How To Plan Your Dream Wedding Menu on A Budget

Your big day is around the corner and you’re on top of the world! You want the celebration to be of top quality, but still on a budget. Believe it or not, you can save big bucks on your wedding menu if you take the right steps. It’s because in almost every wedding, around 30% to 50% of the wedding budget is allocated for meals and cocktails. If you’re doing the same, rethink on it! You can choose a menu that will be low-cost, but your guests would love it. Let’s share with you some food ideas that you’d be tempted to choose for your big day.

Plan only Hors d’Oeuvres and Cocktails

Whether you do it yourself with the help of friends and family or choose a catering service, hors d’Oeuvres would save a major chunk of money for you. You’d just have to take care to design your wedding invites with the wedding drink menus so that your guests would know what to expect and wouldn’t be disappointed.

Generally, in weddings, guests get full during the cocktail hour, filling up on all of the hors d’Oeuvres. You only have to make sure you have a lot and a range of choices for vegetarians and vegans, as well as any other special dietary requirements.

As such you can hire servers for an hour or two, but you can even save there by requesting friends and family members to do the job (as a wedding gift).

wedding drink menus

Budget Wedding Menus

There are some wedding menus that can never fail to please your guests while being kind on your pocket. Here are a few.

Classic Wedding Menu

  • A simple, yet delicious and filling menu is the classic menu.
  • Green salad/seafood salad (shrimp, calamari, scungilli, and mussels)
  • Caesar Salad/Tuscan garden salad
  • Roasted chicken
  • Dinner rolls
  • Roasted potatoes/roma tomatoes
  • Penne marinara
  • Wedding cake

Barbecue Wedding Menu

This is a perfect wedding food for a rustic or outdoor wedding. It’s delicious yet sticks to the budget. Even if you hire a caterer, a barbecue wedding menu is cheaper than a formal dinner. Versatility is the beauty of this menu. A classic barbecue with hot dogs and burgers is ideal for the smallest budget, whereas if you can go with a little more expensive menu, you can choose kebabs, sausages or chicken. If you’d be doing it yourself, you can even fit shrimp, salmon or steak in your budget. For vegetarians and vegans you can include grilled vegetables, potato salad, corn on the cab or pasta salad.

Thanksgiving Based Wedding Menu

A Thanksgiving menu is perfect for a fall wedding. It creates a warm and comfortable atmosphere which is ideal for a family gathering. It can contain:

  • Roasted turkey
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Dinner rolls
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Green bean casserole
  • Wedding cake

Offer a Food Station

As a great alternative to a buffet, food stations make today’s trend. You can offer a pasta station or a carving station with roast beef or ham, if your budget allows. For very tight budgets, a soup station, salad bar and dinner rolls are perfect which you can serve your guests from a pasta station.

Appetizers Only Reception

If you are planning a night time reception, but cannot fit a dinner into your budget, you can offer an appetizers-only reception. As per your budget allows, you can offer a limited bar or an open bar with beer, wine and a signature cocktail. Some options are:

  • Golden fried potato croquette
  • Chicken Gorgonzola
  • Fresh seasonal vegetables
  • Gorgonzola sauce
  • Chicken
  • Mushrooms
  • Walnuts

Include the Menu in Your Wedding Invites

If you’d be celebrating your big day on a tight budget and so, wouldn’t follow the traditional cocktail hour, dinner etc. make sure you let your guests know about it beforehand. It’s nothing wrong to serve a meal that fits your budget. But take care to give your guests an idea, as if they come on in hungry and get served just a cake, they’d be very disappointed. A great way to avoid this is to include your menu on the wedding program paper.

wedding program paper

If your wedding will be in the evening, you can prepare your invitees by including a line like: “Come to enjoy the appetizer reception starting at 9.00 pm.”

You can throw a great party while sticking to your budget. You just need to be creative and thoughtful about your guests and they will definitely join your happiness. Happy wedding!