Wedding Budget Tip #9: Choose an Untraditional Wedding Caterer

This post is part of a recurring series here on BSB – we share a wedding budget tip every Tuesday to help you save money on your wedding! You can also access all the wedding budget tips on a single page for your convenience and future reference.

Wedding Budget Tip #9: Consider a local restaurant instead of a caterer for your meal.

Wedding Budget Tip #9:

Consider a local restaurant instead of a caterer for your meal.


Choosing a local restaurant instead of a traditional wedding caterer is something that can save you money on your big day!

I did this myself, so when I suggest using a local restaurant to cater your wedding, I do so speaking from experience.

Typically, this means you'll be serving food buffet style, which will cut down on costs incurred by hiring servers to pass out the food by a traditional caterer.

Choosing a local mom and pop restaurant who specialized in southern style barbecue, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, etc — we were able to feed our large group of wedding guests (150 guests) for about $17 per person, buffet style. I've seen wedding catering prices at $50 – $100 per person – so we saved a significant amount.

There are lots of food options for weddings from restaurants that can be wallet-friendly as well! Consider a taco bar from your favorite Mexican restaurant, or select a variety of pasta from a local Italian restaurant. Often they will even include the serving dishes needed to set up the food on the buffet. Granted, they might not be the fanciest chaffing dishes, but if your budget is tight it's definitely a great option.

It's important to note that though the food from a restaurant may cost less, many caterers include lots of other items in their overall fees including service, cleanup, setup, dishes, etc. As with everything else when it comes to your budget, make sure you take the time to calculate out ALL the costs and consider all options before making your final decisions!

Would you consider ordering your wedding catering from a local restaurant? Are you planning to try this out yourself? Sound off in the comments below! We want to hear from you!

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