Wedding Reception Food - Deciding What to Serve


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A major part of your wedding expenses will be the food. Providing food and entertainment for your guests after the wedding is traditional in most societies. Planning a budget wedding reception requires balancing the party of your dreams with the food and drinks that you can afford to serve your guests.



Many bridal couples can't afford a fully catered affair, but you can still have lovely wedding reception food to share with your guests. Simply put some creativity into planning your food and consider these ideas for serving up a lovely wedding reception on a budget.

Consider your timing. The time of day when your reception is held will determine what type of meal your guests will expect. If you get married just before dinner time, you will probably need to serve dinner at the reception. A less expensive route choice would be a brunch reception in the morning or afternoon tea in the afternoon. Later evening weddings might want to serve a 'dessert-only' menu.

Prepare the food yourself (or have a family member or friend do it). This is a good way to make your wedding reception more personal while saving money. Serve traditional wedding fare or a special family recipe or ethnic specialty. Those unique touches will make this a meal everyone will remember with pleasure.

Go Halfway. If preparing the entire meal by yourself sounds too overwhelming, go halfway. Hire a professional caterer to prepare some of the dishes you serve, perhaps an impressive main course. Then round out the menu with your own favorite side dishes and appetizers. By having a caterer do some of the meal preparation, you can relieve your budget and also your stress level.

Have a Buffet. A buffet style meal can be a lot easier on the budget than a sit-down meal. Some good budget buffet foods are vegetable trays, fresh fruits, salads, rolls, and cold cuts. You might want to have a local deli prepare the trays for you or you can assemble the platters yourself and add fancy garnishes to spruce them up.

Potluck Dinner. If yours is a more informal wedding, consider serving a potluck meal. Ask everyone who attends to contribute a dish to the wedding feast. Your friends and family might be delighted to participate in your day in this way. You'll also get a wonderful feast with a variety of everyone's best dishes. If you do decide to have a potluck dinner, be sure to have a friend or family member coordinate what everyone is bringing so you don't end up with all desserts and no meat!

Serve Appetizers. If you have your heart set on serving elegant dishes like seafood and prime rib, being on a budget doesn't mean you have to do entirely without them. Instead of serving them as a main course, plan ahead of time and create appetizers that are smaller, more affordable versions of these expensive dishes. For example, instead of seafood main course, serve crab cakes or a tasty lobster sauce with another appetizer.

The food you serve is an important part of your wedding day. At the same time, it's not so important that you should go into debt or break your budget to pay for an elaborate meal. With some creativity and planning, it's possible to serve a memorable wedding feast without overspending.



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