Traditional wedding reception food ideas on a budget. When it comes to wedding reception food, there are endless possibilities. But if you’re looking for traditional favorites that won’t break the bank, we’ve got you covered. From passing hors d’oeuvres to plated entrées and everything in between, we’ve rounded up our favorite wedding reception foods that are sure to please your guests without busting your budget.
Traditional Wedding Reception Food Ideas On A Budget
Wedding receptions are a time to celebrate with family and friends, and what better way to do that than with food? Although food can be one of the most expensive parts of the reception, there are ways to save. Here are some traditional wedding reception food ideas that will leave your guests full and your wallet happy.
One way to save on reception food is by serving appetizers instead of a full meal. This doesn’t mean skimping on quantity or quality, though; guests will be just as satisfied with an assortment of appetizers as they would with a sit-down meal.
Plus, appetizers tend to be less expensive than entrees, so you’ll save money without sacrificing flavor. Some great options for budget-friendly appetizers include:
-Vegetable or fruit platters
-Cheese and crackers
2. Buffet Style Meal
Another way to reduce costs is by serving a buffet-style meal instead of a sit-down dinner. This option is usually less expensive because you won’t have to pay for servers, and it gives guests the freedom to choose what they want to eat. When setting up a buffet, be sure to include a variety of options so that there’s something for everyone. Some crowd-pleasing favorites include:
-Macaroni and cheese
3. Dessert Bar
Who doesn’t love dessert? By having a dessert bar instead of a traditional cake, you’ll add an extra element of fun while saving money. Plus, this option gives guests the opportunity to try multiple desserts instead of being limited to one slice of cake.
If you decide to go this route, be sure to include a variety of options such as cookies, brownies, cupcakes, pies, and fruit tarts. For an extra touch, offer toppings like whipped cream or chocolate sauce so guests can customize their treats.
4. Food Truck
For a unique and budget-friendly option, consider hiring a food truck to cater for your reception. This is a great way to add variety to the menu without breaking the bank. Plus, it’s a fun option that will get guests excited about the food. When choosing a food truck, be sure to select one that offers something different from the typical reception fare. Some popular options include tacos, barbecue, and ice cream.
5. DIY your own wedding favors
If you’re really looking to save money, consider doing some of the catering yourself. This doesn’t mean you have to cook everything from scratch, but there are ways to cut costs by making simple adjustments.
For example, instead of buying pre-made hors d’oeuvres, make your own using store-bought ingredients. Or, ditch the expensive champagne and serve wine or prosecco instead. By getting creative with the menu, you can save money without sacrificing taste or quality.
6. Cater the meal yourself
If you have a knack for cooking, consider catering for the reception yourself. This will obviously take more time and effort than ordering from a caterer, but it can be a great way to save money. Plus, you’ll have complete control over the menu, so you can make sure that everything is to your liking. If you decide to go this route, be sure to start planning early and give yourself plenty of time to prepare.
7. Serve snack bar foods
For a fun and budget-friendly option, consider serving snack bar foods at the reception. This is a great way to add variety to the menu without breaking the bank. Plus, it’s a fun option that will get guests excited about the food. When choosing snacks, be sure to select items that are both tasty and easy to eat. Some popular options include:
8. Hire a local college catering team
If you’re looking for an affordable option, consider hiring a local college catering team. This is a great way to get quality food at a fraction of the cost. Plus, it’s a great way to support your community. When choosing a college catering team, be sure to select one that has experience catering weddings.
9. Skip the alcohol
One of the easiest ways to save money is by skipping alcohol. This doesn’t mean that you have to serve soda or water, but there are ways to reduce costs by serving alternative beverages. For example, you could serve wine or prosecco instead of champagne.
Or, you could serve a signature non-alcoholic cocktail in lieu of alcoholic beverages. By getting creative with the drinks, you can save money without sacrificing taste or quality.
10. Have an earlier reception
If you’re really looking to save money, consider having an earlier reception. This is a great way to reduce costs because you won’t have to pay for an extra hour of catering or rental fees. Plus, it’s a great way to avoid the dinner rush at your venue. When planning an earlier reception, be sure to send out invitations early so that guests have time to adjust their schedules.
11. Choose a less popular wedding date
Wedding costs can be cheaper on weekdays and in off-peak months.
12. Have your wedding during the day
Lunchtime or afternoon weddings are often cheaper than those held in the evening.
13. Consider a winter wedding
Winter Weddings can be very romantic, and often work out much cheaper than summertime celebrations.
14. Get Married on a Friday or Sunday
Friday and Sunday weddings are becoming increasingly popular, and as a result, vendors are often more willing to offer discounts for these days.
15. Have a shorter wedding ceremony
If you’re looking to cut down on costs, consider having a shorter ceremony. This will also mean that you can spend less on decoration and flowers for the event.
16. Use fake flowers
If you’re set on having a flower-filled wedding, consider using artificial blooms instead of real ones. This can save you a lot of money, and your guests will never be able to tell the difference.
17. Simplify your decoration
Less is often more when it comes to wedding decoration. A few well-placed items can go a long way, so there’s no need to go overboard.
18. Have an “unplugged” ceremony
Asking your guests to put away their phones and cameras during the ceremony can help you save money on professional photography. Just make sure to let them know in advance.
19. Ask friends and family to help out
If you have creative friends or family members, ask them to help out with the decoration or catering for your big day. This can be a great way to save money and add a personal touch to your wedding.
20. Cut down on the Guestlist
One of the easiest ways to reduce wedding costs is to simply invite fewer people. This will also make the event feel more intimate and special.
21. Reception Ideas on a Budget: Rent a Photo Booth
Photo booths have become increasingly popular at weddings, and they’re a great way to keep guests entertained. Many companies offer affordable rental packages, so this is definitely something to consider if you’re looking for reception ideas on a budget.
22. Serve comfort food
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly catering option, consider serving comfort food instead of a formal sit-down meal. This can be anything from mac and cheese to grilled cheese sandwiches.
23. Have a potluck reception
Asking your guests to bring a dish to share is an excellent way to reduce costs and get everyone involved in the big day. Just make sure to provide enough non-alcoholic beverages for everyone.
24. DIY your own wedding cake
If you’re not worried about having a traditional wedding cake, consider making your own. This can be a great way to save money and show off your baking skills.
25. Serve cupcakes instead of cake
Cupcakes are a popular alternative to wedding cakes, and they’re often much cheaper to make (or have made). They’re also easy to transport and can be served without plates or forks.
26. Have an outdoor wedding
Outdoor weddings are becoming increasingly popular, and they can often be cheaper than indoor ones. Just make sure to have a backup plan in case of bad weather.
27. Get married at a public park
Many public parks offer beautiful (and affordable!) venues for weddings. Just be sure to check with the park ranger in advance to make sure that you’re allowed to have your ceremony there.
28. Have your reception at a restaurant
If you’re looking for an affordable reception venue, consider having your event at a local restaurant. This can be a great way to save money on food and decoration.
29. Ask about package deals
When you’re booking vendors for your big day, be sure to ask about package deals. Many companies offer discounts when you book multiple services from them.
30. Use a credit card with rewards
If you have a credit card with rewards, consider using it to pay for wedding expenses. This can help you save money (or earn points that you can use for your honeymoon).
While weddings can be expensive, there are plenty of ways to cut down on costs. By being creative and thinking outside the box, you can have a beautiful and memorable day without breaking the bank. We hope these traditional wedding reception food ideas on a budget have inspired you to start planning your own affordable event
While weddings can be expensive, there are plenty of ways to cut down on costs. By being creative and thinking outside the box, you can have a beautiful and memorable day without breaking the bank. We hope these traditional wedding reception food ideas on a budget have inspired you to start planning your own affordable event.