Wedding Reception Forum

trying to save on reception food

My budget is fairly small, but I would like to have a dinner at my recieption- not just drinks and cake or whatever.

Does anyone know if it is common for vendors to possible hold a Buffet style reception? There are a ton of kids coming, and I cannot afford to pay 25-40 per plate for them. I  dont think I can make it adults only because I know some very important people will have a hard time finding sitters and I dont want to throw that on them as well.

Any ideas?

Re: trying to save on reception food

  • Buffet is very common.

    Many caterers also offer kids' plates at a much reduced cost.
  • Many caterers ofter buffet.  Have you already decided on a venue?  If not, keep in mind that some venues will restrict who you can use for food (like they might require you to use their in-house caterer), so be careful with that.  

    Like PP said, many caterers offer a discounted price for kids since they don't eat as much.  Where the age cut-off is varies with each caterer.  
  • wow thanks a lot!

    I do not haev a venue yet, does anyone have any other advice that should seem obvious, or questions i should think to ask?
  • In Response to <a href="">Re: trying to save on reception food</a>:
    [QUOTE]wow thanks a lot! I do not haev a venue yet, does anyone have any other advice that should seem obvious, or questions i should think to ask?
    Posted by sk24enator[/QUOTE]

    <div>If you search for this issue, it's come up before and there is some checklist that people have posted (sorry, I don't have a link to that list, otherwise I would just post it).</div><div>
    </div><div>If you have questions about specific venues or caterers, try your local boards on the left.  </div>
  • Okay, Thanks!
    I did just start here a couple days ago and I'm working my way around still so I'll try a few searches!
  • It might be better to find a venue first because some require that you use specific caterers or their in house catering.
  • We're hosting a buffet for our reception and our venue caterer provides a discount price for children. It's something like $10 instead of the $30 per person.  At that price - it's worth asking!!  :)
    Warning No formatter is installed for the format bbhtml
  • you should contact caterers in your area. many caterers offer severly reduced prices for childrens meals.


  • edited December 2011

    Sometimes buffets cost less than a plated meal and sometimes they cost more.  It really varys based on your vendor. 

    Like others suggested, shop around for a venue and see what caterers they allow in and then shop arround for caterers. 

    Another way to save money is by serving chicken or pasta instead of beef or fish. 

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  • OP - where in upstate are you looking?  Some places can make a catered reception work for those prices, some can't.
  • you should ask for venues where you can bring in your own catering, instead of using their's because they tend to cost alot more. I would also try to find a venue that allows you to purchase and bring in your own alcohol. It can save you tons of money and you can pick what drinks you would like to serve and fit into your budget. That's what I'm doing!
  • im actually in the Buffalo area, western ny. I have no idea when i pressed upstate...

  • Thnaks! a wonderful idea!
  • I agree, a buffet is perfectly acceptable, we had one.

    We found that many of the local gourmet type stores also did catering. Their prices per person are a lot less because they don't make all their profits from simply catering, but also from running a gourmet type store. They also are more willing to negotiate and allow you to have lower priced things than a typical catering venue where they supply everything.....  they already have great food on hand for their store customers. If you have any gourmet stores near you that do this, make some inquiries into where they have provided the food. Having a caterer who is familiar with the venue helps a lot, and they can recommend venue locations that may be more budget friendly as far as renting the facility/venue where you will have the event.

    This process takes a bit more time than simply finding an "all inclusive venue" that provides everything. I found so much for my wedding simply by googling.

    Good luck.
  • Top right corner of the webpage, look for my account.  You can change your location there.
  • Some venues don't even require a licensed caterer. Depending on your network of friends and relatives around your reception location, you may be able to buy food cheap from Whole Foods or any grocery store with a deli, and hire high school or college kids to keep trays full. If you do this, check about local laws regarding who can serve alcohol. It won't be high school kids.
  • Buffets are great ! I love food stations personally. However, most of the venues we looked at had plated meals as the least expensive option.

    A lot of people are stearing away from this type of in turn they have gone down in price.
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