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The Wedding Breakfast is one of the biggest parts of any Wedding day – But also one of the most costly. Here are some alternative ideas that might save you some money too.
While a three course Wedding Breakfast is generally considered the norm, many couples are now opting for alternatives – whether it’s to save money or to create a more informal atmosphere, choosing food you really love is important. And it’s often only the bride and groom that will remember exactly what was served – so there’s no need to feel your guests will be missing out if you don’t provide them with a fancy three course dinner.
Even if your venue only offers a set menu it’s worth discussing with them whether something else could be created with you in mind. Remember you are the paying customer and they should be bending over-backwards to try and at least accommodate some of your needs. They may not be able to everything you want, but at the same time, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
Afternoon Tea is perfect for a Wedding. It’s classy and elegant and with some vintage crockery, looks absolutely beautiful too. And who doesn’t love cake? It is also often substantially cheaper than forking out for a three course meal as it costs much less to provide and as there’s no hot food so it’s easier for venues to cater. Plus guests don’t need to fill out individual menus to choose what they eat – much less stress for the bride and groom.
It also offers a lot choice for guests – most people would be able to find things they like to eat. It can also be placed on tables before guests enter the dining room meaning there’s not waiting for everyone to be served and cleared for each course.
Having street food vans at weddings is a trend that is becoming more and more popular. It can offer something different and fun, especially if the bride and groom love a particular type of cuisine. However, as many cook to order it can take a little bit of time to get everyone fed – even if they are given numbers and food choices up front.
Fresh fish and chips served from a van could be perfect for a seaside Wedding Breakfast, for example.
The biggest issue I’ve seen people have with the food van option is where Pizza is being served as they are individually made, topped and cooked taking up 6-7 minutes per person. This would be a much better option for evening food when people are more relaxed about getting something to eat and won’t be so touchy about having to wait.
There are also companies that provide huge pans of one or two foods – such as Curry or Paella. Guests would still need to queue but the food is already hot and waiting for them rather than needing to be cooked.
3.Picnic or Ploughman’s
Both a Picnic or Simple Ploughman’s lunch offer something a bit more substantial than Afternoon Tea but still have a lovely rustic vibe. Both could be served in Picnic Baskets which would give a lovely quaint feel. This is also a great option if you plan to do the food yourself as it can be made beforehand and with no hot food it means everyone gets to eat at the same time.
4.Serve the wedding Cake as Dessert
Wedding cakes are such a huge expense that many couples are now choosing to serve them as dessert – and why not? When you’ve spent hundreds of pounds on it, serving instead of dessert means that it could actually save you money as you’re not paying out for an extra course on the wedding breakfast. Plus guests are likely to eat more of it if they’ve not already had something sweet earlier on in the day.
5.Serve a Cheese Wheel Cake as the evening food
Many couples are eschewing a traditional wedding cake in favour of a actual cheese and honestly it could well work out cheaper than a normal cake anyway. The idea is then to serve this instead of food in the evening, just adding a selection of crackers, breads and chutneys.
While not every venue will let you do this, some might so it’s definitely worth asking if it’s something that appeals to you. It’s also a really easy and cheap way to provide evening food if you’re catering your own wedding.
6.Cut back on the courses and menu Choices
Wedding venues are there to make money and will always show you their more expensive menus and dishes when looking at food. Don’t be afraid to ask if they have cheaper options, if you can leave off the canapes or cut the wedding breakfast down by a course or two, depending on what they are offering.
7. Try an American Style ‘Pot Luck’
Pot luck is popular in America and is where everyone brings one dish or pot of food to an event to be enjoyed by everyone. If you’re hosting your own super budget DIY wedding and don’t want to spend loads on catering this could be a perfect alternative and guests could be asked to provide items for the Wedding Breakfast in lieu of gifts. While I don’t think it’s fair to dictate exactly what people should bring, I think some guidance is probably wise – such as ‘meat’, ‘vegetarian’ ‘potato dish’ etc so you don’t end up with 30 bowls of the same thing!
If you do decide to go down this route, here is some Pot Luck advice from Chef Jamie Oliver
Everyone and every wedding is different and if having a fancy 5 course wedding breakfast is what you want and within your budget then you should absolute go for it. But if you want something simpler and maybe a bit cheaper, I hope this post has given you plenty of ideas of what could be possible.