Brides are beginning to look for more ways to cut down on their wedding budget. Gone are the days when brides spent all their money to please guests without thinking about what happened after their big day. Brides are being very budget conscious these days and have realized that the wedding is only for a day, life goes on after that. Food is one of the most expensive items on the wedding list but savings can be made with good planning and diligence. Below are a few tips on how to lower your food budget:

Pick Lunch instead of Dinner: When utilizing venues that are fully serviced like hotels, restaurants or private ballrooms with chefs, lunch is usually cheaper than dinner. Opt for an early wedding ceremony so that you can have your reception between the hours of 12noon and 4pm. This will save you a lot of money.

Offer your guests heavy hors d’oeuvres: Believe it or not, people can get satisfied from eating hot and cold heavy hors d’oeuvres. Items can range from beef wellington to penne alfredo to tuscan spinach to pot stickers to calamari to dumplings and the list goes on and on. Your guests will have a lot to eat; it will also give them a chance to mingle with other guests and most importantly translating into savings on your food budget.

Replace seated dinner with buffet stations: Buffet stations require less servers and less work for the kitchen staff. The food just has to be served in chafing dishes with a few servers standing by to serve or fill in the chafing dishes when empty, unlike a seated dinner where the food must be plated and served by tons of servers. Imagine having a server per 20people at a wedding reception with 400guests. Fewer servers will also reflect less gratuity on your bill.

Skip appetizers and use your wedding cake as dessert: Appetizers and desserts add about $10 – $25 per person to your catering budget. I bet your guests won’t mind starting with salad and also having your wedding cake as dessert. Your guests may not even realize there were no appetizers if the salad and entrée is served on time. If you think the wedding cake is too simple as dessert, spice it up a bit by adding some ice cream and strawberries.