family bring their infamous dishes you can serve it buffet style.  Like a pot-luck style dinner!

Food in lieu of gifts is a great way to have amazing food without the huge price!

These are just some ways to save money on wedding food – do you have more great ideas we can add?

15 Ways To Save Bulk Cash on Wedding Food | Stay At Home Mum

About Author

Jody Allen

Jody is the founder and essence of Stay at Home Mum. An insatiable appetite for reading from a very young age had Jody harbouring dreams of being a pu...Read Moreblished author since primary school. That deep-seeded need to write found its way to the public eye in 2011 with the launch of SAHM. Fast forward 4 years and a few thousand articles Jody has fulfilled her dream of being published in print. With the 2014 launch of Once a Month Cooking and 2015's Live Well on Less, thanks to Penguin Random House, Jody shows no signs of slowing down. The master of true native content, Jody lives and experiences first hand every word of advertorial she pens. Mum to two magnificent boys and wife to her beloved Brendan; Jody's voice is a sure fire winner when you need to talk to Mums. Read Less

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