Affordable Wedding Catering Options | The Budget Savvy Bride
The Budget Savvy Bride

After selecting our awesome venue, we had to figure out what we were going to feed our guests and where it was going to come from. We knew that usually wedding food is around $50 and up per person but that just seemed unreasonable to us. That’s like taking all our friends and family to a four star restaurant! We were thinking more of an Applebee’s price point so we kept that in mind in our hunt for affordable wedding catering. So our first thought was food trucks, which we patronize frequently in LA.  Many trucks advertise their catering services, so we decided to try all our options.  Let the eating begin!

Option #1: Food trucks!

mmm grilled cheese

We considered just about every food truck in the LA area (including the Grilled Cheese Truck, pictured above). Some of them are really cheap! Others, not so much. Also, most charge a travel fee; depending on the location of the event, this can be anywhere from $20-200!

Initially we had our heart set on In-N-Out as I had heard they have a truck for events. Unfortunately the truck only offers burgers, soda and chips, no milkshakes or fries! We didn’t want to spend what they were charging just for burgers so we kept looking.

We loved the casual and fun feel a food truck could provide, but it was difficult to find a truck with the right balance of food for everyone and that could provide a complete evening meal. The trucks we considered had price points from $12-20 per person and we looked at all types of food from tacos to Indian. Most offer 2 hour service and charge tax as well as a service charge. Even with those added fees the cost of feeding our guests from a food truck was pretty cheap! Logistically it seemed a little difficult though. Do we send people to the truck in groups by table? How quickly would the food come out? These were things we had to consider if going with this option.

Option #2: BBQ!

Barbecue also lends a fun, picnic-style atmosphere to an event and can be reasonably priced, especially if you use catering from a chain restaurant like Famous Dave’s. We tried the BBQ at two different restaurants close to our venue that offer catering, and both were tasty, although not amazing. Price wise, if we had offered our guests a complete BBQ meal buffet style it would have been around $1600 including delivery, setup, labor and service.  The down side to this option was that they could offer very little in the way of vegetarian options, and we will have a few of those at our wedding. Plus, BBQ sauce all over peoples’ nice clothes may not be so appealing to our guests.

Option #3: Crepes!

Crepes Bonaparte actually has a truck (which has won awards and such) that we tried and loved. After inquiring about their catering, we found that it would be less expensive to have chef stations than the actual truck at the wedding. They offered us two chef stations, where they would make unlimited fresh crepes for two hours; we selected 3 savory options and a mixed green salad and a fruit salad. For 100 guests, including their travel fee this cost us just $1,519!  That’s just $11.97 per guest and they can have as many crepes as they would like. I know what you’re thinking: won’t our guests be waiting forever for each crepe to cook? well the chefs can make 6-8 crepes in 1-2 minutes which means our guests really will not be waiting long and we will be able to send guests up by table so there won’t be a huge line. Plus everyone likes crepes, right!

 

 

So here is our menu:

In Da Club- bacon, mozzarella, avocado and tomato

Baby Bleu- chicken, blue cheese and a raspberry vinaigrette

Veggie Pesto- mozzarella, spinach and pesto

Mixed green salad and fresh fruit salad

We may supplement with some appetizers/hor’s d’ouvres purchased from Whole foods to enjoy with drinks before or after the ceremony, yaaay!

 

Were you as flabbergasted at the price of feeding wedding guests as I was? How did you get around it?

 

 

TwitterFacebookPinterestStumble
  1. I love that idea!! We did bbq for our wedding.

  2. Crepes! Om. Nom. NOM!

    I'm really enjoying how your wedding is coming together. Also, I don't really like cats but Boshi makes me lol.

  3. I really love these ideas! Food at a wedding can definitely get expensive, but these ideas are totally budget friendly!

    • michele
    • June 7th, 2011

    I recently went to a wedding where the bride spent $150 a person on dinner.

    • Nic
    • June 8th, 2011

    We were leaning toward bbq too with appetizers, it looked like we would spend about 3500 (but this included the flatware, stemware, etc we needed to rent as well)- I love the crepe idea but am curious as to what you are doing with the rental sitch (or even if you need it at your venue?)
    ~ I would love to reconsider that Crepe idea!!!!

    • Meg
    • June 9th, 2011

    Damn Michele, that must have been a nice dinner!
    BBQ is such a great option, and everyone likes it! Nic, our venue has all the silverware, plates, and glasses we need so we don't need to rent. But $3500 for the food plus rental seems pretty good!
    More about our venue coming soon!

    • kirabee
    • June 24th, 2011

    Crepes Bonaparte, I watched them on the Food Truck Race! Sounds delicious!