Wedding Reception Food Ideas on a Budget

Wedding Reception Food Ideas on a Budget

You can have a delicious menu full of creative wedding food ideas that won’t hurt your budget. Do you want to avoid spending thousands on your wedding reception food? 

Here are a few ways to keep costs down when planning your wedding reception food on a budget.

  • Avoid sit-down plated dinners that require serving.
  • Reduce your guest list. 
  • Cater it yourself with the help of friends and family.
  • Choose a cater unrelated to your wedding venue. 

Let’s go over some budget-friendly wedding food ideas and how you can serve a memorable feast for your guests. 

Cheap & Creative Wedding Food Ideas 

We should start by saying, cheap isn’t a bad word. It simply means inexpensive. Plus, it allows you to have plenty of room for creativity! 

Use a Local Restaurant 

Choosing your favourite local restaurant can often be as low as $7 per person. Choosing a middle eastern or Mediterranean menu, you can have a buffet or family-style meal that saves you big. 

Choosing a small or family restaurant instead of a caterer can leave you with more room to negotiate as well. When coming up with prices keep the guest list in mind.

Cater It Yourself

Of course, this is a bit more work, but with the help of your friends and family, it could also be a lot of fun. This is a great way to make your wedding more personal.

Here are some ways you can save money and prepare the food yourself:

  • BBQ foods – simple meats, chicken, ribs, pork chops, veggies
  • Garden salads 
  • Steamed veggies 
  • Rice, quinoa, pasta 
  • Roasted potatoes 
  • Sliders
  • Kebabs 

DIY Wedding Dessert Table 

The DIY wedding food/dessert station has become quite popular in recent years. You can do this easily at your wedding and it’ll be tons of fun for your guests.

All you need to do is purchase some desserts and decorations, get a table and have some drinks. 

Your DIY dessert station can include:

  • S’mores around a small fire pit
  • Donut station with a variety of toppings to choose from

DIY Food & Drink Station

Same idea as the dessert station, but with dinner foods or cocktails. 

  • Make-Your-own taco and nacho station
  • Hot dog & burger station
  • DIY cockatiel station – alcohol, mix, garnish

Buffet Style 

If you have a budget for your wedding, consider a buffet. A buffet-style meal is a lot easier than a sit-down, plated meal that requires serving. 

A buffet-style reception has a menu and plenty of options. Plus, it is a great way to reduce waste. All you need are a few large tables, some plates and cutlery. 

There are plenty of buffet ideas floating around the internet. Additionally, it is an easy way to stay on theme for your wedding. 

Potluck Wedding

In many cultures, wedding foods are a family project and were not outsourced by caterers. 

Though some people may view a potluck wedding as frugal, it’s quite traditional. However, it is important to keep in mind the timing and schedule of your wedding. 

Tasks and foods should be delegated with care. Make sure everyone understands the assignment, like in what amounts, what supplies etc. 

Appetizers & Small Plates 

People can get fed well off the right small plates. Plus it’s an easy way to save money on your wedding. 

  • Pre-made, frozen appetizers
  • Veggie platters
  • Sliders or mini pizzas 
  • Charcuterie 
  • Meat skewers 
  • Bacon-wrapped foods
  • French fries
  • Tacos 

Food Truck Wedding 

Becoming much more popular is food trucks at weddings. Using a food truck is also a great way to support local restaurants or food vendors. 

Make sure to do your research and think about:

  • Plates, cutlery, napkins
  • Staffing
  • Drinks
  • Dessert service
  • Electricity
  • Parking

Tips For Your Wedding Reception Food

Something that people often remember when they go to a wedding reception is the food, whether it’s good or bad. 

Here are some general tips and tricks to ensure your wedding reception food is excellent. 

Give Them a Choice

It’s always a good idea to offer your guests a few choices

on what they would like to eat. People may have food allergies and restrictions. Having options allows your guests to choose what they would like to eat. 

Keep It Simple

Just because it’s not something fancy, doesn’t mean that it won’t be good. 

If they are faced with something that they aren’t sure what it is, they may be reluctant to eat it. It’s best practice to go for foods that people can easily identify.

Keep It Clean

Everyone at your wedding reception is going to be wearing their best clothes. You want to stay away from very messy food.

Remember, you are going to be wearing a white dress. The last thing you want is to have something spill on it.

Think about what you have had in the past at wedding receptions. What did you like or didn’t like about them? This will help you plan your wedding reception menu.

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