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Food and Cakes

Low cost food options?

Our wedding is January 2013 in Winter Park, FL and we are paying for it ourselves with limited funds.  Our reception venue reqiures a licensed and insured caterer & bartender (we can supply own alcohol).  No problem I thought.  Well, I was wrong.  I'm looking for some low cost food options that include a licensed and insured caterer. Thinking like $15-$20 per person.  I'm ok with outside the box, I don't want traditional wedding food.  Have even been looking at fun options like Mellow Mushroom to give an example.  Has anyone encountered this problem - or have any suggestions or tips?  Would be much appreciated.

Re: Low cost food options?

  • I know here in TX, BBQ is always a cheap option (that's what we're doing).
    Try asking the girls on the Local Wedding Board.
  • egm900egm900 member
    500 Comments
    Definitely check with your local board, they will know if $15-20 pp is realistic in your area and may have some recommendations, but as cwaggoner said, bbq is one of the less expensive options I've heard of as well.  I'd also post on the budget brides board, people may know what they served that was on the inexpensive part of the spectrum.

    If you're having your wedding over a meal time, consider changing it to an afternoon event where you could just serve cake and other small desserts and/or "snack" items.  That is the quickest way to trim the food budget. 
  • Can you see if any restaurants that you like offer catering?  

  • For $15-$20 a person I would look into restaurants that cater.
  • Mexican food and BBQ food is a cheaper option.  You could also have your wedding at a non-meal time and just serve snacks and desserts.  Even sandwich trays, etc.  Depending on how casual you want your wedding to be. 
  • PeavyPeavy member
    1000 Comments 5 Love Its
    Pasta is also an inexpensive option.
  • Check into gourmet stores in your area that cater. There are at least 4 in the metro Detroit area that do this (not sure about your area). Because they also make profits on the store customers, they are more willing to negotiate on pricing for catering, plus they already have amazing foods on hand.

    Whether you can do the above or not, when meeting with anyone, TELL them your budget. Many companies will be willing to set a menu within that. I'd shave about 20% off your budget to allow for delivery, taxes & fees like gratuities, but that's the best way to negotiate is give the potential vendor what you can afford and let them work within it.

    good luck.
  • We did a taco bar with a salsa and guacomole bar for appetizers, and everyone loved it! It ended up being about $9 per plate and we had about 20 different toppings on the bar.  We got a ton of compliments on it throughout the  night.
  • We are doing a very casual BBQ because it fits well with our 'summercamp' "theme" plus we can do it super cheap. We are cooking up some burgers, chicken, hot dogs, etc. and then having some random pasta salads, coleslaw (a bunch of family and friends offered to bring stuff too which I didn't turn down). And I'm making the cupcakes and having a desert table (brownies, cookies, etc.) instead of just cake. Some people might think that's tacky but I can't afford 20 bucks a head either!! My idea is if someone complains about my wedding or says it's tacky, they don't belong there!! Good luck and congrats! :)
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